Hello Karin Ekström!


In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers – who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Karin a few questions.

What are your main duties?

I work at the Department Collection Services and purchase material in the Library and Information Science area, Informatics and fiction. I also work with interlibrary loans, some cataloging, book mending and I meet students who, for various reasons, are in need of recorded literature. Of course, I also have scheduled time at the information desk. I am very pleased with what I do and find it a challenge to help students and researchers with what ever it is the are asking for – it’s so exciting. I have taken on what a guest lecturer said at the Swedish School of  Library and Information Science once: Learn to read references! It may seem so obvious, but I have had the pleasure of that urging. I have encountered many lost students who are uncertain of what kind of source they are looking for.

For how long have you worked here?

A long time! There has been so much in the profession so it almost feels like different jobs. Even though the computerization was in full swing when I started, I still have handled a printed card catalog, written inter library loan orders on typewriter, and loaned books through the Detroit system. I’m  happy to have that experience actually. However, I hope I don´t have to go throw more changes within library systems. We had Voyager for 16 years and if we keep Alma/Primo so long I recon I have been able to retire long ago.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My free time usually consists of some training at Friskis & Svettis. Now I hope for a nice winter because I love cross country skiing and Borås has plenty of places for that. I have been singing in Caroli Church’s Choir for a number of years and now we have a fun time in front of us with advent and Christmas songs. I spend much time in the garden and growing up my own summer flowers has become a bit of a sport.

Do you have any book tips you want to share?

Yes, I would like to talk about everything that Vibeke Olsson has written.The latest series is about the sawmill girl Bricken at Svartvik in the late 19th century. Vibeke Olsson really lives a piece of Swedish working history in a worthwhile way. She has also written novels about World War II, the Roman Empire and Biographies.
The story of her sister Elisabeth, a successful sports journalist, is very moving. She portrays her sister’s creeping alcoholism and misery in a care way. No one notices anything at first and when it’s finally gone too far, the community is not there to support neither Elisabeth or her closest. A sharp criticism of today’s society and social disarmament that engages.

What made you apply to the library at the University of Borås?

When I joined Swedish School of  Library and Information Sience 1991, I lived in Gothenburg and there were not many jobs to apply for. Then there was a vacancy at the University Library in Borås. I applied and the job was mine. After a year I got a permanent job and thats how it started.
After a while, I thought there was enough commuting, so I moved here in 2000. Now I can ride my bike to work almost all year. With studded tires and hot mittens, you can manage the whole winter.

Text: Karin Ekström &  Lena Wadell

Picture: Lena Wadell