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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lots of work

There has been little going on here except for work. The semester started last week and we were overloaded with requests. The students get their reading lists a week or so ahead of the start, so we have had a lot to do. Some days we just barely made the deadline (which is noon). This is with full staff in the stacks.

I got a task to do that will take a while - measure the entire collection. Really, all of it. We actually don't know how many books we have. A rough estimate says 6-7 million volumes. I can't measure this in number of books, though. I have to use shelf meters instead. I asked the newspaper librarian if he knew how many meters of newspapers we have, and he just laughed at me. They are kept in a gigantic storage, and the collection grows about 100 meters a year. I might have to guess at some of the numbers......

My cold lasted about a week, so I am doing fine now. This past weekend I made a trip to my favorite shopping mall outside Helsingborg, Väla. There wasn't much shopping done, but I got some small things and two sleeveless tops on sale. There is a new store near the train station in Helsingborg that sells baked goods and all sorts of candy. I got a chocolate cake there that was very nice.

I have heard from some of my Australian relatives and they are all fine. They were not personally affected by the floods, apart from being sent home from work and experiencing some electricity failures. They are of course shocked by the horrifying scenes and widespread devastation. It will take many years to rebuild and recover. We have had some pretty bad weather also here, but we can stand two months of arctic cold and massive amounts of snow. It is not (supposed to be) a surprise to us. For some strange reason the movie The Day After Tomorrow has been shown on TV here several times during the coldest time. It includes lots of ice and a famous library in New York.....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bad cold

The week at work has been troublesome. I noticed already Sunday that I was getting sick, but I have worked the entire week anyway. I have a pretty amazing cold, with some additional issues like nosebleed and headache. My back isn't doing that good either. I got treatment by the chiropractor yesterday so now I can lift my hands above my head again. But I'm still sore. My colleagues are really nice and do part of my job too. I have been moving around rather slowly here, and haven't been able to do all the tasks.

The news from Australia are worrying. Several of my relatives live in the areas that are affected by the floods. Bundaberg has been mentioned a few times on the news, and that's where Nils and Elna Nilsson lived, along with their children. All of them are gone now, but there are still relatives in that area. My father and I visited Bundaberg in 1998, and we got to see harvesting of sugar canes, among other things.

Yesterday a short drama series started on TV, based on real events. It caused much commotion in the library world in 2004 when one of the bosses at the Royal Library was found to have stolen valuable books at his job and sold them abroad. He died in a self-inflicted accident before he could be charged. It was interesting to see what they had included in the series, and what they had left out. They had filmed it partly at the Royal Library. It didn't give such a positive image of the librarians there, and I wonder what they have to say about it. It is fiction, but much of it actually happened. It was discussed extensively during breaks here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slow beginnings

Time for the first entry this year. The beginning has been mostly slow. The first week there were four working days. For some reason Twelfth Day is a holiday here. Our database was down for an upgrade, so we didn't have so many requests. The students are lazy and can't be bothered to fill in a request by hand. But we still kept busy with shelving and I also made a serious attempt at clearing my desk. For Christmas we got to pick a present from a website, and it arrived this past week. It was a white throw with dalahorses on. Very nice.

I got two more packages this past week. One bath towel my sister had won in a slogan competition (or perhaps they gave them away, sometimes you can get things for free if you send in the barcode from the product). I also bought some things (on sale) on mail order, just two tops and some underwear. For being the after-Christmas season, I haven't been shopping at all much. I don't really need anything. Travelling has been difficult also, and I don't want to stay in Lund longer than I have to, because of the risk of train cancellations.

Right now we have a more normal winter here. It's a lot milder and the snow is melting quite fast. There is still ice underneath, so it's treacherous to walk on. I haven't been out much this weekend, just to get groceries. I have watched winter sports on TV and spent hours taking down the Christmas ornaments. I only have the curtains left now, and then I have to bring the tree back to the attic. It's kind of sad to remove all of it, it has made this dark time brighter. Like I suspected, I couldn't fit all the ornaments in the boxes, because I have bought more items.