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June 5, 2003

It felt weird to leave, and it was slightly odd to return, even for the duration of one evening. It was the farewell party for the former Head of the library and I was very pleasantly surprised to be invited

[at this point Bonadea walked over my keyboard and somehow disabled it, forcing me to log out and in again. You’re never bored with a cat around!]

even though it didn’t feel quite so pleasant having to dress up on the hottest day of the year so far and sit for 50 minutes in a clammy bus. I stopped by the pharmacy in the animal hospital to get some stuff for the cats and to pick up Michael who was going to the party, too.

It wasn’t a very large gathering of people — of course this is a difficult time for it, what with graduations and things every day of this week — but it was very good to see people again; good if, as I said, slightly odd. I am both more and less part of the group, in some undefinable way. I am rather happy I’m not working there as things stand; the cutbacks are coming faster and faster, several people have left for new jobs or retirement and their positions are not being filled, while the staff is expected to take on all kinds of new jobs. I wish they would all go into strike, or something. Oh, and some readers may remember a rather lengthy renovation of the Circulation office (it took about four weeks instead of the promised two, if I remember correctly) which was supposed to make the air in that part of the library more breathable. All I can say is that it failed, and walking therough Circ today was like walking through a sauna. It makes me rather mad, actually, that people are expected to put up with working conditions like that.

Not that any of this is the library’s fault. It really isn’t — it’s in a vicious spiral kind of situation where there is no money to employ more people, but cutting down on the work means not fulfilling the duties laid upon the library — and so too few people have to do too much, which results in burnt-out workers and even fewer who can do anything. It made me quite sad.

But the general atmosphere wasn’t sad at all, far from it: in fact, a good time was had by all, myself very much included. I think it will be much easier to go back there next time.

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