The Acquisitions Team's ready for the usual end-of-financial-year-splurge as the usual desperate attempt to spend half the annual book fund in one quarter. (It's not nearly as bad as usual, things are a bit better managed this time: last year it was three-quarters of the book fund.) They've shifted a couple of filing cabinets out of the way and cleared a space along one wall ready for the boxes of new books, being careful not to get them mixed up with the boxes for any of the three libraries that have been allegedly moving house for the past year or two. Then along comes Doreen, the new Group Librarian.
"Oh, excellent! There's plenty of space here for the book sale books."
"But I need the space to get the book sale books out of the way for this weekend's event. They'll only be here for a week or so."
A week or so in Helminthdale is half a decade. They only had enough room for the new books for Noddy because they took an executive decision to "disappear" some Italian children's books that were a long-forgotten gift from our twin town. Mary and Noreen dug their heels in and Doreen went away thwarted and frustrated.