Things not to do in the library on a hot day

Imagine, if you will, that Great Britain – that damp, green, eccentric island – is experiencing a heat-wave.  Imagine, if you will, that the hottest July temperatures since the reign of Queen Victoria have been recorded.  Imagine, if you will, that there is a library, the Library of Doom, which has an interesting building design with lots of glass and a general lack of air-conditioning.  Imagine, therefore, lots of very hot and sweaty members of library staff.

There are certain things which you would not recommend doing in these circumstances.  For instance, you would not recommend having a fan that breaks if you invade its personal space, and then takes up to ten minutes to fix.  You would also not recommend touching this fan, and you would certainly not recommend moving it.  In fact, you would not recommend moving anything.

So, things not to do in the library on a hot day when you have a temperamental fan.  First thing, do not move office, even if your new office is a matter of yards away from your old one.  Do not be involved in a chain reaction of office moves that involves half a dozen members of staff, seven computers and a lot of furniture.  Do not move ring binders, box files, books, telephones, computer hardware, laminators, chests of drawers, stationery, a hat stand, a bag of doughnuts and a small stuffed snow leopard that has been forced upon you.  Do not move three people into a large office previously occupied by one person and expect it to be a simple matter to connect computers and telephones to power and networks.  Do not find that the result of staff cutbacks in Domestic Services is that desks have rarely been cleaned and hoovering has not happened for several months in any area where students do not venture.  Above all, do not carry out this office move with only one day’s notice.

If you do insist on engaging in this activity, then here is the second thing not to do in the library on a hot day.  Do not realise that there are no spare trolleys, a combined result of reduced summer staffing arrangements and the heat, which makes shelving a deeply unattractive choice of activity.  Do not decide, along with another colleague, to empty all the trolleys that are currently full of books, and do not empty seven trolleys between you in 45 minutes.  Above all, do not find that two of the trolleys contain books from ‘The Pit’, which is a room that may as well be a greenhouse.

If, like me, you do these things against all advice, expect the following things.  Your fan will break in a final and decisive manner and will have to be binned.  You will see more dust than you thought an institutional carpet could hold.  You will say ‘this is stupid’ with alarming regularity.  And you will sweat.  A lot.  An awful lot.  However, your cold shower when you get home will feel like heaven.  And you will eventually get a replacement fan that is much nicer than your old one.

  1. Made me feel all hot and tired just reading this (also knowing that I shortly have to go out into +40-something temps).

    Well, at least there was a happy ending. 🙂

    • Claire
    • July 22nd, 2006

    I sympathise. I also apologise. And I’m sorry about the snow leopard. If the adoption isn’t working out I will take it into care. And I’m also sorry if you’re someone who thinks you shouldn’t start a sentence with ‘and’. Now I’ll stop being sorry and get on with writing my blog which someone or something has chosen to invade with 53 comments advertising car insurance! On goes the comment validation thing.

    Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend.


  2. What are you apologising for? Noneof it’s your fault!

    For slightly perplexed readers, Claire is one of the other people who had ‘fun’ moving office yesterday. The doughnuts were hers, and were a most welcome addition to the day. 🙂

  3. I laughed out loud. Sorry.

    I’ll take the snow leopard if you like. My office is very crowded and hot, with builders, and a snow leopard can only help.

  4. Ag, I am so glad this made you laugh – I did write the post with the hope that others would enjoy my rathe un-enjoyable day.

    I shall see if I can push the snow leopard thrugh my monitor in the Library of Doom and make it pop out in the Library of Glum. L-Space, don’tchaknow?

  5. Is it cooler there yet? Are you feeling at home in your new office yet?

    Library of Doom
    Library of Glum

    What shall I call mine?
    Library of Despair?

  6. It’s still pretty darned hot, but the new office did beginto feel likehome surprisingly quickly. Surely your library is the Library of Rock?

  7. Belated happy one-year-in-the-new-office! 🙂

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