The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless [Library] Jargon

Okay, so this article in Forbes is really titled: The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon, but a quick read reveals that just about every one of these words and phrases have leapt (not crept) into the dreaded library jargon. Which does underscore my belief that libraries are increasingly aping business models more than service or educational models.

I’m particularly pleased to see this comment about the phrase, Core Competency, from Professor Bruce Barry (professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business): It is just a silly phrase when you think about it‚Ķ. Do people talk about peripheral competency? Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking. It’s like core mediocrity. Too true. I also love the authors’ description of Corporate Values: This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Any (or all) of this sound familiar? Too familiar? Anyone for a game of Library Buzzword (yeah, I’m using a euphemism but you get my drift) Bingo?

More as it happens on the bleeding edge,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.


  1. Joneser says:

    ROI. Planful. 360 degree manager (believe me, if you have to say that about yourself, you aren’t one). Leadership track.