Saturday, November 15, 2008
I'd meant to pick up on one of Lavinia's comments the other week asking what constitutes an emergency in a library, as they're pretty sedate places. Unfortunately, they're also very public places and so anything that could happen to or by the public probably has happened in a public library somewhere or other. We're a fairly humdrum (OK, then, very humdrum) small northern town with the usual small northern town issues so the emergencies we've had so far this year have either been medical (a few fits, a suspected angina attack and a self-harming dramatist), criminal (a fistfight between two groups of youths) or building emergencies (bricks through windows; a roof suddenly deciding not to be rainproof any more with hilarous consequences; someone flooding the lending library by jamming a pile of paperbacks into a lavatory bowl and flushing repeatedly, that sort of thing). It's not every day, thank God! but quite often enough for even us to realise the importance of having things like panic alarms in single-staffed libraries.