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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Staff shortage

This past week most of my colleagues went on vacation. Starting Wednesday we were only two people in the stacks. This will continue also next week. It means that we will have to do the job of seven people. The number of requests is low but we have the hobby researchers that come in during the summer and they often ask for lots of books at the same time.  I have been to the storage a lot, both for retrieval in the mornings and shelving in the afternoons. The students we hired for moving projects have done one more small book move but are mostly engaged in database work. They sit and make corrections in the database. 15 years ago we moved many journals to storage but we were unable to change the location indicator in the database. I have for a long time asked for staff to do this manually, since this couldn't be done automatically. Many other things had a higher priority so it has taken a while, but this summer they will get it done finally.

The medicine I had to take for the borrelia made me tired so I haven't done much apart from work. I did deliver several bags of clothes to the charity shop, but not much else. This weekend the weather has been terrible with rainstorms so I have stayed at home. Generally, the climate has been good to work in, about 20-22 centigrades and often cloudy. Though really awful if you have vacation and planned on sunbathing. Many Swedes have gone abroad this summer because it has been a very lousy summer so far.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shopping trips and concert

Two book moving projects were finished last week. Most of the open collection journals we were supposed to move to storage have now been relocated. Some of the titles couldn't be moved because there is no place for them at the storage. The two students also managed to finish their big move of books to the lower basement. They have some small projects left though.

Last week I worked shorter days because my mother was visiting. She spent most of the mornings in my apartment doing some chores like mending clothes and attending to the house plants. Tuesday she went to Helsingborg and in the afternoon I went there too so we could go to Ikea together. She is going to renovate the summerhouse and she wants new furniture also, so she took measures and made plans. We also went to a second hand store at a mall, where she found brand new clothes very cheaply. Friday we went to a concert in Lund, it was Sanna Nielsen, one of the Swedish Eurovision song contest winners. That woman can really sing. It was a very nice outdoor concert. Saturday my mother returned to the summerhouse.

Last week I had to go to the medical center - I have borrelia (caused by a tick three weeks earlier). This was the first time there in many, many years. It was fascinating to see how things work in the health care system these days. I first had to see a nurse, then a doctor and then another nurse. I was there for two hours, but I really shouldn't complain, because they were very meticulous and did extra tests to rule other things out. I was asked if I'm allergic to penicillin and I had no way of knowing that. The only kind of medicine (apart from vaccine) I have taken the last 40 years has been ordinary pain medication. Anyway, I was given penicillin and the situation is better.

The book about my great grandfather Arndt is, believe it or not, finished. I printed it out last week. My father is going to see most of those relatives in a few days so he will distribute the book for me.

Today I went to a rather new fleamarket place outside Helsingborg. I had never heard of it before, I found it on a listing on-line. It turned out to be a large warehouse were people could hand in the items they want to sell, pricemark them and leave them on a designated shelf. It was a huge place and I wish I had discovered it while my mother was here, she would have enjoyed it very much. I found some nice plates and a small decorative tray.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book moving project

Last week the weather cooled down and it is now about 18-20 centigrades and cloudy. Not much of a summer, but nice to work when it is like this. I got a project of moving open collection journals to storage a kick-start and did little else last week. There were lots of staff members in the stacks so I could do something else. I started from the end of the collection, and I have now moved all the foreign language journals from Z to G. The biggest problem isn't moving them, it's all the changes you have to do in the database. Every volume has to be updated with a new sticker and a call number.

Friday afternoon we made an effort and five of us went to the storage to shelve. We are constantly lagging behind with this task. The situation got better, but it wasn't enough. 

My mother arrived here Saturday evening for a week's stay. Sunday we made a trip to the flea market in Malmö, where she made some bargains (shoes and a top). We also went to a mall, where we got some decorative items. The summer sales are on everywhere and since the weather was bad the mall was crowded. When I arrived back home from work today my mother had replanted most of my plants, cleaned the kitchen, gone grocery shopping and had been to a mall to get me new tea-cups, flowers and a few other things. I wish I had that kind of energy.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hot weekend

Last Tuesday two students started working in the stacks. They will do a moving project. We have to move about 600 meters of books from the 4th floor to the lower basement. The biggest problem has turned out to be the hot climate. The weather has changed and is now sunny and warm. The 4th floor stacks is not pleasant during summer. Another challenge is the call number system in the stacks. All the books are placed from the bottom and up on the shelves. It requires some extra attention to get it right. This morning it turned out wrong when shelving and we all blamed the hot weather.

I attended the last meeting for the summer Wednesday, and the outcome was that I have to make a mapping of all the processes in my department. Meaning that I have to list all the tasks we do, describe them, count the number of hours it takes every day, identify the target groups and aims, and a few other things. This will be one of my tasks when I return after my vacation this fall, but I have already started on it.

Friday afternoon I made a strategic relocation to the summerhouse. The forecast indicated that summer would finally arrive and it turned out to be true. We had temperatures up to 30 centigrades and mostly sunshine over the weekend. Very hot indeed. Despite this my mother wanted to go to an outdoor fleamarket Saturday. We got some decorative things and fabric. We invited some relatives we happened to meet at this fleamarket for coffee the same evening. But for the most part I spent the weekend in a reclining chair on the terrace. We also visited the beach. I decided to go directly to work this morning, so I had to get out of bed at 5.30. But it was worth it.

The day at work was, not surprisingly, hot. I had 25 centigrades in my office, which meant that I tried to do my job elsewhere. The outdoor temperature was lower, 22, so it has cooled down. All the available portable fans at work are in use and the janitor was asked to find a few more.