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

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yaks dangling from balloons

Milton's at Windscape Library with a guy from Procurement who's trying to convince him that all our libraries will have multifunction photocopier-fax-printer-goblin teasmade facilities installed by the end of the year. Milton's trying to convince the guy from Procurement that some of our libraries don't have the physical space for one of these beasts.

"It'll act as a replacement network printer but you'll be able to keep the existing one as a back-up in case of problems."

"We barely have space for the network printers we've got and they've got half the footprint."

"They don't have to be on the counter. They can go against any of the walls in the library."

Which is why Milton took him to Windscape, which is our fourth-smallest library physically, has shelves on all walls but the five-foot stretch that give the public access to the People's Network, and which has just enough room to swing a cat.

A very short cat. A very short Manx cat.

"If you had a multifunction device here you'd be able to use it as a fax as well as a printer or photocopier. You can plug it into one of the spare network points."

"We don't have any spare network points."

"Never mind. People will be able to scan and save the files."

"That's good, will they be able to save them on a USB stick?"

"No, they would email them on the internal network."

"But these would be public devices. The public would want to email them to themselves or to external organisations."

"They could send the emails to the library and then your staff could forward them on to the external destinations."

"No. I don't think we'll be doing that."

The current state of play is that the Procurement guy's gone away to try and see if any of the devices in the preferred supplier's catalogue has a smaller footprint than your average cyclotron and then there'll be discussions about how/whether any of this kit could be physically installed in many of our libraries. And then further discussions as to how we manage the service being provided (probably a few months post-implementation, but there we go).

And then the shock of our lives when we see the income target!


The Topiary Cow said...

""They could send the emails to the library and then your staff could forward them on to the external destinations."

The mind boggles.

As for multi-function devices, Cow HATES them. Combining all the functions usually makes a large book of directions mandatory to do any formerly simple task.

Plus, if you have a printer, and a fax, and a copier, if one goes down, you still can use the others. Not so with combos.


Kevin Musgrove said...

Oh no...

You put all your key service factors into one single unit point of failure and then sit back and wait for it to fail.

That is how local government IT works.