Tooth and Claw As I Get Older

Teeth Once, I could tear sticky tape with my teeth and break thread with them when stitching. Today, the front teeth I once applied to tape and thread no longer meet for the purpose. My bottom teeth resemble tumbling tombstones in an abandoned graveyard. Today's orthodontists would probably remove a couple in childhood, but back … Continue reading Tooth and Claw As I Get Older

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

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #6

A personal history Moving On In the new post, I was back with my old team, albeit in a more exalted role. The branch was now operating out of a couple of portacabins on a patch of wasteland while a new civic complex was under construction on the old site. As well as a much … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #6

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #5

A personal history Qualified Success Library school was part of a technical college which has since been promoted to a University along with a swathe of others in the 1990’s. To get there from the parental home, I drove through or around London, or was carried beneath it. All routes, including London Underground, took roughly … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #5

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #4

A personal history Central Ops After Easter, someone remembered I was meant to be experiencing other library departments and I had a last-minute tour of Central Lending, Central Ref, Admin and Accessions, spending two weeks in each. Central lending library was located in a Victorian building which also housed the Town Hall. Administrative departments had … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #4

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #3

A Personal History The Workroom Everyone would hope to spend some time in the workroom during the day. The first workroom task of the morning was to write out reader tickets for the previous day's new borrowers and those whose tickets had expired. The book-card-in-ticket arrangement then in use is known as the ‘Brown’ issuing … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #3

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #2

A Personal History Work Experience The intention for my work experience year was that I would circulate around departments and branches to get an overview of the service. I think, though, that once my college place was secured, they heaved a sigh of relief and forgot about me. Opening hours for the borough's full-time branches … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #2

Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #1

A personal history I am at a loss for something to write about while avoiding New Year resolutions, lockdown, or another recap of 2020 (all covered more eloquently by fellow bloggers). I will instead be recapping UK public libraries in the nineteen-seventies, based on my article published in Best of British magazine, August 2018, having … Continue reading Olden Days in UK Public Libraries – #1