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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Leaking sprinkler system again

It has been an eventful week at work. If people hadn't become sick and meetings were cancelled, I would have attended seven meetings. Now I only had to attend five. That's a lot for someone who works in the stacks. I have now finished packing the donated books. I was able to weed the collection a little but it still ended up being 46 boxes.

Thursday two people from Stockholm University Library came to visit. They had asked about an article service we have because they want to start something similar. We showed them our routines from beginning to end, including the database work and scanning. They said it was useful and I hope they learned something.

Friday there were yet again problems with the sprinkler system. There were minor leaks but no books were damaged. The sprinklers had to be shut off, which meant that we were not allowed to work on the fifth floor for security reasons. It got complicated for several people as many computer programmes are locked to certain pc:s. Some of my colleagues moved to other desks on lower floors and used laptops instead. I could check my e-mail at another computer but for the most part I worked in the stacks that day.

Since I wasn't allowed to spend the weekend at work because of the sprinkler issues, I had to find something else to do. Yesterday I went by train to Trelleborg on the south coast. I have been thinking about this ever since they opened the rail line for passenger trains this past December. There have been cargo trains running for many years since Trelleborg is a large sea port served by enormous cargo and passenger ferries. The train station is right by the sea and it was the first time I have seen it. I spent the day in town shopping. One of the department stores had everything 50 % off and I wondered about this until someone explained that it was going to close down. I found a hanging wardrobe made of fabric, to hang in the attic space. The one I had was damaged so I needed to get a new one. It got to be very cheaply as I also had a gift certificate. Trelleborg is a small town but it's nice with second hand stores (I found three), interior design shops and several cozy places to eat. I had a chicken sandwich and a rocky road cookie at a bakery.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book donation

It took about a week to get the hot water back in my apartment. It was ok to shower at work but I'm glad not to have to anymore.

It has been a full week, like usual. I have spent almost every afternoon in the basement of a hospital institution to pack books. We have been given a donation of about 68 shelf meters of books on psychiatry. Unfortunately, the books were not placed in a good order so I had to rearrange them first. There is a card catalogue and we really need the books to be placed in catalogue order, otherwise we will never locate them if requested. I was surprised to find three of our books there, but they had previously had a separate book deposition and all those books had apparently not been returned to us. The packing continues next week, as I didn't even get half of it done.

The weather is more boring now, with rain and high winds. It's not much of a winter so far. But admittedly, the train service works better in these conditions than freezing cold and lots of snow.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hectic start of the year

It's Sunday and I am at work today for two reasons: to do some research and to take a shower. I understand if that last thing sounds odd, but there is no hot water at home. I should really be happy about having cold water, but I don't want to shower in it. There hasn't been any hot water in the entire block for a week due to a faulty pump. They couldn't fix it immediately so we will have to endure this a few more days.

The first few weeks of the year have been very hectic at the library. A few thousand new students wanted library cards and also identity cards, both of which are issued here. The students also have a gigantic interest in our books, so we have retrieved material for them in huge amounts. In addition to this, I have attended a lecture on what to do with water-damaged books. We have some experience from this, unfortunately. If you can't dry them right away, you have to freeze them. I have also moved a set of folio format books to storage. We used our small truck and had to drive three times to move 45 shelf meters. One nice thing was a moving-in-party last week for the acquisitions department. They had their staff members spread out over the library before, but have now gathered all of them (and the work) in one place. They offered very nice food and homebaked cookies at this party.

At home the Christmas ornaments are now back in the attic. I also had to vacuum the apartment, which I really don't do that often. Apart from the usual chores, I haven't done much. Yesterday I was at my favorite mall and got some small things. A green top and a handbag in a yellow pattern, for instance.

The climate has been cold recently. Below zero temperatures most days and some snow. Occasionally it has been very slippery. It is getting milder again, it's just above freezing now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

First real work week of the year

This is the first full working week of the year and we have been very busy. There was a large backlog because several libraries in the network had been closed over the holidays. The extended loan-period ended Monday and many people handed back the books that day. Now everybody seems to gear up for the new year. The students are already borrowing books for their classes starting in a few weeks and my colleagues send me invitations to meetings scheduled on several dates all the way until June. I have already attended the first one.

Yesterday we got a new employee in the stacks. She will only work there in the mornings but it's still a good thing. We have been struggling with many tasks lately and really needed an extra staff member. I gave the introductory speech and showed her how to retrieve books. She will have a hard time because she will work in the ephemera department in the afternoons. Work in both departments is based on knowledge and experience - learning all that at once will be a challenge.

The pedometer I got as a Christmas present at work is already broken. The quality wasn't that great, apparently.

Apart from work, there hasn't been that much done. The weather was rather bad over the weekend so I didn't go anywhere. There are sports on TV that I sometimes watch, like biathlon and other ski-sports. I engage in the research requests also, of course.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year

Last week I worked Tuesday-Wednesday. There wasn't much to do apart from sorting the returned books. New Year's Eve is usually quiet here and there was nothing out of the ordinary. I made a chicken casserole with cauliflower, and had pecan pie with whipped cream for dessert. Very tasty, all of it. I had a very nice view of the fireworks from my balcony. The four days of leave were spent doing several things. Mostly chores. I went to the grocery stores (there are three in my little town) a few times to stock up on food. It meant that I have also cooked a fair amount for future lunches at work. The freezer is now very full. I also did some handwashing, cleaning and went to the recycling place with plastic etc. There have been a few crosswords solved also. I got a new research request and started on it this weekend. It was the first time I have ever researched the Swedish church records for St Petersburg, Russia. There was a Swedish congregation there in the 19th century. It was interesting, you could tell from people's names that many of them came from the Baltic states and Finland. The ones I was looking for only spent four years there and then went back to Sweden.

The library will be closed to visitors until Thursday. It's unusually long. The staff could work though. I worked today and it was obvious that our patrons had missed the information about the closure. Today and tomorrow most people consider to be normal days. The other large libraries are open. The only day which is a holiday is Wednesday (Twelfth Day). I had hoped we didn't have to drive the storage round today but there were too many requests. We were three staff members and we were busy all day.

It's now below zero temperature outside and a bitterly cold wind. No snow yet. I used my new down coat today and it was definitely worth the money (about 20 USD - a marvelous bargain).

Monday, December 28, 2015

Very nice Christmas holiday

I worked Monday-Wednesday last week. Not many others did, so I was busy. Wednesday evening I engaged myself in baking - three different cookies. All of them rather experimental as I don't always follow the recipe. Thursday, Christmas Eve, I brought the cookies with me on the train to Göteborg. My sister's in-laws usually invite us all to holiday celebrations at their apartment. We have the main meal there (very tasty with herring, homemade crisp bread, roasted ham, meatballs etc) and then stay over to the next day. This year I got some presents; necklace, fudge candy and an egg cup. Generally, the number of presents was moderate this year, which is a good thing. We have all given money to charities - more needed now than ever before. Three of us also attended the midnight mass at a nearby church.

Back in Borås I stayed with my sister and her family. Their kitchen was being renovated, which meant that the fridge was in the living room and there were some logistical challenges. But I got to sleep on the couch like usual and it all worked out well. Over the weekend I went shopping with my mother and sister (got a pair of boots), went to the movie theater to see a hilarious Swedish movie with my mother and delivered the research I had done for one of my mother's friends (and got dinner there). Before I arrived my mother had gone shopping for me at a mail order outlet. She bought a black down winter jacket of high quality at a ridiculously low price (about one tenth of the original price). She had also found a pair of mittens and a pair of jeans very cheaply. If anyone is wondering, bargain shopping is my mother's favorite hobby. We all benefit from it. The deals she finds are just amazing.

Today I got a ride to Göteborg and first went to lunch at my favorite restaurant. I also went shopping at a closing down sale (a plus size chain is closing down at all locations), where I got a long tunic. After buying a blouse at a very crowded H&M I took the train back home.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Christmas letters I have received, both in print and electronically. I especially noticed the Farm Fleet calendar from the Nelsons in Stillwater! It will be on the wall next year, for sure. Also a special greeting to Anders and Lydia in New York, who welcomed their first child about a week ago!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Decorated tree

We had lots to do at the library the last full week of the year. I attended four meetings and drove two storage rounds. We were one staff member short and that was noticeable. The number of requests are going down at this time of year but the returns are increasing in volume.

This year's Christmas present at work was a pedometer. At the same time a competition was arranged. The next three months there will be a prize offered to the employee who walks the most at his/her job. I don't know if that will be much of a competition. The ones working in the stacks walk the most, there is little doubt about that.

At home there is now an overloaded Christmas tree in the living room. It is decorated with all sorts of ornaments I have inherited, received as gifts or bought (or made) myself. There are items shaped like santas, angels, apples, hearts, balls, pine cones, cupcakes, wreaths, stars, icecream cones, shoes, snowmen, flags, bells and all kinds of figurines. It looks very nice.