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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's the point of being a gypsy if you can't eat a swan?

The Profession and I have issues but have largely come to a modus vivendi over the years. It knows my views and I know its views. Locally, The Profession variously sees me as ally, adversary, Somebody Who Is Helpful and Something To Be Feared, and sometimes All Of The Above. I don't go out of my way to be an irritant, it's just that I feel that "professional" is something you are, not something you call yourself. And I find many of the "paraprofessionals" (oh, fuck off!) to have a more professional attitude to the workplace than many "professionals."

This is not to say that I have any truck with the idea of running public libraries without librarians. You can do it but you lose out on an important suite of skill sets. Which isn't to say that qualified librarians uniquely have these skills, but an even half-good librarian is a major asset to a public library service. Unfortunately, a bad librarian has a disproportionate effect because they're probably going to be in a position to maximise the impact of their awfulness.

A correspondent writes:

"One of our impoverished branch libraries, has been on the critical list for sometime and would have closed in the last cull had it not been for local circumstances. Anyway they managed to increase their book issues in 2008/09 by 52%, which included an 80% increase in Children’s Fiction and a 90% increase in Children’s Non-Fiction.

"Our Head of Children’s bit has told the assistant who has done much to achieve this that she shouldn’t have done anything without asking her first!

"So library assistants have to ask permission to increase the issues in a particular branch! We have one very upset assistant. "


Jen the ex-library moose said...

Sounds about right.

Lavinia said...

Sadly, this sort of nonsense is *not* just confined to libraries

Gadjo Dilo said...

There's always ways a "professional" can fiddle statistics, though. E.g. getting an 80% Children’s Fiction increase by issuing the latest Harry Potter book one page at a time. (Anybody thought of that yet?)

Kevin Musgrove said...

Hello Jen! Howzigoin?

Too true, Lavinia.

Actually, Gadjo, the "professionals" probably couldn't do that. I could. Easily. And if next year's end-of-year stats are a crap as this I probably will do.

The Topiary Cow said...

Public Employment Rule, never do anything to draw attention to yourself. Even if it's improving performance.



Kevin Musgrove said...

The voice of grim experience Ms Cow