We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The People's Network: the secret service

Get any systems librarians together for more than five minutes and they'll start telling People's Network stories. It's the modern equivalent of the boy scout camp fire yarn...

The department’s Marketing Officer came along and showed the "People’s Network marketing group" some ideas for publicity. A couple of weeks ago she’d been asked to provide an idea for a leaflet taking advantage of the People’s Network to publicise library services at each library. She had to leave after about half an hour and left us with the job of finalising the copy and coming up with a brief for the graphic designers. After half an hour it became apparent that we had deconstructed the leaflet down to literally a blank sheet of paper (they had decided it was too wordy; "didn’t want to include irrelevant services"; didn’t like the premise for the logo; didn’t want any lists; and objected to the number of times the word "free" cropped up). When I suggested that we might want to decide on some copy for the front of the leaflet I was told (really): "That’s what we’re paying the graphic designer for. We don’t want to paint them into a corner."

I remember a conversation I had the week before we went live, all those years ago (it seems like many lifetimes). The Reference & e-Learning Librarian collared me at the photocopier: "I really must get you to tell me something about this People's Network thing some time." I recalled it because she threw a wobbler yesterday because we wouldn't reschedule this meeting so that she could be paid extra for coming in on her day off.

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