Timeless Truths

Things we find funny change as we get older. Small children laugh at clowns. Richard Hearne OBE 1908-1979: As a tweenager, I recall reading a library book my mother had just finished ― one of Leslie Charteris’s “Saint” stories. I was moved to hysteria over a comment made by Simon Templar to his sidekick, Hoppy. … Continue reading Timeless Truths

Embracing Retirement

More than one former colleague who came back to visit told us it had taken a year or more to get used to retirement. I doubted this would happen to me. Without exception they wondered how they'd found time for a full-time job. I marked my retirement by leaving my wristwatch in the bedroom unless … Continue reading Embracing Retirement

The March of Progress

Shutterstock image Through the twentieth century, the Net Book Agreement in the UK had fixed book prices. Only books that were 'remaindered' by publishers (having failed to sell) were sold at reduced prices. This agreement between the Publishers Association and booksellers fell by the wayside in the 1990s. By the turn of the century, book … Continue reading The March of Progress

The Leafy Groves of Academe

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com I whiled away a year as Head of Learning Resources at a new sixth form college, where we upgraded the provisional library the college had opened with (which I was around long enough to move into – I'd almost forgotten that one). Meanwhile, a post came up at a … Continue reading The Leafy Groves of Academe

Moving On (librarywise)

From Centre Librarian in one Further Education college, I moved on to the post of Campus Learning Resources Manager (LRM) in a bigger college further into London. As one of three Campus Managers under a Head of Learning Resources, I supervised three sites around the Moorgate-Old Street area while functioning as Site Librarian to one … Continue reading Moving On (librarywise)

Libraries in UK Further Education: 1990s

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com From the Sixth Form Centre, I moved further afield into an East London Further Education (FE) college. Back then, FE colleges were engaged in merging many small local sites into larger, centralised colleges. I was Centre Librarian on a site that served A-level courses to students aged 16+ as well … Continue reading Libraries in UK Further Education: 1990s

Library Networking

I was appointed librarian to a new Sixth Form Centre. It took Sixth Form students (aged 16-18) from two of the borough's secondary schools. The contract was for two years, while the schools in question expanded to accomodate their growing Sixth forms. The library boasted six networked RM Nimbus computers. My computing experience was limited … Continue reading Library Networking

The Dawn of Library Automation

I started work at a private school at the beginning of an Autumn term. My new position as Girls' School Librarian was more about keeping an eye on the pupils than developing the collection. The library was located in the girls' school building, but it served boys and girls in both primary and secondary schools … Continue reading The Dawn of Library Automation