Friday, 14 January 2011

How a library is like a hairdressers.

I went to get my hair cut yesterday. The conversation between the woman sitting behind me and the guy cutting her hair caught my attention at first because she said something about wanting to get her hair cut into a diamond shape and I was intruiged! (No no, said the hairdresser, that would not look good on you.) I still don't know how one would do that to their hair...

But anyway, I carried on listening to their conversation (Todd and I had gone through all of the usual haircut conversation topics). The woman started talking about her business and how she needed to make savings, maybe she would need to lay some people off. The hairdresser, who was the owner of the salon, said that he couldn't afford to get rid of any staff, because he knew in a year or so he'd need to hire them back again, they'd have gone onto other jobs, and that it took 3 to 4 years to train up a stylist from scratch. He said something along the lines of "If I start getting rid of my stylists, I may as well just close up today."

Today I was thinking about this again, and thinking that libraries were just the same. You want to save money so you shut a library. The staff with their years of experience will go into different jobs (probably a lot of them will end up doing something other than library work ) and some of the books will be taken by nearby libraries but most will probably be sold. The building will be taken over by something else. Then it's going to be almost impossible to reopen a library there in the future without spending an awful lot of money. So councils, be like the hairdresser, stop taking such a short-term view and see the bigger picture!

(By the way, very happy with new hair!)

Yes, those are my polka dot PJs. Yes, that's my washing.

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