Our library director made the difficult decision for us to close this week amid the coronavirus outbreak. We officially closed our doors after business hours on Tuesday evening and, as of right now, there is no official date for when we will open again.
Programming has been cancelled through mid-May, which means every outreach visit, every in-house program, every session of Librarian-in-Training for the rest of the year, all of it. I have been having a very difficult time with this.
Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that I’m a workaholic. I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about my job even when I’m not there. But the reason for that is because I love it so much. My job is an outlet for my creative energy. I love organizing and planning, and I love helping people and providing opportunities for learning and fun. I love my coworkers, who are truly like family to me, and I love the kids and families that we serve.
When they announced that our programming was cancelled, it was heartbreaking on so many levels. Months of organizing and planning were gone in an instant with no way of knowing if I can reschedule any of it. Two things I hate to do more than anything are make phone calls and disappoint people. I spent hours doing both. Luckily, our patrons are the best people in the world, and honestly not a single one that I talked to was angry or felt we were making the wrong call. Many of them thanked us for making the right decision (comments that I was sure to pass on to my director) and also were sympathetic to how difficult a decision it was on our part.
I’m still processing all of those feelings of anger, sadness, and disappointment. They probably won’t go away for a long time. But even in the midst of that, I can recognize that we did make the right choice. I’ve been in quarantine ever since, and I absolutely believe that stopping operations now before things escalated further in our community was the right move.
I’m not really sure what my Weekly Nibbles will look like for the next several weeks. We’ve not necessarily been encouraged to work from home, although I brought a few small things with me that I can do. We’ll see what happens. I’d still like to write each week because I think it’s good for me, but for now, the Nibble may just be an update from quarantine on books I’ve been reading. =)
If I’m trying to find the silver lining, I will say that I’ve had a lot of extra time this week to work on my article for American Libraries magazine on Librarian-in-Training. While it has been especially difficult given the abrupt cancellation of this year’s program, it has also been somewhat cathartic in that it has given me a way to talk about the program in a positive light rather than stewing on what I can’t control right now.
How is everyone else holding up out there? What are you doing to keep yourself busy?