Friday 2 November 2007

Working 9 to 5, What A Way To Make A Livin'...

If you're not singing Dolly Parton in your head right now, then either a)you're too young, b)you're too sophisticated, or c)you're too sane. Take your pick, otherwise hum along with me...

I'll confess - yes, I am currently at work. And potentially abusing my internet privileges, though it was positively encouraged by the very nice lady in charge of Circulation, where I am at the moment. Before you get images of cocktail shakers and black tie outfits, this is Circulation firmly without air kisses. Well, I could try to introduce them, but might find myself unemployed. I'm busy checkin
' in and checkin' out all those books which Science students hoard in their rooms and flick through whilst their test tubes or igneous rocks are busy. It's quite nice - I get to try out my Happy Smiley Big Fat Beam on everyone, blinding them with joviality - but it turns out I'm the world's worst person for collecting fines. No careers test ever brought up 'bailiff' as a proposed suitable employment option, and there's a reason. The faintest sign of reluctance to pay, and I'm practically flinging money at them. Oddly enough, it's the ones with 20p to pay who kick up a fuss - those who owe over £10 are happy to cough up. Strange. Personally, I'd always rather pay a fine - even if I knew I didn't owe it - than make a scene. How British am I?? See this for more, of course.

What was the point of today's post... well, just realised I hadn't posted yesterday, and thought I'd a
mble through a catch-up of my library activities. Although my first tea-break of the day is coming up soon (since we're not supposed to drink at our desks - for obvious reasons - we get two half-hour breaks and an hour at lunch. Luxury! And nice reading time) so this may be an abridged version of a catch-up. As I mentioned, I'm now working in Circulation as well as Everything Else - so my days are spent re-shelving, fetching books, checking in and out, dealing with enquiries, a tiny bit of cataloguing (usually editing current holdings info)... so a little bit of everything, nice and eclectic. The thing I do miss most is the opportunity to be creative. It's that artistic blood in me (thanks Mum...) which can't quite be content with a 9-5 where I can't make creative difference to proceedings. So, in long-term plans, do I find a job where creativity in some form or other is at the centre, or one which will allow be enough time to be creative outside of it?? Quandary. Either way I'll be penniless, so at least I can factor that out of the equation!

Should include something about books to keep you going til next time... Just finished a brilliant, though very uneasy, book - have just started what might well be quite a dull one. Well, dull to me because of my ignorance and apathy in certain areas... but I shall certainly persevere. Will let you into these mysteries sooooon...


  1. Who is the wonderful Bookman? And what is his beard made of? Old bananas? I'm still humming Dolly Parton, but it's transmuting into the one about always loving you ... (the Bookman, of course).

  2. Perhaps the people with the higher fines use the library so much they figure they owe a few dollars/pounds. That's how I generally feel when I have fines to pay. And your quandry? Sadly, it's one I think many people face and oftentimes the financial piece keeps us doing what we don't necessarily love as a way to do what we do love outside of work....I say 'we' here because I include myself (even though I only work part time).

  3. You have just read The Child that Books Built by brainy Francis Spufford and I claim my ten pounds. There was controversy about this on Susan Hill's blog; some people, including me, admiring it very much and others just not able to get on with it. BTW picked up a cheapo copy of Crow Lake this morning and will give it a go.

  4. This post made me laugh so much! I wish you were collecting the fines at my university library. They are an inevitable part of my visits there and the librarians just look very sternly at me over the tops of their rimless glasses and hold their hands out. No flinging back occurs. Perhaps they don't get air kissed enough; I could believe it.

    And thank you, I am quite happy to sing along with Dolly.

  5. Haven't read the Spufford, actually, though have been tempted often before!

    Angela - the Bookman is what came up when I Googled 'librarian' - but it's brilliant, isn't it?

  6. I don't work at the circulation desk that often, but when I do I find I have the same problem you do with collecting fines. It must be a genetic trait. I can also relate to your quandry regarding time for creative endeavors. I guess the only solution is to win the lottery so I can quit work and stay home to read, knit, scrapbook, bake, etc. Until then, I'll continue to snatch moments during the day to indulge my addictions!


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