Thursday, 14 June 2012

While There’s Life, There’s Hope

Ahem. It may have been obvious to anyone visiting this latitude lately on the world wide web: things have been a bit quiet around here. I had a bright idea for another blog and thought I could manage both at once. However, that has proven difficult.

Our libraries, of course, haven’t slept. They’ve kept working really hard to serve their very diverse communities and no doubt will continue to do so, despite a one percent funding cut recently announced in the Auckland Council budget — though where they will find the “efficiencies” mentioned in the last (and usually least important) sentence of the Herald’s news story, I dread to think. When I look at libraries I see pretty lean operations whose people are practised at stitches in time and saving nine, seeing pins and picking them up, taking care of the pennies, cutting their coats according to their cloth, and (not least) wasting not.

Anyway, despite my silence I’ve kept visiting Auckland public libraries, ordering books, using the digital library databases. I just haven’t posted about them. And despite my not having posted about them, this blog keeps getting hits: 52 of them on May 24, for heaven’s sake, when I hadn’t posted since March!

As The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs says, while there’s life, there’s hope.* The blogger’s block is about to change. A new post is almost ready to go up here at A Latitude of Libraries. Watch this space.

*This dictionary also says all those other proverbial things I’ve paraphrased in paragraph two. It is available on the web through your Auckland Libraries membership — even when you’re not at the library — at Oxford Reference Online.

NB The unhelpful library sign pictured above amid empty shelves, inviting library users to approach staff who in fact were not in the vicinity, was not in Auckland. It wasnt even in New Zealand. It was in a library I visited last year, somewhere else altogether. That facility was undergoing some changes at the time, and apparently its now quite different.


  1. Knock that block off. One of the reasons that your well written blogs are such a pleasure to read is that they show what each library is doing in its community context.
    BTW from your other blog ... your feijoas look a bit undersized, if you prune back the tree by about 1/3, and fertilize in the spring you'll find next season is a much better crop.

  2. Mark! Very happy to have you as my blogging encourager as well as my botanical advisor. To be fair to those feijoas: they *were* the end-of-season fruit: they were smaller as they went, and I'd had some really large ones this season. But admittedly mine are often small, and no doubt that is because of complete and utter neglect, ever since I moved the tree there about 15 years ago. It's much happier than when it was in the shade (and mingled with the root system) of Old Man Totara, where I found it, but yes: I need to prune and to fertilise. It's not as if the chicken manure needs to move very far: the chook run is next to the tree. On libraries: I've been to two library talks this week as part of the photography festival, and they've got me buzzing. I'm looking forward to posting.

  3. It's interesting that the Please Ask Library Staff signage in your photo leads with a statement rather than a question... as if assuming that there is no way for anyone to find what is being sought. (I guess that would be accurate, in stacks of empty shelves.)

    1. As someone who loves to use the various punctuation symbols in a purposeful and far from random manner, I had to work hard not to comment specifically on that in my non-caption. It reminded me of a series of recent Auckland City Council capital works signs to the public: they omitted a subject and so weren't full sentences. Invariably they started with a casual 'Just getting on with...' [reconstructing the pavement ,etc]. They were probably in the same default typeface, and used the same colour, as the sign pictured above. Well, I guess now I've made my private obsession with language and typography more public! But I think your interpretation is sound, Lindy.