Oh No!

Just when I thought things couldn’t go any worse… I received a collective e-mail from a colleague in my company annoncing that the company wanted to close the library! Crap… [replace by any appropriate English F-word you think, I lack vocabulary in this area]

The library is a small room opened on a strictly voluntary basis once a week during lunch break, and it is the nicest place in my workplace, where you actually get to see smiling and quiet and warm people, caring about each other and recommending books to one another… Not all books they buy with their (ridiculously small) budget are my cup of tea (especially when it comes to Mary Higgins Clark and Dan Brown), but they also bought some of my suggestions… and they got newly published titles every season and every Fred Vargas novel too.

I’m angry because the decision was taken on the sly, using the ridiculous argument that there isn’t enough floor space in our new office building. I’ve been transferred to the new building 2 weeks ago and clearly this is bullsh…, because the new office is huge and they even found some floor space for a gym (which we didn’t have in the old one). The library leader (who is doing all this completely on her free time and without compensation) has been informed just 8 days before moving and of course no official communication to the coworkers was done. 

I feel that the building managers thought that the library users wouldn’t care and that bookish people are quiet and polite and wouldn’t dare go against their decision. Well, I already spread the words to all my colleagues I saw at least once at the library. I’m not sure what else I can do, but I really want to support the library leader against this harsh decision. What would you suggest?

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8 thoughts on “Oh No!

  1. Oh jeez! I don’t have any wonderful suggestions but I hope you and your colleagues find a way to keep the library…small perks like that really make the spirit of a company, I think!

  2. I like the idea of books and the gym sharing space, but that would never happen at my office. Maybe someone just didn’t understand that this was used frequently and a petition to have some room, maybe just a shelf somewhere would work? I’ve worked places where there have been bookshelves (sometimes just a box) where people could put books for an exchange and it was usually in the lunch room. If that doesn’t work, I’d suggest that you all take the books and split them among the regulars so that they have good homes. Is there someone among the users who is management? Maybe they could be a spokesperson for the group?

  3. letters! letters and emails to the powers that be (allowed?) And request a bookshelf in a corner. One stinking bookshelf. Or, at least, a cupboard in the kitchen. Wouldn’t all those people in the gym on the bike be interested in reading rather than staring at a telly or listening to their music? Rage on. Just one bookshelf, for Pete’s sake.

  4. How truly frustrating. If you could arrange it so that it didn’t all fall on your shoulders, a petition can sometimes help, delivered in person to whoever is one above the person responsible for the decision. If you do this, it also helps to have a viable alternative location for the library, or some kind of an alternative plan. In my experience, managers baulk at protests because they can’t think of other options. If you suggest the other option, too, then they look like stubborn idiots if they continue to refuse (alas, this threat does not always work). But bon courage for whatever you choose to do – I agree this is barbarous.

  5. Thanks for all your ideas. No good news about the library though. No news at all, for that matter. The management likes to play dead and say that they have more important matters to attend to. We keep at it but aren’t very hopeful. It will take time.

  6. Pingback: P.D. James, The Private Patient (2008) « Smithereens

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