- Every year T.Aldous asks me for an age profile of the encyclopedias in stock at each library with a view to buying one or two more to replace old ones.
- This invariably segues into an inquest as to why some libraries have got twelve-year-old editions of encyclopedias on their shelves, like I have any control over stock-editing.
- Independently of T.Aldous, Mary and Milton, who should be ordering new enecyclopedias if anybody is, order a handful for selected libraries.
- A humongous number of boxes arrive in the Acq. team's space and turn out to be a couple of encyclopedias -- maximum physical volume and lugging about for minimal impact on performance figures.
- We'll get months of moans from the usual suspects because there's "no room for all this new stock" because they've put the old reference encyclopedias into their lending collection because "people like to take out encyclopedias."
- The encyclopedias that don't fall into this trap get embroiled in the latest book sale saga.
And so it goes.
Call me old-fashioned but, if you're dead set on buying hardcopy encyclopedias; and you know that you're not going to spend all your book-buying budget again (because you haven't in the past eight years); and you know that most of your libraries have got old editions; and the end of year is always busy and summer is always quiet for stock additions; why not buy every library in the borough a fresh set of encyclopedias in midsummer?