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

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Any old Alsatians here tonight?

One of the (many) things that utterly baffle me about this service is its attitudes to encyclopedias. After they've been lingering on the reference shelves for a decade they're shifted on to the lending shelves because "people like to borrow them." (As the keeper of the item-level usage statistics I can state categorically that no, they don't. I don't count three volumes issued in all our libraries in this financial year as much of a market.)

The parallel argument is that "they're expensive so we need to get our money's worth out of them." I'm sorry, if an encyclopedia doesn't earn its keep on the reference library shelves then we shouldn't be buying it in the first place.

The upshot is that libraries who moan that they don't have enough room on their shelves for new stock have shelves groaning with copies of the 1985 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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