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