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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas party no 2

It has been a crazy week at work. The upcoming holiday is long with many days off, and there were so many things we needed to do before we take vacation. We have done some fun things also. Thursday evening we had a second Christmas party, this time only for the employees at the main library (the party arranged by the social club is for all library employees at the university; some 30 institutions). This last party was also enjoyable, with very good food, a treasure hunt (through most floors of the building) and a difficult quiz (the theme was TV series - name all the characters of Dallas and other challenging questions).

Friday morning it took a while before my colleagues showed up for work, but most of them did. My department had the last meeting for the year, and it was more of a coffee break than anything else. We were treated to saffron buns, ginger snaps and chocolate.

Saturday my father and his girlfriend came to visit me. They brought the Christmas present I had asked for - a broom and a dustpan. Not that exciting, but that's what I needed. We also went to the nearest mall to eat lunch and check out some stores. It was crowded, since it's so close to Christmas, but we didn't have many errands so we got out of there after just a few hours. I took the opportunity to go grocery shopping also, since my father has a car.

Finally, I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The next blog post will appear in January.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weekend trip to Stockholm

The weather changed again pretty quickly. All snow was gone by Monday and it's now dark and rainy. It has been a very mild winter so far.

Saturday I got a cold, which was not surprising as many of my colleagues had the same. I stayed at home until Wednesday around lunchtime. I had two meetings booked that afternoon, so I just attended them.

Friday afternoon I went by train to Stockholm. I have relatives there (my mother's cousin), and I visited them over the weekend. My sister also visited, she had attended a course arranged by a school there, and she had the final exam Saturday. We really didn't do much in Stockholm, just some shopping. It was a nice visit, despite the rainy weather. I returned home Monday.

Today I'm at work, even though I shouldn't be. I had forgotten to book the train ticket for Christmas, and it was necessary to get that done. This year's Christmas present from work is a large platter (for serving food on) and a box of chocolate (already consumed).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas party in a snowstorm

Ok, now we got snow... It has been a terrible week weatherwise. Very high winds (35-40 m/s) and rain/snow. We are experiencing high water levels (ocean water is flooding streets in Malmö) and power outages. The traffic problems have been (and still are) very extensive. The only train line that is open is a short distance on the west coast line. I had to borrow the storage round car in order to make it home both Thursday and Friday. Everything was cancelled; trains, buses and ferries.

Despite this extreme weather, we had our Christmas party Friday evening. Several people couldn't come because of the weather. But those who attended had a very good time. We had rented a place in central Lund, and we all agreed that we should do that again. Very practical facilities, with a fully stocked kitchen. It's a lot of work, but we prefer to do our own party, rather than having it at a restaurant. We had a theme for this party, the 1970s. Many of the guests had taken this seriously and had dressed up in the style of that era. Very fun, and we gave a prize to the best outfit (a young guy in punk clothes). The social club turned 40 this year and we celebrated this by publishing a 1973-2013 chronicle. The booklet contains descriptions of the social club activities, like parties and excursions, and lots of photos. It was handed out at the Christmas party and was well received.

Today most of us rests. Not me, though. I had to drive to Lund to get the party things (candleholders and everything that was left over) back to the library and also pick up more forgotten things. It was very treacherous to drive, not because I had problems, but because of all the optimistic drivers who don't have spiked tires. I got stuck when a taxi couldn't get started again at a traffic light.

So, now I was thinking I would take the train home... Let's see how that goes. (According to the traffic authority website it should work).

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shopping Monday

Not much to report from here, just a lot of work (including two meetings, which resulted in more tasks for me, unfortunately). The only nice thing was the shopping trip I did Monday (on my day off). I toured two malls near Malmö and also the city of Malmö. I got a few Christmas presents and some things for myself. I noticed several new shops that were interesting, a discount book store and a Danish style shop with lots of ornaments (very cheaply). I ended the day at the TGIF restaurant, treating myself to a good sized meal with brownie & icecream for dessert.

My back isn't doing that great, so I got a treatment by the chiropractor again this week. Every time I'm there he tells me I have to find another job... It's the heavy lifting during the storage round that is causing some of the problems.

The weather here is not winter-like at all. It has been the warmest fall ever in recorded history. It's still not below zero and we are driving our cars with spiked tyres (it's the law from Dec 1st) for no reason. Not a snowflake in sight. It's dark and moderately rainy, but not cold. The calender says it's the first advent tomorrow, so it's time to get some of the Christmas decorations out. Seems a little early.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas market

It was an extended weekend at the summerhouse, I was there until Tuesday. Our database at the library was down for an upgrade and there would be very few requests, so I took the opportunity to get vacation. Especially since my mother wasn't well and wanted company. Saturday we took the bus to Åhus for a flea market round. This day all proceeds went to the Philippines, so we paid extra at the cashier. We got some ornaments and glassware. Also got a very ugly plastic necklace in a disturbingly green color, and the saleswoman asked what on earth I would use it for. The upcoming Christmas party at work will have a theme - the 1970s!

Sunday we took the bus to Kristianstad to go to a Christmas market. The first stall sold ointments for people with muscle inflammation (and that had nothing to do with Christmas). But my mother, who has exactly that problem (and right now pretty severely), asked for a demonstration and was given one treatment on the spot. She noticed a difference and bought the product. After one day she quit taking the strongest pain medication. She has been to a chiropractor, a doctor and two fysiotherapists, but the thing that helped the most was a liniment bought at a Christmas market. It's incredible.

Getting back to work Wednesday was not pleasant, the tasks were piled up on my chair (they put it there so I will be sure to see it). But the database upgrade went really well. At least we haven't noticed any disasters so far. Friday I did a repeat of my (by now) famous lecture on biographic works. I think I have given it about five times for the staff. It's about biographic works with more normal people, like farmworkers, schoolteachers and craftsmen. It's more likely that you will find your ancestors listed in those books than in the ones about noble or royal families. The books I showed were published about 1920-1960 and they can be quite interesting for genealogists, but also for people studying the 20th century in general. Several colleagues have found relatives in those books during these lectures.

Friday, November 15, 2013

International visit

The work week started Tuesday with three meetings. It's remarkable that I survived. We do have a lot of issues to discuss, mainly staffing and long-term planning. Thursday we got a visit from the medical faculty library in Copenhagen, Denmark. Five librarians who work in their stacks came to see how we work here. They were fascinated by our call slips and asked about logistics and rules for borrowing. We also talked about digitization (seems like unavoidable these days, when talking about libraries). It was interesting to compare our work issues (they are similar).

I'm sorry to say that the Emigrant Institute in Växjö will close. They hold a large collection of books and archive material relating to emigration/immigration and they have had such big financial problems that these collections have been in reality unavailable for quite some time. It's sad that it ended like this. It's unclear what will happen to the collections, but there are a few options and I hope they can find an archive that will be able to take care of it (and also make it available). The museum part, with exhibits about Swedish emigration and Swedes in America, will continue like before.

After two more meetings this week I'm pretty tired and I will be off to the summer house this evening, to visit my mother.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weekend at the summer house

The rain storm early last week meant that I stayed at home both Monday and Tuesday. Normally I would be at home only Monday, but the trains were cancelled both days and I need to use up more vacation days anyway. Many trees fell over the railtracks, and it took a while before they could get that cleared. I was just glad not to have to go out in that weather, some pretty big objects were flying around and glass windows were damaged (not in my building, though).

My work week was very short, I worked Wednesday and half Thursday. I then took the train and bus to the summer house. Last week was Fall break, so my sister and her kids visited. My mother was also there, of course. She needs some treatments at the medical center here, so she is staying for a few weeks. The long weekend at the summer house was pretty wet. It rained almost the entire time. But the others had been active cutting logs for the fireplace and storing them in the garage. We did some short visits to the nearest towns also, the rest of the time we just relaxed and played with the kids. I think that I easily can get accustomed to having this much time off from work. It's very nice.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lots of tops

I finally got that bad cold all my colleagues have had. One week later, and I'm still sick. I worked the last three days of the week. There were meetings booked, and I basically just attended them. I heard the ephemera collection move started last Monday, and there had already been misunderstandings between the movers and the librarian. It was very unprofessional of me, but I just laughed at the librarian when he told me about it.

The first two months of the semester have been very tough at work and I wrote an evaluation of the plan I had done earlier. The outcome was pretty far away from the plan, that's all I'm saying. At the same time as I handed in the evaluation, I told my boss that it can't continue like this and I have to take vacation. It would kill my colleagues if that took effect immediately, so I said to count me out starting April 1st and the rest of the year. (Yes, I mean it). The reactions to this information were mixed...

On a completely different matter, I did some serious shopping this past week. There is a top that I got on mail order earlier that I liked so much that I now got the same one in three more colors. Also got a pair of black jeans, some underwear and a fluffy cardigan. A visit to my favorite mall resulted in a shirt and two tops.

The weather here is not particularly cold, it's 12-14 centigrades and not so much rain as would be expected for this season. But I hear there is a massive rain storm coming in from the southwest tonight, so that will change.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Borås visit

Last week I left work at noon on Wednesday and went by train to Borås. I spent a long weekend with my family there. My sister and her husband celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary by going away to a country inn, so my mother and I were taking care of the kids. We also got to celebrate later, when we all went out to a fancy restaurant for a delicious salmon meal. There was also time to go shopping a little, my mother brought me to an outlet store at one of the mail order companies. There were surplus goods and returns at extremely low prices. Sadly, no clothes in my size, but still interesting to see. I got two tops on sale at the mall instead. We did the usual flea market store round, plus one store I had never been to before.The kids kept us busy with playground visits, lego building and other games. I returned home Monday.

In order to use the remaining vacation days, I have to take every Monday off the rest of the year, so I got back to work Tuesday. When they started telling me what had happened during my absence, I put my hands over my ears and told them I didn't want to know. I wonder why things always go wrong when I'm not there. People got sick and none of the others knew how to print the requests, apparently. Even though I showed them that particular task last week. I have now spent days writing a very detailed instruction, to prevent that from happening again. To add to the mess, our patrons complained about requested but not retrieved books this week. We investigated it, and the technicians noticed that some requests get lost in cyberspace... They were able to fix it after a few days and we also got hold of the missing ones, so all the books are delivered now.

We were rather surprised to learn that we were affected by the US federal agency shut down. The largest fulltext database in education, ERIC, was made unavailable during that time. The entire situation was somewhat odd and we watched the developments with amazement.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bowling event

Another busy week went by. The manager at the shelving company and the technician were at the storage to discuss the problems with us. They found several new issues that they didn't know about, and suggested that it's the programming that isn't right. Exactly what we have said the entire time. Incredible that it had to take this long for them to get it. No promises were made as to when this will be fixed.

I had a meeting with the colleagues who will be in charge of the ephemera collection move, which will start mid October. My book moving experience is extensive, and I gave them some hints and suggestions to make their move easier. I also had a meeting which resulted in some less favorable things. I have to find space for 1000 meters of folio format books somewhere. I'm still working on that.

Tuesday evening we had the annual dinner and bowling event in Malmö. Great food in Scandinavian style; salmon, herring and several kinds of meat. The bowling tournament was won by one of the recently employed guys, who said he was just lucky to get three strikes in a row.

The hard work shelving at the storage continues. There is still a backlog, but we are beginning to get it under control. Thursday I had to get treatment by the chiropractor and that was not pleasant. The week ended in a good way, with Cinnamon Bun Day. Yes, we have such an official day. I helped myself to more than one bun. After such a week I needed it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

History Museum visit

Last Saturday it was Culture Night in Lund. There were many activities, for example dance troups, lectures, theater performances, science shows, market stalls, and several museums were open until very late. Admission was free everywhere and people made use of this. I went to the Museum of History, which was quite interesting. There were local archeological finds from the Iron Age, such as pearls, coins (very large collection), arrowheads and other things made of metal and bone. Also large halls with interiors from medieval churches; benches, fonts, wooden sculptures and entire altarpieces. There was also a curiosity cabinet, with items collected by explorers to (very) foreign lands hundreds of years ago. Some examples: a stuffed crocodile, a mummy, fish fossils and a skirt made of grass.

At work it's the same as usual, though more tasks for me. I definitely work too much. Several people were at home due to a very bad cold that has knocked them out for days. It's just a matter of time before I get it too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Grateful customers

Another week filled with work passed by. I attended several meetings and shelved a large number of books at the storage. The piles of books are still large. The new storage for the ephemera collection was flooded and the wooden floor was destroyed. I thanked my lucky star for not being in charge of that problem. There are compact shelves installed, but the material is still placed elsewhere. They plan on starting the move this October. I have another book move to do also, but not that big. It's about 2000 meters that will be relocated within the building, but new compact shelves will have to be installed first. It will take a while.

The technician arrived at our new storage to look at the problem with the shelves that are stuck, and established the same thing as we already knew - something is not right. I think the programming was done incorrectly.

In our aim to please our customers, we reached new heights this week. It happens that people ask about their ancestors who were students at the university. There are records of what they studied and for how long, so we can give them that information. But this case was slightly different. We found a lot more, because another student from that time (end 19th century) had written his memoirs and included this person. We also referred the patron to the university archive, where she was able to get copies of one essay and one dissertation her ancestor had written. I met her yesterday and she was ecstatic about her finds. She showed me the ancestor chart and I noticed some gaps on it. So I used our databases to add the missing information. This is not a service we usually provide, but it was easy for me and she was forever grateful.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall weather

The situation at work got slightly better this past week, but there were still many problems. The printer decided to break down and it delayed the requests quite a lot. It's always something happening here. Some shelves at the new storage got stuck again, and we can't move them to retrieve books in three sections. We had a stacks meeting to discuss all the issues and it was a pretty long meeting. We have a lot of work to do this fall, without a doubt. And my back is complaining already.

The weather seems to have changed over the weekend. Saturday was very nice and I sat on the balcony enjoying the sun. Today it's dark and rainy. The leaves have already started to change in color and also fall off the trees.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tough week

The week at work was terrible. It was the first week of the semester and our database crashed the previous Saturday. It couldn't stand the pressure of thousands of requests at the same time. All the students had their reading lists and wanted to request the books. The database was running again on Monday afternoon, but we saw the effects of the failure for several days on. The amount of requests was high and we worked hard to make the deadline (which is at noon).

It was also the first week when most people were back on duty again, and we had to have several meetings to discuss work issues. We have lots to plan for this semester and the staff situation is not that great. I spent every afternoon at the new storage to try to make the backlog of returned books a little smaller. Getting the returned books back on the shelves has been a problem for a long time. I brought the new guy with me and challenged him to shelve books in the old collection, which is much more complicated than the collection at the main library, where he usually works.

The only positive thing I have to report is the fact that I cracked a very difficult genealogy case last weekend. Someone had spent decades trying to find the origin of a family who lived in a parish where the church records are missing that early (1740-1800). With the help of a database, the tax records and checking who was listed as godmother/godfather at their children's baptisms (it's usually a relative), I found two more generations. It wasn't easy, but if it were, it wouldn't be called research.

And greetings, cheers and best wishes to my colleague Anna-Karin, who got married yesterday!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Copenhagen trip

Wednesday they had hired retired librarians to attend the desk and all the regular staff members (more than 60) went on a trip to Copenhagen. We divided up in groups and went to visit different libraries or related institutions. I went to the Danish State Archive. They keep historical records since their country was formed and on. It is the place to go if you want to find your Danish ancestors. They have posted an enormous amount of records online on their website, free for everyone to look at. Starting point: http://www.sa.dk/content/us/ We visited their rather new storage facility in central Copenhagen. It was gigantic, 14 meters high and accessible only through an electric movable lift. Very interesting to compare with our storage. The staff showed us very old documents, letters and maps. Peace treaties from the wars Denmark and Sweden fought in the 1600s and a coronation document from 1497, for instance. We also discussed digitization, making the historic document available to everyone, conservation and restoration methods, storage space and how costly all of it is. It was one of the most interesting visits to another library/archive I have ever done. We have so many issues in common.

After a sandwich lunch we took the metro to the new aquarium, the Blue Planet, close to the airport. It opened this spring and it's very popular. They have large tanks with all sorts of fish; sharks, piranhas, electric eels, flat ray-fish with long tails, and species that didn't even have names in our language. There were also sealions, snakes and colorful frogs. I only stayed about an hour, then I took the metro to a mall. There is a plus size clothing store there, and I found a nice top at a very affordable price. Plus size clothes are actually cheaper in Denmark, and there is more to chose from than in Sweden.

Apart from this, the week at work was not pleasant. There was very much to do. The semester starts on Monday. The only good thing was the fact that the movers cleaned the new storage very thoroughly and we are grateful for it. It was the last task they had here for a while, the next move will start in October, probably.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Viking Museum visit

The trip to Denmark last Thursday was very nice. We went to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. They have five ships on display that were found in the ocean outside Roskilde. They have also made replicas of them and they sail with these vessels regularly. It's a working science museum. More info here: http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/ We took the guided tour in Danish, which was a challenge for some of my colleagues. We can watch Danish television, but we often find the language difficult to understand in speech.  We had a quiz during the bus trip with questions about vikings. One of my colleagues got all of them right, including a translation of a sentence in the runic alphabet. Impressive. After the return to Lund we had dinner at a restaurant, a bbq buffet that was outstanding.

Friday I went to the summerhouse. Saturday it was Play Day for children at Furuboda and both my mother and I helped out. I got an easy task, I was in charge of the staff lunchroom starting at 1 p.m. By then most people had already had lunch so there was not much to do. There were more than 3000 visitors, and they took part in a large number of activities like riding horse carriages and old cars, playing tennis, lawn games and other sports, going on the merry-go-rounds, watching pop stars perform and much, much else.

My mother and I had a nice time at the summer house. It might have been the last weekend with good weather, so we basically sat in the sun and just relaxed. My mother is dog sitting, she takes care of a small dog for about a week, so we got at least some exercise walking her. The dog had a good time chasing the rabbits, deer, hedgehogs and even a small lizard (difficult to catch since she was on a leash the entire time, but still fun). I returned home yesterday. Today was the first working day after my vacation and there were a few things for me to attend to. To put it mildly. Things haven't been working out the way we hoped in the stacks. The movers also showed up and expected me to find tasks for them. I seized the opportunity and told them to go to the new storage and clean it. It is amazing, but the there is (after a year and a half) still no functioning cleaning service at our new storage. It has legal reasons.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Festival in Malmö

It seems like the nice summer weather is gone for this season. Last Wednesday it rained very much, with heavy thunder storms. I stayed inside the entire day. Thursday was the last day on the summer pass on trains and buses, so I went to my favorite mall, Väla. It's outside Helsingborg. There were some new stores, and all places had end of summer sales. Got a new cushion for my couch and some small things. The department store Åhléns sold a set of school supply with images of old books. Even though I don't go to school anymore, I thought it was appropriate for a librarian to have, so I got some folders. Friday I had to go to work to administrate the social club activities. I do my best to hide when I'm at work to use the computer, but my colleagues spot me anyway. I had to solve some issues with books they hadn't been able to find.

There is a street/music/cultural festival going on in Malmö and I went Sunday afternoon. There are all sorts of food inspired by kitchens all over the world and street vendors selling necklaces, bags and candy. You can get mooseburger and many variations of kebabs, for instance. There are several outdoor music stages and I watched the concert orchestra performing popular classics and movie themes. It was also a music crossword puzzle at the same time, and I participated, of course. Haven't heard if I won any prizes, but it was fun anyway, despite the pouring rain. Most of this week I have been very lazy and stayed at home, apart from visiting the new local grocery store. Today I went to the archive and did some research. I have vacation also this week, but I will "work" tomorrow. The social club is arranging a bus excursion to Denmark.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vacation with fleamarkets

The weather has been good during my vacation, sunny and warm. Some days up to 30 centigrades, which is a lot. The long weekend at the summer house with the rest of the family was nice. I basically sat in the sun, went to the beach, solved crossword puzzles and was served food. The others worked (the moss on the roof had to be removed), but I somehow managed to avoid all of that.

Wednesday morning my mother and I went by bus, train and one more bus to get to a small town in northern Skåne, Vittsjö. We visited some relatives there. They have their old family farm as vacation house. They took us on a tour of the area, it's pretty with lakes and forests. Thursday it rained so we went to Hässleholm on a flea market round. In the afternoon my mother and I went on by train to my apartment. Friday we made a trip to a place I have never been to before - the island of Ven. It's a ferry ride away from Landskrona, it takes 30 minutes. Ven is a very picturesque place, situated in between Denmark and Sweden. It's mainly farmland with small restaurants, amazing views, a medieval church and the Tycho Brahe museum. Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer who lived 1546-1601. We walked or took the small bus to get around the island. The ice-cream made locally was very tasty.

Saturday we went to Lund to the fleamarket along the esplanade, where people sell household items, books, children's clothes and toys and much else. Sunday we went to yet another fleamarket, this time in Malmö. I found a long tunic there, very affordable. We continued on by train to Ikea and a fabric store, and then back to another train station to see the fairly new mall called Emporia. My mother had never been there, so we went through most of it. We only made some small purchases (I got a living room lamp and kitchen curtains), but it was still interesting to visit.

Monday the weather started changing, with dark clouds and rain showers. We still went on a trip to the place furthest south in Sweden, Skanör-Falsterbo. It's on the southwest corner of Skåne and I can't remember ever having been there either. It took an hour and a half to get there by train and bus. It's mainly a summer town with beaches and we didn't really see much. We just had pizza and then went to Lund to get some good ice-cream. Today my mother was tired from all the walking, and she went back to the summer house. I'm at work to do some research, and I was told I was missed. I try to ignore it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

First vacation week

Last week was the last at work for a while. We got the chance of hiring the movers to continue the project that was interrupted by the fire alarm problems earlier, so they are now re-arranging a book collection at the main library. They are still working on it, one of my colleagues took over as manager during my absense.

The first real vacation week has been warm and sunny for the most part. Up to 29 centigrades some days - hot. I have enjoyed sitting on the balcony. I have made some short trips, to Landskrona and Lund. I hadn't been in Landskrona (a town 15 minutes away by train) in ages. It's kind of a cute town, but there is not so much to see or do there. Several of the souvenir stores were closed, so there were only the usual chain stores open.

The vacation so far has also been used to do research for others and clean the apartment thoroughly. Especially the last thing was an ordeal, doing hard work in this climate is not recommended. Later today I'm going to the summer house for about a week, and I hope the ocean is warm enough for a swim.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer work

I have worked for two weeks, and there is no rush at the library, fortunately. There are few patrons here now. We get some tourists who look at the exhibits and hobby researchers, like genealogists. The problems we have regard people who are not here normally, they don't know that you have to order the books a day in advance.

We got a new staff member recently, to replace a guy who is on paternity leave. We tried to shock the new guy by making him retrieve books at the storage the first week, but he isn't easily scared. He has worked hours in the stacks before, so he had some experience. I have spent these two weeks trying to catch up. I have looked for missing books, written reports, read reports, retrieved books, answered a huge number of e-mails, corrected some mistakes made by the movers and put up new lists of the contents of every compact shelf on one floor. There are more things to do, so I will work also next week (which wasn't the plan, really).

It's pretty nice weather here, sunny and warm. Sometimes too warm and rather humid, but we have to complain no matter what. I haven't done much else than working, just some visits to a few malls. Minor purchases; a yellow top and a fly swat! Had dinner at TGI Friday in Malmö one evening, but have stayed at home most of the time. This book moving project has meant that I haven't had time or energy to attend to my apartment. It looked very messy, so I have cleaned and tidied up a little. I'm also trying to get my genealogy files into a better order, but that's a long term project.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Vacation or something

Tuesday June 18th everything started to go wrong. The fire alarm at the library was no longer functioning and we had to vacate the building. We were not allowed to be there for safety reasons.  The movers who were dismantling the shelving system in the basement could finish their job, but the book movers had to stop in the middle of it. Too bad, I had hoped they would get more done. I quickly re-organized the work and went with all the movers to a storage. They started tearing down the wooden compact shelves that I had been told we wouldn't need anymore. As this was supposed to be my last task relating to the move, I said goodbye to the movers and went on vacation. The library was closed for four days while the technicians worked around the clock to try to figure out what was wrong with the fire alarm. Amazing that it took that long time. The library being closed caused a lot of problems, both to us and our patrons.

The Midsummer weekend was nice and rather relaxing. Lots of herring was consumed. Also strawberries. The following week my mother, sister and I (with help from about 25 other people) were working with the flea market at Furuboda. There weren't as many things to sell as last year, but the quality was higher so we sold for about the same amount.

We have also celebrated my mother's birthday (including an extra celebration for my aunt), played with the kids, taken shopping trips to town and solved a few crossword puzzles. But my vacation has mostly been filled with hard work and my back hurts more now than before. Unfortunately, my cell phone has been ringing a lot, because there are problems at the library. An example: the shelves I thought we were going to discard were supposed to be reused, which means an enormous waste of money, since the movers threw away most of it (several thousand meters) before this was discovered. The messages from work finally got so annoying that I had to go there Thursday to clear some things out. It hasn't been much of a vacation, to be honest. Now I have a cold also, so things are not that great. I have to start working again on Monday. Sigh.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Workshop with dinner

Another busy week passed by. The movers finished the work for the ephemera collection and asked for more things to do. I gave them the job of moving a collection within the same floor of the main library. Some parts of it are placed on temporary shelves and that's not so practical. I saved this job for last, because it had lower priority than the ephemera collection. Tuesday another group of four very strong guys from the moving company arrived here. They started removing the compact system in the basement that had been emptied by their colleagues earlier. It's made of metal and it was a tough job to dismantle it all. They had to separate the metal from the electric cables and rubber, because you get paid for the metal if you recycle it clean.

Thursday most of the librarians at the university were in Helsingborg for a workshop. The head librarian asked us to participate in the production of the strategy plan for the entire library network. It may sound crazy, but it was rather fun to discuss these matters with colleagues. The day ended with a very nice boat trip. We went onboard one of the ferries that go between Helsingborg and Elsinore in Denmark (one way takes 20 minutes) and spent four trips in the restaurant. (We never disembarked in Elsinore). We had a very nice buffet, where the fish was of especially high quality. I ate too much again.

The weather is pretty typical of a Swedish summer; very varied. Sun, clouds and rain. Sometimes all at once. Next Friday is Midsummer, and I will be at the summer house. So, probably no writing here for a while.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shopping trip to Denmark

The week that passed we worked only Monday-Wednesday. The movers are now four (used to be seven), and they are moving ephemera material ahead of time. It's the most frequent material that will stay in the main library, so they are moving it three floors down. There is about 10 000 shelf meters of ephemera material in total and most of it will be moved to another storage this fall. The problem is that there are no shelves yet. There have been some administrative issues, but we hope they will start building the compact-shelves during the summer. Formally, this move is not my responsibility, but I'm involved anyway (because of my long experience from book moving).

Tuesday I was at a conference in Malmö called "Social media and the web". It was about all the ways you can present yourself (or a library, for that matter) on the internet. I gave a short presentation of my moving blog. The speech was in free form and without preparation. It turned out surprisingly well.

Thursday was our National Day, so the library was closed. I went on a shopping trip to Denmark. I usually do this, because it's a normal working day there, so all the stores are open. I'm not the only Swede who has discovered this. The triple-connected train was extremely crowded. I changed trains at the airport, and went to a mall just outside Copenhagen. I found a pair of sandals of the brand I use at work, which was really good. Also bought a dress on sale and a top at a very cheap department store. Had lunch at my favorite place, the Hard Rock Cafe. A great day.

The last days of the week I haven't done much. I tried to tidy up in my apartment (again). I don't understand how it can get that messy.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The end of the book move

Last week was another tough one. It was also the last one for the book move. Yes, it is incredible, but it's actually over now! The last book was moved Friday. I can't believe that there was an ending to this madness. We still have lots of things to do, because all the book cases at the old storages must be torn down and thrown away, but the books have found home. The movers are still here, they are now moving some material from the ephemera collection to another floor of the main library.

Last week was also the annual picnic with boules, arranged by the social club at work. We were at the Botanical Gardens. The weather was a concern, because it rained during the day, but in the evening it was very nice and sunny. We had a very good time. There is nothing like competing for some silly prizes with your colleagues.

Saturday I was at work again, and in the afternoon I took the bus to a small town outside Lund. I had, along with some other colleagues, been invited to a colleague's house for a barbeque. It rained very much, so we sat inside. It was fun to meet everybody outside of work.

And a special thank you to my father (if he should ever read this), for driving down to my place one evening, just to fix the lock on my apartment door. It was not working properly and the door was very difficult to unlock. A little scary, since it's the only exit from my apartment. It took about 30 minutes to grease all the components and it helped a great deal. Dinner (home cooked) was the only payment.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Incredible week

Last week was the kind of week I'm glad I survived. The workload was incredible. There were some events that stand out from the rest. Wednesday I arrived 15 minutes late to the department meeting because the movers needed help right then. During the meeting I had to leave to answer my cell phone three times. The movers needed more help. I don't remember much from what was said at that meeting. The same day an entire load of carts fell over in the truck during transportation. The strap securing the carts broke. Many of the books ended up in a total mess on the floor. It was a hard job to get them all in order again.

The decisions made at the last crisis meeting were not in my favor. I hoped to get vacation soon, but I will have to continue being in charge of the movers, even though their tasks will change. We now have a large number of empty bookcases in several different storages. The movers will dismantle them, some to discard and some to re-use elsewhere. It's going to be a long summer for all of us.

Saturday I was at work. No surprises there. In the afternoon I went to a big mall outside Malmö, just to do something that wasn't work-related.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last book in place at new storage

We have an extreme workload at the library this time of year. Many books are requested and many are returned. The movers have now placed the last book at the new storage. At least for a while. (Next year we will get more books from the faculty libraries). It feels strange that we have actually come this far. They have emptied one more of the old storages also. There is one left, and the books placed there will be moved to the main library. We started on that last week. There are some collections that will be moved within the house, and I have challenged the movers to do all the tasks at the same time. It has required my presence quite a lot. It is amazing that they can understand the strange system we have here. We place our books from the bottom and up on the shelves. That has never caused any problems to them.

Yesterday the Archive Center (where we have our new storage) was officially opened, because now all the archives are in place. Many dignified people attended the ceremonies. All the different archives (about eight) had displays of their records and collections. The Institute of Biology had a large skeleton of a giraffe in the main hall. We had some books to show in our storage. Much easier to handle. I brought books from our varied collection; children's books, sports magazines, scientific reports, medical journals, gossip magazines, biographies, and a few more. There were several groups of people walking around to look and I think I gave the introductory speech about seven times or so. All went well and I could actually answer all the questions I got.

Today my grandfather turns 99. Yes, it's mind-blowing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer house weekend

Another week with days off passed. Thursday was Ascension Day. I spent it going through the closets to throw out clothes. I was supposed to take leave also Friday, but no one else could retrieve books from the old collection so I worked a few hours. No big deal, as I was on my way to the summer house and had to go to Lund to change trains anyway.

The weekend was mostly filled with heavy work. My mother had just moved down for the season and we had to get everything ready. My sister and her daughter were there also. We mowed the lawn, dug up a flower bed and put new garden earth in it, planted flowers and scrubbed the deck on the veranda. Saturday we went on a fleamarket round in Åhus and found a few items worth buying. I returned home by train Sunday.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Window washing

This past week Walpurgis Night was Tuesday and May Day (our Labor Day) was Wednesday. Tuesday would normally be a working day, but the movers had asked for leave. There is a gigantic party in the city park that day, and it's such a special event that the movers had worked extra hours prior to it, just to be able to attend. It had, according to what they said afterwards, been a great party.

I spent those two days working in my apartment. The windows needed cleaning. I can't even remember the last time I did that. They were incredibly dirty. The apartment is on the third floor, so people wouldn't really notice from the outside (at least I hope so). It started bothering me when the light returned to this part of the world after that long, dark winter. It's sunny and about 15 centigrades now, so it looks like spring is here.

Saturday I went shopping in Malmö. I haven't been there in quite a while, so there were lots of stores to visit. I went to several different malls and also the city center. Noticed a second hand store I haven't seen before. I got a tunic in a yellow pattern, a sleeveless top, an orange bracelet and a pair of shoes.

There were three working days this week, and the movers were at the main library to load one of the donated collections. I have never looked at those books before, because I thought that they were placed in a correct order. It turned out that they weren't. It got complicated pretty quickly and I had to engage in the move much more than I had planned.

Finally I would like to say that I find it remarkable that no one told me Lester Nelson passed away. This was in December 2011 and you might think I would keep track of this, but no one has said anything. I found out yesterday from www.findagrave.com, where the obituary is posted. Lester's impact on my life is immeasurable. His visit to Sweden in 1991 (when he located us) is what got the entire family history research a whole new perspective. He provided family information, got me in contact with other relatives and helped me in every possible way when I visited the US. Our communication has been very important to me. It opened up my eyes to the world.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Aunt's birthday party

Last week we had the annual meeting in the social club at work. I was the chairwoman and it went much better than last year. We invited one of the scholars at the university to give a speech about her thesis. It was an interesting topic, luck and happiness in the 17th century. This is a scholar who has used the library very much. She praised our library service and didn't want any payment for the speech.

Friday after work I took the train to Kristianstad. I was invited to my aunt's 60th birthday at a restaurant outside town. I haven't seen many of those relatives in quite a while and it was fun to talk to them. I hardly recognized my cousin's kids. The food was great (bbq style) and my aunt was very happy about everything, especially the presents. I stayed over at my cousin's house (the breakfast buffet was impressive), and then I was dropped off in town Saturday morning. Went shopping a little (there are some nice stores in Kristianstad), and returned home by train in the afternoon.

Last week at work was filled with meetings. I showed my new boss around in the stacks, and a colleague brought her to the storages. We explained the routines and how complicated everything is. The movers started on the list of donated collections. The first six collections were housed in six different places. They do lots of driving here. When we arrived at one storage, we saw that the boxes were placed directly on the floor, so we had to go to another storage to get pallets first. It's the only collection that has been packed in boxes so far, everything else has been in bookcases.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Missing books

This past Tuesday it was exactly one year ago this big book moving project started. It was celebrated only a little, the movers got some cookies. It has been a year filled with hard work. I am amazed at the endurance these guys (and the girl) have. Two of them have been working here the entire time.

It has been an interesting week at work. It is soon time to move the smaller donated collections. I have a list of them, and I have spent time in the storages, locating them and marking them. One is missing. It is a collection of six shelfmeters, and I can't find it. I have searched in all the places possible and it just isn't there. The only hope now is that it will somehow surface when everything else has been moved...

The movers got new challenges when they changed shelving location to the other (older) storage in the same building. We had problems with the loading dock, because it's a different alarm system and we really didn't know how to manage it. We got help from the archivists, so it worked out though. We had previously moved out about 700 meters from the older storage, so now we placed collection no 2 of textbooks there. Collection no 3 was already placed there. Collection no 1 is a part of another series and will stay at the main library. The collection of UN print was also divided in two parts, that is now also placed in the same building.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trip to Stockholm

Last week I only worked Monday and half of Tuesday. Tuesday at midday I took the train to Stockholm. I stayed with my mother's cousin and his wife. They have an apartment very conveniently located two blocks away from a subway station and close to a nice shopping area.

Wednesday morning I walked ten minutes to get to the Royal Library, where we had the last meeting in the digitization committee. We have now fulfilled our duties by giving our final recommendations to the main committee. It's a little sad that it will end, because it has been great fun and so interesting to meet librarians from the other universities (and we have even been in Munich). The most interesting thing about the visit to the Royal Library was the tour to the stacks. (Yes, that's what my life revolves around). We were all keen on seeing the old books (and they have a large collection of very old books there), so it took the entire day before we were done. The Royal Library has the stacks below ground level. It's four floors with double corridors. Enormous space. Most have compact shelving. I looked at the barcodes, call number systems, written finding aids, lists of the collections and other small details. The plastic pocket they use for the call slip is different, for instance. They have devoted much more time to placing the oldest books in boxes for safety than we have. It was great that I could go to this meeting, you learn a lot from discussing issues with colleagues from other large libraries. I can say that we haven't kept the focus on digitization all the time, we have talked about other aspects too, like collection building, provenance, risk of theft, staff policies, salaries and much else.

Thursday morning I took a commuter train westbound, to Bålsta. That's where my paternal grandfather lives. He will be 99 in May. Every time I see him (and it's not that often), he comments on the fact that he is an old man. I can only agree. His parents didn't reach nearly such an old age, but some uncles and aunts died in their 90s (this was unusual for that time period). My grandfather has a clear mind, though his short term memory isn't as good anymore. His generally good health is a mystery to everybody, including his doctor. One time he had been to the doctor, the nurse had looked at his id-card and asked if he was really born in 1914 or if it was a misprint. It was fabulous to see him, we talked about family, travels, libraries and lots of other things. He treated me for lunch in the senior center restaurant and he walked there without the walking aid (which he got only last year, but doesn't need to use for short distances). All I can say is wow!     

Thursday afternoon and Friday I spent mostly in Stockholm, shopping. I went in every direction by subway, looking for second hand-stores and stores selling plus size clothes. I try to stay away from the center of the city, because it's so crowded and there are mostly souvenir and chain stores. I like the southern part better, where there are many cozy cafes and odd shops you can't find anywhere else. I ended up buying some tunics, a few necklaces and a handbag. I also spent time with my mother's cousin and his wife, of course. They are coming in age and don't move around so easily anymore (they are 20 years younger than my grandfather, but have not nearly as good health). I did some grocery shopping for them and helped out with laundry. I returned home Saturday afternoon, very happy to have visited the nation's capital city.

The weather seems to have changed over the weekend, because it's not below zero during the nights anymore. It's sunny and not so cold winds. I still use my winter coat, but will be looking for something else shortly.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter weekend

The Easter weekend at the summer house was rather relaxing, even though I had some paper work with me. My mother had invited some friends from Borås to stay with us. Traditionally, the local artists display their work this weekend, and we visited quite a few places to look at art installations, sculptures and paintings. Also some handcraft. Easter is also about food here. Lots of herring, salmon and boiled eggs are consumed then. There is a local smokehouse close by the summer house, where they sell smoked salmon. Very, very tasty.

This past week my birthday was celebrated a little. We are six people at work who have birthdays around this time, so we made a joint effort and bought cakes to celebrate all of us one afternoon. It turned out great. Yesterday my father and his girlfriend came to visit. Like usual, we went to the mall, had lunch and did some shopping. I got new flowers for the balcony. It's a little early still, because of the cold weather, but I can plant them later. I also took advantage of my father's car and did some serious grocery shopping. Mostly dry and canned goods that last long.

The movers are still hard at work relocating our books. The collection they moved recently was tricky, because someone had placed the books in double rows. It meant that they had to get the innermost row out first. They were not happy about this. Friday they finished that and started loading journals at another storage. They are not happy about that either, because there is no bathroom there...

Starting last week, we have a new organization at the library. The hierarchy is a little different, I have two bosses now, both new to those positions. I can say that there are and will be a lot of meetings I have to attend in relation to this. I assume I will continue to be in charge of the stacks and storages, but no one has actually said anything about it. I intend on working as if I am, until I hear otherwise.

Monday, March 25, 2013


I should never have written here that I seemed to have avoided the illness my sister's family had. Only a few hours later I got sick with stomach flu. Terrible. It was an awful week. I did very little. I tried to write some emails and tidy up around the apartment, but it was not very productive. I'm much better now and I have worked today. The movers have managed without me, luckily. There weren't too many items for me to attend to here. This is Easter week and many people are away on holiday. My mother has invited me to the summer house, where she is staying right now. I'm going there on Wednesday.

Still pretty cold here, although quite sunny. Someone said it hasn't been this cold in March since 1978.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Musical in Göteborg

Tuesday last week I made the tallest mover (he is close to two meters) help me rearrange the misplaced journal collection. We didn't need the ladder because he could reach the top shelf anyway. It took the entire afternoon to shuffle all the boxes into a correct order. They aren't so heavy (the journals are printed on newspaper paper), but there are a lot of them. In late afternoon, when the workday was really over, we had about 30 meters left. To get it finished, all the others helped out. We were seven people standing in a row, passing the boxes from hand to hand. I'm amazed about their commitment to help out. I didn't even ask.

I took last Monday off and went to my favorite mall outside Helsingborg. It was a nice visit, but I got to pay for it the next day. The tasks had mysteriously piled up and I had to stay at work for longer than I thought. Some researchers had complicated questions that took a while to answer.

Friday I went by train to Göteborg in the afternoon. I met my mother there, and we went out to explore the city. There were some nice stores and we had dinner at a cozy restaurant. In the evening we saw the musical Chess at the Opera House. We had given each other tickets for it at Christmas. It was a fairly impressive musical with strong voices. My mother was more excited about it than I (probably because I have seen quite a few and can compare). But it was worth seeing it. We took the bus to Borås late evening.

Saturday we were very tired. Still, we visited the charity shop where my mother volunteers some days a week. They have moved to a new location, where there is more space for the fabric and sewing materials. Then we went on to the large shopping area, but didn't get much. Sunday we just did a short trip to a village outside Borås, to a second hand store. I had taken Monday off also, so I spent some time at my mother's place. Most of the others got an unpleasant illness overnight, so I left in the morning (it seems like I didn't catch it). I arrived back home by train Monday evening.

The weather is bitterly cold. High winds and below zero. Not nice at all. Where is spring?

Saturday, March 9, 2013


We still haven't rearranged those 300 meters of journals. There have been so many other things to do this past week. I have been at the storages a large part of my working time. Even last Saturday, sadly enough. I don't work on weekends normally, but it was necessary to get the books already placed on carts into a correct order, otherwise the move would have been delayed. The move is at its last stage now. There aren't many collections left at the old storages. At the largest storage we are now clearing out most things belonging to us; we have disconnected the phone, thrown out the computer, moved the boxes and office supplies to the new storage and the guys are removing the book-ends from the shelves. I think the move will be done by May, probably. That's way ahead of schedule. Before we started, I thought it would take a year and a half. There is the ephemera collection to be moved also, but that's not my department. There will be a lot to do also after the guys have moved everything. We have to rearrange several misplaced parts of the collection and put up new signs. I have to write a new instruction manual and there are lots of items in the database that have to be changed. Two of my colleagues are already working on the last thing. It's a big project, one of them recently got a print-out with 4000 items to be changed and that was just one callnumber (out of 20). It's going to take a while.

There have been parties at work this week, one birthday and one retirement. Both yielded cakes and cookies. Nice!

It's still a pretty cold climate here, but much lighter. The sun is really blinding us. The spring flowers have already turned up in the park in front of the library.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Many mistakes

Another busy week gone by. I have spent a lot of time at the new storage to go through some of the material placed there. I have noticed several mistakes in shelving, so I have rearranged some collections. I have discovered some books to be in the wrong place altogether, and moved them. A very large mapbook was placed among the oversize journals, which is completely wrong. Most of these mistakes were made years ago. This material has been moved a few times already, so every move has added to the mess. I have also caused some pretty amazing mistakes this week. They moved 300 meters of large journals according to my instructions. When the journals were in place at the new storage, I noticed that it was all in the wrong order. The movers had done exactly as I told them, so the fault is mine. I didn't look at the collection closely enough, before pointing out the moving order. That storage has very bad lighting, and I think many of the (current and previous) mistakes have been made because of that.

The movers started on a large collection of dissertations yesterday, and that was not fun at all. It's dark, damp and lots of spiders in that area of the storage. The collection turned out to be a very difficult one to move, because almost nothing was placed in correct order. Also, the shelves fell down when they started loading the books.

Next week will be busy, because we have to rearrange those 300 meters of journals. Getting the dissertations in the right order will also be a challenge.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oversize journals

Last Monday morning we had no internet access at work. This was terrible. We were unable to perform any of the tasks we do first thing we get to work. We couldn't see what requests we had and we couldn't print the call slips. Nothing functioned. We just stood there and tried to figure out what we could do that didn't require a computer. Very little, it turns out. We couldn't even send an e-mail to the support service, to complain.... It's incredible how dependent we are on the internet. It took an hour before the problem was fixed (and that's a long time in this context).

Last week was busy. Some people were on leave (it was a school vacation week) and some people were sick (flu still rages here). The movers had problems with staffing, so there were several new faces. They are now moving the oversize material. There are extra large shelves at the new storage for this. It's difficult to manage these journals, mainly because of the size and because the material has a tendency to fall out of the boxes when handled.

The mover's truck gave up its last breath Tuesday, and was exchanged the same day. The new one works very well, and I hope they will get to keep it.

Speaking of mistakes and such, I was at the new storage to assist the movers, and in this process I managed to tip a cart over. I got two meters of folio format books on my feet and also broke a nail. Annoying.
Weatherwise it's still winter, but we don't live in complete darkness anymore. It's rather light out in the mornings now.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Another 10 000 meters moved

Incredible week. Great variation in events, not always fun ones. The lenten bun we got Tuesday was tasty, of course. The rest of that day I would really like to forget as soon as possible. The madness began when the moving truck refused to start when they were going to deliver the first load of books in the morning. The battery was dead. After a long and complicated chain of events (where we tried to help, but failed), they called a company that came out and replaced the battery. Most of the working day passed by, with very little book moving done. It was frustrating.

The social club event Wednesday evening was interesting. We attended an exhibit in Malmö about Tutankhamun. All the artifacts were copies, but very well done. It was exact replicas of all the things found in his tomb. Lots of history to learn there. There were incredible valuables, large objects of gold and magnificient pieces of art and also practical objects he was thought to need in the next life.

This week I also attended a lecture about the Swedish Dictionary, a very large dictionary describing the Swedish language from 1521 until present times. Their staff uses our library very much, they even have access to most of the stacks, so we see them quite a lot. The work writing the dictionary started in the 1880s, and they are now on the letter U, so they have been working on it for some time.

Thursday it was time again for a lunch with the movers. We celebrated the fact that they have moved an additional 10 000 shelfmeters of books. They have actually done about 75% of it now. Very impressive. The largest storage is rather empty, we don't have to retrieve books there that often anymore.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chocolate cake

Busy days at work. This is flu season and some of my colleagues are sick.We'll see if I get it too. We have had a tough time at the library, just getting the ordinary work done. This week we were told we had to remove the dumpster container we have at the largest storage immediately. We had just had it emptied, so I spent two days there, throwing away as much junk as possible, in order to fill it so that it can be picked up. I got help from a mover, and I'm glad, because that was a really boring job. The movers are at the main library now, loading a long series of periodicals in folio format. They are working fast and it means that I have hurry making plans for the next sections. I usually mark the beginning, where the gaps should be and the ending. I also measure a lot. Usually book shelves. To see what sections might fit where. I have been surprised a few times, when the number of shelf meters have turned out to be other than on my list of the book collection.

It is obvious that I have too many things on my mind, because I forgot to bring the cake I had baked for the Friday coffee. I realized this when I had already arrived at work, so I borrowed the storage round car and drove home to get it. It was a delicious chocolate cake with peanuts. I couldn't let that go to waste. Yesterday afternoon one of my old school friends came to visit. I think it's three years ago I saw her last. I showed her the library and we had a good time talking.

It seems like my bosses trust me. This past week I asked for the company credit card and they gave it to me without asking why. Too bad that I'm so honest... I needed it to buy tickets for a social club event next week. I did tell them about it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter research

This past week was the first of the new semester, and we have been overloaded with work. It's usually very busy at this time of year and the staff is pushed to the limits. We had to attend some meetings and a fire safety course also. It was cold to be outside for the practical moment (we had to prove that we could handle a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket), and I really wonder who decided we needed to do that in January of all months. The weather is cruel with cold winds. It might not sound like much with 5 centigrades below zero, but the wind chill factor is amazing. I have had to dig very deep into my closets to find the knitted sweaters. I don't normally have to use such warm clothes.

We had two visits to the new storage this Monday. One group represented the shelving company, and we took the opportunity to complain about the things that don't function properly. They promised they would exchange some components (again), and they apologized for the delay (again). Sigh. The other group came from the university building department. They were just curious to see the storage with books in it. They had only seen it right at the beginning, when it was empty. The movers are working hard, and have finished moving the science journals (over 2500 meters). They are now loading a collection of Swedish fiction at the largest storage. We are actually beginning to see the end of it now.

It seems like many people I know have started on their family history, because I get all sorts of strange questions. There have been even more requests lately, and that's really fun. It means of course that I spend also the weekends at work, but who cares. The winter is a good time for research, there is not much else to do then.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cold beginnings

January is a difficult month, for several reasons. It's very cold here right now. Yesterday I had four tops and two pairs of mittens on. It's also very dark, even though there is some snow again. The trains do actually run normally (so far).

I have bought very little at the sales this month, which is unusual. I got some Christmas ornaments very cheaply. On the last visit to the mall I stocked up on shampoo and such things. No clothes! I have now removed the seasonal items in my apartment. It's a pretty big job since I have quite a lot. This time I decided to reduce the amount, and I will give some ornaments away.

There is lots to do at work. The library boss wanted to see what we actually do in the stacks, so she went with me for half a day. I gave her a tour of the stacks and showed her the new one, which she had only seen when it was empty. The movers have placed about 75% of the material there now. This last section of science journals was easy to move. It's bound journals or individual issues in boxes, and all is housed in the same storage, so they have moved it very quickly.

I have received several requests for research lately. Some of them rather interesting, and all about emigrants. I was asked to locate two women in America, their last name was Svensson here... Very common name, but I did it. I was lucky to get the town name from the passengerlist. The marriage records for that state (MA) are very detailed, even giving parents names, so I found them. I do recommend www.familysearch.org, there are huge amounts of databases. I also use www.findagrave.com a lot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas holiday

The week before Christmas there was yet another party at work. It was arranged by the library administration and it was a fun event. There was a world premiere of a movie..... The girls working in the stacks got an idea for a film about the library ghost, the Black Lady. We did a five minute scary semi-real ghost story with a colleague in black clothes and white face walking around in the dark stacks. I was the narrator of the film, telling the tragic tale of the Black Lady, whose spirit lingers at the library. At least that's what the legend says. We were eight happy amateurs, most of whom had no clue about filmmaking whatsoever, and it turned out great! It was really fun to do the movie, and it attracted a lot of attention. We had managed to keep this a secret to most of our colleagues, so they didn't know what to expect.

The Christmas holiday was very nice and unusually long this season. I took only two days off and got eleven days of leave in total. Christmas Eve I took the train to Göteborg. We had the traditional meal with lots of herring, meatballs, sausages, cheeses, roasted ham, salmon and this year several people had baked their own crispbread. All was very tasty. In these commercial times, the presents are important. I got a few Fair Trade items, like cocoa and chocolate. Also a bright yellow ceramic Dalahorse, that my mother had found somewhere. I also got a ticket to go and see a musical in March. At the after-Christmas sales I bought two tops, one of which only cost 1 SEK (club member price). My mother and I went by bus to Alingsås, a small town with cute houses, one day. There were some nice stores where we got Christmas ornaments for less than half the original price. (My Christmas tree is now so overloaded that it's leaning slightly)...

After spending about a week with my family, I returned home Sunday. I got sick during the holidays, my mother had a cold that I also contracted. It's the third cold I have had in about two months. These last few days, including New Years Eve, I have mostly cleaned the apartment, washed some blouses, cooked food and watched TV. The weather is wet and all snow is gone, so it's rather boring here now. It added to the gloom when I had to start working again today. We were two people to do all the work in the stacks. The movers have started on a new section of books at the largest storage. They will manage a lot on their own for several weeks.