Hallowe'en, like Walpurgisnacht, brings out the best in our Library Service...
For some time there's been an unwritten rule or folk-policy upstairs in the library to the effect that, no matter how quiet or busy the library is, no customer will be allowed more than an hour on a PC on a Saturday because it's so busy. It would seem that this has now been extended to school holidays, too. A customer has complained that he's been debarred from a few minutes more on the PC he was working on because "somebody else might want to use the PC." He was particularly miffed because eight PCs in the reference library are not in use and haven't been all morning. When Eileen is challenged about this she explains:
"We don't let people have more than an hour on the PCs because it gets too busy and we can't meet demand."
"But if it's as quiet as this, why not let people have a bit more time? When all's said and done, the PCs are there for use, not ornament."
"We can't do that: we've got to be consistent."
Words fail me. One of the hundred-or-so perfomance indicators used by the government to measure the performance of local government is the percentage of available time in which these public PCs are in use. But at least we're applying a secret policy consistently.