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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Birthday party

Last weekend I was in BorĂ¥s to attend my sister's big birthday party. She turned 40 and invited a large crowd for an open house. Our mother had made lots of preparations, but the only thing I really did was to peel as few kilos of potatoes. And load the dishwasher a large number of times. The party was great, the kids ran around, the adults were talkative, the food was very tasty (salmon and potato terrine, with homebaked cake for dessert) and my sister seemed to be happy about the presents.

I took two days off from work, so I stayed longer than usual. One of my colleagues had forgotten this and texted me at 8 AM Monday morning. I was not so happy about this. Anyway, my mother and I went to the local swimmingpool, where she exercises twice a week. Nice place. We also went shopping at the mall area and some second hand stores, including the one she works at as a volunteer. Tuesday I had an appointment for massage, where I used yet another gift certificate given to me at Christmas. The train ride home that evening turned out to be longer than expected. Another train driver had damaged a switch, so the trains were cancelled and we had to go by bus part of the way. The journey lasted five and a half hours instead of four. Very boring trip.

One colleague, who has been on paternity leave since June, returned last week, but only part-time. Still, it's a welcome addition. This past week I handed over almost all my regular tasks to other people. I no longer drive the storage round, shelve or sort requests or returned books. It's a test to see if the others manage without me. It's too early to tell if it's going to function. I have started to arrive late for work (at 8 instead of 7) and go home "early" (at 5 PM or so). I will use the last five weeks to clear my desk and finish all the other projects, before I go on my long vacation. I was told that they will actually employ someone else to fill in for me during this absence, and to my knowledge that has never happened before in the library's history. There is no money to pay double salaries, so where they found that resource I don't know.

This past week I started giving another lecture to my colleagues. It's about biographical works (like the previous one), but this time the scope is Swedish-Americans. We have a collection of Swedish American books, and some of them contain interesting information about the emigrants and where they settled in North America. I also included information on how to find lost emigrants, online databases and general family history research techniques. The lecture seems to be popular and I will give it several times the next few weeks, so that everyone gets to hear it.

This Friday I got to go to the new ephemera collection storage. It's in a large house, where we had our Christmas party two years ago. It was then empty, but now it is crammed with compact shelves on two levels, and the material was either on the shelves or on pallets on the floor. The move was recently finished and this was the first time I saw the place with shelves installed. Impressive place. They have lots of work to do, getting the material on pallets up on the shelves. It will take years getting it all in order.

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