We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Human flowers

We're struggling a bit so now is the time for firm and decisive leadership to steer the library service through hard times.

Library Strategy Group (this week) is pulling together to reach new lows of teamwork and dependability:
  • Doreen isn't talking to Milton.
  • Doreen and Julia are sometimes talking to each other.
  • Nobody's talking to Jack Harry.
  • None of them are talking to the rest of the staff.
Things have become a little more fraught since the announcement of a series of Service Efficiency Reviews.
  • Julia and Doreen are pissed off because they've been included in the Buildings Management Review and Jack Harry and Milton haven't. Jack Harry and Milton don't manage any buildings but that doesn't come into it.
  • Jack Harry finds himself included in the Transformational Management Review, which isn't as exciting as it sounds and thrills him no end as it's become painfully apparent that whoever's scoped this particular review just looked at the lists of people who attend (or, more strictly, get sent to) half a dozen of the council's Policy Development Meetings and decided that these are Transformation Managers, efficiencies for the use of, regardless of what any of them actually do for a living.
  • Milton's not embroiled in any of the corporate senior management reviews, which rankles with Julia and Doreen, who would have a lot to say about it if they hadn't already fallen out with him about something else entirely.
  • For some reason none of them are involved in the Regeneration & Strategic Planning Review.
  • The results of a review of the management of the library service will be available next month.
To add to the fun, Warner, who has been the council's main troubleshooter over the past twenty years, has had another service added to his empire with directions from the Chief Executive to Turn It Round and let his deputies run the rest of the business. The idea that any other service in the council could be a bigger problem than the library service affords us a heady mixture of relief and blank horror.

Elsewhere in the universe some of the rest of us look like being affected by the Service Efficiency Reviews just as much as the Olympians:
  • Maisie and Maudie are to be included in the Financial Support Services Audit, the stated objective of which is the creation of a central Financial Support Services Team, to be located in the Town Hall Annexe. Only by the grace of God and our managers not having the first idea of what they do did the Acquisitions Team avoid getting dragged into this scrape.
  • I was damnably lucky to have escaped getting entangled with the IT outsourcing, thanks in part to a magnificent bit of circumlocutory lunacy by T.Aldous at the time. I doubt I'll be so lucky when it comes to the Information Support Services Audit that's being talked about at the moment. Strange that the reference library doesn't figure in this...
  • The Fleet Disposition Analysis is going to make life just as awkward for the mobile library as it is for the library courier van and the housebound library service.
  • One of the results of the Office Space Rationalisation Programme looks like our having to make space for Library Strategy Group (this week) some time this Autumn as they will be having to budge up so that the social workers from Ted Kavanagh House can move in. We suspect that this is what all the tape measures were really about early in the summer.
  • Something is brewing in Sheep City which might drag in at least Dutch Bend and Catty libraries, if not all of them.
  • And we'll all have to have our advocacy trousers on when the Customer Support Services Audit kicks in at the end of the year.
Happy days. And this is before we have to start worrying about Dave's Big Society, councils sharing services or whatever the DCMS has in mind for delivering library services in supermarkets (or in Helminthdale's case, vacant retail spaces; oh no, we're already doing that).


Pearl said...

We here at Acme Grommets and Napkins have set up a conference call with your office and hope, in a series of calls that should extend well into the next Age, to set things aright.


p.s. I absolutely loved your theory on my 3:06 wake-up time. Thank you. :-) Love how you think.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Pearl: we'll be providing a simultaneous podcast of the negotiations with Consolidated Lemmings.

p.s. ta muchly

Madame DeFarge said...

It's like an episode of 'Soap'. I'm fascinated.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Madame DeF: it's more like an episode of The Flumps, believe me!