Third Stone From The Sun

With the long-dreaded, now done ordeal of the disposal of my parents' house behind me, the working week has seemed like light duty, though long hours at the service desk early in the week kept me from my own desk in the workroom until Thursday.

My current projects are:  wrapping up my current batch of Baker & Taylor lease book returns and getting them out the door before I leave for Manhattan on 9/30, finishing the moving of non-lease fiction overstock from the fiction wing to unused space over the periodicals, and catching up with book donations set aside for me by the Friends of the Library volunteers before the October "Title Wave" book sale.

On Wednesday I attended an online presentation by OverDrive  on patron assistance with downloading their audio books and e-books.  OverDrive is one of our two vendors of digital media, the other being NetLibrary, which has recently been sold by OCLC to EBSCO.  It was an excellent presentation, and I turned parts of it into a troubleshooting guide to use at the service desk.  I really have to congratulate OverDrive.  They are doing their homework and making their product easy to use.  I know that our patrons are using OverDrive, because I can see how many of their titles are in use.  But calls for help are relatively rare, even though patrons must install several pieces of software first, and compatibility varies across different platforms, (Windows v. Mac, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Sony Reader, B&N Nook, etc.).  NetLibrary has the better, and more academic, backlist, and I truly hope they survive, but OverDrive is getting it right.

I was a little embarrassed to post God is an Englishman on my reading list.  Delderfield is anything but edgy.  I had enjoyed his A Horseman Riding By, and the BBC television production of To Serve Them All My Days.  The library doesn't own God is an Englishman.  I could have ordered it through interlibrary loan, but I felt sure that someone would donate it.  Sure enough, the whole trilogy, including Theirs was the Kingdom and Give Us This Day fell into my lap earlier this year.  It is about a man, Adam Swann, who resigns his commission in the East India Company's army to start a horse-drawn hauling business, in a time when the railroads seem to be taking over.

I have to say that at the age of 56, reading Delderfield, I only now understand what drives the businessman.  But Swann is something of a dream employer.  My own experience of family-owned businesses is not that good.  Swann cares about his workers.  What I have observed is that families that own businesses often look out only for themselves, which is one reason I have a government job.


Steerforth said...

I love the television adaptation of To Serve Them All My Days. My ambition is to become like the headmaster in my old age.

Brett said...

Then you won't go far wrong. A man who shepherds children or those less fortunate than himself will have few regrets.