Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Do you know what they've called themselves?" he asks.
"Library Leadership Team. Fucking hell. Leadership! I thought they were reaching it a bit calling themselves Management Team, but fucking Leadership! Team's pushing the boundaries a bit, too. Talk about collective irresponsibility!"
"I've emailed everybody the briefing outline," he replies.
"No, you've emailed everybody the covering memo for the briefing outline."
"Leave it with me."
"The IT Service desk are trying to install something on my PC. They've asked me to log the PC off so that they can do it. I don't log my PC off very often. I know I should but I don't do it very often. Can you check that it's worked for me?"
Which explains why he keeps complaining that his PC takes ages to boot up "because it's found lots of problems and seems to be scanning the disk looking for more."
As yet, nobody has the first idea what's to be done in the consultation meetings.
Question: How much time has been spent on these notes compared to the policy framework for library internet services?
OK, OK, it's a trick question as there isn't a policy framework for library internet services but you know what I mean.
Maisie: "So the problem is that they're asking us to pay the invoice but we haven't received the"It's a really peculiar little tic and reminds me most of "The Desponds," the family of miserable northern sociopaths in Les Dawson's old radio series.
Together: "train ticket."
Maisie: "And I can't go paying invoices unless we've received"
Together: "the goods."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I can't help feeling that "you can't be trusted to find out how to find the Town Hall" is a sad reflection on our professional capabilities as a library service.
I overhear T.Aldous' comments to Maisie, who's had this piece of work dumped on her.
"We need to say something about the map so that people know what it is... Perhaps we should say: 'Location of venue?'
I don't have the bladder capacity I had as a stripling so I missed the rest.
"I'm just off out for a few hours, Frog's in charge," Doreen tells Maudie.
Which comes as a considerable shock to Frog when he finds out an hour later.
"What should I do with all this executive power?" he asks.
I suggest we go for lunch at half eleven.
Monday, April 28, 2008
It turns out that Mary has now decided on a use for my office. Most of us are arguing that it should be made available as a private meeting room for people doing return-to-work interviews and annual staff work appraisals which corporate Helminthdale says should be done once a year and which we now do nearly once every two years. Mary thinks it should be a "sorting-out room" for to store all the things that need to be put to one side to be sorted out. You can recite the list yourself.
Bollocks to that: "move out of your office so that we can fill it full of old crap."
Back in the day, Jimmy Huddersfield or Eddie Gravy would have done the work. Since then, Mary has relied on a series of strategies:
- "I can do this myself," involving cherry-picking the easy or interesting ones and leaving anything else on the shelves for a few months.
- Asking Lola to do some on top of her filling in for two other Assistant Librarians (Lola works job-share, though the other half of her job's been deleted. Go figure.)
- Getting Maybelle in on extra hours to do the stuff left behind by Mary.
- And back to "I can do this myself."
"Mary, these need to be finished off and shipped out. People might have reserved them and be waiting for them."
"They weren't ordered as requests."
"No... but they might have reserved them now they've arrived. There's no way of knowing until you deal with them."
"Leave it with me."
I can't think why Mary doesn't just tell everyone not to buy any non-fiction pending the spontaneous generation of catalogue records.
...and promptly recalled because himself didn't like the look of them.
Moral of this story: if you want to make dead sure that everybody reads a memo, recall it immediately. Spite beats apathy every time.
The other half of their day was spent jumping through the appropriate hoops as Mary came up with one idea or another for last-minute publicity for the event.
With a little more time and forethought we could have put down bear traps.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
It wouldn't be so bad if we could open a window. Admittedly, it could be a lot more wholesome, mostly consisting as it does of bus fumes and damp shellsuits, but at least it would be a change. I can understand their not having opening windows in the Town Hall, given the real possibility of the Housing Benefit Team defenestrating at least one of their managers, but us?
Ah well... Oxygen masks at the ready lads!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Seth has told T.Aldous that he will take them out to the libraries, unpack them and, if they're not OK, pack them back up again and bring them back.
"Oh well, if you can't be mithered,"
snaps T.Aldous as he stalks off. Seth's spent the past ten minutes giving him the V's.
Maybelle and Bronwyn are preparing chloroform pads so that they can induce passers-by into the library tomorrow.
This cupboard is for the storage of old envelopes for re-use
And yes, inside the cupboard is a pile of tatty old boxes full of tatty old used envelopes.
"He's just the caretaker at Helminthdale," says T.Aldous.
Which will probably come back to haunt the idiot next time he wants Seth to shift shit from one library to another or put up noticeboards at other libraries.
It looks like the rest of Policy Team may be ganging up against T.Aldous on this one.
This time the project is hampered further by T.Aldous' constantly complaining that last time was a "painful intrusion and loss" which has further determined him to forbid any shit-shifting except by himself.
Jim has asked Warner for permission to set fire to T.Aldous' office to make room for the crap. Warner says he'll have to check with Health & Safety first.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Hello old stick,
Saw your book of the month. It will astonish you not one bit to hear that we've been going along with a P.O.W. vibe for quite a few months now. Much to my surprise, a zamizdat copy of the "Escape Committee Update" has lingered on the staff noticeboard since November. All the more amazing as our Principal Librarian insists on vetting all notices!
We were starting to build a glider in the reference library, which is on the top floor of the building. We've recently come to the conclusion that downstairs in the cellar would be more appropriate. We've also set up a dummy for to cover for absentees. It's very realistic so long as the absentees look like big orange toy sharks. Which they do, luckily.
Per ardua ad abusrdum!
I like the idea of the shark. I'll get him to volunteer a photo.
A teacher went into Dutch Bend Library and asked if she could join the library on behalf of her class on borrow books en bloc. We don't have a schools library service in Helminthdale but we have lots of informal arrangements letting this happen. It provides a service and keeps the visits and issue figures ticking over. The complication this time is that the school in question is in Pardendale, the neighbouring authority. They do have a schools library service, which schools buy into or not as the case may be, so there's a question of etiquette involved. If the class came to visit the library then we could stretch the point. But otherwise no, sorry...
Lettie is sore affronted and takes it out on Frog.
"Nothing personal, but the Children's Projects Manager is telling me that I can't issue a class' books to this teacher in my library?
Nothing personal my fanny. If she doesn't want an answer why ask the question?
To my mind, I don't see why we should make a special case of this teacher. Oh, yes, it's because it's a teacher... a Fellow Professional. Conkers. Why should teachers be allowed thirty books at a time when the same staff who are sniffy about people like Mr. Paycek borrowing ten books. What's the difference? They're both just ordinary customers.
In fact, if it were down to me I'd put thirty about-to-be-withdrawn books to one side and next time Mr. Paycek came in I'd let him borrow those thirty books. And I'd let him keep them ad infinitum, just renewing the loans as and when required. He can't read them but he likes books and cherishes them and would be thrilled to bits to be allowed to have thirty books.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Which is why Maybelle burst into my office shouting: "palm oil!"
And why she's now sat in a corner giggling like a drain while I try and get down from the ceiling.
After the daring rescue of Miss Johnson, the hermit, from a treacherous marsh, the Four Marys prepared to return to St. Elmo's
He's already told Milton that the public don't need to save Word documents.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
No wonder there are members of staff wandering round with one sock on.
"The problem is that sometimes I get so many emails that they drop off the bottom of the screen."
That's right: when he did his ECDL training he didn't cotton onto the idea of scrolling up and down.
This explains much.
I think I'll put it about that this will be the model for the staff consultation days.
"Is it right that we can get the council to pay for our eye tests?"
"Yes. You might want to have a chat with Human Resources about it."
"Hello, please could I speak to Mary?"
"Sorry, she's not in today." [She's taken today off. Something to do with bags. I didn't ask.]
"Can I take a message?"
"No, it's OK. I'll email her."
Best of luck cherub.
Monday, April 21, 2008
"I don't do ice-breakers."It's not helped by the utter lack of information coming from our betters. We've been told nothing save the date and that lunch will be prepared.
"I asked Mary about the lunch and she says it will be spicy. I shall take my own sandwiches."I can cope with most of it until somebody accidentally hits one of the recurring banes of my work here.
"There won't be any rôle-playing will there?"Aaaaaargh!!! What is it about this place and rôle-playing? Any time you mention anything to do will training you're asked:
To be fair, we have so little training or development activity in this service that we have not yet been able to erase the racial memory of training sessions back in the eighties when librarian-managers conducted the compulsory August Bank Holiday Training Days in the style of 1970s drama workshops.
"There won't be any rôle-playing will there?"
"Yes of course. You will be issuing books on the new management system in the style of the Medieval mystery play. You will be Jack-the-Devil. Your costume is in the box over there; we had to guess at your tight size."
You can take the librarian out of the corduroy but you can't take the corduroy out of the librarian.
"The printer up here has died," says Doreen.
There are three printers up there. So I ask which one and in what way it has died. I am told to get the details from the staff upstairs. I ring the staff upstairs and get the voicemail. I give up. Once I find out which and what I'll be able to report the problem to our IT service desk.
I decide to wait to be told.
Nobody works anywhere like Lassie, John Wayne or J. Carroll Naish. One lucky soul works in a library with the winsome charm of Mary Pickford and another in a bumbling, ineffectual Edward Everett Horton.
Jealous though I am of the 12% of respondents working in a Douglas Fairbanks Senior of a library I have no words for the envy I have for the person working for William Powell.
In the end, though, reality prevailed. 68% of respondents said that their library reminded them of any one of The Three Stooges. Thank you for confirming my world view.
Thanks to everyone who voted. Next time we'll be addressing the fabric of the library building; look out for the poll appearing soon after Mischief Night.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"What's year end?"
"Err... Settling up last year's accounts, reconciling invoices, rolling over orders, closing last year's budget hierarchies and opening this years..."
"Ah... And these new systems do that?"
"Good. Year after year we have such a struggle with year end."
Friday, April 18, 2008
Bizzarely, the shop on Bannockburn Avenue still stays open. It sells nothing but piano accordions. Piano accordions featured highly in some of the free 'n' easy pubs I frequented in my youth but I've never even seen one in any of the pubs in Helminthdale, let alone one used in anger. Perhaps it's a tax dodge: some people put their money in secret accounts in Liechtenstein or the Cayman Islands, others in a piano accordion shop in Helminthdale.
By rights we should have had this meeting last year, or else not had it at all. This is supposed to be a top-down process so we shouldn't have had the meeting until after he'd had his appraisal, which is fourteen months late and counting. Milton marvels that the Library Service is allowed to treat these as optional. I just take it as read that the Library Service doesn't take staff management seriously and in this council, once you reach a certain pay grade you will never be held to account for your inactions.
I think the worst part of all this is that Milton lays himself open to too much of my anger and hassle as a result of his trying to do the right thing. We've spent the whole morning tripping over bits of baggage from years ago. One thing it does prove is that my judgement's well out: I'm seriously under-estimating my frustration with this service.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Up here there's boxes full of leather chairs and books from Catty and Epiphany. There are playaways that never will and piles upon piles of 'inconvenient' stock. There's a metal cupboard and a few old tables. And stacking chairs. And more thingie than you could poke a stick at. I turn to Seth.
"Aren't we due a booksale in here?"
"Don't even go there."
"That coat of yours made the coat-stand fall over when I put my coat onto it."
I have been sitting through a software demo with my betters.
Milton made the arrangements and emailed Poxy Team to ask them to invite staff to come and have a vada. A few were asked on Tuesday evening and a couple of others this morning. Mary told Frog about it in passing on Tuesday as he was leaving the office.
"I'm too busy to go but you can go."
Running between meetings and phone calls he's collared by T.Aldous this morning.
"When's this demonstration?"
"Why haven't you gone to it yet, Frog?" asks Mary.
The demo is OK, rather better than the product in fact, which isn't actually bad. I struggle with these because I find that most of the innovations posited are things I've been trying to get Management Group to take on board for years. This isn't because I'm particularly brilliant, just that it generally takes two or three years for the library software industries to translate bullshit to beta. It generally feels like I'm having my nose rubbed in it.
Things are made worse by Julia and Doreen. I've spent most of this morning fighting the urge to stand up and shout at them: "You girls! You sit over there and you sit over there. Keep quiet and hands on heads!" Especially as much of Doreen's commentary is ignorant bollocks about our library systems.
Doreen: (whispers) "Our system doesn't do that, we should be able to do that."
Kevin: (thinks) "It does do that. I've shown you how to do that. You just don't want to do that."
Demonstrator: "Here's how you can feed news about events in your library to customers' personal pages or Windows Vista."
Doreen: (whispers) "That's good. I've always said we should do that."
Kevin: (thinks) "It would help if you could tell us what's going on in this building, love."
The last piece of the demo aims to show us a management information overlay on our library management system. Only Milton and I stick around for this as the others are managers who need information for managing services. Doreen's Parthian shot is:
"Ah well, back to our rubbish systems..."
Frog gets downstairs and is confronted by Mary.
"Where on earth have you been?"
Getting back to my desk I find that the whole of our People's Network has collapsed. Happy days.
Actually, it could really do with a few cubic miles of concrete and a glacier but where are you going to get that on a Thursday morning?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"It only takes Harry ten minutes to get in," he marvels, "it usually takes me forty-five minutes."
At marvel at this myself: I know from experience that it's a forty minute walk from the town centre to the community centre just down the road from his house.
I've just taken a 'phone call for T.Aldous. It's his wife, wanting to know where he's got to. What happened is that he went for the bus and missed it. This service runs every ten minutes "or better" so he came back to the library to wait for the next one, which was just leaving the bus stop as he got there. So he came back to wait for the next one...
His wife's coming to take him home.
I've just gone into the computer stores room to dig out a replacement barcode scanner for Milkbeck Library and I've found that some muffin's stuck a secretary's chair inside the comms cabinet.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
God help them if we ever install the multifunctional fax machine they keep demanding at Town Hall meetings.
Another triumph for our furniture-first policies.
"I'm glad that's not my responsibility!"
Doreen is line manager to half the people responsible for stock selection in the Library Service.
Monday, April 14, 2008
For the fourth month running Noreen gently points out that the invoices go through our system withing two days and then sit in a tray for six to eight days waiting for Mary to sign the batch header slips.
"A customer's stuck a floppy disk in one of the PCs and can't get it out."
"Is there a way of getting it out?"
"Jiggle it around a bit with a pair of tweezers or some such."
"So you'll come up and sort it out then?"
"But I've not got a pair of tweezers."
"Neither have I. Use a scissor blade or something."
The follow-up came a little later:
"I nearly electrocuted myself with that floppy disk drive."
"You did turn the PC off first?"
"No, of course not!"
If the disposition of new stock is anything to go by, we'll be finding unopened boxes full of leather chairs tucked away in back rooms in years to come.
"Why do you have to go and buy another packet of teabags?" asks Mary.
"Because we've run out."
"There's some in Kevin's locker."
"That's Kevin's hospitality stash that he's bought himself so that he can make visitors a cup of tea."
"But there's already tea and coffee for hospitality. You just need to ask T.Aldous for the jars."
[Aside from the practical difficulties we shall treat this with suspicion. This comes as news to all of us: T.Aldous is always moaning that the council won't let him buy coffee and milk from a hospitality fund.]
"Obviously he doesn't know this."
"So we can use his teabags then..."
"I'll just go and buy a fresh packet."
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"You've worked really hard this year, especially as Jimmy's job has been vacant so long and we've not filled the vacancies in the Acq. Team. I was going to ask T.Aldous about getting an honorarium for you but then I decided that he wouldn't agree to it so I didn't."
Friday, April 11, 2008
Having the training in the Billy Meredith Leisure Centre wasn't such a hot idea either. Maisie's hard of hearing in one ear and struggled to hear the trainer over the noise of the piano in the Over-50s Step Aerobics lesson next door.
I ask Seth.
"He's on at me to shift all the stuff that's left at the old Roadkill Library. It's got to be cleared by June for the new by-pass."
"Is there a lot?"
"Not much. There's about thirty boxes of toys stacked up in the back of Dutch Bend and a pile of boxes of kids' books. Himself's on about bringing about forty boxes of books back here for Bronwyn and Salome to transfer."
"They'll be pleased about that. They're still livid about having to do Noddy and Glass Road despite them being the responsibility of the librarians at Catty and Dutch Bend."
"They've told me that if any boxes come back here they're staying unopened."
One to look forward to.
Still, we'll be OK in the event of an air raid.
Mary's response was: "Oh, that looks artificially high!"
We couldn't possibly have an increase in loans because we've now got somebody in post and they're selling the collection to its intended audience.
All day yesterday, amidst the banter, was the gentle silence of people getting on with work uncluttered by micromanagement. Mid afternoon the office sounded like a Pennine hilltop in the August twilight.
Back to business as usual next week. Monday will be the cruellest day.
Frog will admit that he is not a young lad any more. He also suffers from duck's disease, so the legs are a bit on the long side. Turning up the hem gave him turn-ups just over the knee. His workaround is to double up the turn-up and then tuck the inner fold into the top of his socks.
"What if you have a devastating bound of diarrhoea?" he's asked. Like you do.
"I've got built-in guttering," he replies.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The best day at work in years. We have whooped and we have hollered, like a basket full of spider monkeys, and the word "bondage" was heard from the talking book service. We have coloured in The World's Greatest Whiteboard with facsimiles of postcards from Policy Team. Seth the caretaker offered to work from home. The Lending Library created a pretend toilet emergency for Frog to deal with. I don't have words to describe the explosion of delight and derision I have witnessed today.
And we provided a service and got all today's work done and some of tomorrow's.
Mary's had the documentation for weeks but wouldn't let Bronwyn have a copy until last night "because it's confidential."
"I'm glad I've seen you. I was going to ask you to take a thermos flask out to Windscape Library on your way home but you don't need to now because Salome's popping in on her way back from Pottersbury Road."
Sticking notes on T.Aldous' door is the tried-and-trusted way of keeping the service ticking over in the man's absence. It's a magical property best left unquestioned because it works perfectly.
I've just heard somebody singing (to the "Sheila's Wheels" jingle):
"If you don't want to be a whore
Stick a note on T.Aldous' door."
Lending have taken advantage of the situation. They told Seth to go missing for a while and then rang Frog up to say that a customer was stuck in the lavatory and seemed to be having breathing problems. They did an excellent job of keeping straight faces as Frog tried to check that the "customer's" obvious moans of pleasure weren't some sort of seizure.
Somebody who is nameless has yet to arrive (how embarassing is that?) While we're waiting, could you forward me the service monitoring notes we put together yesterday?
Maisie brings me a note. T.Aldous, having read the email yesterday, rings Maisie today to tell her to tell me the libraries that are closing.
Eventually, anyway. Once we got T.Aldous' 'phone calls out of the way. He was going to come in before going away but seems to be running late (natch!) and so is ringing in the instructions that he would have issued in person. Maisie is sick to death of him: four 'phone calls so far. Good job the away day session starts at 9.00am...
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
"...it's his wife I feel sorry for. I mean, she's so impatient and he's the way he is..."
"Oh my God... Can you imagine T.Aldous making love to his wife? She'd be on her second cigarette before he'd got his flies open."
Seth tells us that at the Christmas party he got talking to Warner Baxter. Warner pointed out the manager of the council's printing section.
"Maddy's got a burning ambition to shag T.Aldous. Isn't that right, Maddy?"
"Oh aye. I see it as a challenge. A girl has to have a dream to chase."
Jim's mood is summed up at the beginning of the meeting.
"As we seem to be the only two people who care about the performance management of this library service I call this meeting to order."
Which is how Seth's boss, who he usually only sees on the Monday after Mothering Sunday, found out that we've given him a PC and set him up with email and Internet access.
"Ooh good. I can send you emails now!"
And Bronwyn's trying to arrange some author visits without knowing whether or not she's able to do it because Mary's holding the purse-strings and is co-ordinating events.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Sadly, she doesn't know that this is the electronic equivalent of kicking the ball into some very long grass near some crocodiles.
Today Kitty was doing "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," with the movements, when she got to "Like a diamond in the sky," making a diamond shape with her thumbs and index fingers.
The lady signer blushed bright red.
"What have I done? What have I done?" asked Kitty, worried that her flies were open or something.
"I'll tell you later," said the lady.
It turns out that that is the BSL sign for "vagina."
"I was in on Saturday and there were only four licorice allsorts left in the tin."
Damn me, are they on ration, too?
"Have you put up those noticeboards?" asks T.Aldous.
"No, I can't do it. They're brick walls and my little battery-operated drill won't do the job."
"How did you put the noticeboard up at Roadkill? That's got brick walls."
"I used my own power drill from home and bust it in the process. Remember? You said you wouldn't replace it."
"Well I need those noticeboards putting up."
"In that case, why not buy me a power drill for the caretaker's toolbox?"
"I can't do that! What's the justification for buying a power drill?"
"You keep asking me to make holes in walls."
"No, I can't buy a power drill."
"In that case you'll have to submit a request to Building Services. Once you've filled in the docket they'll charge you £30 to come out and size the job up. Usually two or three week later. Then they'll put it on a worksheet and someone will come out to do it when they're in the area and they'll charge you £75 for it."
"Well, I can't buy a power drill. Can you go out and see how you get on?"
"I've already been out and saw that I couldn't get the drill into the wall."
"Well I need those noticeboard putting up.."
We've toyed with the idea of inviting them in to put a test pit in T.Aldous' office but we're afeared that there may be a curse on it. That would explain much about this place.
Monday, April 07, 2008
This is a big and scary topic so naturally there are questions arising...
"Will it be all day?"
"What time will it start? I like to leave home late to avoid the traffic on Bencup Road."
"What if somebody's off sick and one of us has to cover the enquiry desk?"
So it's looking good so far.
Betty's jaw sets like concrete:
"Well! I shall have nothing to say."
Like so many of the staff in the Library Service, Betty wants "them" to listen to "us" but won't tell "them" what "us" want.
Salome's on the enquiry desk in Lending all day today. She was dealing with a customer with half a dozen enquiries when another customer trotted up, made a big "I have arrived!" mime and, when it became apparent that Salome wasn't about to jettison her existing customer to pander to her she went over to the counter, complained that she'd "been waiting twenty-five minutes" and, on her return to the enquiry desk, flounced onto a nearby chair and tutted loudly.
"I'll show you where to find these books," Salome told Customer One.
At this, Customer Two tutted loudly, sighed and did that "I'm going to fold my arms and be patient" pantomime so beloved of adolescent girls.
Returning to the desk, Salome asked Customer Two how she could help.
"I've been waitin twenty-five minutes you know."
"I'm sorry about that. How can I help?"
"Is there only you on? It's ridiculous, having to wait that long."
"How can I help?"
"I reserved a book and I've been told that it's arrived."
"OK. Which book is it?"
"I've been waiting here for twenty-five minutes. How can I be expected to remember it?"
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Evidently, people come in, join the library, take out a book or two, then renew them repeatedly by 'phone or online until such time as they have no alternative but to return the books (anything rather than come back to the library which has evidently traumatised them).
So, like a fool, I check the circulation system... We don't get a high proportion of repeat trade.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
"I came in, checked my email, and you know what? I got an email from T.Aldous' wife telling me that new tables are being delivered at Senebene and Windscape tomorrow and I need to organise an electrician to disconnect the old ones and then go out to meet the delivery men and supervise them putting in the new furniture."
I raised a little cheer in my office when the first library -- Carbootsale -- turned out to have a two-figure percentage of children's non-fiction on loan (10.0%, as it happens).
Audio stock is much, much more depressing. Possibly because although we have a colossal income target for audio rentals we don't allow anyone to have more than four CDs out at a time.
"I can't sit and teach you it all. I don't have time and I'm not really supposed to do it."
After a while the lady collared Andy, another of the Assitants, who tried his best to help, too. In a loud stage whisper she said:
"I'm glad you're helping me. I'll ask for you next time I come in. She wasn't any good at all, hopeless."
"Well, we're not able to teach you how to use the computer. We can try and help but we're not able to do computer lessons."
"I've come all the way from Norton Wayne. They teach you how to use the computer at Norton Wayne."
"They obviously do a good job of it," muttered Sammi.
Her crime was to ask Deidre how her sciatica was. They reckon that she'll be wittering on about it all day now.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
"Whatever happened to those e-books we bought last year?"
"They're still in boxes in Doreen's office."
"You're kidding me."
"They're still deciding what to do about batteries and earphones. And Doreen wants Mary to buy some furniture for their display and Mary doesn't see why she should be buying Doreen's furniture."
"So we've got this brilliant new stuff that might appeal to young adults and we're doing jack all with it because it's in boxes in the librarian's office..."
"Along with all the classical music CDs and the Disney books."
I can see why the Acq. Team are getting sick of boxes of new stock hanging round for months or years on end.
"Oh! Why on earth are they bringing us yet more boxes!?" cried Mary.
"Perhaps because somebody organised a buyer's visit to the suppliers a couple of weeks ago," replied Noreen drily.
It's good to be in control.
Salome toddles over to the counter.
"What's the teddy bear doing up there? It should be on the counter looking friendly to customers."
"We had to put it there out of Sammi's reach. She had it on the floor, throttling it."
"Is this true Sammi?"
"It was either the bear or the customer."
"Leave the bear alone."
Misery is the word: I'm having another "why do I bother" session. I've collated the figures for half of our libraries so far and we've got more lending stock in boxes than on loan. Catty and Epiphany are closed for repairs, but even so...
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The Reference Library
Here I am sat in the Reference Library
Hoary old stock on the shelves to see.
Anything useful is in the back room.
Librarian's on leave and she's got the key.
Old man library, that Reference Library,
It must know something
It don't say nothing.
It just keeps mouldering,
Just keeps mouldering
It don't stock-edit.
There ain't no guiding.
And them who might help
Have gone in hiding.
That Reference Library
It just keeps mouldering along...
You and I
We sweat and strain,
Hope for something useful
But we search in vain.
Search that PAC.
Look amongst the shelves.
And you'll likely fail.
I am weary
And sick of trying.
The stock ain't used none
But they keep on buying.
That Reference Library,
It just keeps mouldering
"I'm hoping that this year Policy Team will take the hint that the column headed 'Action' is a list of things to do."
"Are you due any annual leave? I think you need it."
T.Aldous, as always, is on end-of-financial-year annual leave ("I was on leave when the budgets were closed down;" "I was on leave when the CIPFA statistics were pulled together," etc. etc.). Trouble is, though, that we're all too bogged down in end of year donkey work to enjoy his absence.