I’ve noticed that librarians, like lawyers, have a language of their own.
When I get together with another library person and we are talking about textbooks, we never say textbooks, we always say secondary sources. Secondary sources?
secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere
Secondary sources involve generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of the original information
Since a systhesis of a topic that we are researching is the best starting place, of course the organization dependent librarian loves secondary sources.
Is the nomenclature an insurmountable hurdle in librarian communication? Lawyers tend to refer to textbooks by author name: “Where is Brown on Insurance?” or worse: “Where is Brown?” Perhaps we librarians use our secret language to fight fire with fire: “Can I gather the secondary materials on insurance law for you?”