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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reference and misinformation

Milton turns up at my doorway.

"Sanctuary! Sanctuary!"

He's just been having one of his occasional forays into understanding Helminthdale's reference stock policies and needs a wet flannel on his forehead.

The trouble started when he got a 'phone call from Dutch Bend complaining that they hadn't had an update of their "Jane's Fighting Sailors." He said he'd look into it, secretly balking at paying that much unless there was a damned good reason for it.

"Is there a copy of Jane's Fighting Sailors here at Helminthdale?" he asked Eileen.

"Yes," she replies, "but it's an old one. It's not being updated here."

"Why is Dutch Bend getting an up-to-date copy but not Helminthdale if Helminthdale's the main reference library in the borough?"

"I don't know; the Acq. team decide on the updates."
[bollocks said I]

"When was your last update?"

"Two years ago."

"So you've not had a copy on the shelves for two years?"

"Oh no, it's still there."

"Hasn't anyone complained about its being out of date?"

"Oh no. I don't think anyone's noticed."

"Why on earth is it on the shelf if it's out of date?"

"Oh, it's used all the time."

This is wrong on so many levels I can only commiserate and reassure him that the rules of information librarianship seem to have evaded Helminthdale somehow.

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