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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.