A chief librarian is interested in commercial partnerships as a proactive and innovative way of responding to the economic challenges facing his service. One day he is contacted by a frozen food manufactures who say that they have a proposition for him, so he agrees to meet them.
A smartly dressed business man duly turns up at his office with an offer. They will provide a donation of £10,000 in return for product placement in a library book.
“What exactly do you have in mind?” asks the librarian.
“Well take Moby-Dick for example” says the businessmen. For £10,000 all you have to do is change the name of the main character to Captain Birdseye.”
“I can’t do that” says the librarian “it goes against all my professional ethics.”
“How about £20,000 plus a 10% fee for you?” offers the businessman.
“But Moby Dick is a classic – it’s part of the Western Cannon!”
“You drive a hard bargain - £50,000 plus a 20% fee”
I really don’t think I can...”
“How about we throw in a life supply of fish fingers?”
“Well, OK then, but I will have to win over my senior management team”
They shake hands on the agreement and the business man leaves.
The next day the chief librarian calls a meeting of his senior management team – professional librarians with a lifetime of service in libraries.
“I’ve got some good news and some bad news” he begins. “The good news is that Birdseye have offered us £40,000 for product placement in Moby-Dick”
“And what’s the bad news?”
“We have to lose the contract with Starbucks”