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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Challenges at work

This week at work has meant quite a few challenges by our patrons. A patron came in and asked what trunier means in French. He said it was a military title. We went through all the French language and military encyclopedias we have from around 1700 and on, and we came up with nothing. I really hope the word was incorrectly spelled, otherwise we can't help him. Another patron handed in four requests for Swedish books he couldn't find in the catalog..... It took me over two hours to locate three of them. One was a newspaper, one was "grey" print (uncataloged) and the third was an article in a magazine. The fourth I actually gave up on. It's not like me to do that, but not even the Royal Library had it, and it was unlikely that we would have it then.

Desk duty on Thursday was incredibly busy. I hardly got to sit down. There were many scholars who read manuscripts and old books, and they had lots of questions also. I felt slightly braindead afterwards, but at the same time it had been quite fun.

This Tuesday we had a meeting with a company that sells shelving systems. The meeting was really not interesting. It was very different from the other company, the one in Denmark where they treated us to lunch, dinner and a factory tour. This Swedish company sent one representative over, and what he basically did was to apologize for the crappy system they had sold to us a few years ago. He promised that the electronic part of the shelves had improved since then, and I definitely hope so. We have had lots of problems with it. If the shelves get stuck and we can't open them (it's a 10 meter high compact system on rails), we miss our deadline and have to send messages to all the patrons waiting for the books. It's annoying, especially since we can't fix the problems ourselves. If we get to have a say, we want the shelves from the Danish company. Now, we don't get to have a say, because the lowest bidder gets the job.

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