Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Library day in the life: round 8, day 2 (Tuesday 31st January 2012)

Subject librarian day today, with odd little bits of cataloguing in passing. The main item on the "to do" list was to see whether it was going to be possible to copy the Welsh play needed by students, requested yesterday. Publishers have refused in the past, but, oh joy! Gwasg Gomer couldn't have been more helpful, and I soon had permission both verbally and in writing (by email). Even so, the early birds among the students nearly thwarted us, as two out of our three copies had already been borrowed by the time everything was in place. The remaining book was put aside for copying and with any luck all will be well. Even with permission you still cannot make unlimited numbers of copies: I am sure the students would like one each, but there is a maximum permitted number which is well short of the number of students taking the module.

Apart from that, the day was spent catching up with queries including book orders, hunting for missing books, deciding whether to replace them or not, and working on the first phase of the reclassification project which is coming up (which also throws up cataloguing questions and more evidence of missing stock). The library is quite quiet at the moment, so not many enquiries from students, and a bit of time to talk to a retired member of staff (who has been lured out of retirement recently to take part in a general introductory course on Welsh culture for the first year students).

Late in the afternoon, a member of staff with an interest in the history of Cardiff reported that many copies of "Cardiff Yesterday" are missing from the shelves. I was instantly transported back to my public library days, as "Cardiff Yesterday" was kept under lock and key in the public library due to its tendency to disappear. It is a series of 36 books which came out in the 1980s and 1990s, containing old photographs of Cardiff, and in Cardiff it is right up there with Archbold's "Criminal pleading and evidence" as the book most likely to be stolen from a library, that is, of which a library may be permanently deprived with intent (I know my legal definitions!). I checked the shelves and could not find one of the 22 volumes which are not on loan. Too late now, but I played with the idea of making it compulsory for staff members to borrow them and keep them safe in their own homes. We could at least recall them from there if needed!

1 comment:

  1. Your final suggestion is one I can identify with! Mind you, my worst public library memory is being sent to retrieve a video from one of our borrowers. One glimpse of the snarling alsatian on its hind legs was enough to send me scurrying back to the library. I don't think we ever did see that video again ...