Remember back in the early days of the Internet when the talking heads were spouting off about how we'd all soon have "paperless" offices, librarians would be obsolete by 2000, and nobody would read print books anymore. Yeah, they were obviously all high on something.
At my place of employment we're winding down our current fiscal year, with the new budget taking hold sometime in July. Essentially, this means I get a couple of weeks of "down time" where I don't have to worry about ordering anything. As much as I enjoy ordering books (and believe you me, I do), I enjoy this brief respite because it gives me a chance to tie up some of the more tedious and monotonous projects that I've been neglecting. This year, that happens to be cleaning out our office.
I work in large room that is split up into cubicles. There are five of us in this office, and four of us are fairly new to the department (no more than a couple of years). Basically this means we all inherited a bunch of "stuff" that we were too scared to throw out at the time. Also, my boss had been here for 15 years, having just retired this past spring. You probably all know where this is going. Yep, I've been bit by the cleaning bug. The gems I've discovered! Let me tell you. Photocopies of old journals used for ordering children's books from 2004. Old memos from our branches letting us know what they need for their collections - dating back from 1994. Various training manuals on topics like sexual harassment in the work place dating back from 2003. Old equipment nobody uses anymore (stamps, calculators with receipt printers, a scary old Rolodex). You get the idea.
There are two types of librarians - those who throw stuff out with reckless abandon (that would be me) and those who horde crap for years (95% of the children's librarians I know). This office used to be occupied by the latter, and I'm the type that cannot abide clutter - especially when that clutter is junk that nobody has looked in years. I subscribe to the school of thought that if you haven't touched it or needed it in nine months it needs to go. Like yesterday. Get it out of here.
So that's what I've been up to. Throwing out a mountain of paper that very likely equals a couple thousand sq. ft. of rain forest (yes, I've been recycling it) and sneezing my head off from all the dust. But the good news is that it looks a billion times better in my office now. Now to tackle the stuff I have buried in my own personal files. Geez....