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By juxtaposing fatal colliery explosions in early twentieth-century Britain and in 2010 at Pike River, New Zealand, this paper aims to investigate the generalizability of…
By juxtaposing fatal colliery explosions in early twentieth-century Britain and in 2010 at Pike River, New Zealand, this paper aims to investigate the generalizability of the mock bureaucracy concept to underground coal mining disasters.
The main source is published official accident inquiries; a methodological reflection justifies the use of these materials.
Mock bureaucracies existed in the British underground coal mining milieu from the time when safety rules were first formulated in that industry context. As for Pike River, it is an exemplary case. The development in 1970s Britain of a new approach to safety management (the Robens system), and its subsequent export to New Zealand, means that a contemporary coal mine under financial duress, such as Pike River, is a prime site for mock bureaucracy to flourish.
Although the concept of mock bureaucracy has been applied to an explosion in an underground coal mine before, this is the first paper to explore the concept’s historical usage and generalizability in explaining the environing context of such explosions.
Any scheme whereby the treasures of a public reference library are made more widely known is sure of the sympathetic consideration of all serious librarians, for it is a lamentable fact that reference libraries generally, and especially those in the provinces, are very sparingly appreciated. Their primary function is largely defeated by the ignorance of those most likely to be benefited. When there is displayed any considerable use of the facilities for research and study, analysis will often show it to be a mere prostitution by competition‐mongers and acrostic‐solvers; the genuine student is seldom much in evidence.
WE hope that all London librarians will give full consideration to the project of the London Branch of the Library Association to provide a union catalogue of the non‐fiction Stocks of Metropolitan libraries. They are to be asked if they will co‐operate in the scheme by providing cards of their Stock of uniform size, or by making some contribution (a more difficult matter this) to the cost of the catlogue. Such a catalogue kept at the Central Library for Students, combined with the telephone and general goodwill, would bring about a co‐ordination of libraties on a voluntary basis with results in good as yet scarcely realized. The idea is not novel; it was rejected a score of years ago as visionary or impractable. It may have been visionary then; it is not so now. Modern librarians simply must get together if they wish to avoid being made to do so.
WHEN the open access method of lending books was first introduced on safe‐guarded lines at Clerkenwell, over twelve years ago, a considerable amount of dolorous prophecy was set free, which sometimes formed rather depressing reading for those responsible for the experiment. As time went on, it became clear that many of the prophets based their vaticinations on imperfect knowledge of the actual arrangements in use, and it was then only a simple matter of allowing complete play to one's sense of humour, while the comedy of errors proceeded. One imaginative prophet pictured the time when painstaking librarians would be supplanted by a uniformed janitor, who would assume the functions of librarian, by the easy process of supervising the filtration of readers through a turnstile, like sheep through a hurdle. Another equally resourceful Quidnunc saw in his mind's eye, all the riff‐raff of London, filing through the little Clerkenwell wicket, like a Cup‐tie crowd at the Crystal Palace, without introduction, guarantee, or slightest degree of responsibility. Probably it was only a humorist, and not a prophet, who forsaw the introduction of weighing machines at both entrance and exit wickets, as a means of preventing wholesale thefts. These, and many other absurd misconceptions of the actual mechanical arrangements employed to overcome various anticipated difficulties, formed a considerable proportion of the prophetic utterances which advertised the open access system in its early days.
Based on the belief that it is behaviour which constitutes risk rather than procedures, the paper focuses on the awareness of behavioural aspects in risk management…
Based on the belief that it is behaviour which constitutes risk rather than procedures, the paper focuses on the awareness of behavioural aspects in risk management techniques and the consequences that arise out of this awareness. It questions the traditional thinking that risk management is predominantly a set of procedures in the control of risk. The paper also considers the part played by public policy in managing risk and changing behaviour. The paper concludes that it is behaviour, and not the set of procedures, which is the risky factor; therefore in risk management there is need to focus on developing human behaviour that is capable of being flexible in an event.
We issue a double Souvenir number of The Library World in connection with the Library Association Conference at Birmingham, in which we have pleasure in including a special article, “Libraries in Birmingham,” by Mr. Walter Powell, Chief Librarian of Birmingham Public Libraries. He has endeavoured to combine in it the subject of Special Library collections, and libraries other than the Municipal Libraries in the City. Another article entitled “Some Memories of Birmingham” is by Mr. Richard W. Mould, Chief Librarian and Curator of Southwark Public Libraries and Cuming Museum. We understand that a very full programme has been arranged for the Conference, and we have already published such details as are now available in our July number.
THE fact that the forthcoming conference of the Library Association is to be held at Eastbourne this year should provide it with an additional official interest, as it is here that the Association Hon. Solicitor and Legal Adviser holds the important office of Town Clerk. Mr. Fovargue is the authority on Library Law in all its aspects, and is the author of several books on this important subject. We are particularly happy in being able to print an article from his pen in our special Conference number. The programme of the proceedings is by now, no doubt, in the hands of our readers, and will be found to be less crowded, but no less useful for that, than in previous years. Apart from the usual business programme, which should prove full of interest, the social side has been fully catered for and delightfully arranged. Several interesting motor trips are to take place, and delegates will be afforded an opportunity of enjoying the charms of the beautiful county of Sussex as well as those of one of our most favoured of seaside resorts.
The death of Andrew Carnegie has removed one of the greatest constructive figures in the social economy of the world. A man of humble origin, who gained his privileges and power by genius and industry, he recognized the drawbacks from which his youth suffered, and sought to remove them for other people. The making of his wealth was a romance, not always in the most pleasant strain perhaps, but with that we can only be concerned indirectly. What does concern us was that he was the outstanding example of the man of great wealth who returns the money he has won from the community to the community. The library movement in this country and in America owes its greatest impetus to his consistent liberality, and his name and fame are secure.
Our nineteenth volume opens with this page in circumstances as unsettled and uncertain as any in the history of this or any other journal. In defiance of prophecy the European conflict drags its colossal slow length wearily along, bearing with it the hopes and fears of the whole human race. It is not to be wondered at that the aims for which we strive have not made great strides in the year that has just closed. Important as we recognize literature and its distribution to be, the pressing material needs of the people often cause them to lose sight of the invincible fact that the freedom of the human spirit, its intellectual and humane expansion, are, after all is said, the ultimate aims of the war. It will not be of abiding service to the British race if in conquering the Germans we sacrifice beyond redemption all those sources of sweetness and light which have been the outcome of centuries of British endeavour. We do not fear that such sacrifice will be demanded of us, but the logic of material facts demonstrates that all who care for schools, libraries, museums, art galleries, music, and all other agencies for the moral and spiritual uplifting of men, must be on their guard against the well‐meaning but ignorant encroachments of those who would rather “save money” by abolishing them, than, for example, by foregoing their own individual luxuries.