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

Monday, January 31, 2011

There's no W in "puerile"

Oh goodie. As if things aren't bad enough we now have class warfare erupting in Spadespit Library's sewing circle. "The wrong sort of people" are trying to join the group and it's upsetting the members.

Posy is asked to adjudicate, and best of luck to her. I suspect she'll be needing brandy and brown sugar by the time the week's over.

This is how Call Me Dave's Big Society will be running public services in the future.

I'll get me coat.

I never knew what Goering had against the chip shop

So where were we?
  • We're having a clean-up to meet the fire regulations, so the fire escape corridor is full of bookshelves, boxes, fire buckets and bits of old wood.
  • Bronwyn, the nearest we have to decorum, spent a morning stomping round the office muttering: "couldn't they make this fucking thing any more complicated?"
  • Milton is going round the place doing a more than passable impersonation of me.
  • Frog has spent a depressing couple of days mapping out which children's centres, Surestart centres, nurseries, playgroups and literacy groups are being chopped due to "efficiencies."
  • Sybil is being required to write a "what I do in my work place" essay.
And so on. Business as usual really.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The part you have just before you wake up screaming

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I appear to be having some issues with Blogger and that, together with being a little preoccupied with work and another small distraction, is causing this slight hiatus.

Abnormal service should resume shortly, I hope...

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Dracula moon was rising

Traipsing through Helminthdale town centre is never exactly inspiring. On a miserable cold and drizzly day it's positively dispiriting. While other people may note the meanderings of Winter by the arrival of snowdrops or the passage of wild geese in the night sky we note January's twilight by the digging up of the main road. It matters not the what or why, the tarmac gets unpeeled and the trenches are dug each year.

It is unpleasant, though. Walking through the town centre is rather like exploring the tattered remnants of some cold, damp, grey corpse. Perhaps of some primeval mollusc or some long-forgotten Chelonian.

Many a good tune played on a small foible

"I'm living the dream," says Sybil as she drags yet another bag of outgoing mail out of the office...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vamping till not ready

My days in this library service are numbered. In some ways this is a relief - it's never been a good fit - but in many ways it is to be regretted: I've never been better-placed for getting the stuff done I've been trying to do this past decade.

The good news is that there is almost certainly a job for me "elsewhere in the organisation," at least until next Winter's round of cuts when who knows what may happen. I can't say that I'm entirely thrilled by the prospects but I guess a gig's a gig and all that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sacre flippin' blue

More fun at Catty Library.

The building works which were designed to stop the front falling off has done the trick all right. So much so that the additional weight to the building is too much for the foundations in the cellar and the whole kit and caboodle is now starting to slide downhill.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An occasional hippo

One of the customers at Dutch Bend has a bit of a dress code incident this afternoon, catching the hem of her skirt in her coat as she took it off, giving the whole of the library a flash of her unclothed nethers.

One of the other customers mutters to his mate:

"I had a turkey butty ready for me dinner but I'm not hungry now."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A simple game made complicated by people who should know better

Jack Harry's at Umpty Library's staff meeting, talking through the long and winding road that is the corporation's latest indecisions. In amongst the talk of efficiency and J.Arthur Blenkenstein's sermons on the subject of "adopting a can-do attitude to challenging circumstances" is one shaft of good news. Thelma has been covering Salome's old job as a secondment, it has been decided to make this permanent (thus making Thelma's old job available as an "efficiency" but keeping her somewhere useful and within hailing distance of the national average wage).

"That's not fair," says Andi. "What if one of the Assistant Librarians in this part of the borough had wanted that job?"

"Then they'd have applied for the secondment," replied Jack Harry, simply.

Which saves us any embarrassing questions...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Not wanting to block a badger's passage

The things you hear in libraries...

Two young male customers shouting from opposite corners of the entrance way to Carbootsale Library:

"Where was you this morning?"

"I had to go to the clap clinic."

"What yer got?"

"She says it's that chlamydia thing."

Verity stands at the counter and tuts.

"If he's got it, he'll have passed it round half the estate by now."

A member of the Sealed Knot Society pitched into life-and-death struggle with a division of tanks

Kind friends have asked about the state of Helminthdale's libraries during the current unpleasantness. The truth of the matter is that by any objective measure the general lack of devastatingly bad news would be a good thing if we were not in the fantasy world of Helminthdale, where a lack of bad news generally means that it's being stacked up for the holiday season. The one cast-iron guaranteed for certain absolute truth available to us is that the council will not be closing any libraries.

The buildings that host some of our libraries are going to be closed, but that's another thing entirely...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

They can find trouble on a wet afternoon

Yet another wet day, yet another flood at Catty Library. The Easy Reader Collection is devastated. Bronwyn tells Moira, the children's librarian there, that there's just enough money in the kitty to replace the stock so if she put together a shopping basket of titles the Acq. Team will get them ordered p.d.q.

"Oh, I'm far too busy for that," says Moira. "Can't you do it?"

Bronwyn's up to her gills in Winter Reading programmes, author visits, stock management and the new literacy strategy. Moira is responsible for the children's library at Catty. So of course, it's Bronwyn's job.

Frog takes great delight in pointing out that there are two boxes of Easy Reader books that had been returned by Catty Library because Moira was too busy to do the stock editing and didn't have any room for any new books.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The turtle's head speaks

Frog and Sybil are having one of "those" days.

Fired by the latest austerities and with more than half an eye on improving efficiency they have decided that staff: desk occupancy would be much improved by a modest investment in new furniture, replacing all our chairs with commodes.

"We'd have to replace the Bobbing Up And Down Team's motivational posters."

"Something like: 'Is your journey really necessary?'"

"Or..."

keep calm posterkeep calm poster

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

They tried to stop owls wearing duffle coats

(after Taylor and Lane)

Working all the day inside the library.
Trying hard to think of things we do.
And when the focus shifts to some folk
We've simply
No clue.
Some folk deal with customers and help them.
Some arrange for an event or two.
But some don't serve or plan or buy or somesuch,
So what do they do?

They'll walk around and round with just a pencil.
And they'll tell you
Just how busy
They have been.
But when you look around in their bit of the library
No evidence of work
Is ever seen.

Change is coming in, we can't avoid it.
Harsh winds of business sense are blowing through.
If they will pretend that
It's not happening
Then what will
They do?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How dare you ad-lib with genius!

There's a meeting of the departmental bigwigs in one of the Meeting Room Twos (did I tell you we've got three now?). It seems to be a bit busier than usual.

"There's a lot in today," I remark to Milton.

"They've heard you're in a good mood," he replies. "They've come to have a look. It's a one-in-a-lifetime tick in the twitcher's log book."