"The front desk is more important. If we weren't there then there'd be no point in having anyone working in the back."
The converse to that, of course, is that without somebody buying, receiving and distributing the stock then the libraries would be empty and the staff could all go home. This nonsense needs to be knocked on the head: there's no "us" and "them", they're all part of a team and if we want to deliver a half-way decent service in our libraries then we need both ends of the process staffed and working properly.
One of the charges commonly levelled against Barry Trotter when he worked here a few years back was that he didn't "spend his share of time on the enquiry desk". Quite right too, I said at the time and say all the more now. What's the point of paying somebody principal officer grade to do an assistant librarian's job? Given the desperate need for any sort of proper management of the service we can't afford to waste what few management resources we've got.
"When Garry Chevalier was in charge at Dutch Bend he wasn't above spending all day on the enquiry desk."
No, but then again Garry wasn't above sliding attractive young female staff's payslips into the inside pockets of their blouses, whether or not there was a pocket there. I don't think he'll do as a paragon of public library management.
Garry was part of the management team that in 1991 decided to completely cut the marketing budget. As Little Billy Liverwort told councillors: "if we publicise our services we might create a demand that we can't meet."