Friday, August 3, 2007

why i dislike the branch system: part I

so yesterday i had a lovely day at the library ... my teen group is actually learning to knit. yesterday i had about 5 kids and they had all retained the knitting skills i had taught them last week. and they were actually knitting this week! all by themselves! it was very gratifying. i even have a guy knitting! of course, he may only be coming to the group because he thinks i'm cute, but whatever.
last night was my first late night at the new new library. and it was really good. people asked lots of questions. and get this ... they were all questions about books! smart books! i got questions like, "i'm doing research on che guevera, what books to you have by him or about him? oh, and i need them in spanish." now, that's a reference question. how i love working with sane patrons.
while i was working the reference desk, i was also trying to chat up the manager, who just returned from her vacation to find fabulous little ol' me working at her branch. so i told her how much i love the branch and how everyone is so nice and how convenient it is for me to get here and how i would just love love love to have this branch be my branch. and then she explained how i have to put in for a transfer once i'm past my 6 month probation period yada yada yada, etc etc etc.
so i asked her, all sly like, what would happen if, oh lets say for argument's sake, a librarian really loved one branch and the people at this completely hypothetical branch really loved that librarian and wanted her to work there, would the manager of that branch be able to pull strings to get the beloved librarian to work there. and sadly, her answer was no. it is all in the puppet master hands of the bureaucracy.
which means that in a branch system, managers have no control over who they get to hire, meaning they have no control over creating a good staff, which leads to creating a good work environment. which leads me to my carefully crafted conclusion: branches suck.

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