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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Last Thursday was Waffle Day, and I celebrated this event twice during the weekend. I cheated and bought ready-made mix. I tried the waffles with whipped cream and raspberry jam, and then pancake syrup. Any way is ok with me.

We changed to daylight savings time between Saturday and Sunday. It has been hard to get out of bed so early these past few days, but I will adjust after a while. There have been many requests to process at work so far this week, even though it's Easter week and the students don't have any classes. It seems like they have papers to write instead.

I had to go home early from work today because the janitor was going to inspect the electricity and radiators in every apartment. Three of my radiators only reach about half the power, and I have really noticed during this very cold winter. That was the only complaint I had. He also checked the bathroom for leaks, but he said it was as dry as a bathroom can possibly get.

I might have mentioned my upcoming birthday (on Monday). I have already received some presents in the mail. Tomorrow afternoon I will take the train to Borås and spend five days with my sister and her family. There will be some sort of celebration on Sunday.

For those keeping record, my niece now has a name: Inez Elna Beata. The first two are family names, the third is new to this clan.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Astronomy question

Monday afternoon was basically the first time since the after-Christmas sales that I went clothes shopping. I took the bus to Nova shopping center in Lund. I only found a pair of shoes and two tops, so it wasn't that excessive.

It's the second rainy Saturday in a row and I have stayed indoors. Really boring. But at least it is spring now. Yesterday there was a record temperature in Lund, over 19 centigrades. I have tried to rearrange my closet so that the summer clothes are easy to reach.

It was a heavy week at work. It was my turn to drive the storage round. Friday there was a woman there to analyze the work environment. We had complained about the heavy chores, and she said there was no wonder we have back problems. We lift crates filled with books between the car, the loading docks, the circulation desk and the media desk. She really didn't have any solution for us, and we didn't think she would have.

Desk duty on Thursday was kind of interesting. I got a phone call there from a scholar in the Netherlands! His field was astronomy and he asked about a book printed 1609 that we have. He wanted to know if there were any illustrations in it. I had to check, because it sometimes doesn't say in the catalog. There weren't any. When I sent him the message via e-mail Friday, he answered and explained why he wanted to know. He was looking for information about two constellation maps from early 17th century that had been cut out from an unknown book and pasted on cardboard. He had found these maps in Leiden, the Netherlands. He is trying to locate a book that has these maps still attached. Without knowing the title, it's a little difficult.....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring cleaning

We had spring cleaning at work this week. The janitor had arranged for a large container and we were asked to throw away everything we didn't want anymore. I did a tour of the stacks and got rid of lots of stuff. Old lamps, light bulbs, metal and wooden pieces left there by craftsmen, broken pieces of furniture, old book ends and a few other things. I did four trips to the container, so it was a fair amount of junk.

Saturday was really rainy and I didn't do much, apart from watching sports on TV and rearrange my genealogy files (into a more strict subject order).....

This morning I was incredibly active and took the train to Lund to go swimming at the indoor pool. There were lots of families there, but it worked out, since they were not in the same area and the sauna was practically empty. Afterwards I had lunch at a small café; a grilled turkey sandwich.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tasty pizza

There isn't that much to report. The weather is improving day by day. There are still some patches of snow in Lund, but this week it started to melt faster. It is now above freezing temperatures. The snowdrops and crocuses are blooming in the park in front of the library. There are also quite a few bird formations in the sky indicating that the migrant birds are returning. It's later than normal, though.

The only thing worth writing about, apart from the weather, is the take out pizza I had for dinner Tuesday. It's on rare occasions that I buy pizza in town, I usually make my own. This one was chicken with mushrooms and pretty tasty. I can't even remember the last time I got pizza in Kävlinge, and it turned out that one of the pizza places had closed down without me noticing it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday in Lund

The past weekend I was pretty active. Saturday my friend Eva and I went by train to Lund. We did some minor shopping and just strolled around in the city. There was a genealogy fair in the city hall that we looked at. The different societies and archives had book sales and information about their databases and so on. After returning home, we exchanged Christmas presents! It is ridiculous, but even though we live in the same town, we hardly see each other. The weather has been so bad this year that we haven't done any more trips than necessary.

The rest of the weekend I dusted, vacuumed, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, cleaned the stove, cooked for two lunches and watched winter sports on TV.

Today was a pretty regular Monday, the requests had accumulated over the weekend so we had a lot to do. We are in the process of implementing a sorting function, so that the requests come out of the printer already sorted in picking order. It is one of my more technically gifted colleagues who has devoted his time and effort to making this happen. We have been talking about it for years. It is very difficult because of the complicated call number system. We are in the beginning of it, and there are problems of course, but it seems promising. We lost one part time worker in stacks a week ago (he retired), and he will not be replaced, so we have to get this up and running soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Safari week

It has been a very busy week. The libraries in the university network, a total of about 30, have been engaged in a library safari. The librarians have done excursions to the other libraries, to see how they are organized, decorated, how they place the books, or to chat with their colleagues. We work in the same town (most of us, there are libraries also in Malmö and Helsingborg belonging to the network), but we rarely have time or opportunity to visit each other. Now we made an event of it; the head office arranged a seminar, several libraries had quizzes with prizes, and some arranged lectures. At my library we had four lectures, and I gave one with a colleague. It was about an article service we have. The students can ask for journal articles and get them as pdf-files. People have asked how it is done in practice, so we showed them. First we had a presentation on the computer, then we did a tour of the stacks and finally we ended at the media office, where the articles are scanned. There were only four librarians interested, but it turned out that they had a lot of intelligent questions, so it was fun to get feedback.

The final event of the safari was a party at the head office Thursday evening. The social club had been asked to arrange it, and I must say that it was a great success! Even though it's a lot of work for us, we enjoyed it. I have been shopping for the decorations, and it wasn't easy to find things suitable for a safari party. I managed to find napkins with elephants and giraffes on, and then I also found some small toys in the shape of wild animals that I placed on a glass plate with green sand on (to illustrate the savanna). We had a Mexican style buffet that was great and the caterer surprised us by showing up 45 minutes early (we are certainly not used to that happening). Everything went well and people seemed to enjoy themselves, so I think we can conclude that the party was a smash hit!

Because of the safari, I am out of sync, so to speak. I didn't get any desk duty this week (at my own request), so that's why I write this on another day than normal. In addition to the regular work today, we (the chairman and I) also had to clean up the mess at the head office and bring back the chairs, tables and decorations to our library.

And I was right about the colleague who asked for help with his family history. He was very surprised to learn about his grandmother and other relatives living in about the same area, unaware of his family.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Difficult research task

It's not often I have dinner in town, but Thursday evening I had lasagne at a small restaurant in Lund. It was quite good, but the place was rather noisy - lots of students. When I came back home I stopped by at a local hair salon. The last time I got a hair cut was in December, so it was definitely time for a revisit.

Saturday was spent at the regional archive again. I got a question from one of my colleagues about family history research. In his case it was yet another of those tragic stories. His father never knew who his parents were. It has taken two visits to the archive to get it sorted out and I still couldn't find all the details. It was a very difficult case. The mother had given birth to him in a parish where she didn't live. It said what parish she had come from, but that was one of the largest cities in southern Sweden and there was no index for the household records. Since the matter in my opinion was important and I couldn't find a way around it, I started going through the records page by page and was lucky to find her on page 130. When my colleague gets this information tomorrow he will be surprised. His father had uncles and cousins living in the same town as he, unaware of each other.

Today was the Vasaloppet cross country ski race and I watched some of it on TV. It's a 90 km race and it's beyond me that people want to do it. They started at 8 AM and people are still arriving at the finish ten hours later. The race was won by a Swede and it was a tough fight all the way until the finish line - he won by less than 30 cm over another Swede.

Today I have been out twice to get rid of the recycleables, which meant that I have also been grocery shopping twice. The salmon pie I made to have for lunches at work might not last that long..... It was incredibly tasty, and it surprised me. The last time I tried making a seafood pie it didn't turn out so good. This time I exchanged the milk for creme fraiche, lemon juice and grated cheese, and baked it longer time.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Museum visit

Tuesday afternoon the social club at work arranged a guided tour of the zoological museum in Lund. It is less than 200 meters from the library and I had never been there before. It is only open by appointment. It was three floors of stuffed animals and bone frames of all kinds of animals from all over the world. The emphasis was on European animals, but there were several showcases with exotic animals, like Tazmanian tiger (extinct) and large snakes. Also an extensive collection of shells from Java. It was interesting to see the bone structures of tigers and polar bears. They don't look at all that impressive without the fur, except for their teeth, of course. The aurochs (extinct large cow-like animal) bone structure on display had been preserved in the Skåne peat land for thousands of years. It had a hole in the spine, and according to the guide, it was from an arrowhead. Very interesting museum.

The treatment the chiropractor gave me yesterday was not pleasant. My right hip is not in good condition, unfortunately. It's not really the hip, it's a large back muscle that gets stuck in pieces of the spine and causes all sorts of problems, all the way down my right leg. Very annoying.

Right now I have desk duty in the manuscript reading room. The first hour there was no one, but now there are three people. One is a colleague doing local history research. Another is an elderly gentleman (a scholar) who used to have access to the stacks (more than 20 years ago). He had asked for some volumes we couldn't find in the catalogue. He actually remembered what they looked like and also where they had been placed in the stacks 20-30 years ago. The books were oversize, and that could be in three different places. I brought him to the stacks and we found the volumes after a while. It's kind of embarassing that the patrons know the stacks better than the staff. But he was very happy to get the books and he thanked me about three times for being given the favor of once again visiting the stacks. Not everybody thinks the stacks are that exciting, I must admit.