Hi Signe Wulund!

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 Lena a few questions.


What are your main duties?

Since about 6 weeks ago I work with research support in the Digital Services function. This means that I (when I get a bit more experience) will be the person to help and inform researchers, PhD students and administrators about issues regarding for example the publication database DiVA, Open Access and research data management. I’ll naturally also be available at the InformationPoint and do a lot of other things behind the scenes – it’s going to be exciting to see exactly what my roles develops into eventually.

What where you doing before you started working here?

That’s a good question. I’ve done a lot of random stuff! The last five years I’ve been living in Cambridge where I had a research support role at the University. Before that I was a children’s librarian at the fantastic public library in Nynäshamn south of Stockholm. I arrived there from Japan, where I among other experiences managed to study Japanese and teach Naval English at a coast guard headquarter. I did my Masters in Library and Information Science at Uppsala University, and they had an exchange program through which I ended up in Japan the first time.

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

Right now I’m furnishing a brand new rental apartment, and trying to get to know Borås. I’m completely new here, and I came from England with two suitcases and nothing else. We have boxes of books (and other stuff too) coming eventually, but as we had rented a furnished place in Cambridge there’s a lot of IKEA and running around Knalleland going on right now. I really miss hanging out in the couch with my wife and our two cats, but fortunately they are also moving here to Borås from England in the beginning of December. And I look forward to getting back out in the Swedish nature!

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

I had set up a notification for jobs in Sweden with keywords like “open access”, and when I saw that the University of Borås was looking for a digital services librarian it felt like an amazing chance. After all, this is the heart of Swedish library studies, and I couldn’t imagine a better combination than a work place where I could use the specialist knowledge I’d gained at the University of Cambridge and at the same time learn a lot of new things in the field. And that proved true the very first day, when I got to listen in on a lecture to Library and Information Science students some of my colleagues gave.

Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to work with researchers and publications?

Not at all – this has really happened by pure chance! I started as a temp in Cambridge, and pretty early I ended up in various administrative departments where I helped out with exactly research support and publications. I quickly became involved in questions regarding the open access of publication and research data, and that’s how I ended up here. I feel that it’s a very exciting area that is also developing extremely rapidly, at the same time as it’s important for libraries and higher education institutions to keep up and communicate everything it means to those who are directly affected by the relevant requirements and policies.

Do you have any book tips you want to share?

I like everything from NK Jemisin, but the just-completed broken Earth trilogy is probably the best she’s written so far. It is crude and majestic fantasy in the borderland to SF where she confronts many difficult questions. No wonder that the first two parts won each Hugo. Yoon Ha Lee has so far two books out in the series Machineries of the Empire, where the first part was so good that I read it again after six months just to get to experience it again. He writes SF that feels like watching a colourful animated film. Ada Palmer won the John W. Campbell Award in the category of Best newcomer with her future vision Too like the lightning, which I can really understand-. It also doesn’t resemble anything I’ve read before. I’m now waiting tense for her The will to Battle that’s coming out in December.

Text: Tandis Talay and Signe Wulund
Picture: Tandis Talay

Hi Lena Holmberg!

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 Lena a few questions.

How long have you been working here?
I celebrated ten years as an employee in 2015 and is now in my twelfth year. The years go fast when you have fun! I have always had tasks related to acquisitions, but I have also once taken care of our lovely student assistants who we called library guards at the time. A fun task!

What are your main duties?
I’m part of the function Media, where I purchase literature for the Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare. I’m also responsible for interlibrary loans, which means everything from ensuring that both researchers and students get books and articles they can not find at the University Library, to invoicing and development of systems and routines. I’m also a member of the library’s communication team where I mainly work with social media but also other communication channels. Like most of the librarians, I also have scheduled time at the information desk a few times a week. Although the last six months I have spent most of my time as a working member in the project group for implementing a new library system, which has been both tough and frustrating but at the same time fun and educational!

What do you enjoy most about the job?
To help people, to help users get that article they need for their dissertation, or to make the students feel great when the leave the library after helping them a bit along the way. It’s also fun (and a challenge) to try and get information about the library to our users in a good way. In addition, having lovely colleagues makes life at work fun everyday.

What do you do when you’re not at work?
I’m a nerd that devour both movies, TV shows and I like to go to the cinema, theater, museum and I also read quite a lot of fiction as soon as I get a free time. I have a family who I spend a lot of time with and we often play boardgames together and as long as the kids are small, we like to be out geocaching or chasing Pokémons, but sometimes I force them to a cultural event instead.

Do you have any book tips you want to share?
I have a lot! but I’ll settle with three: Sara Lövestam’s books about the paperless private detective Kouplan provide insight into a whole different life than many of us live today, start with Sanning med modifikation (only available in Swedish). A dramatic and intense novel of my taste is Butcher’s Crossing by John Williams. It is about hunting buffalo but equally about the pursuit of your self. If you instead feel like having a funny reading experience, you have to read Christer Lundberg’s Bläckfisken (only available in Swedish). A tall tale that takes place in Gothenburg and in its madness gives many good laughs.

Text: Tandis Talay & Lena Holmberg
Foto: Tandis Talay

Time for this year’s Debutant prize!

It´s finally time for Borås Tidning debutant prize to be awarded. It is an annual prize and it is especially exciting for us because it’s happening here in Borås, in cooperation with the University. The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday evening at Borås City Theatre’s main stage where “Lilla Debutant priset” (Little Debutant prize) also is awarded. All these books are written in swedish so if you want to practice the language you have a great opportunity to do so.

If you want to know more about the authors, please read what some of Sweden’s literary critics think about this year’s debutantes. (only in swedish) This year it stands between  För vad sorg och smärta byThom Lundberg, Skuggan by Marit Furns, Tripprapporter by Tone Schunnesson, och vi fortsatte att göra någonting rörande by Elis Burrau and Storm i den pelare som bär by Andreas Lundberg. This year it is one poetry collection and four novels that participates. Associated with this price we are displaying these books at the information desk in the library, welcome to borrow!

Text: Lena Holmberg
Picture: Book covers from www.adlibris.com

Climate fiction – a highly topical genre

Climate fiction is a growing literary genre that developed out of the threat we know from today’s climate change. A sort of realistic science fiction with disaster elements. The concept was given back in 2007 but no genre has not broke through for real before it had a catchy acronym and a few years ago it finally came – “Cli-Fi”!

It’s about fiction that somehow reflects today’s global warming and give us an interpretation of how our future would look like. Can this literature affect our view on climate change? Maybe we feel more engaged when we skip the scientific talk and are thrown straight into a literary act that could be about ourselves?

Cli-Fi does not give us all the answers but a range of potential future scenarios to consider, it evokes emotion. What happens for example, if that part of the country where I live is flooded, forcing me to move or find other ways to live. Where the living conditions and the rules of the game suddenly change? This highly topical subject attracting different types of readers and is also grateful for cinema. The concept of Cli-Fi is up & coming and hopefully we will soon be able to read more Swedish authors in the genre.

dsc_0023Please read the interview with Dan Bloom, who invented the term and who created the web The Cli-Fi Report (CFR).

If you want to read some Cli-fi novels published in recent years and maybe even some older that also qualify in the field, we have some tips. Some are available in the library:

Meg Little Reilly We Are Unprepared (2016)
Paolo Bacigalupi The water knife (2015)
Camilla Sten En annan gryning (2015)
Kim Stanley Robinson Green Earth (2015) The shortened processing trilogy of Science in the capital consisting of Forty signs of rain (2004), Fifty degrees below (2005) and Sixty days and counting (2007).
Catarina Rolfsdotter Jansson Malmö Manhattan 1994 2024 (2014)
Monica Byrnes The girl in the road (2014)
Margaret Atwood MaddAddam-trilogy with Oryx and Crake (2003),The Year of the Flood (2010) and MaddAddam (2013)
Jesper Weithz Det som inte växer är döende (2012) E-bok
Emmi Itäranta Teemestarin kirja (2012) in english Memory of water
Barbara Kingsolver Flight behavior (2012)
Ian McEwan Solar (2010)
Maggie Gee The Ice People (1998)

Text & picture: Lena Holmberg

Atlas of Science

A few weeks ago we told you about the book The atlas of the universe, and now we found another different atlas: Atlas of Science – Visualizing what we know.

The book is based on an exhibition atlasofsciencecalled Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, and gives the reader a description of successful visualization techniques. There are several different ways to create a scientific map, and the book gives a lot of different examples of science maps. A science map is like a visual interface to large amount of data, it makes the data easier to understand and get an overview of.

The examples used in the book are also available at Places & Spaces web site. Take a look at The Structure of Science – a map that shows how different disciplines in science are related. Or check out the Scientific Collaboration between World Cities – a map showing how scientists around the world collaborate. Another rather cool “map” is Visualizing Trends and Dynamics: 30 Years of Scientific Development.

Text & picture: Katharina Nordling

Hawking: The Theory of Everything

1990023_origIt was not long ago we wrote a film related post in this blog, and now it’s time for another film about a prominent scientist. This time it’s the famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who’s also from Britain. The film in question is called The Theory of Everything and is about Hawking’s love of life, physics, and his wife Jane.

As a 21-year-old graduate student Hawking were informed that he had ALS, a nerve disorder that causes the nerve cells that control the body’s muscles to gradually atrophy. The disease often shortens the life significantly, and half of those affected die within 3 years, and another 25 percent die within five years after the first symptoms. Stephen Hawking has now lived for over 50 years after he received his first symptoms.

In theoretical cosmology and quantum mechanics Hawking has made significant achievements. He has among other things (along with three other scientists) developed a mathematical proof that all black holes can be fully described by the three characteristics mass, angular momentum, and electric charge. In addition he, on his own, presented a hypothesis that black holes can actually emit radiation, known as Hawking radiation.

Hawking has also written some bestselling popular science books in the field of physics, some of these are available to borrow from us at the library. If you’d rather read scientific articles written by Hawking, you can find several pieces in the journals we subscribe to.

hawking_booksText: Katharina Nordling

Photo: Stephen Hawkings web page.