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

Friday, December 30, 2005

Static libraries

Our beleaguered and decimated acquisitions team are swamped with boxes. It's a bit early for the usual end-of-year panic buy. It turns out that those first signs of spring have been augmented by yet another pile of boxes of booksale; a pile of books from Tench Lane, which is about to be closed for a few weeks to have a new lavatory (I must have missed the announcement that this was European Year of the Lavatory); and a pile of boxes of books that have been bouncing between Catty and Milkbeck for years for no apparent reason.

"Good news!" cries Seth the caretaker, "himself has told us to send these boxes back over to Catty."

The acq. team loosen their stays a little and breathe out. Out of sympathy I lend a hand loading the Big Berha trolley.

"What's these boxes?" I ask.

"Leave them, they're fixtures."

Being dead nosy I have a look in one of them. Italian children's books.

"A present from the twin town visitors. They've been processed but they're not on the catalogue because T.Aldous wants to look at them first."

"When did they visit?"


I look around. "Are all these boxes Italian books?"

"Oh no. Those over there are circulating collections, we're waiting for Mary to decide where they're circulating to. Those six are waiting for the children's librarians to allocate to libraries. That lot on the wall are Richard & Judy collections waiting for someone to decide how we're going to issue them - they aren't sure whether they're normal fiction stock or whether they should be short loans. Oh, and that lot's for Reading Groups. Which Reading Groups, where, and why we're lumbered I don't know and I don't care any more, I retire in eight years and they'll all still be here when I go."

I feel that I have stumbled against an open wound. I come back later and leave behind some chocolate.

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