Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hello There

How's everybody doing? Keeping on keeping on?

Photo of Abby wearing her book mask and a #TeamKentucky shirt that reads "Healthy But Nervous"

Sorry it's been a minute, but you know how it is right now. Here's what's been up with me.

We've all been working from home at my library since we closed on March 16. I'm so thankful that we have not had furloughs, although working from home has been a much bigger struggle for me than I thought it would. It's definitely very different, even for those of us who are mostly behind the scenes and who have access to most of the things we do at the office.

This past week, we started staffing the library in small teams and taking book returns. We are not open to the public. Tomorrow we start curbside pickup of holds and we have pulled for sure over 800 holds (some of which were from before we closed or right after we had closed). I am now working in my office at the library two or three days a week, wearing a mask and being careful to maintain distance and clean everything after use. I will continue to work from home the other days.

It feels relatively amazing to be able to provide curbside pickup and get at least a small sampling of our collection going back out into people's hands. We have been promoting and booktalking our digital collection throughout, but it in no way truly compensates for our print collection. We are looking at ways to provide computer services soon. Our director has been amazing, coming up with a phased plan that focuses on providing what we can for our community while keeping staff and patrons as safe as possible. We're proceeding deliberately even as some parts of our community throw the doors wide open.

Collection Development's about to get really busy because our vendors will be starting shipments again this week. The past two months have not felt like any kind of a respite, but they really were compared to the cataloging work I've got ahead of me once our books start shipping. On the one hand, I'm anxious about it, but on the other hand it's another kind of relief because it'll give me focus. And then the rest of it - the blog posts and webinars and TLEUs - will just have to wait because getting the books out to people will be the priority. As it should be. And maybe work from home with its ample time to concentrate on cataloging (when I'm not in a Zoom meeting....) will turn into a positive again.

I'm struggling to read right now. I'm struggling to write because so much of my work from home tasks have been writing heavy. We're trying to update our staff blog almost every day. And I've been throwing myself into my side work for NoveList and writing for School Library Journal and the ALSC Blog. My own blog seems to be the place that I'm struggling with the most (if I'm honest, because it does not really pay me).

So things will probably be a little slow around here for awhile. I'm still around. We'll get back into business here with regular posts at some point. Time is weird right now. It's either crawling or flying and there doesn't seem to be an in-between. I would love for everything to go back to normal, but I'm sensible enough to know that it doesn't just happen like that. I'll take my small moments of normal, like being in the office and picking up the phone to quickly resolve a question, where I can. And we'll just keep on keeping on.

How are you?