Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The Paperless Office!

As a teenager, I supported Greenpeace. I wanted to save the world or a least preserve part of its beauty for future generations. I learned in horror of our disappearing rainforests and the affect it was having on wildlife, the environment and the ozone layer.

Many of the predictions taught in geography classes in the 1980s and 1990s have proven untrue. They told us that Ireland’s population was in decline, and although we were part of a baby boom and would have to pit ourselves against each other for places in college and jobs, that the birth rate would continue to drop and our children would have their pick of schools and colleges.

We are currently experiencing the greatest explosion in the population of Ireland since before the Great Famine. The average class size is currently over 30 pupils, and many children are being taught in inferior prefab buildings. Schools have to set limits on the age a child can begin school, in an attempt to manage class sizes.

What has this got to do with publishing, I hear you ask?

Another prediction that we were taught was that everyone would operate in a paperless office by the time the 21st century came around. In the late 90s it seemed to be heading that way, as companies enthusiastically embraced the internet and email. It certainly has changed the business climate, but has it created a paperless office? Not at Maverick anyhow.

The mountain of paperwork that arrives on my desk on a daily basis engulfs me and I struggle to keep control of it. My recycle bin fills and overflows regularly.

Similarly, the imminent demise of the book has also been exaggerated. Over the last few years we have heard predictions of e-books and how publishers should be quaking in their boots about the advent of the e-book; How people will shun their books in favour of reading on their computers, iPods and other devices.

I get the feeling the ‘experts’ have got it wrong again, and you can quote me on this. It won’t happen in my lifetime. Watch this space...

Jean, the MD.

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