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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.