Posts Tagged ‘library’

Boston, where the financial markets left me in the cold.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

greyscale picture taken in the South End galleries areaBoston in the winter is cold. But since Oslo is not exactly a warm place in the winter month, this is not much of a problem to a winter-hardened yours truly. However, there is one substantial difference here: I do not have to freeze in the when I sit in the library.
Freezing indoors is a familiar experience to many US visitors in the summer. It usually goes something like this:
Walk into a public building, a store, a cinema. Encounter a wall of cool air. Sit down. Do not have an additional layer of clothing available. Start freezing.
In the winter, I am used to this being the other way round. As stupid as it is, at least it is familiar.
Now, switch settings: We are in the medical library of the richest university of the world. It is really, really, really rich. Ridiculously rich. I arrive from outside, where there is snow and ice. I choose a table. Get rid of my jacket, hat, and extra sweater. Plug my laptop in, sit down, and fire up all of my procrastination-enhancing applications. Fool around a bit. Feel a strange cold. Put on my sweater. Work a bit. Start to feel cold more deeply inside. Feel very foolish, but put on my jacket.
So it seems they have turned the heat down. Maybe the message about climate change has finally arrived? After suffering through this for a few days (and adapting to the circumstances by putting on long underwear and nice woolen socks), an inquiry about the temperature is made. The staff says that because of the loss of money that Harvard University has suffered in the financial crisis, it has been decided to save money by turning down the heat in the Countway Library of Medicine. In parts of the library to about 59°F. That is 15°C. Very funny.
In Berlin’s university libraries there might be leaks in the ceilings, torn off carpets, file cards, and construction noise. But at least I don’t get sick because I have to work for several hours, sittig still while the temperature is at 16 or 17° Celsius.
If you thought that Harvard would be this great place, the place where academics are pampered and where you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else: be warned! I for my part am looking forward to enter the welcoming warmth of Oslo’s university library when I get back…

University of Oslo’s Library.

Friday, October 6th, 2006

reading desks in empty library during the eveningThis is the place where I like to catch up with work. Bit by bit, in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
During the day there are people sitting at the desks, of course. But I did not want to shoot them with my brand new digital camera (more on that in one of the next posts), even though they tend to forget turning their mobile phones off.

Röchelruf und Münchnerbierherz.

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Worte wie diese sind die Freuden des Alltags auch wenn man fern der Heimat sitzt und den größten Teil des Tages auf den Bildschirm starrt. Und das obwohl hier in Kopenhagen glänzendes Wetter ist und es an Verlockungen für andere Tätigkeiten nicht mangelt…
Ansonsten habe ich erfreulicherweise heute das erste richtige Kapitel meiner Dissertation fertig stellen können (die Einbettungen) – die Öffnungszeiten in der Kongeligen Bibliotek erlauben auch Spätstartern wie mir noch einen produktiven Arbeitstag. Internet gibts da auch, allerdings nur über Port 80, so dass ich keinen Zugriff auf den Server der Zedat habe. Abends ist meine Bildschirmkondition dann so schlapp, dass ich es kaum auf die Reihe bekomme, noch einen Eintrag ins Blog zu befördern. Vielleicht hilft Routine vor Ort – zwei Wochen bin ich ja noch hier. Mal schauen, wie weit ich meinen arg ins Hintertreffen geratenen Zeitplan wieder einholgen kann…

Ich versteh nur Bahnhof.

Friday, July 4th, 2003

Habe heute den ersten Stapel Bücher über Bahnhöfe aus der Bibliothek abgeholt. Spannend. Werde in der nächsten Zeit über die interessanteren Titel berichten.

Small steps.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2003

Yesterday and today I did some more research regarding the subjects train station and passenger terminals. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be that available on the web, at least in German. There are many sites where you can read minor variations on the anti-surveillance-Foucault’s-Panoticon-exclusion-of-the-homeless theme – this is an important and central problem of contemporary cities and their public or semi-public spaces – however, this definitely doesn’t cover the intricacies and sublime effects of urban/spatial/technological design on social action. So, I’ll see what I will find in the texts that I ordered via internet at the libraries in Darmstadt. (I still can’t believe I managed to make those orders and start the real bibliographic work – a true burst of productivity!)

Still, I found one or two interesting things. Following, a few links (all of these sites are in German):
on urban space:, transitraum
on train stations: diskus, Bahnhofsoffensive gegen Rassismus (derive), INNENSTADT-AG Frankfurt, Rund um den Bahnhof (Schweiz), TAZ Artikel 25.01.02, and a historic essay on train stations
on video surveillance: spotoff

Getting rid of the toughest obstacles.

Friday, June 27th, 2003

One of the major hurdles on the way to finishing my dissertation was taken today. I now am a proud bearer of an ID card for the Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek Darmstadt (the library I will use mainly here in Darmstadt). And, I do not only have a standard student ID, no no, I have a special feature member-of-the-TU-Darmstadt-staff ID. What a feat! Now everything else looks like it could be done with the wink of an eyelid.

Getting started.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2003

It’s not an easy task. I am still working around my dissertation, not on it. This doesn’t seem to be a kind of behavior that is easily changed – I always have to complete all kinds of “infrastructure related tasks” first, and then I can start with the real work. Might be a good thing, though. It signifacantly trims down the number of possible excuses and makes the later work experience somewhat smoother.
Well, what are the things that do I have to do before I will make the first observations? I have to get IDs for the libraries in Darmstadt, I have to organize a DV camcorder, and I have to read some more literature about harbours, train stations, and video analysis. Urgh. Too much stuff in the pipeline. However, I guess will get some of it done or at least started next week, because I will stay in Darmstadt from coming Thursday until Friday next week…

Blogging Back in Berlin.

Monday, June 9th, 2003

In Buchholz I only have access to a feeble V.90 modem connection, and I was pretty busy before and after the wedding party so I didn’t manage to write anything during the last two days. :-( The wedding was a success and it was extraordinarily nice to see so many of my good old friends. During the party (which went on until five a.m.) I had some time to get myself updated about what’s going on in their lives. The size of the dancing crowd was only moderate (especially in contrast to the bar crowd) but it was a pretty decent dancing crowd!
After some heavy thunderstorms yesterday the air did cool down a bit. Now, the temperature is perfect. I might even leave our apartment and play some basketball later. Until then I will keep researching for ways to get my reference database (Endnote) linked into some more German libraries. To get this worked out, I’ll probably have to ask some of the knowledgeable people at the Max-Planck-Institute‘s Library.
I am still looking for a working link to the icons plugin. As soon as it is installed, we’ll have nice slashdot-style icons on this page. Other than that, I am probably going to update the left column and the link section of this page today. Look out for new stuff!>