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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Let's dance to Joy Division

I really don't know why we bother...

About the only performance indicators T.Aldous pays any attention to are book sale income and lending issue (= checkout) figures.

Today I sent an email out to all staff saying that I'll be doing the stock stats for the statutory annual CIPFA reports on Monday and that it would be a good idea to borrow a pile of books, or at least make sure that the ones staff have got out aren't overdue. Given how anal librarians are about issue figures you'd think that they'd make sure that staff borrowed and renewed books religiously but the sad reality is that they're even more cavalier about this than everything else.

"Oh dear... library services are in decline... our issue figures have been going down..."

"Well why don't you borrow some sodding books then?!?"

At least the customers are on our side and have been borrowing enough from us, despite every obstacle we place in their way, for our issue figures to be on the up for the third year running. Not that we let anybody know this. It's probably seen as a professional fall from grace, a bit vulgar, not quite the top bracket don't you know.

And there's no excuse for having loans well overdue. Besides all having access to the loans circulation system there's a twelve-hour-a-day renewals hotline and renewals can be effected on the world-wide-spider's-web-net. We all make the occasional mistake when holidays arrive and we've let one or two slip by but I can't believe that's the reason why one-sixth of all the loans to staff are overdue.

And I have the evidence to prove it...

Just before six o'clock and up toddles T.Aldous.

"I think I may be one of the people who have overdue books," he simpered. "Tilly used to renew them for me."

"I'll renew them for you now."

"It's awfully bad of me. I really should keep my loans up to date."

"Yes. Ah... Your loans are so overdue that the system has set them to lost and is charging you £250 for them."

"Why's that?"

"Well, they were due back in July 2007 and the system has automatically assumed that if they're that overdue they're actually lost."

"I don't think I've had any of these books about library management... [not on your own there matey] Oh, I think I've got the book about the Orinoco on my desk..."

"(sigh) I'll re-issue the barcodes against your record. That will set them back to being on loan as opposed to being lost and they won't be overdue."

"Thank you. I'll have to sort something out about keeping the renewals up to date."

Performance management at its zenith point.

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