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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.