"Councillor Mountebank was at the Action Area Committee meeting last night. He was telling them all that there are plans to close all the libraries and turn them into housing offices. Which is odd because they've closed all the housing offices: the tenants have to get the bus into Catty to report repairs nowadays. But he insisted it was true.""I wonder where he got that idea from.""You know what he's like. There's no love lost between him and the Chairman of the Committee. He said that he wasn't having that news adding to the minutes just on Councillor Mountebank's say-so. They spent the rest of the meeting squabbling about the new school playground."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
- Great Britain: House Of Commons: Employment Commitee :Youth Employment and Training: New Training Initiative (June 1982)
- Reorganisation Of Public Elementary Schools In England And Wales 1937-38
- Better Schools (1985)
- The Internal Purchasing Power Of The Pound (1989)
- Who Publishes Official Information For Business And Industry? Proceedings Of A One-Day Seminar 20 Sept 1988
- Financial Services In The United Kingdom: A New Framework For Investor Protection (White Paper) (1985)
- Employment For The 1990's (White Paper)
- Commercial Property Development (1975)
- Broadcasting In The '90s
- 2nd Report Of The Committee: A Comparison Of Transition Temperatures Determined By Small And Large Scale Tests On Five Steels (1960)
- A Simple Guide To Basic Processes In The Iron And Steel Industry (1964)
- The Queen's Award To Industry. Report Of The 1970 Review Committee
- Session 1987-88 Fifth Report The Future Of The National Health ServiceFirst Report From The Social Services Committee Session 1985-86: Reform Of Social Security
- The Artificial Kidney... What It Is And How It Works (1965)
- Europe: A Time To Choose, Elections June 1984
- More Examples Of English Handwriting With Essex Parish Records Of 13th - 18th Centuries (1950)
- Aids To Identification Of Flying Objects (1968)
- Collectable Silver (1963)
- A Policy For The Arts (The First Steps.) Cmnd. Paper 2601 (1965)
- A Brief History Of The National Gallery Of Scotland (1961)
- Local Government Reform: Short Version Of The Report (1969)
- Battle For The Counties: Guide To The County Council Elections May 1977
A colleague writes:
"When the phone call starts “this is Andrew”, it is the start of what can only be a period of serious misery. (Andrew is affectionately referred to hereabouts as Ernst Stavro Blofeld.)
"Anyway, the left hand counter PC had somehow, and mysteriously, got itself in a state whereby it wouldn’t reboot. Quite how it had got there is a mystery which would baffle Mr. Morse, Mr. Homes and Mr. Fu Manchu, as Mr. Blofeld wasn’t for letting on as to how it had become so afflicted. He did say however that efforts to reboot had involved pressing F2s and F12s, which was somewhat worrying as messing around with such is a typical, nasty trick at this library.
"However having visited and rebooted, resaved stuff they may have F2 ed off, and F4 ed a couple of times things seem ok, well all except my temperate demeanour and stress levels. I suppose it could have been worse as Mr. Blofeld was elsewhere, probably plotting to take over the world beyond with Mr Scaramanga, and his faithful assistant was, hopefully, heading into the sea, not out of it. "
These days I don't think I'd have the patience for that sort of nonsense: if they've fucked the PC they can fix it would be my response. Stories like this from colleagues in other library services remind me how lucky I've been with most of our front-line staff over the years.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
"You know that web stuff you've been working on? Well, I've been talking to some people about a product that does pretty much the same thing. They've been using it in other libraries and they reckon it'll do the job. I'm seeing them tomorrow. You can come along if you want."
"I don't know what it's supposed to be," says Cora."It's a Chinese lucky charm symbol," insists Sue."It's a Chinese lucky charm symbol," says Cora.
"Well, I'm not showing you mine," says Cora. "Not where I've got it."
"Here, I'll show you mine,"
"Is this supposed to be a Chinese lucky charm symbol then?" she asks."Yes," replies Sue."Why's it say 'Milk Marketing Board' then?"
Friday, September 24, 2010
"Every time I come in something else has been changed and the people who know anything about it aren't in. It's embarrassing watching people floundering, trying to find out where something's been moved to this time while the customer's stood there tutting and drumming their fingers."
Thursday, September 23, 2010
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
"The new PC in the Ref. office isn't printing," says Eileen."Are you getting any error messages or anything?" I ask."No, it just says 'Printer can't be found.'""Which printer is it set up to use?""I don't know.""Which one should it be using?"
"I'll come up and have a look at it."
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
"How's your business affected?" I ask her."Oh, twenty-five per cent cuts, same as everyone else.""How's that work? They outsourced you and sold you to the lowest bidder so you're not a council department any more.""That's true. We're not council workers any more. They've changed the pension and redundancy agreements and they regraded down all our salaries. But when the council's trying to save money we still get our share of the cuts.""They can't do that, can they?"
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
"Look at the advantages we've got over the rest of the council," I said."What advantages?" they asked."It's utter chaos out there. Nobody's got the first idea what the hell is going on and can't plan ahead from one day to the next.""So?""That's how we've always worked. We're used to it. And what's more, we actually still manage to deliver services that the public like and appreciate and say nice things about in government surveys. While they're all wandering around all dazed and confused we could be nipping in there, nobbling the councillors."
Thursday, September 16, 2010
"Come to work in the morning light.No idea if I'm doing anything right.I'll soon know if I get it wrong.Librarians having fun.Librarians having fun."
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
"We have no strategy for survival but we know what to do if we see a dog having a shit."
"I had an awful morning at Pottersbury Road," Deirdre moans, "the kids were running amuck.""Did you tell them to pack it in?" asks Thelma."Well, no.""I think that might be why."
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
"What do you see yourself doing in a couple of years' time?" he asked one of the assistants."I'd hope I'd have been given a redundancy pay-off by then," she replied.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
"One of the users has been giving staff a rare old run around while trying to trace her family tree. Thing is the same woman claims to be a medium, so as quite rightly the Family History Librarian points out, if she was any good as a medium she could just ask her ancestors and do her tree that way without bothering them."
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
"Bronwyn, we're getting a lot of complaints about the state of the biographies at Catty Library. They could do with some new stock.""Yes, I know. I think I've worked out which libraries I need to swap with so that they all get a decent lot of fresh books.""Why don't we just order a pile from the non-fiction budget?""There's no money in it now it's been cut."