Bookwitch bites #63

What’s wrong with me? Earlier this month when I was between dentist and train (more comfortable than you’d think) I went to the library to kill an hour or so. Actually, that doesn’t sound quite as positive as I intended it to.

Anyway, as I came round the corner I spied a whole class of little children just departing from their library visit, and I was so relieved. And that is so wrong of me. I ought to be pleased that they went to the library. I should be happy they had a library to go and – almost – disturb me in. (Though since it was Sweden, the threat to libraries is somewhat smaller.)

But it set me thinking. You often (well, perhaps you don’t, but I do) see little school groups out in Sweden. So when my train had delivered me to School Friend’s tender care, I had to ask her about risk assessments. She had no idea what they are, and as a pre-school teacher for children up to the age of six, she ought to know. Basically, they just grab them and go out. Almost as though they were normal.

Roundabout the same time, I briefly visited the university library in St Andrews. It’s recently been done up and it does look very nice. I spent some time in front of the screen showing various bits of information. It seems that one of the new-fangled things they have is ‘behind the scenes sortation equipment.’

I can almost precisely imagine what it’s like and what it does. I’m not that much of an idiot. But the word. Is it a word? Sortation? I kept staring at it, wondering. I suppose I should have asked.

The days are getting shorter and it’s almost that time of year again. I am a serious risk to local children. We are big on risk assessments here, and I’d like to think they do some good, but I suspect not. Maybe they don’t actually write down that they think the Bookwitch will harm young readers, but I have been advised to get myself CRB checked.

For various reasons I won’t be doing so. It’s not exactly free, and now that I’ve paid to prove I’m not British, I don’t feel like forking out to prove that (deep down) I’m a perfectly lovely old witch. And what I didn’t find out until recently is that they are only good for as long as you stay near children. A gap of three months and you’re no longer considered safe.

But at least I never give pennies for the Guy. That will keep some of them slightly safer.

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