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Wednesday, December 19, 2012


We are rather busy at work at this time of year. The students return all their books before the holidays. It's a favorable Christmas with only two working days next week. Very few people will be here then. I have given the movers time off those two days, so that also I could get vacation. I'm going to Göteborg like usual on Monday morning (by train) and will spend about a week with my family in that area. There is very little snow left, it melted again. It's more like a normal winter here now, just above freezing and rainy. It's dark and boring. (The movers are happy about the absence of snow, though).

This years' Christmas present from work was a set of four ceramic bowls. Not that exciting, but might be useful. My father and his girlfriend came to visit this Sunday to give me a present too. I already knew it was a frying pan, but they had still wrapped it carefully. We went to the mall to get some small things. My father helped me repair the shower glass base that I had injured my foot on earlier. The wound has healed fairly well and I don't have to walk with sandals anymore.

This week I have been shopping for more presents, but I still have some left to buy. I can usually come up with ideas for this, but not this year. I did get myself a present though - two pairs of new glasses!

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and all the best for the holidays! Thank you for the Christmas letters I have received from near and far! I have sent out my annual letter by e-mail. If I have forgotten anyone, please remind me.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas party

Last week's trip to Göteborg was very interesting. I attended two meetings in the digitization committee, and we also got to hear a lecture on copyright. The second day there was a conference on digitization and availability (in a broad sense). Making our websites and databases user friendly for people with disabilities was one topic. Others regarded projects in Finland, language databases and what the researchers really want (open access to everything down to the raw data, basically). Very informative day. I just wish it hadn't been so bitterly cold weather. Many participants at the conference couldn't make it there because of the bad weather (ice, snow and high winds). The airports at Stockholm were closed, and the trains had big problems. I was lucky with my transportations, though.

Back at work Thursday everything was focused on the Christmas party Friday evening. I went with a colleague to shop for beverages and other things. We had to bring all the furniture and decorations to the storage, because there was nothing at all. We even had to stock the bathrooms with paper and soap. We managed to get this big warehouse turned into a party place, thanks to many strings of light, a Christmas tree, tinsel and candles. We rented a music/loudspeaker unit and that was a great success. Some people stayed until 3 AM to dance. I borrowed the company car and drove home at 1 AM. The party seems to have been very much appreciated, especially the food was fresh (taken from the restaurant across the street). The work for the organizing committee continued the next day, when we had to clean up and remove the decorations. I once again asked the movers for help this Monday, so they brought back the chairs and tables we had borrowed from another library. There is much more work involved to arrange the Christmas party ourselves (instead of having it at a restaurant), but it's really worth it. It was definitely a fun party.

Today is Lucia Day, and we had the traditional lussekatt (saffron bun) at the morning coffee. Some retirees showed up for it, so I talked a little to former colleagues.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New mall

About a week ago I visited the new mall outside Malmö. I was not that impressed, there were mostly chain stores and that's not so interesting. It's a large place that, according to their website houses 200 stores, but that's not correct. There are about 160. It's very conveniently located right by a train station. There were lots of people, of course, since it just opened. There were some Danish/Norwegian style home interior stores I visited, and I got some small things for Christmas.

Last week was busy at work. We are planning for the Christmas party, which will be at one of the storages, actually. I got help from the movers to transport chairs and tables and some other things. We started decorating the storage last Friday, and it has potential, even though it's just a large and empty warehouse.

This Saturday I did something really, really stupid. I have never noticed that my bathroom floor is so slippery. I smashed my right foot into the shower glass wall. There was lots of blood, that's all I'm saying. It ruined my plans for the weekend and it's still difficult to walk. I can only wear sandals, which is very cold, since it was 12 centigrades below zero this morning. The first snow fell this weekend also, and I was wet and cold when I finally arrived at work today. This was extremely bad timing, I have so much to do this week.

Tomorrow I'm going to Göteborg for two meetings, one lecture and one work lunch, there will also be a conference on Wednesday. It all regards digitization.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Lots to do at work at this time of year. We are one staff member short, as he and his wife just had their second baby. The movers are dealing with complicated call numbers at the moment. It's the type of material we have housed at two different locations, so there's a lot of driving included. I have spent two days going through a large part of the collection. This is a collection that will be moved only in part. I have tried to mark the books that should stay on the shelves. I have never looked at those books that closely before and it was not nice to realize that many of them were placed in an incorrect order. It was hard work to get everything right again.

There was a technician at the new storage this week to update the programming. We are wondering a little if he really did that the way he should have, because the compact-system is not working better. We have had several staff meetings and workshops lately, for various reasons. There are many things going on; planning for the Christmas party, a new intranet, organizational changes and then the regular meetings.

My sister, who often enters consumer comptetions to win all sorts of things, wrote my name on an entry recently. I ended up winning 12 packages of butter! I need to get some baking done for Christmas, that's for sure.

The cold I had lasted for a very long time, almost three weeks. I never get that sick usually. I am still affected by it, but it's much better.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book lecture

Last week I gave a short lecture at work. The subject was Biographical works that include "ordinary people". There are many biographical reference works with celebrities and people who had a high status in the society, but there are also quite a few containing information about more normal people. These books were commonly produced during the first half of the 20th century. I have seen many of these books in the stacks, and wondered why no one seemed to be interested in reading them. I have found several of my relatives listed in those books. Most of my colleagues didn't know they existed, so I showed some of them at this lecture. It wasn't that advanced, I just read out loud from the books, quoting the topic (often different trade categories like janitors, waitresses, farmworkers and automobile drivers) and gave some general hints on family history research. I have given this lecture before, but we have many new employees here, so it was worth doing again.

Saturday I went with my friend Eva to the archive center to attend Archive Day. There were lots of visitors, mostly older people. This is rather typical, as the younger ones tend to do their research in front of a computer at home instead. I had sent out a message to all my colleagues about this, because there were tours to the stacks and people had asked me what they look like. I saw three colleagues there, and all wondered why I was there (it's the same place we have our new storage, so I'm there for work often). I even went on one of the tours to the stacks, and they opened the doors to our storage and of course I couldn't help myself, so I explained about the shelving system and how it works (or not).

Sunday I was at work (the library this time) to do some genealogical research for someone else. A fairly big case but not so complicated. I got stuck when one ancestor had the same birthplace in all the household records, but he is not in the birthbook for that parish. Slightly annoying and I haven't been able to find the right place yet.

I have been sick for more than a week now, it's a cold that just goes on and on. Now I have problems speaking, so I e-mail my closest colleagues, even if they are sitting in the same room. I had big difficulties talking to the movers (I can only whisper), but I think they got the message anyway. The call number consists of digits this time, so it's fairly easy to understand.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Moving-mistakes again

Again, nothing written here in a while. I need my life to include more hours.

Two weeks ago we had the traditional dinner and bowling in Malmö with some colleagues. Very nice, many people turned up for it.

I have to take nine days off before the end of the year, because I can't save all of my vacation days. It's nearly impossible to do, since my job is so crazy right now. I did take one Monday off, but I ended up going shopping for the Christmas party we are planning, so that was really work. Last week was a memorable one. The movers have never made so many mistakes in such a short time before. It was a complicated call number system right there, and I really can't blame them. It meant that I had to help them re-shelve 50 plus 40 meters. It was a tough job (we had to move it twice) and we kept a pretty high pace. I haven't done something like that in years, so I was sore for days afterwards. I could really feel where my back problems are located. I'm glad I don't have their job, I would never survive it.

It is amazing, but despite the mistakes last week, the movers have relocated 20 000 shelfmeters of books in total. They have come halfway now. We celebrated this by giving them lunch.

Last weekend was spent at the summer house, where I met the rest of the family. It was a short visit, since I arrived very late due to the shelving mistakes. We went to the cemetery Saturday to place candles at the family graves for All Saint's. We also got a cookie overdose at mother's friend's house that afternoon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Trip to Munich

Sorry about the long silence here. I have been on a business trip to Munich in Germany! I'm a member of a national committee on digitization and we visited the State Library of Bavaria last week. They are very active in the field of digitization. They started already in 1997 and now have more than one million books available on their website, for anyone to read. It's of course works that are copyright-free. Their collection of books printed before 1800 is enormous and they have focused on getting them scanned and published on-line. The staff at the library showed us most of the departments. It's a very large facility, there are six reading rooms and gigantic collections of books (10 million), manuscripts (94 000), maps (40 000) and incunabula (20 000 - the largest collection in the world). It was incredibly interesting to see everything, especially the stacks. There are 52 people working in the stacks. (We have 5 million books managed by 8 people in the stacks)... Total number of library workers was 800 in Munich. (80 here). I can say that the Munich library has a lot more money than we do. Much, much more. They have 23 scanners of various models. (We have one that advanced). The committee studied the workflow, asked about the technical problems and discussed financial matters. It was a very informative day, and the librarians were very eager to answer all our questions. We also had time to have a proper committee meeting (at a restaurant) and do some sightseeing. Munich is a city of about 1.3 million inhabitants. There are many impressive buildings that seem to be from the early 19th century, but they are mostly rebuilt after World War II in the old style. The opportunity for shopping is quite extensive, there are many nice stores. I couldn't resist, of course.

This Tuesday we had a staff day, so the library was closed (this is extremely unusual). We all gathered at a hotel in Lund to have a meeting. We got a new boss earlier this year and she wanted to hear our opinions about the work and the organization. We are not used to being asked about this. But we did have a few things to say, so I guess it was worth while. Wednesday we had a lot to do since we had to retrieve books ordered both Monday and Tuesday. The movers needed help also, so this week has been a little crazy. The movers are almost halfway done now. It's amazing to realize that there will be an ending to this madness. The collection they started moving now is placed in four different storages, one of which I have actually never seen.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shower issues

The server was up and running again by Tuesday, so we had requests from several days to retrieve that afternoon. It went pretty fast, mainly because my colleagues are eager to help and we skipped the storage requests. Everything is back to normal and we don't think any information was lost.

There was a new exhibit opened last Friday at the library. It's about the famous Swedish author August Strindberg. It's 100 years since he died. He spent time in Lund, where he wrote one of his works, Inferno. The exhibit looked very professional and informative.

For me it was a tough Friday. I had to drive to the same storage four times for different reasons. Also to two others. I discovered that the movers had forgotten over a meter of books and sadly this was my fault. I had placed the end-sign in the wrong place. I can't blame anyone else. There isn't much to do about this, we will have to squeeze that in somehow.

Last week the janitor at my apartment building repaired my shower. It wasn't working properly, there was very little water coming through. It took two people most of an afternoon to get that fixed, but I'm very happy that they did. The shower has never worked this well before. They also fixed the radiator in my kitchen, so that I don't have to freeze this winter.

This weekend I haven't done that much, apart from some sewing. I haven't used the sewing machine for a long time. Now I had four pairs of jeans that were too long, so I shortened them. I also mended two other pairs, made some adjustments to a top and hemmed a scarf. Speaking of clothes, I got a much needed winter jacket that is water resistant on mail order, and also a few more tops.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paper work

Busy days at work, at least last week. The intern was impressed by the new storage (it's very large). I made him shelve there also, we really needed to get the books back to their places. I think we had over 30 meters to shelve. It went slowly, but we got started on it. Over the weekend someone hacked our server and caused a lot of problems. We haven't been able to retrieve any books for the simple reason that the request slips can't be produced. They are somewhere in cyberspace, but don't reach our site. It's frustrating both to us and our users. This time we can explain the problem, though. It's always better to have a proper explanation, rather than blaming technical issues in general.

Lately I have spent a lot of time at work writing. The Royal Library in Stockholm wanted some information from us to include in a report they are publishing. The company that built the compact shelves at the new storage got a two-page list of all the problems we have with it. The board of safety at the new storage received our comments about the malfunctioning doors and other issues. The first one was the most difficult to write, because I had to write it in the same style as the rest of the report, and it was the bureaucratic and official Swedish that no one in their right mind would like to read.

I actually haven't bought any clothes in a long time. I even gave away some pieces and threw away a pair of jeans that had become too worn. This meant of course that I have sent for some clothes on mail order. Four tops in the shade of brown/beige, and all fit me.

Last weekend was another cleaning weekend. It became necessary to vacuum, since I was sneezing a lot. I also removed the furniture from the balcony, brought down some winter clothes from the attic, cleared outdated food from the cupboard, handwashed some blouses, mended three tops (they get damaged at work) and went grocery shopping twice.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I have thrown out my summer flowers and put heather in the box on the balcony instead. The fall weather is quite nice and sunny, but it's getting colder now. And dark, especially in the mornings. My mother has moved back to Borås for the winter.

The situation at work is still pretty tough. My colleagues do the hardest work, since I'm busy with the move. Not that it's an easy job, but it's more planning, cleaning and re-arranging, not five or six carts of books to be retrieved at the same time. We all complain about the heavy lifting. The treatment I got by the chiropractor this Tuesday was again necessary.

We have an intern in the stacks who is from Germany. We host a visit every year. We have a number system in the stacks, so he doesn't have to understand Swedish in order to retrieve books. He helps out every day. He speaks very good English. Some of my colleagues have practiced their knowledge of German during his visit also.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


The beginning of the semester is a tough time for everyone at the library. The past two weeks we have been working very hard. We still have to drive the storage round with two cars. I have had to go to an endless number of meetings also the past couple of weeks. We have started a process that will end up into an organizational change later. It's nice that we are invited to have an opinion, but the timing could have been better. I am also involved in the planning for yet another storage. It's not for my department, but I have done this before and want to prevent mistakes. They will also take some of our old bookshelves, so we have a few matters to discuss.

I was told the library boss wanted to see me, and expected questions about the book move. We talked about everything else, I think. She is very nice and is eager to have everyone onboard, so to speak. We did talk mostly about work-related things, but also about family history. She is Danish and it turns out that her grandfather's sister emigrated and the family members lost touch several decades ago. It didn't take me long to locate the living relatives, I even found an e-mail address. They were able to re-connect again. What would we do without the internet!?!?

This Monday I was invited with two colleagues to a kick-off at the archive center where our new storage is. When all the archive material is moved (sometime next year), there will be about 150 people working there, taking care of 440 000 shelfmeters of material. It's a huge place. At the kick-off, the staff was given an introduction to the facilities. We admired the art work installations, had a treasure hunt in the archive, watched old films from Lund, participated in silly games like throwing of small archive box and paperclip stacking, and then there was a big buffet dinner in the evening. Very nice event.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Museum visit

Thursday afternoon was the annual bus excursion with the colleagues. The social club booked a visit to a museum and park area near Helsingborg. We got a guided tour of the printing museum, where they had old printing presses and typesetting machines in working order. There were also displays of book printing techniques and fonts, and Gutenberg was mentioned a few times. Very interesting for librarians to see. We also got a guided tour of the park and botanical gardens. After returning to Lund we had dinner at a restaurant. The barbecue buffet was outstanding with several kinds of meat, salmon, 14 different salads, homebaked bread and a huge dessert table. We were about 60 people and we emptied most of the dessert trays faster than they could fill them. It was yet another great event arranged by the social club.

Friday we noticed a sharp increase of the number of book requests. The semester started this week and we have been extremely busy. Hordes of students wanted library cards and asked for textbooks. Many scholars also seem to have started on their projects, because we have had many requests from them. One of them stands out in this context, he ordered so many items from the old online catalogue that the system broke down. About 100 in total and all of them were the New Testament, printed various years. We have been forced to drive the storage round with two cars at the same time this week due to the massive interest in our books placed outside the main building.

The movers are not that happy about the working environment at the storage they load books from at the moment. It's dark, dusty and the loading dock is too high for their vehicle. It's also a complicated move, because they have to drive to another storage quite often to pick up books that will be integrated with the others. This morning it was especially difficult, since some book carts were in a third storage.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweden America Day

I returned to work today. My vacation was mostly spent in or around the summer house. The weather has been rather varied, either rainshowers or 30 centigrades and sunny. The half day I was able to be on the beach meant that I got burnt by the sun, unfortunately. The water was cold, but I had decided to jump in, so I did.

Sunday the 19th it was Sweden America Day in Önnestad. It's an arrangement by the Historical Society there and the Vasa Order of America in Kristianstad. It was very hot weather that day. One of my relatives, Rolf Anderson (Leroy's son) was there to receive the Hans Mattson plaque in recognition of the work Rolf does to spread information about his father's life and music. The event started with church service and a lunch. Then there were lots of ceremonial procedures, severeral speeches and music by a brass band etc. We got to hear that the big Leroy Anderson centennial concert in 2008 has meant a great deal for the music life in Kristianstad. Nowadays musicians of all ages and talents are more ready to co-operate and play with other bands than they normally would. A small section of the symphony orchestra played Syncopated Clock and The Typewriter for us in the park (they used a very old, but functional typewriter). Rolf gave his speech in Swedish (!!!). He had been practicing on it, and it was fully understandable. The Swedish sch-sounds are very difficult to master, but he is eager to learn.

Rolf was in the Kristianstad area for about a week and there were lots of people who wanted to meet him, so he was busy every day with lunches and visits to different places. His visit was noted also by the local press, which had a few articles about it. I met him again the following Wednesday, when my father and I were invited to a lunch in town. One of the orchestra leaders had gathered some musicians and others, and it was very difficult to leave because we had so much to talk about. But we brought Rolf to the Historical Society Museum in Norra Strö that afternoon, where we visited the old school room and looked at the baptismal dresses they had on display. Rolf handed over a donation from the newly formed foundation in his father's name, www.leroyandersonfoundation.org. We also had coffee with Mats at the old family home in Övarp. It was great to see Rolf here, I hope he will come again. He continued north this Friday, he wanted to see more of Sweden before he returns home.

The general activities at the summer house were not that active. There is no internet access, so I had to take it easy. My mother and I solved crossword puzzles, sat on the porch fighting off the wasps, admired the squirrels running up and down the trees, and went shopping in Åhus. My aunt came to visit a few days also. And we washed the back side of the house, it was pretty dirty. I returned home Saturday, after stopping by at a birthday party for my mother's friend (good food). Yesterday I tried to save my balcony flowers by watering them excessively, and most of them seem to have returned from the near dead. The balcony faces directly south and there is no shade.

The day at work was very busy, a hundred e-mails in just ten days and then the movers needed assistance. They started loading books at a new site today, a place they had never been to before.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trip to Söderköping

The first three days of last week my mother and I were in Söderköping, a small summer town in Östergötland. It was on my sister's recommendation and if it hadn't rained 80% of the time, it would have been even better. We got a room in a large villa, just by Göta Canal. We did a lunch cruise on a canal boat, and it only rained the last half of the trip. Very nice food, several kinds of salmon and a chocolate dessert. The area is very picturesque with high cliffs and green forest along the waterfront. It was the first time we have been in a boat that passed by locks, where the water level is adjusted, so the boat can climb/sink down to the level of the next section. Göta Canal is a constructed waterway of 190 kilometers and 58 locks. It's very crowded in the summer time, lots of people travel on it (or beside it). It's a major tourist attraction. Söderköping has an ice-cream place that is known for its fantastic creations and large portions. We made two visits there, both very worth while. The last day we went earlier to Norrköping and spent a few hours in a shopping mall. It was now raining very heavily and we couldn't do anything else, really. We took the train back home late afternoon.

This past weekend we got a visit from some relatives on the Mattisson side. The weather was a lot better, we sat out on the porch and talked a lot. We also went on a trip to a local outdoor museum with old buildings from the area. We had lunch (great pizza) in Åhus Sunday and then we ended in Kristianstad, where there is a biosphere reserve right by the center of town. We looked at the exhibit of local flora and fauna of the wetlands. We parted ways there, and my mother and I took the bus back to the summer house. I have been in my apartment for a few days (had to do laundry), but I'm going back again tomorrow. I am at work right now to get some minor issues out of the way. I was told that one of my colleagues managed to avoid a disaster, when he saw that the book movers had forgotten an entire section (again)..... It's not going to make me less worried when I'm away from the library the next few weeks.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Milestone passed

New month again. The weather is unreliable, with some sunny and humid days and some very rainy ones. I stayed home most of the weekend, watching the Olympic Games on TV. The Swedes are not doing that great, only one silver medal so far (in eventing, an equestrian sport).

At work the book move is progressing. There was a photographer taking pictures of the whole thing this week. He works for a website about Lund. When the photos are up, I will post the link here. The movers passed 10 000 shelfmeters this Monday. This was celebrated with a very nice lunch at the library today. They have done 25% of it now.

Two new employees started working here this week. Both women. They are not placed in my department, but I will meet them frequently anyway.

Let's see how long my vacation will be now. It starts on Monday and it will last until there is a crisis at work. I will count the days.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Article about the book move

The weather changed Sunday, so now it's stifling hot and very sunny. Not a cloud in the sky. It's difficult to get any work done right now, because people are taking very long breaks and go home early. I do too. I might have mentioned that there is no air conditioning in my office. I try to spend as much time in the climate-controlled stacks when the weather is like this.

Last week there was a reporter from the local newspaper here. It must be a general shortage of news to write about, because he interviewed me about the book move. The article published Saturday was surprisingly large and accurate. They took several photos of the guys who move the books. I ended up on one photo, thankfully not a close-up. I haven't heard that many comments about it, there are very few people working in July. We had about 70 requests in total today and that's extremely low.

I have made a few excursions in the local area, to Helsingborg and Malmö mostly. There are sales everywhere, but I haven't bought much. I have enjoyed my balcony also, it's a nice place to sit and do nothing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Flea market weekend

There is still some activity at the library, even though it's July. Our library is one of very few which remains open through the summer. The staff situation is not that great, so I have had to do lots of tasks I'm not used to. Yesterday I just passed by the information desk and was then asked to help a patron, because the attending librarian didn't know enough about the catalog.... Sigh.

My mother came to visit this past weekend. The colds we both got two weeks ago still affected us. It's a lot better, though. My mother engaged herself in the sorry state of my balcony flowers. She threw some of them out and planted new ones (marigolds and tobacco flowers). Saturday we went to the outdoor flea market in Lund. I hadn't been there this year. Not that many people selling this time, but the weather wasn't good. We also went to some stores in town and had lunch at a cafe. We made it back home before the massive rain clouds rolled in. Sunday we went to the flea market in Malmö. It's at a square and we got several things there. For instance, a pair of short jeans for 10 SEK, and they actually fit me. Then we walked maybe ten blocks, and took the bus to Ikea. It's a huge place. We started by having lunch and then we browsed through the lower level, with kitchenware, fabric and rugs. I got a new bathroom mat. Later my mother returned home by train.

The summer has been really bad weatherwise. One of my colleagues returned to work much earlier from vacation, because the weather is not good. It's cold, windy and very rainy. Lund has had so little sunshine it's an all time low. The forecast is pessimistic about the next few days also.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Flea market at Furuboda

The Midsummer weekend at the summer house was nice. It was just my mother and me. We didn't really do much, just one excursion to a store to get some new summer toys for the kids. I also started arranging the books for the flea market. I worked two days after Midsummer, and then Wednesday I went to the dentist in Kristianstad. I had a large cavity, because a part of an inlay had cracked. It was no problems fixing it, though. After that I went on to the summer house, and by then my sister and her family had arrived there too. We spent Wednesday-Friday preparing for the flea market and auction at Furuboda Friday afternoon. We unpacked boxes with all sorts of things to sell. We are rather particular, we decide beforehand what many of the items will be sold for. We were about 25 people who worked with all of it. My sister sold paintings and clothes, I sold books and my mother textiles. It's quite fun, but tiring. On the day of the flea market, we also celebrated my mother's birthday a little. One of her friends had made a very tasty cake that we all enjoyed.

Saturday we rested mostly. Sunday morning the others drove back to Borås, while I stayed a little longer. I arranged a second sales day of the flea market. There were still things left worth buying. It went well, even though it wasn't properly advertised. An ugly green kitchen table with four chairs, which had been standing outdoors in the rain, was sold, to my great surprise.

The week at work has been tough. I'm glad the movers are managing better, because I could only work half days this week. I caught a very bad cold from the other family members (mainly my mother, I guess). It's difficult to think when the brain feels that fluffy. I'm doing better now, but it's still affecting me. This was the first time since February 2011 I got sick.

I have made some use of the summer pass on the trains and buses this year. I have so far been in Skurup, Ystad, Burlöv, Malmö and Helsingborg. Primarily to go shopping. The weather hasn't really been that great, it has been raining a lot. It's about 20 centigrades right now and very cloudy.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book moving

There hasn't been much writing here, unfortunately. This time of year is very hectic at the library. All the students hand back the borrowed books at the end of the semester. It really wasn't that bad this year, I have to say. One more person has been employed temporarily to help out during the time I have to work with the book move. It has turned out to be a rather demanding job to supervise the movers. Recently they have done some pretty amazing mistakes, and after the third major incident I started laughing (instead of crying, which probably would have been more correct). They are struggling with the complicated call numbers in the stacks, and I can't blame them. I arranged for lemonade & cookies yesterday, more as consolation than anything else. They have had to move the same 150 shelfmeters of books twice, since they forgot to load 100 meters that were supposed to have been placed there first. I'm sure there will be more mistakes.

June 5 we had a picnic with boules in the Botanical Garden in the afternoon. It was cold weather, but about 20 people showed up for it. We had a good time. June 6 is our national holiday, and I celebrated this by going abroad. I spent the day shopping in Denmark (the stores were open there). It was fun, but tiring. I was away about twelve hours, and came home with some very nice tops and decorative items. Last weekend I visited my mother at the summer house. We got a visit from two of her cousins. It was the second time I met them, ever. We had lunch at Furuboda and then we walked along the beach.

This week the activity level has been low at the library in general. The opening hours are shorter and staff members have started to take vacation. Even so, I have had a lot to do, because I have to do other people's jobs too. This time of year we also get the patrons who are not here normally. People with projects (usually family history or local history-related) come in and ask for books and other documents. They require a lot of help, since they don't know how to place requests and are generally confused. Yesterday I got a four-page list of material that someone wanted - no call numbers anywhere. I still haven't found all of the books he wanted.

The upcoming weekend is the Midsummer holiday, and I'm going to visit my mother again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Interesting seminar

Just a few days after the last posting, the weather changed again. It has been 10-12 centigrades with high winds, so not so pleasant outdoors. Working in this climate is very nice, however. I feel a little sorry for the people having student parties and other gatherings at this time of year, because it's pretty cold. Very unusual weather for June.

Last week there was a seminar on e-books. From the description of it, it didn't seem to be that interesting, but I was proven very wrong. I never come across the concept of e-books in my work (I work only with the printed books), so this was a new thing to me. One scholar had analyzed the e-book and tried to define it. It was surprisingly difficult, because it doesn't really exist until someone  downloads it. The tax on printed matter is 6% here. Just because an e-book cannot be clearly defined, the taxes are the same as netmagazines, i. e. 25%. The scholar also complained about some libraries having the books in numerus currens-order. It means that they are not in subject order or alphabetical. The books are given a number as they arrive, and placed on the shelf in number order. It's difficult, or really impossible,  to browse a collection by subject if the books are placed like that. The stacks are for the most parts in number order, but our open collection is by subject (luckily). Another scholar had tried to write his own e-book. He wasn't quite finished with it. He complained about the standards and the legal problems, because he had to use a program from a commercial company. But he was happy to say that a book like that can easily be up-dated with the latest information. Two professors also spoke of the usefulness of having online tools for the students. It was a project with ipads. The teacher could distribute lots of information and articles online, and also communicate with the students more easily.

The movers are working hard at emptying the stacks on the 3rd floor of the library. They manage a lot by themselves, but there are still some things I have to supervise. I was photographed for the staff magazine earlier, so the photo of me with full book carts appeared in the latest issue, along with a short note describing the book move.

I'm very sorry to say that one of the Minnesota-relatives, Evelyn Loomis, has passed away from illness. She was one of the organizers of the Nelson family reunions, and I have met her several times during my visits. She was so sweet and kind, and she will be missed very much.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Long weekend

The Ascension Day weekend was spent doing very little. We had Thursday-Sunday off. I went to a mall and got some small things. Apart from that, not much happened. The weather became noticeably warmer Sunday, and it was nice to sit on the balcony. We have summer now, and it was a long wait. The flowers on my balcony are still alive, but I have to water every day. I don't think I have ever had as many flowers there as now. I bought a corner shelf made of metal to have some of the flowers on, and it looks very pretty.

The change in weather meant that people are complaining about the non-existing air conditioning at the library. It usually takes a few days before you notice the heat indoors. My office windows face south, so I work in a hot climate in the summer. It's not that bad yet, it's about 24-25 centigrades outdoors.

The move is progressing. The young and strong guys continue their efforts to move our books. We got more carts today (the moving company had some), so I hope it makes the waiting times shorter. This is the time of year when the students return many of their books. We are very busy sorting and shelving right now, and it will go on through mid-June. I drove the storage round twice this week, and it was a challenge to retrieve books from the newly moved collection. There are no lists on the bookshelves (yet) indicating what books they contain. It's a guessing game. I work a lot in the old collection, but I don't know exactly in what order the call numbers are there (it's not alphabetical or numerical).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekend at the summer house

The trip to Holland was unfortunately cancelled. My mother was not feeling well, so we couldn't go. She travelled down from Borås, so we took the train and bus to the summer house on Thursday instead. She was supposed to have moved there right after the trip anyway. We engaged in work in the yard (mowing the long grass was a challenge). We got the lawn furniture out and got the house ready for summer. Saturday we went by bus to one of the fleamarket stores in Åhus, and then we met two of my mother's friends there, who drove us home. We took the opportunity to go grocery shopping also, since they gave us a lift. My mother sold her car last year, so she will have to make it without one now.

Sunday I returned home. This is a short work week (3 days), but several things have already happened. Today the movers contacted me and said that they couldn't use the loading door because of asphalt work. They got stuck in the wet asphalt and couldn't reach the door with the truck. So now all seven of them are working at the main library, with some small projects. A few collections will be moved to other floors of the same building.

Yesterday was the first visit I made to the new storage since the start of the move. I actually haven't had time to see it before. The first thing I noticed was the fact that it needs cleaning. The floors were very dirty. This is because of the carts being transported back and forth in the corridor. The move seems to be going well. There are waiting times  in between deliveries, but there isn't much to do about that. They were running low on bookends (a very important detail), so I packed three boxes when I got back to the main library. I had a meeting with the one in charge of economy and budget here, and he gave me a chart with numbers on. Very high numbers. It's apparently very expensive to hire movers for such a long time as we have to. Not to mention all the extra costs (new carts, ladders, office supplies and so on) we have had. But he was happy to report that the rent for the new facility is lower than the rent for all the old storages combined, and that was good to hear. When the move is done the old storages will be empty, so we will no longer rent those buildings.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New exhibit

Friday afternoon there was a new exhibit opened in the library entry hall. Some of my colleagues had worked with the displays for months. The theme was the 1980s - the superficial era of pastel colors, MTV, hairspray and the end of cold war. There were lots of things to look at: pop magazines, newspaper headlines, a walkman, the first mobile phone (weighed almost 5 kilos), the first home computer (with a memory of totally 5 kB), heavy metal album covers, popular books, Star Wars memorabilia, computer games and pink plastic earrings & sunglasses. I was a teenager during the 1980s and there were so many flashbacks in this exhibit. The main news items from this decade included the assassination of our Prime Minister, the tearing down of the Berlin wall and the explosion of the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. Almost everything else about the 1980s contrasted against these headlines. It was all about appearance. The fashion was, in retrospect, appalling with enormous shoulder pads and sharp neon colors, but back then it was completely normal to wear a bright orange top, headband, shiny tights, lace gloves, knitted leg-warmers/tube-socks and pumps (all colors had to clash). Rhinestone jewelry and extremely colorful make-up added to the look. What an era.

Saturday there was a local spring market, where the societies and clubs had their bake sales and tombolas to raise money for their activities. Also the political parties and the businesses participated. Didn't get anything, but had lunch with a colleague whom I bumped into in the main street. Sunday I was at the closest mall, and did some shopping. I needed a bigger pot for one of my house plants, and that has been very difficult to find. Finally bought one there.

This Thursday I will go on a four day trip with my mother. We are going with a bus company to see the tulips in Holland. I'm sure we will see some other things also.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weather change

The four days off work I didn't do much. That's probably why I have back problems now.

The weather changed from Sunday to Monday, so it's pretty warm and sunny. I finally brought the winter coats up to the attic after a very long, but not so fierce winter season. I spent some time on the balcony, admiring the green and blooming yard (and flower box). There is a very high level of pollen out, and that has affected also me, even though I'm not allergic. Several colleagues have colds, but I'm still doing ok.

The first working day was Wednesday and I went with the movers to a storage to retrieve the books on botany (120 meters). They were moved to the new facility pretty quickly, and then they started with books on economy, back at the main library again. The movers are managing quite well, it's at the breaks between collections when they need assistance. My boss had opinions about my time report for April, but it has really been necessary to work that much. I was able to leave early Thursday, so I went shopping in town.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Long weekend

This week at work was challenging, especially Friday. The movers finished moving a section from the main library at lunchtime, and we didn't think it was any use starting on the next section, because it was at a storage. Instead, I had them work on a project in the stacks. The big move means that we also have to make rearrangements in the stacks. It's three minor collections that will get new locations on other floors. We had time to move part of one, so we will continue another day. Next working day is Wednesday. Tomorrow is Walpurgis Night, and May 1st is always a holiday (it's our Labor Day). I'm happy to get leave a few days, because this project has meant very hard work. It has been problem solving at a completely new level. It's interesting to see what my capacity really is. During these weeks I have also held the annual social club meeting and done the taxes for it. Did my own taxes also, but that was a lot easier. I have research requests, but they don't get much attention right now.

Since my 8-year old cell phone no longer transmitted any calls, I was given a new one. It's not a fancy one, but it seems to be pretty tough. Almost waterproof, scratch-proof glass, extra dust resistant and close to impossible to break. According to the manufacturer, at least. It has a lot of gadgets that will take forever to learn. The 80-page handbook was pretty useless. It had sentences like "adjust the settings", but it didn't say how. You can probably tell I'm not fond of changes. At least not if it's about technology.

I might have written here that my computer at home has quit functioning, but it hasn't. What I meant was that the blog-site has upgraded the interface so that I no longer can post any blogs from home. I don't feel like spending money on such an old computer, so I will write from the library instead.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Incredible work week

Just like I imagined, last week was incredibly tough. The movers arrived that Monday and after the introduction they started moving books from the stacks here to a remote storage. They use carts to place the books on, and then the carts are transported by truck. We are of course happy that we have started on this project (finally, after years of planning). I do wish that there hadn't been such problems, though. There were minor accidents like turned over carts. The movers misunderstood some instructions and didn't take a few meters of books they should have included. Lots of things weren't working; one of the elevators couldn't stand the increased traffic, my colleagues complained about the elevators being occupied all the time, we didn't have enough carts to keep everything running, and the truck quit functioning when someone (the moving company's driver) had put petrol in it instead of diesel. This last thing surprised us the most. Everything else is normal when you do something like this, but that mistake was a little out of the ordinary. The logistics of this operation is complicated. We are going to rearrange most of the collections, and this means that we have to take for instance 26 meters from the main library, 15 meters from a storage, 30 meters from the main library, 14 meters from another storage, and so on. Lots of driving and lots of keys/cards/codes required to get in and out of the storages.

My colleagues asked a lot about the move, so Monday afternoon I started a new blog (in Swedish). It's mainly for my colleagues, who are wondering about the progress.

Saturday my father and his girlfriend came to visit. I had to vacuum and tidy up first, so I got up early. We went to the mall outside Lund. I got some new plants for the box on the balcony.

Sunday I did some research at work. Back home, I planted the flowers and it looks great. A yellow rose in the middle of the box, with blue and red flowers on the sides. Other small flowers also in pots on the table out there. Now the weather can change to more spring-like, so that I can enjoy it also. Rainy and windy, mostly. Still cold in the mornings. Sunday evening I planned on writing on the blog, but my computer at home is now so old that it doesn't work anymore.

The start of this week was not so bad, the movers have found a good working routine. They manage a lot by themselves now, luckily.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Long working hours

The three days I worked this past week were terrible. It was the last days before the movers come tomorrow. I ran around, trying to get everything ready in time. There were several last minute disasters. I spent about 12 hours at work every day, from 7 to 7. Wednesday a new staff member started to work part-time in the stacks. The introduction was super short and then I had to hand over the training to someone else. Wednesday I also had the last desk duty - ever! I will not have much contact with our patrons from now on, sadly. Tomorrow will be the start of the biggest project at the library. We have been planning for it for years, and we look forward to seeing all the storage books in one place (sometime next year, maybe).

Yesterday there was a second hand booksale in Lund, arranged by Amnesty. I went with a colleague, and she found lots of books (for her library). I looked through the offers, but didn't get anything. Afterwards I spent a few hours at work to try to get my personal correspondence done. The same thing today, and I did some research also.

Over the weekend there were several documentaries on TV about the Titanic (since it sank 100 years ago), and I have seen some of them. One thing I noticed was the fact that the steerage passengers (the emigrants) don't get mentioned much. They were quite important, because they were the only reason these trips were profitable for the shipping lines. Instead, most of the focus was on the luxury of the ship and the investigations afterwards. Of the 123 Swedish passengers onboard, 89 died. Almost all of them were emigrants.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter weekend

It was a very nice and relaxing weekend at the summer house. We all had taken an extra day off from work, so we were there until today. The weather was mainly terrible with cold winds and rain and/or snow, so we spent a large part of the time indoors. We played with the kids and solved crossword puzzles, mostly. We did make some short trips to see the art work displayed. Among other things, one of my second cousins had a few paintings on display in Åhus. We haven't seen each other since the late 1980s (we think), so it was fun to see her.

My birthday was celebrated a little; I got a cookbook, two egg cups, a day trip on a boat on the Göta Canal (to do with my mother this summer), and some chocolate. Nice presents, my family seems to know what my interests are.

We went to see a friend of my mother's, and (despite the weather) had coffee and cake on their terrace, overlooking the ocean (at a distance). Also some people I haven't seen in a while. We got visits from some relatives and friends, and had even more to eat. We had to go to the grocery store several times in order to feed everybody. And the fridge was basically empty by the time we left today. The traditional Easter food here is herring/other fish and boiled eggs. We had a large amount of chocolate and candy also. My mother had won a big box of it at a grocery store in Borås, so we had plenty. This weekend is usually about eating food and visiting people, and that's exactly what we have done.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short working week

It was a three-day working week for me. I have taken a couple of extra days off around Easter. I had to, because I have too many hours overtime. I really shouldn't be away from work right now, there are so many things we have to do before the movers come on the 16th. I spend most of my days in the storages, re-organizing the collections and tidying up. I had desk duty today, and there were more visitors than I thought there would be. This week many people are on vacation.

A few days ago the 1940 US federal census was released. It's available at several sites, familysearch.org and archives.com, for instance. It will take time to load all the images (eight states done so far on familysearch.org), and they are not indexed yet. The number of volunteers needed for that job is gigantic, but I'm sure it will get done. There are more than 130 million names in the 1940 census. I'm thinking of waiting until the summer before I even start assembling the list of people to search for. That will be a long list... Over the years I have done a fair amount of research. Getting the research up-dated will be a pretty big job.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I have already received some greetings and some cards, thank you for that!

I'm going to the summer house for Easter, and so are my family members from Borås. Easter is traditionally a time when local artists (sculptors, painters and others) display their work. It's very popular to drive around and look at the different styles of art.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Five cakes

It was a slightly easier week at work, compared to the one before. The chiropractor asked what I really do to get my back in such a bad shape, and when I said I carry a lot of books around, he shook his head and sighed. He fixed my neck problem, which was a relief.

We actually have a starting date for the move - April 16. It will be a big job to get everything ready in time. There are many small details that have to be attended to before they can start moving the books. Just getting a vacuum cleaner with a flat brush has proven to be difficult. We have to vacuum the books first, otherwise there will be health problems.

Friday we had several reasons to celebrate: three birthdays (one was mine), one young colleague passed her driving test and one colleague retired. We had a total of five different cakes, three for the morning coffee and two in the afternoon. Just to break a record several of us tasted all the cakes. I can usually eat anything, but I felt pretty sick in the evening. But they were all delicious!

Saturday I did a tricky trip to get to a mall. I took the train to Lund, a city bus one stop, walked to another bus station, and then took a regional bus to a small village half way to Malmö. There is a pretty big second hand store there. I hadn't been there in a while, so I browsed all of it. Got some small things, a glass candy bowl, for instance. After an hour I continued on another bus to the mall about five stops further south. The trip would have been a lot easier if I hadn't gone to the second hand store (just one train ride). At the mall I had lunch and then looked in the stores, but there was just one thing I bought, a wrist watch. When I got to the train station, I had missed the northbound train by a few minutes, so I went the other direction instead, to Malmö. The stores are open until four or five on Saturdays, so there was time to look also in those places. Made some small purchases. I passed by one of the squares and it seemed like major riots were expected, because there were about 15 police-cars and several mounted units armed for battle. I walked by quickly and continued on to the stores. That city would be so much more enjoyable if there hadn't been such crazy people there. In this case I think there were no problems after all. Most of the bad incidents this weekend were reported to have happened in Copenhagen. I guess the police here thought there would be problems also in Malmö.

Today I spent a few hours at work to get some research done. Against better judgement, I also ate some of the leftovers of the Friday cakes. They were really tasty.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tough week

This past week was tough at work. I have offered the other libraries to take books from a collection we have to discard, and they sent me long lists of books they wanted. I got a 13 page document from one library, so I have been at the storage to pack boxes, and then deliver them. I noticed already mid-week that my neck wasn't doing well and it got worse over the weekend. I have done a lot of heavy lifting, and it affected also my back. I have an appointment at the chiropractor's tomorrow, and I hope he will be able to straighten everything out.

We still don't have any movers, which isn't a disaster, because the new storage needs cleaning first. It will take time to hire someone to do that. There were also some issues with doors and lights, so we will wait a while.

Despite my neck problems, I spent some time in town Saturday. Got a top on sale, and some small things. Walked through the new indoor market, but was not so impressed. They seem to have forgotten to soundproof it. I also did some research at work. Daylight savings time started today, and I actually did remember to change the clocks. It was a very nice day with lots of sunlight, so I went for a walk in the village. I needed something for dinner, so I got salmon that turned out to be surprisingly tasty.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Work and research

I re-calculated the entire book collection one more time. There will be problems getting everything to fit into the new storage. I kind of suspected this. The past few weeks I have spent many hours in the storages, trying to figure out what to do about it. I have discarded a large part of a collection where we had several hundred copies of every book. Pretty unnecessary to keep all of them, especially since no one asks for them anymore.

The climate is a little warmer here, around 10 centigrades in the day. Cold in the mornings, though. I still wear my winter coat. It's lighter out and many spring flowers are blooming already.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went shopping at a mall outside Malmö. There were very few items purchased, only a top and a scarf. But it was still interesting to see the spring collections. I also got some of my favorite flowers, a bouquet of yellow tulips.

Today I went to work to do some research. The computer there is a lot better than mine. I continued on the Göteborg research, and made some progress. In one family I researched the husband "forgot" to report the death of his wife (at least that's what I think). She was buried properly, but the fact that she had died wasn't entered into the deathrecords until six years later. That was actually the first time I have seen anything like that in Swedish records. It must be unusual, because here it was the same organization which was in charge of both burials and record keeping. I have learned a lot from this case, definitely.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Impressive shelves

Just a few things to report from here. Thursday a library school student joined me during the storage round. Usually they also spend a few hours in the stacks, but there was no time for that. He noted the bad working conditions at some of the storages. Very dusty, dark and generally unhealthy.

Friday afternoon five of us were given a tour of the new storage facility. It is impressive. A long building with shelves from floor to ceiling. It's a compact shelving system, the newest version with advanced electronics. Of course, when they showed us how to operate the shelves, it quit working. They got it fixed pretty soon, though. Everything has been delayed, but we are beginning to see things happening. The new carts and chairs we ordered have arrived. The technician has arranged for computers and printers for the office.

I asked for the exact number of shelves that had been put in, and did some math when I got back to the library. The collections we want to place at the storage will fit with a narrow margin. At least I hope so. I will have to recalculate the entire move to be sure of it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Borås weekend

It was a very nice visit in Borås. Like every time my mother kept me busy. Saturday we worked at the thrift store. This time I was in the clothes section. It's remarkable how many clothes fall down from the hangers when the customers look through the collection. I tried to keep it tidy and in good order, but it was a never-ending job. Still fun to see that part of the store.

Late afternoon we celebrated my brother-in-law's 40th birthday with a very tasty salmon meal with vegetables and potato gratin. There were only crumbles left of the chocolate cake with blackberries we had for dessert. It was a family oriented event including the immediate family members. We touched on the subject of genealogy (strange, isn't it?), and I got a research task to deal with. I have started already, and it has turned out to be a challenge. The people lived in Göteborg, and were very reluctant to give correct information when moving between the parts of the (surprisingly large) city. One person ended up with three different death dates (not even close to each other), depending on what source I checked. It might take a while to get it sorted out.

Sunday my mother and I used the gift certificates we got for Christmas and spent a few hours at a spa. We got back massage, sat in the jacuzzi and also the sauna. What a luxury. We had a great time there.

I had taken Monday off (to reduce my incredible overtime a little), so my mother and I went shopping. I guess no one is surprised to hear this. One store was closing, and had 75% off everything. We got some necklaces there, mainly to get the beads to make other pieces of jewelry. There was also a shoe sale, and I actually found a pair of leather boots at a very affordable price. It's unusual to find shoes in my size at sales. My mother saw the chance of getting me an early birthday present in the Hemtex store, I got a new bedding set. I returned home by train Monday evening.

The return to work wasn't that pleasant. One patron had requested over 70 items from the scanned catalogue, and it crashed the entire system. We didn't set a limit when we built the system, but I think we have to now. It was hard work to retrieve all those books, especially since the scanned image of the catalogue card is hard to read.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New storage

I forgot the most important thing that happened last week - Sweden's crown princess had her first baby. Big headlines everywhere for the much awaited event. It's a girl, name will be Estelle.

The situation at work is increasingly crazy. On average I now work between 9 and 10 hours a day. This Tuesday we got to visit the new storage for the first time. It's almost finished. We haven't been allowed to see it before because it's a building site. It's a big complex where the regional archive, hospital archive, city archive and a few others will have their storages also. We already have a part of the old building, so it will be convenient when the books from the four other storages are in place here. We will move about 40 000 shelfmeters to this storage. It will take more than a year. Next week we will hire movers. The preparations have been long and complicated, and we can't wait to get started on the actual move. So soon I will have even longer working days.

Wednesday morning we had another get-together with the staff at the head office. We had presentations of our respective projects and collections. I gave a short speech on a project we will start soon. It's challenging to describe a database without having a computerscreen to point at, but I think the message reached the audience. At least I heard afterwards that my presentation had been the most understandable..... Remarkable.

Today our new boss started working. It's a librarian from Denmark, she has experience from libraries in both countries. She will be in charge of the head office and the main library (where I work). She will have her hands full, without a doubt. We don't really know her, but from what we have heard, we think she will be an asset to the library network.

I have browsed the offers at the annual book sale, but haven't made any purchases. It's not the same as before, when you could make huge bargains. These days the book stores buy the stock especially for the sale, so all stores have the same offers. Not so interesting, in other words.

Tomorrow I'm going to visit my family members in Borås. My brother-in-law will celebrate his big birthday (40) on Saturday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eventful week at work

The week at work included a great variety of events. Some very nice and one not good at all. The lenten bun we got Tuesday was tasty and the (second) party for the 50-year old Friday afternoon was worth going to. I even got some left-over food with me.

The computers are in the process of being exchanged at work, and this is causing a few problems. I didn't particularly like it, because they were also upgraded. Most people would have a very different opinion about this. The technician gave me a strange look when I said I didn't want a new computer. He installed one anyway, and it didn't take long before strange things happened. Files that I had deleted years ago suddenly re-appeared, our database wouldn't accept added information (this was the worst) and all the extra databases I have on the desktop disappeared. It will take a while to get things in working order again. I already know that some files are gone forever. Very annoying.

The not so good incident happened Thursday. I was at a remote storage to retrieve books. The compact shelving system, which normally is run with electricity, had broken down. I had to move the shelves manually (with sheer force and a crowbar!). This is not for the weak, a shelve section can weigh up to 2000 kilos. One section is about seven meters long and made of metal, with books on both sides. Apparently, I am pretty strong, because I managed to tip one entire section over. It would be inappropriate to quote anything I said at that moment. All the books fell out of it. I couldn't raise the section again (it's too long), so I had to give up and return to the library. Two of my colleagues (very strong guys) were persuaded to assist in getting the section up again. Some of the books were damaged, but the shelves were ok.

This weekend the weather has been ok; windy, but sunny. We are waiting for spring, I have seen crocus already blooming. I have spent most of the weekend house-cleaning. It was necessary, I noticed that I had been sneezing a lot lately. I also recycled some cardboard and plastic, and went grocery shopping.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shopping weekend

Yet another week filled with work. We got an intern, who is going to do shelving a few hours a week. It will be a little help, but at the same time one staff member was taken from the stacks part time to do other tasks. This is usually what happens to my staff members. They prove to be too useful, so they are moved to other departments.

There were two birthdays celebrated at work this past week, for one 30 and one 50 year old. We got a nice chocolate cake for the Friday coffee. I was also asked to join some colleagues for a lunch to celebrate the 50 year old. Very nice events, especially since three retirees showed up for the lunch. My former boss expressed concern (again) about the development in the stacks when he wasn't there anymore.

My niece also had a birthday this week, her 2nd. I didn't attend the party, but my mother had arranged to give her a present from me.

The weather has prevented me from doing any extensive shopping trips lately. This weekend it was a better climate, so I went to the mall in Lund yesterday and to Helsingborg today. The latter mall has increased even more in size since I was there last. There are about 180 shops now. Plus several large stores like Ikea just next to it. A shopping heaven. It seems like the spring collections haven't arrived yet, because there weren't many new clothes. Some still had sales on the clothes from last year. I did make some purchases, but nothing excessive. Just a top and some decorative items.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More channels

Not so cold here anymore, just about freezing temperature out and a fair amount of snow. I planned on going to Helsingborg this morning, but when I saw what the weather was like and heard the announcement signal from the train station, I stayed in bed. The signal indicates train problems. I can't hear the actual announcement from home, but that signal is enough to change my plans. We have another cable-TV provider for the five buildings in this block now, and when I finally got it to work (the janitor had to come and fix it), it was an improvement. I got a few more channels to watch. I especially like the Animal Planet, where they had a countdown of the cutest cats caught on camera this weekend. Adorable. The sports of the season are also broadcast (on several channels), so I have been watching cross country skiing and biathlon a little. The Swedes are doing pretty well in these sports, for natural reasons.

The week at work was tough. Three meetings and one desk duty. I also showed a group of architects around in the library. We want to have an addition built, and the architects were curious to see what the main building looks like, both inside and outside. The preparations for the big book move are gearing up. This past week I got a large container placed at a storage, so that I could throw away duplicates from the foreign language collection. We have to downsize the number of books to move, and there is really no use keeping these duplicates. It took two days to fill the container, so I have asked for another one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Colder times

This past week it has become increasingly colder out, and I have added more and more layers of clothes when walking to and from work. Thursday I started with double mittens and the thickest knitted scarf I own. It was 16 centigrades below zero Saturday morning, and with the wind chill factor it was not pleasant to be outside. There is usually a very damp and icy cold wind rolling in from the ocean, causing the winters to be pretty tough here. In the far north of Sweden it was around 40 below zero and some villages lost electric power. That could have become a dangerous situation, but they seem to have managed to get the power back now.

Some small details could be reported from the week at work. I had a very nice lunch with a retiring colleague. She started working at the library before I was born, and she wasn't that happy about me reminding her of the years gone by. She said she would do more family history research now, and I encouraged her, of course. The strained situation at work hasn't changed, so my department (=me and another person) had to do a large part of the circulation desk duties also. I am supposed to prepare for the big book move starting in March/April, but these other problems have come in the way.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Committee meeting

This past week my library hosted a visit from the national committee I'm a member of. It concerns digitization of old material. It was the fourth meeting and everything went well. I arranged a visit to the manuscript department, where we were shown what collections have been and should be digitized. Each library has some special unique collections they want to make available to a wider audience, but it is rather costly to do that. We don't get any extra funds for it. We were also given an interesting presentation of a photo scanning project. The tour of the library took longer than I had planned for, because the others had never been there and wanted to see basically everything. Especially the old collection was of interest (most of them work with such books on a daily basis). We had the actual committee meeting also, so it was a full day.

The other part of the work week was rather busy. I have seen on the schedule that the staff in the stacks have been listed for circulation desk tasks for the next two weeks also. Not to my liking, because we are lagging behind with shelving. I realize that shelving has a lower priority, but it's still annoying. This past week we also had to staff the open collection and help out in general.

I was right about the icy roads, but I have made it to and from work without any accidents. It's just below freezing, and there is a cold wind. I haven't been anywhere this weekend, it's too cold out. I got groceries at one of the local stores and it was not a pleasant walk.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First snow

Very busy week at work. The people working in the stacks had to do a large part of other department's tasks also. It's strange, but it ends up like that quite often. This time it's the beginning of the semester that causes problems. The students all get their reading lists the first week. I don't want to know how many hours of overtime I have. Only one meeting this week, and the decisions made were just what I hoped for, so that was good.

Yesterday I removed all the Christmas decorations in my apartment. It was a tough job that took most of the day, actually. I exchanged the curtains, packed the tree decorations in boxes, and brought the tree and everything else up to the attic. I had to vacuum also.

Today I went to the closest mall. It was a convenient time, because people are generally very short of cash at this time of year. January is a difficult month to get through for many people. Most employees get their salaries on the 25th of every month, so the mall was practically empty. There were some purchases made, but nothing worth taking note of.

The first snow for the season fell yesterday, and most of it is already gone. The temperature is now freezing, so it will be interesting to see how icy the roads are tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Party at work

There hasn't been much writing done here. Last weekend I did a shopping trip to Malmö. The city has a bad reputation, and it's getting worse. The crime rate is high and there are areas you shouldn't visit even in daytime. I stayed in the shopping streets, so I was ok. The sales haven't been that interesting this year, but I have still done some purchases, of course. I have added some to the collection of Christmas decorations, mainly to have for next Christmas. Also stocked up on hygiene products. There is a new store in Malmö that sells English food and candy. Fascinating to see. Lots of tea, toffee and strange items like Christmas pudding and fruitcake. It seems to be doing well, there was a long line of customers.

The week at work was busy. We are having many discussions about the future, since there are lots of changes going on. I attended two formal meetings and a few informal ones. There is a new generation of senior staff members taking over. This is a difficult process for several reasons. It's hard to take over when the previous ones have had the job for decades. The fact that one employee who was below me in rank now is my superior is one peculiar thing. We have always had an open communication, and I hope this odd situation will not be a problem. I am certainly not envious. He suddenly got a workload I don't think he could foresee. Yesterday we had a very nice party at the library. We had invited the staff from the head office of library administration. They will move into our building some time in the future. We wanted to show them part of our collections and have a social event to get to know each other. We really meet a lot for lectures and also through the social club activities, but we still wanted to invite them over.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family related news

First a sad note. One of the Nelson relatives in Minneapolis, Kathy, has passed away. She was not doing well when I saw her this August and now she lost the battle to serious illness. She was a happy, talkative and bubbly person who will be very missed. I'm glad I got to meet her during my visit (thanks to Ron and Mary).

Yesterday I was given some very surprising news relating to my father's side of the family. My father called me and said that we have more relatives than we thought we did. I don't have the details yet, but dad's uncle apparently had a child out of wedlock that he never told anyone about. The uncle moved to Denmark many years ago and died there. The child, a son who lives in Sweden, was never told who his father was. This detail was found after the mother had passed away (this must have been very recently). It's sad that this information couldn't be located earlier, because the involved persons are now dead. The son in Sweden has two siblings in Denmark though, so I hope they will establish a connection.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A new year

The end of last year was not that exciting here. I did some cooking and cleaning mostly. I had to work last Friday and that was not pleasant. I was in a bad mood because my colleagues hadn't done their tasks properly while I had been away. I had to drive to all five storages also and it's very time consuming. We managed to get all the requests processed in time anyway, so maybe I shouldn't be that upset.

The last day of last year I didn't do much. There were some movies to watch on TV and then I admired the fireworks from my balcony. Pretty nice view from there, since it's on the third floor. I have exchanged my calendars and it's with the same amazement every year - time really flies. I'm happy about the Garfield day-calendar I got in the US. Now I start every morning with a Garfield comic strip.

It's almost a regular work week (Friday is off), but there are few staff members here. Christmas Eve was on a Saturday, so it has only been one extra day off and that's not much. People are using their vacation days instead. Some of them are sick, and that caused a few problems. I continue to have desk duty, even though I was supposed to do other things. The manuscript reading room is going to move up one floor, and that has been delayed. After the move I will not attend the desk, at least.

I wish everybody all the best for the new year!