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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.

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