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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.