I took a 'phone call for Bronwyn, who's off-site arranging a reading event for next week. It's Dagmar from Raccoonville.
"Is Bronwyn in?"
"Is there anyone else who knows about the 'Prescribed Books' collection?"
Like many other authorities we're now working with the Health Service to provide collections of books that doctors can prescribe to patients as part of the therapeutic process. About half are about the effects of particular physical diseases and how to live with them, including information about lifestyle and dietary changes that can make a difference. The rest deal with mental health issues and include a lot of self-help books about dealing with anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders. The idea is that the doctor prescribes the book, the customer goes to their local library and we let them have the book without requiring them to volunteer so much as their name (they're issued to an anonymous 'Prescribe Books' borrower). That way, patient confidentiality is assured.
This is the conversation I had with Dagmar, who was speaking from the public counter...
"Mary knows about it best but she's not in. Can I take a message?"
"No. I need to speak with somebody about this collection."
"I might be able to help. What's the question?"
"I've got a customer here who's been prescribed one of these books and they've brought in the wrong part of the prescription. Can I let them have it?"
"Given the circumstances it wouldn't be altogether surprising if they've brought the wrong bit of paper. Issue the book to them."
"So it's OK to let them have it?"
"Yes. Yes it is."
I like Dagmar but something happens to her when she gets behind that counter.