Friday, May 10, 2019

Misty Morning and Inventory

There's a fine mist in the air this morning. I've been scrambling to get the recycling and garden waste put out for collection, but that's all done now and I'm back in bed with coffee and Olga. (Dave is already getting ready for work.)

Everything seems remarkably quiet -- maybe because of the way mist muffles sound. I don't hear any traffic or street noise. The garden seems very lush and damp and fertile.

I finished the fiction inventory in the library yesterday -- we're missing about 25 fiction books, which is about twice as many as usual after a year of school. We used to have security gates at the entrances to the library, and they would beep (when they worked) if a student tried to leave with a book that hadn't been checked out. Last fall we removed the gates, because they were old and mostly didn't work right, and putting security tape in all the books was very expensive. We decided to experiment with having no security system at all.

That may be why a few more titles have gone missing. Fortunately most of them are not books we need to buy again. Even if they were, the question is -- is it cheaper to replace the books than to run that security apparatus? Probably.

I've still got some more inventory to go, but it's in specialist areas like reference, foreign language and professional development, and I don't expect anything to be missing from those categories. My best estimate is that overall, we'll be down about 30 books. That sounds like a lot, but not when you consider that we've got 27,000 in the collection. Plus, I suspect some of them went walking during the summer, when the library is technically closed but the space is still used for meetings and other functions.

It's also likely some of the missing titles were merely borrowed, rather than stolen, and will come back or turn up in classrooms and student lockers before the end of school. I haven't yet started my annual tradition of prowling through empty classrooms in the afternoons to retrieve books left lying around. Stay tuned!


  1. The vision of you prowling around empty classrooms reclaiming lost library books still has me agog! (Or is that "goggling"?) Love the picture of Olga and your back garden! Just beautiful.

  2. Is there a student bulletin? You could have a drop-off "Amnesty" box near the library door.

    "Hi kids! This is your friendly librarian Mr Reed aka The Prowler. I have been checking our library shelves and I have discovered that several books are missing and unaccounted for. If you have one of our missing books or even a long overdue book, please drop it in The Amnesty Box at the library entrance door. That would be so cool dudes! Peace and love, Mr Reed."

  3. If that's your back yard, I'm impressed. It's BEAUTIFUL.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful shot.
    "The garden seems very lush and damp and fertile."
    Oh, how I love that feeling of fecundity! I luxuriate in it every year while I can.
    I think your tales of trying to collect missing books at the end of every school year are some of my favorites. I do like Mr. P.'s suggestion about having an amnesty box.

  5. Beautiful shot of the very green yard and Olga.
    I think you are right, replacing a few books is probably cheaper than a security system. Happy hunting, book hunting that is!

  6. your garden is so lovely. nice that you can get it all in one picture. my gardens are so spread out.

  7. The garden looks so lush green lovely and beautiful.
    I think YP's suggestion is excellent. An amnesty box is a grand idea.

  8. Bummer On Those Books. I Appreciated The Rain Photos For Sure. Well Done


  9. The Prowling Book Detective. Sounds like it could be a t.v. series. Stardom may be coming your way, Steve.

  10. I love a misty or foggy day. Maybe I was a toad in a former life.

    If you're going to be doing spy work finding books, you're going to need a fedora and sunglasses so people won't recognize you. lol

  11. I love how Americans refer to yards where you obviously have a lovely back garden xx

  12. How nice to live in the city and still have such a nice sized back yard! The garden is just beautiful. Olga seems to be appreciating it!

  13. You're a very dedicated librarian to hunt down missing books.

  14. Of course the books went walking during the Summer. Summer is the time for walking, you know that. Instead of prowling around the classrooms you should be looking in hollow trees and under park benches when you are prowling around the Heath or the cemetery. The books will be waiting in some place where they have sheltered over winter. Waiting for you to find them.

  15. Do you have a charging system that tells you who still has a book out? In the school library where I volunteer we are sending slips home reminding parents that books have to be returned or paid for. And even with that 30 lost does not seem a lot.

  16. David: Ha! I did it some on Friday and found several overdue items. The kids are terrible about leaving stuff lying around and then forgetting what they did with it!

    YP: Well, we have a return bin at the end of my desk, which is basically an amnesty box. I don't see who drops stuff in there, so they could throw their books in the bin and I'd never know one way or the other.

    Jennifer: Thank you! England is a good place for gardening. The climate is gentle and many plants seem to do pretty well here.

    Ms Moon: I love that feeling of fecundity, too. There's a sweet, rich, earthy smell that goes with it, and I love sitting out on the garden bench and smelling that smell.

    Sharon: Yeah, you've got to look at the big picture!

    Ellen: Well, that's the positive side of having a relatively small city garden! (Although it's big by London standards.)

    Robin: Yeah, we have a returns box that basically functions that way already. I DO need to get something on the morning announcements about getting everything back to us by the end of the year.

    Padre: Well, the books are a small thing, and I think some may come back on their own.

    Catalyst: Now THAT's a short-lived series for sure! LOL

    Jenny-O: Ha! Then I'll look even MORE suspicious.

    John: Yeah, the garden/yard thing is an interesting linguistic contrast! To an American, a garden is a very specific part of a yard -- like a flower or vegetable bed. The yard is the whole shebang, though, especially the grass.

    Sue: We are very lucky in that we have such a large garden. It's unusual in the city to have this much space. I only wish we owned it outright! (We're renters.)

    Red: It's kind of fun. It's like a game to me -- my end-of-year challenge!

    Alphie: If they've been out there all this time they won't be worth finding! LOL

    Peter: Oh yes, our library computer keeps track of who has what. We send weekly overdue notices and when items are more than four weeks overdue we freeze the user's account so he/she can't check out anything else. We send slips home to the parents at that point, too. But I often find that I need to contact parents directly because the kids don't deliver the slips as they're supposed to. (Funniest thing.) We may well wind up with fewer than 30 missing. I'll let everyone know when the year finally ends!