Thursday, 23 October 2014

“Oh, you’re a Librarian?  I guess that’s a nice job sitting reading books, is it?”

How often have we heard that?  Well, if the last 2 weeks are anything to go by, nothing could be further from the truth.

Tuesday 14th October:  Two of us in the department with a 3rd colleague on leave:  not a problem, and everything goes swimmingly all morning;  nice, peaceful lunch in the staffroom with my Ian Rankin novel;  back to my desk at one o'clock to let my colleague Louise away for her lunch;  just settled down to process the BL Intray;  phone rings.....  “I’ve just received overdues for 2 books which I returned in June, and I’ve been blocked from using ILLiad”.  Ok, there must be a mistake, so I check her record….  As I thought, both books have been safely returned…..   Oh, there’s the other phone….. Louise gets caught before going for her lunch….. someone else, same problem.     Then… oh my goodness, it was as if someone had taken over our pcs as the emails began flooding onto the screen, all with the same message  “Re:  Overdue Item;  Blocked on ILLiad”. 

It turned out that during some maintenance that we’d requested, something had been switched on or off (not sure which!), causing ILLiad to throw a major tantrum and issue hundreds of incorrect “Final” overdue notices which threaten  the recipients with massive bills for replacement and with being blocked from ILLiad..

To cut a long, tedious story short, chaos reigned for the remainder of the afternoon as we answered the phone calls and attempted to keep up with the replies to the emails.  Poor Louise had to eat her lunch between in-coming calls, and had developed quite a patter by the end of the day!    Alerts were put out on every conceivable place on the website and Twitter, with an out-of-office message on our departmental email, which at least bought us time in which to respond.

Inspite of the mayhem, it was very interesting to see the range of reactions expressed –from “oh, I’m terribly sorry for not returning this; I’ll do it immediately” to outrage that we’d dared to cause them such alarm.  

A welcome break for a FIL committee meeting followed the next day, and then it was back to our Library Annexe on the Thursday.  AHH….. peace and quiet at last:  no phone calls or visits to my desk, and time to catch up with those tasks on the “to do” list. 
Not a bit of it:  This, that and the next tradesman decided that this was the day to visit the Annexe, a massive leak was discovered in the roof as the result of torrential rain the previous weekend, and then just to top it all, the burglar alarm decided to play up when I closed at 5, causing me to miss my train.

I’m back at the Library Annexe today, and so far, so good……….

No comments:

Post a Comment