Just another sign of the so-called corporate world’s mentality…
I work for a rather large company that specializes in the insurance industry. Among the many benefits the company offered such as an onsite gym, 3 cafeteria’s , health insurance, and saving plans was a library. Oh, it’s still there but it has taken on a different form. Allow me to explain….
You see, this library, while it wasn’t very big, had a nice selection of some recent and older fiction books that an employee was able to check out, free of charge, at any time. In addition it had the usual plethora of self-help books and what seemed to be an infinite supply of books that dealt with matters in the business world.
Well, a while back, the powers that be recently declared that in order to focus on their “core” (their word, not mine) business, they would not be ordering any more new fiction books and would concentrate their catalogue on things central to the insurance industry. They tried to justify this as they always do. Cost savings. Being an avid reader, naturally I was disappointed but figured, Okay, it’s their company and they can do what they please with it. I have a hard time with the reasoning though because I just can’t imagine a billion dollar corporation sweating out a couple of hundred bucks every month in order to purchase new fiction. Little did I know.
I think it was last Thursday or Friday when I wandered into my little oasis here at work and was looking for a good read. Usually they have anywhere between 10 to 20 shelves stacked with older works of fiction and while the variety is not what you find at your local public library, it was good enough to suit my needs. I made my way up the steps and much to my chagrin was greeted by the following.
Each shelve was kinda roped off and taped around each section was a message that advised us patrons that:
“The (insert company name here) library is focusing on its core services and these books are no longer available for check out. Please do not remove them from the shelves. Please visit your local library for selections of this type. Thank you for your patronage.”
I made my way to the front desk and I asked what the logic was behind this idea. I mean, the books are there aren’t they? I was told that yes indeed, the books are there but they won’t be for long. I asked what their fate was going to be, were they going to be donated to a charitable organization or given to senior citizens or to local schools or just plain destroyed? Nobody seemed to know for sure but the staff thought the books might be sold off to the employees. I asked, “What if nobody wants to buy them, what if they just want to read them? What will happen to them then? Either nobody knew or nobody was telling…
Look, in the grand scheme of things, I realize that this little incident is a mere blip on the radar. It’s not like they're going to hold a book burning party or anything like that. They are, after all, still dedicated to keeping a wide variety of self-help and how to succeed at business books available for us avid readers. I can’t wait…
Somehow, my work place, not the most exciting place in the world to begin with, is a little duller than usual today.