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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Upcoming holiday

There have been more requests this week at work than the same week last year, and we don't really know why. It's mainly scholars and teachers at the university who ask for material during the summer. They don't like the shorter opening hours, but we wouldn't be able to keep open like normal with so few staff members. This is the last summer before we have to start moving those 40 000 meters of books to a new storage. So this is the last chance to organize the collection so that it will be possible to move it without making too many mistakes. This week I got three extra people (students) to help out with one project. I have also engaged some of my colleagues in the other 16 projects we have to finish before the end of the year. It will be interesting to see if we can make it.

Desk duty today is not particularly busy. Three visitors and they manage without my assistance. It's the last working day before the Midsummer holiday and there aren't many people here. This evening I'm travelling by train and bus to the summer house. My mother and sister + family are on their way there also. Next week we will arrange a flea market at Furuboda, so we will be very busy. I will not have access to a computer, so there will not be any entries here for a while.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer sales

Desk duty on Thursday was slow, but interesting. A visitor from Ireland had challenging questions and she was really happy with the things she had found at our library. It's hard to believe that we would actually have something handwritten in the Irish language, but we did.

Friday afternoon I finally had time to do what I should have done several weeks ago - book my plane tickets. I had to use the computer at work for this, my own is not working properly. So I needed free time, and even though I was disturbed five times or so I managed to go through all the necessary processes. You not only have to book tickets, you also have to apply for entry to the US. It's a questionnaire online you have to fill in and then pay a fee. I booked a hotel room also. Arrival is August 9 in Minneapolis. I'm staying at the hotel (conveniently located close to the mall) for three nights and then I will be attending the Nelson family reunion in the Milaca area. I will probably leave to go to Chicago around August 16. Departure date is September 7 from New York. Nothing is really booked the last part of the visit.

A few days ago the summer pass on trains and buses was introduced, so now I can go anywhere in Skåne on one card. It's very affordable, two months of travel in the entire region for the cost of one normal monthly pass (restricted distance) for me. I have already been to two different malls, because the summer sales started this week. There was also a trunk flea market in Lund today. I haven't bought much, though. Just a sleeveless top and some socks. And a brand new backpack at the flea market.

The weather isn't that good here. Around 18-19 centigrades, windy and often rain showers. I hope it improves soon, we don't want the midsummer holiday next weekend to be like this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Library meeting in Stockholm

I got out of bed early Sunday morning to take the train to Stockholm. I arrived at 3 in the afternoon. Walked around in town for a while first before getting to my relatives' apartment. There were other visitors there, so it was a full house. They left later, though. We had dinner and talked about recent trips (they had been to the island of Åland).

Monday all of us went shopping in different places. Or maybe not so different, we discovered afterwards. I had been walking down the same road as Inger about the same time, but we never saw each other. It was fun to see the stores and collections, but I didn't get much. It seems like quite a few of the second hand stores overprice their goods. It's in fashion now to buy vintage items, so they charge very much for it, sadly (for me). I only got an egg cup made of wood. In the evening we were invited to the daughter of the house, Åsa. She has a cute dog that required our attention. We had a nice time chatting and eating cookies also.

This was a short visit, so Tuesday morning I said goodbye and walked off to the subway. The university is only one station away, so it was a three minute ride or something like that. I knew where the library was from previous conferences, so it was easy to get there. We were seven people who got a viewing of the brand new (and extremely expensive) scanner. It was noisy and seemed to have problems flipping the pages of even the easiest book. Not so impressive, in other words. We also got to see the old and rare collection and I'm probably damaged by my job, because I didn't think much of it. In my trade the only thing that matters is that the patron gets the requested book. What the book looks like, how old it is, or what illuminated illustrations there are in it don't interest me particularly. Okey, the one with real gold illustrations was a magnificent example of incredible craftmanship from about 20 years after the printing press was invented, I can admit to that. After a very nice lunch (roast beef) we had the actual meeting. We managed to agree on several things so there was some progress. We have different types of collections that we want to digitize and we discussed what the priorities should be. After the meeting I had a little time to go sightseeing before the train departed at 5 in the afternoon. I came home at 10 PM. A really long day that got even longer when my mother called me at 10.30 PM and wouldn't stop talking until I told her (twice) that I actually had to go to bed.

Today was a rather bad day in the stacks. I was tired, first of all. There were some unsolved tasks from the past two days (this I counted on). The number of requests was quite high for being mid June. I also had a meeting with a shelving construction company, so my new colleague had to drive the storage round. She had bad luck with several requests, and it meant that I had to drive off after lunch to get some things done. Locate the entry card she had forgotten in a transportation box, for instance. The day ended nicely though, with a strawberry cake to celebrate a colleague who had turned 50.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Picnic in the park

Wednesday evening the social club at work had a picnic in the city park. We arranged a boules tournament. We were only about 15 people (plus one very cute dog), but we had great fun. We also had a catered meal and drinks. I'm glad we have access to a car, because it was a heavy job to get everything delivered there. I was on the team that ended up last in the tournament, but it didn't really matter. The winners got books as prizes (what else)! We were lucky with the weather also, about one hour after we finished it started to rain quite a lot.

Yesterday morning we had the "end of the season" coffee and sandwiches. It's already summer, and it's hard to believe. Time really flies. This week the high school students graduate, and they do this in a very loud manner. They rent a truck and a very powerful CD-player and then they drive around town singing and shouting "school is out". So this week I make sure I stay away from the center of town, it's just too noisy.

On Sunday I will make one more trip to Stockholm. The meeting at the university library there is Tuesday, so I have a day and a half to visit with my relatives and do some sightseeing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trip to Copenhagen

Last week was shorter than usual, because we had a holiday Thursday. It was Ascension Day and the library was closed. Friday very few wanted to work. Just three people in total in the stacks, but we managed. Saturday I went to Ikea in Helsingborg. When my mother visited last time she gave me an idea, so I had to get some small things. I added a section to a small box standing on the floor in the hallway. So now it's more of a book case, with baskets in the openings. Good for keeping my handbags in. Also bought some more plastic containers and napkins.

Sunday I didn't do much, but yesterday I went to Copenhagen. June 6 is our national holiday. There are some celebrations with folkmusic, speeches, and people have lunches in the parks, but it's not really a big thing here. Many people have instead discovered the fact that it's a normal working day in Denmark. The shops are open there. I hadn't been there in a long time, so I had a list of shops to visit. I have never used the local transportation system as much before as I did now. The metro runs very often, and it's fast. There are no drivers on the metro trains, and that's a little concerning, but it seems to work well. I spent the entire day in Copenhagen and visited two large malls, the usual shopping streets downtown, two second hand stores, and a large number of clothing and shoe stores. I had lunch at Hard Rock cafe; grilled chicken and brownie+icecream. I found so many nice clothes! They have (mostly) different kinds of collections there. Even the visit to H&M was successful. I bought a very long rusty brown dress with covered back and very flattering front. I have never seen such a dress for sale at H&M, I was really surprised. In total I came home with ten pieces of clothing and one pair of sandals. It must be the closest to a shopping spree I have ever come. I made quite a few bargains, there were many clothes on sale. It was warm weather and I was very tired when I finally came back to my apartment at 8 in the evening. There had been problems with the trains also, several trains were overcrowded and I (and about 30 other people) were left stranded on a small station just before the airport (where Scandinavia's largest mall is). It took about an hour longer to get home than I had planned on.