Fact Of The Day

Here at work people sometimes come in to read the books.

Personally, I don’t agree with that sort of thing; having started out working at the Bod I take the Copyright Library perspective that the purpose of a library is to keep a pristine copy of every book in case somebody needs it in the future. It is therefore imperative that if anybody needs a book we do not let them have it, because then it would no longer be pristine, which is has to be in case someone needs it in the future.

Ruth, I know, somehow fails to understand this basic principle, but I don’t see why; it’s simple enough – someone might need the book one-day, so we have to keep it in mint condition to ensure it lasts forever. Obviously you can’t collapse the wave, but collapsing waves seems to be what keeps the funding coming in, these days, and without funding I don’t get paid (and without getting paid, I can’t very well attempt to get out of my overdraft and start saving money at you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-percent, now, can I?)

So we not only allow people to read the books, but to borrow them, too.

And, periodically, they don’t bring them back, and they run up fines.

Eventually, we send them letters. (We can do that, because their addresses are on file. Usually.)

Letters go out addressed by the mailmerge system, and look like this:

221b Baker Street
London, W1.

Today we had a letter sent back to us by the Post Office. DPA and suchlike prevents me from using the actual name off the envelope, but mailmerge had printed it up all lovely, yet what I saw was this:

Return to sender – [Postie’s squiggles]


Well if you don’t know then we don’t!!

…Made me laugh, anyway.

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  1. On January 08, 2009 Ruth says:

    That’s brilliant! You should get a picture.

  2. On January 08, 2009 Statto says:

    Deffo. Photoshop a fake name over the real one, or just give it an attractive blur/pixelate etc.

  3. On January 08, 2009 Mister JTA says:

    Sadly, we’re too efficient – we’ve already sent the envelope off to the Old College so they can run the name though the system there & get a home address.

  4. On January 08, 2009 Statto says:

    Blimey, academic library in ‘too efficient’ shocker!!!

    The only alternative is to do an Iran it entirely in Photoshop.

  5. On January 08, 2009 Statto says:

    Stupid WordPress strips strikethrough tags. That link should also be struck through.


  6. On January 09, 2009 Jimmy says:

    Statto: They’re pretty damn efficient when it comes to collecting fines!