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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.