Friday 26 February 2010
There is nothing better than sitting on your couch when you thought that you would be at work, however.
Although finding a forgotten tenner in your pocket and a stashed bar of Dairy Milk in the back of the cupboard are admirable rivals. Or realising half way through an episode of eastenders that it is an hour long. Yes!
Thursday 25 February 2010
There are still piles of papers, books and boxes everywhere but it's ALL PERFECTLY UNDER CONTROL.
Wednesday 24 February 2010
Welcome to middle-of-closure-week archives!
On the plus side, no customers means that we can choose our own lunch-breaks and swap Loose Women for This Morning.
Monday 22 February 2010
We are getting an awful lot done, however, so the absence of our beautiful customers is almost worth the pain. Shelves are being built, archives are being moved and thrilling preparations for Discovery Week are taking shape.
Friday 19 February 2010
Thursday 18 February 2010
All of the above are 'skills' that teachers assured us we would be using every day of our lives. However, apart from basic literacy and numeracy, the one school days task that a librarian or archivist uses more than any other is putting things into alphabetical order.
How completely unexpected. Of all the tedious exercises that we were given to complete, the lists of words that were provided every day from primaries 4-7 to alphabetise seemed like the biggest waste of time. Burning stuff was part of our leisure activities anyway and one day we just might own an oval pool. If retired and left with absolutely nothing else to do, joining a netball team might be an option and pub quizzes could account for the rest; but shuffling words around endlessly was the dark horse.
Wednesday 17 February 2010
Tuesday 16 February 2010
Born in Holm in 1885 and educated in Glasgow, Florence Marian became a journalist and contributed to the Scottish National Dictionary. Her best known work is 'The Silver Bough', a 4 volume work on Scottish folklore. She was active in the Suffragette movement and wrote several books on cookery.
Monday 15 February 2010
A couple of years ago, Mr Robinson got in touch asking if we knew anything about a supposed meteor falling in Copinsay in the 1670s. After much trawling of the archives, we eventually found a passage in James Wallace's Description of The Orkney Isles which was published in 1693:
"...some few years hence, some fishermen, fishing half a league from land, over against Copinsha, in a fair day, there fell down from the air a stone about the size of a football, which fell in the midst of the boat, and sprang a leak in it, to the great hazard of the lives of the men who were in it, which could be no other but some substance generated in the clouds. The stone was like condensed or petrified clay..."
This event sounds quite alarming until you read the terrifying entry for Widecombe in the moor. Here, the congregation of St Pancreas Church noticed the skies darkening so quickly and so completely, they could no longer read their hymn books. Suddenly, ball lightning entered the church through a window bringing with it a pungent smell described as 'brimstone.' The lightning proceeded to move about the church igniting hair, flesh and clothing and causing much distress. Lime and sand were torn from the walls and the pulpit was ripped asunder. One woman was so badly injured that she required an amputation and more than a few of the congregation died either after the event or during. Sir Richard Reynolds had "his scull rent into three pieces and his brains thrown entire backwards into the next seat behind him."
If you too enjoy reading about horrifying destruction caused by inexplicable natural phenomena, then this book shall be available to view once it has been suitably catalogued. Is there a Dewey decimal number for gory weather?
Friday 12 February 2010
Thursday 11 February 2010
Wednesday 10 February 2010
Tuesday 9 February 2010
A certain well-meaning but ultimately misguided staff member brought some very promising looking chocolate sandwich-type specimens in today. They did not taste good. One by one hands reached, mouths chewed, eyes narrowed and angry insults flew. Even tea did nothing to remedy their tasteless, mealy dryness.
Saturday 6 February 2010
Friday 5 February 2010
Don't worry, we've got it under control. the 4th of March is not only World Book Day, but the first day of Orkney Library & Archive's
This shall be a week of delights designed both to entice the remaining few who have not been tempted by our vast array of services (books, archives, sound archives, photographs, cds,dvds, reading groups, home library service, sing and sign and bookstart rhymetime sessions, friday cuppas etc) and to give our loyal customers even more to enjoy.
On Thursday the 4th of March, we shall have storytelling evening with Tom Muir.
A library booksale will begin on Friday the 5th.
Allan Guthrie shall host a writing workshop on Saturday the 6th.
Monday the 8th will see the opening ceremony of our wonderful new reference room by MSP Liam MacArthur to be followed by a coffee morning.
On Wednesday the 10th you will not even have to leave the building to get your lunch as soup, bread and crostini will be provided in the MacGillivray room to raise funds for The Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
All through the week there will be quizzes and competitions including the Archive World Traill which will showcase the many countries which are represented in the archives along with 5 Orcadian travellers and explorers (including Thomas Stewart Traill. Do you see what we did there?).
We shall keep you posted with the details of upcoming events here, our website, facebook and our twitter page. We look forward to seeing you then.
Thursday 4 February 2010
You have, however, made it possible for friends and relatives from different sides of the world to keep in touch easily and it is also now possible to publicly declare yourself to be a fan of Orkney Library and Archive. Click HERE and your beautiful eyes shall be shown a wondrous page of delights where all who read it feel the same as you; that Orkney Library and Archive is the best library and archive in all the world with incredibly attractive staff, the best choice of books/archives/cds/dvds/magazines/photos and the tastiest free cuppa on a Friday afternoon.
Wednesday 3 February 2010
Tuesday 2 February 2010
Monday 1 February 2010
We try to have a closure period every February so that we can drink tea, play winky murders and sardines in the strong-rooms, make prank calls and generally have a laugh.
Only joking. Because the majority of our working day throughout the year is spent front of house, there are many behind-the-scenes jobs that get neglected. The closure week is a good opportunity to accomplish tasks that need more than two people working on them at the same time, or that have acquired some urgency.
Last year we completely rearranged our Orkney Room, catalogued an entire collection, made great headway with another enormous collection and brought some semblance of order to our Aladdin's Cave of uncatalogued deposits. This year we hope to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, work out who killed Archie in Eastenders and invent a recipe for instant tea granules that doesn't taste rank.