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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!