The good news is that both Group Librarians are on leave, which leaves every library in the borough leaderless and rudderless, which is pretty much business as usual really. Luckily, most of the front-line staff (even the ones you'd want to shout at) know the business inside and out and can make a better fist of trying to deliver a service without having to deal with the drama du jour. The management of the service seems to benefit also: to my certain knowledge there have been three decisions made today.
Where it all falls down, as per bloody usual, is procedure and resources. If something goes amiss at one of the libraries the only people who can authorise spending from the appropriate cost codes is the Group Librarians. Presumably, they also have control of whatever budgets we're using to pay for the extra hours of casual staff we're not allowed to be using any more.
It's as well that we are (presumably) paying for the extra staffing because we are really at the edge this week. Helminthdale Central Library, the borough's flagship, was scheduled to be staffed by one library assistant and Frog. Except that the library assistant was also scheduled to be working at Epiphany Library, same as usual on a Tuesday. Posy, who is the only Assistant Librarian in this half of the borough, spent all last week covering for library assistants at Senebene, Milkbeck and Spadespit libraries and is this week covering for Maybelle, Doreen and the vacancy that was Salome's old job whilst also filling in at Catty Library.
Posy's also pissed off with Frog because Doreen told her to arrange entertainers for an event at Senebene Library and that Frog would pay for it. This came as news to Frog, who has just enough money to pay for the Summer Reading Game and perhaps two reading events in the Autumn if nobody raids the budget.
Dorothy was sent out to run at Spadespit Library only to find that the Saturday Assistant who'd come into provide support wasn't allowed a key to the library. Luckily, Hattie had been there on Saturday and was in Helminthdale Central long enough this morning to put the keys back in the box, so there was a set that Dorothy could come back to pick up. I think Hattie ended up at Cattermole Street Library in the end.
There was also a bit of a to-do because there wasn't anyone available to do children's story time upstairs on Thursday because Posy's scheduled to be doing it at Milkbeck and Frog, who was assumed by somebody to be available to do it but hadn't been asked, can't do it because it would have been his day off in recompense for having come in last Saturday to do a children's event that nobody else
wanted to do was available for to do but he's had to come in anyway to do a family literacy event nobody else was available for either.
I was asked if I fancied driving the mobile library on Thursday. I gracefully declined.