Our Organization’s Name
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We are the James Madison University Libraries. The preferred short form of our name is JMU Libraries.
These names are acceptable for use when referring to our organization, depending on the audience and other context for the communication:
- James Madison University Libraries
- the James Madison University Libraries
- JMU Libraries
- the JMU Libraries
- the Libraries
In communications to non-JMU audiences, one of the first four names above should be used, so that the JMU connection is apparent.
In formal written communications, the official name (James Madison University Libraries) should be written out in full on the first mention. The other variations may be used in subsequent references.
Name Variations to Avoid
These name variations are never acceptable when referring, in writing, to our entire organization or our collective facilities with external audiences:
- JMU Library
- James Madison University Library
- University Library
- University Libraries
- Any version of our previous names (Libraries and Educational Technologies, Libraries and Ed Tech, L&ET, LET, CIT, Center for Instructional Technology)
- Any specific department or unit within the Libraries (e.g., Research & Education Services, Learning Innovations and Design)
- Exceptions (name of department is also the name of the service/space): Classroom Technology Services, Interlibrary Loan, Learning Technology Services, The Makery, and Special Collections. In most cases, these names should be accompanied by the official name (e.g., JMU Libraries Special Collections, JMU Libraries Interlibrary Loan, JMU Libraries Makery).
More About Using the Organization’s Name
When referring to the JMU Libraries as an organization or entity, the term is singular and the verb choice should reflect that. For example, “JMU Libraries supports teaching, learning, and creative exploration in four physical locations and through robust online programs and services.” If the usage of “Libraries” as singular sounds awkward in a specific sentence, consider re-wording the sentence — perhaps moving “Libraries” to a different part of the sentence, or if appropriate, shifting the subject of the sentence to be the people who work at JMU Libraries or the resources/services the Libraries offers. For example, instead of “The Libraries is building collections,” an alternative could be, “Libraries’ staff and faculty work toward building collections” or “the Libraries’ collections are growing.”
When using any of these terms as a modifier or as a possessive, place the apostrophe at the end of the word “Libraries.” Example: “the Libraries’ mission, vision, and values.”
In rare cases, it is acceptable to use “the Library” or “the library” or “library” when referring to the organization or to part of the organization — for example, when referring to the “Ask the Library” service or when using “library” as a modifier for some nouns, such as “library resources.”