Hello! How are you all doing? Mostly okay? I’m mostly okay. I mean it’s weird isn’t it. I’m in the upstairs box room, perched on a wobbly old kitchen chair with my feet resting on an ancient Försiktig footstool. If I’d known when I left my library in March that I would still be at home in May I’d have pocketed my mouse. And my small keyboard.
Hindsight hey?! Very naively, I thought I’d be back in 6 weeks. Tops. Definitely, I’d be back by the end of semester. That’s why I didn’t put that much effort into fashioning a chair cushion. I made do with what was knocking about the house. And what was knocking about the house was an old apron and some foam chips that had previously filled a threadbare square of yellow fluff that had at one time passed as cutting edge home decor. I guess things were different in the 1970s.
It was the same with work. I, and indeed we, were making do with the stuff that we already had. Those subscriptions that had served us perfectly adequately when we had access to our physical collections. Fairly quickly though, it became apparent that this was much longer term.
That’s when I looked into making a much sturdier filling for my cushion pad. Long term, my bony bum would require more padding.
Long term, our subscriptions need padding. Expanding.
I was at USTLG today. Whilst there, attendees were polled:
‘Have you been buying more eresources recently?’
97.8% of us replied yes.
Yes, we’ve been buying more eresources.
But if you look at the discussion on Twitter you can see that it’s not yes, we’ve been allocated more budget to expand our collections, but yes we’ve spent remaining budgets on e instead of print. Maybe, we’ve all also been working our keyboards loose on massive spreadsheets in order to select, highlight and promote the new free stuff that is also available.
But what happens next? What happens at the end of June when all the free stuff goes? I can’t be the only one supporting subjects where some key texts are only available in print. Do I go back onto campus with a long list of books that are only available in print so that I can scan them at home? Obviously, if I could go back in time I would not ask but TELL Past Penny to pocket her mouse and her small keyboard. I would then tell her to grab a box and make a Supermarket Sweep style dash about the library grabbing key texts as she goes. Finally, I would firmly advise her to pop the box onto her beautifully padded, squishy and adjustable office chair, and wheel the whole lot around to the car park.
What would advise your past self to do? And what do you think will happen next?