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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thinking is but an idle waste of thought

I'm peculiar as although I work in a public library I think that cataloguing's quite an important function. To my mind if we can't be bothered to tell the public what we've got and where to find it why should the public be bothered to hunt it down and use it? This used to be one of Jimmy Huddersfield's many unsung duties before his retirement and his lack of replacement is reflected in the amount of non-fiction stock awaiting classification backstage at Helminthdale. For once we are swimming with the tide: a colleague tells me that their cataloguer had been replaced by the head of service's personal assistant (the new head of service having decided that he wanted his old PA to come along with him), but had proved such a bad choice for the job that she was moved to a new post running a project digitising the library's special collections. After six months, the total throughput is one photograph (which is an improvement on her throughput as a cataloguer) and she spends most of her time writing her Rotary Club newsletter and running copies of it off on the laser printer.

One of the things I can never get my head around is that librarians — who make such a big deal of being 'professional' — don't set much value to the skills they learn at library school but imagine that their library qualifications automatically make them top-notch generic managers.

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