Friday, November 04, 2005

good day / bad day....

(gratuitous shot of Theophilus on bookshelves absorbing knowledge through book-fur contact)

I have been having a see-saw of a day today –

1. Friday good
2. too much work to catch up on after being off with a gastric bug bad
3. managed to reclaim money I had paid to buy an essential pharmacology book from Amazon (remarkably good considering the bewildering twists and turns of the arcane Finance system here)
4. one of my favourite young docs has left to go down to Bristol to start training as an anaesthetist – look after Dr Jill down there you hear me! very bad, will miss her
5. managed to track down both the laptop and projector I had left in the large classroom for Wednesday’s lecture despite having to leave in a hurry, exceptionally good and surprising - see number 2
6. emails on lis-medical about Guardian, bad – irritating to see your profession written up by people who know **** all about it and probably also know **** all about being a children’s librarian grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Newspaper is hopefully being bombarded by furious children's librarians too
7. sent off feisty letter to Guardian – so all revved up to deal with rest of day v good, better than caffeine for giving a swish to one's tail, bet they don’t print it...
8. Porters bring big parcels from Amazon for me (easier to get delivered to work rather than home) include an electric fry-pan – hard to come by in UK but ubiquitous back home in NZ, can now replace our 17yr old treasure that is almost ready for burial good
9. but came by bus today – not sure if can get them all onto bus…. bad
10. generator test – normally these happen once a month on a Friday and to be fair they do let you know your information world is about to come crashing down around your ears an hour or so beforehand, however….. I almost got away with generator test – only 3 pages of a 70 page document left to print for a screen-phobic punter (aren’t they all?) when the switch was flipped and all came to a shuddering halt. V bad – printer now has to start all over again as it doesn’t like doing anything else
11. now have to wrestle with printer and to pull out papers it is chewing up like family rabbit, only family rabbit doesn’t make that weird growling, belching sound and spit black dust over your cream tee shirt bad
12. however, this was now lunchtime good
13. and the first time in 3 days I felt like eating anything v good
14. only my taste buds have not quite returned good or bad depending on your opinion of hospital food
15. still, they had tuna and salad left good
16. on return from lunch break I decided the generator test all gone and done with, so I could break into a big juicy literature search for a punter on Blood Transfusion / Clinical Governance and TQM good
17. started printing stuff from Better Blood site (SHOT etc – Serious Hazards of Transfusion in case you ask) and blow me, a second generator test VVVV BAD
18. beetled off to do other chores once sorted it all out and retrieved documents and started printing and came back to find 70 pages of what looks like a totally new language of important stuff when it should have been printing away in English VVVVVVVVVV BAD BAD BAD
19. am now a spitting, fizzing, hissing, claw snaggling viperous librarian that would like to sink fangs into any facilities staff personnel that comes near VVVVVV BAD – doesn’t look pretty and scares the punters, Halloween been and went so no other demonic witches left to support me
20. could now power library computers off me in this state good

Still nearly weekend good?

as it will probably not make it into print this is what I wrote to the Guardian...

Whilst I am thrilled that "Tony" a mere stripling of 22 has managed a salary of £23k in a library (quite some acheivement given wages in this sector are notoriously low) I am somewhat concerned by the careers advice given to him (What else can I do? November 2nd 2005). Point Number 3 suggests a career as an NHS librarian. Now I would not wish to dissuade any librarian from considering a career in the NHS - it afterall is a really rewarding job and offers the constant challenge of keeping up with evidence of best practice, clinical governance, the continual upgrading of our own specialist skills often in solo positions etc etc as well as the joys of living a soap opera as we change tack on political whim. I do however feel that Tony could only be disappointed if he applied for such a position, most librarians within the NHS (or other health related post such as in FE or HE) start with the need for a basic degree, a masters and then professional qualification as well, many of these are then not paid as much as "Tony".

I would also like to warn "Tony" that the advice given that NHS librarians would value his "clear library indexing and catalogue keeping" whilst entirely plausible (we are a very inclusive and welcoming bunch), when it comes to job applicants we are more likely to be looking in other areas; such as the ability to teach critical appraisal skills, clinical knowledge or understanding of local practice developments so as to best match our expertise with what is wanted by other staff.

I hope this helps "Tony" and any other jaded 22 year old librarians out there.


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