Weekly Nibble: April 17, 2020

Well, we’ve survived another week of quarantine! This week our governor announced his recommendation that schools keep their buildings closed for the rest of the academic year. I have been curious as to how or if this announcement will affect our decision of when to reopen. I have been avoiding the news largely, so I’m not sure if Tennessee is actually doing an effective job at flattening the curve. Judging by the amount of people I hear and see coming and going on the road by our house, I’d say probably not. But only time will tell. I am sad that Kip and I will not get to do our tour of summer reading promotional visits this year, and I’m curious to see if that will affect our enrollment in a negative way.

This week, I returned to some of the things I love about my job and it was a huge comfort to resume a bit of normalcy. The highlight of my week was a Zoom session with several of our staff and most of our Librarians-in-Training. The kids were excited to see each other, and many of them were asking what would happen when the library reopens and whether or not we’d be able to finish our sessions. It warmed my heart that they still feel that strongly about finishing the program after a month of being away from it. I assured them that while I don’t have any concrete answers just yet, I have lots of options swirling around in my brain and that I would do my best to ensure we have some sort of closure to our program when we return.

Another task I thoroughly enjoyed this week was getting back to collection development. I had felt very disconnected from it since we closed. My focus has been solely on programming and online content for a while, and I just needed to delve back into journals and reviews to get excited about upcoming books. I pored through the online edition of Booklist and went through their Must Have Middle Grade webinar title list and put over fifty books into lists in Ingram for my supervisor to peruse. It was honestly a nice change of pace.

We have a Zoom meeting on Monday to discuss the potential fate of our summer reading in-person programs. I’m worried, but hopeful. I’m starting to learn that it is okay to let go of what I thought things were going to be like and to accept that we can still provide engaging programming and useful resources in different ways. But the idea of a fully online summer reading program with no in-house or outreach programming still seems a little bleak to someone whose primary job function is programming. The theme of this week seems to have been uncertainty. I will be glad to get some answers, even if they aren’t what I’d hoped.

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