Thursday, 5 March 2009

Ex Libris

When I first started to produce local history books I donated copies to the various local history archives in this area Canterbury Cathedral Library, Margate Library and Ramsgate Library.

After a while several people told me that the books weren’t appearing on the shelves at Margate Library, so I stopped donating them to all but Ramsgate Library, as I know what happens to them there.

All of the 120 local books I publish are under £10 and the object of this exercise was to make freely available to local people, with those that are reprints of scarce and expensive local history books, that have to be examined under supervision, it thought this would have the added advantage of saving librarians time and therefore our money.

I was quite surprised when I visited the newly rebuilt Ramsgate Library to find all but two of my local publications locked behind glass with the scarce and valuable local books.

I mentioned this to one of the librarians but last time I looked they were still there, so I shall try emailing them.

The strange and peculiar way that government run organisations operate never fails to amaze me. I find this even more bizarre as so many of the people I meet who work for these organisations are both charming and intelligent, perhaps the government needs to pass a bill of common sense or something.


  1. They all ready have a department for that it is called HEALTH AND SAFTEY everone of their dictates have been run by the common sense department and failed that way they know to make it law .Obviously the Library are using the same procedure thus saving money for KCC. Who said HSE was a usless interfering waste of money it wasnt me I only infured it

  2. "Common sense is not so common"[Voltaire]and too often can cost you your job.

  3. Hi Michael.

    Behind glass they are, as some people in this world don't understand the words Lending Library! You have kindly donated one of each copy for the use by the general public (just ask!!) - Ramsgatonians and students alike even someone from the Inca tribe if one finds themself in Ramsgate Library at some point in the future (DNA cloning and all that!) So they are being kept safe for generations of public to come not just someone tomorrow who fancies a copy for their own collection. The staff cannot be blamed for everything!


  4. Hey Don when I told the HSE that building the Pleasurama development with out escapes onto the cliff top was likely to get over 1,000 people killed or injured, their reply was that they couldn’t look into the matter until the development was built.

    20.44 not a lot changes does it?

    TDUBU as I print them all as I need them and have offered to replace any that get lost, damaged or stolen, this just isn’t a valid argument.

    They have for instance Mockett’s journal the 1836 edition worth £100 to £200 behind glass next to my reprint of it that is in print at £8.99 the same can be said for Lewis I have a copy of the 1736 edition for sale for £600 and theirs is rightly behind glass too, but why my cheap reprint is beggars belief.

    Even if it did there is no continuity, take Moses picturesque views of Ramsgate 1817 I have a copy in stock for £450 their 1817 edition once again rightly behind glass, however my £3.99 reprint is out on the library shelves available for loan, from the stamps inside you can see several people have borrowed it. As it has a map in it showing where he drew the pictures it makes for a charming walk round the harbour, but is always at risk from seagulls et al, this is a risk I am prepared to take and cough up another one however many times it takes.


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