This is the sixth week the library has been closed. We all miss seeing our patrons and experiencing the usual hustle and bustle of the library. We thought you all would like to know what your library staff has been up to during the quarantine.
There are so many people that keep the library going. Many times management are not always as visible as the rest of the library staff. In this time of quarantine they are still keeping the library fires burning and here is what they have been up to:
Ryan-Director: We are spending much time with our dogs. One of our dog’s has a limp-y leg so the wife and I and I are stuck carrying her up and down the stairs and making sure she doesn’t play too hard.
For podcasts, I just listened to episode 395, “This is Chance! Redux”, by 99% Invisible. It was very good, especially in a time like this. I strongly recommend it. I admit, I got a little teary at one point. It’s about community, and connection, and persevering in a time of disaster (rather on the nose).
When not working from home, I’ve been installing a raised bed garden, mowing the grass, and organizing the garage. My wife is also working from home and we have yet to blow up at each other. Take care and be safe!
Laura-Floor Manager: While the Library is closed, I am working from home answering patron queries, unblocking accounts and helping patrons with our digital resources. I miss all of our amazing, kind patrons and my awesome Library cohorts but I take solace in knowing we are doing our part to protect our community. My constant work at home companion and best girl, Gretchen, keeps me moving, I am grateful to spend more time with her and my family. If you look closely at Gretchen, you will see she is smiling. Possibly in agreement but probably because I am holding a cookie.
Dominique-Event Coordinator: I miss the library so much and can’t wait to be back again. I haven’t been watching that much TV but I did catch a few good movies on Netflix, The Platform, and Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. Lately I have been doing more digital art and working out. I have been showing my son how to cook and that has been a lot of fun. I miss my coworkers a lot. 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family after all of this is over.
Teri- Children’s Manager: Although I’ve never served in the military, I’d like to think that being at home during this pandemic is a little like going through basic training. Mostly we do regular activities. Each of us has daily “work” that we do. My 9-year-old grandson and his Mom, who live with us, work on online school projects and read together during the day. I work on library projects and my husband teaches students in real time online until about 3 pm. That’s when the “agony of defeat” starts up for me and my dodge-ball dread and softball hating syndrome takes over.
Did I mention that my husband is a physical education teacher? He thinks that this pandemic is the perfect time to get everyone out of the house to play games, get in shape and have fun. So far, we have played multiple games of soccer, softball, trampoline basketball, and scooter tag. We have bounced balls on the parachute, jumped rope and walked to Kansas City and back (well possibly the equivalent number of miles!) When I looked at the health app on my phone yesterday, I saw that I had walked more steps this year than I had in 2019 and 2018 combined!
Of course, I am exaggerating! But, with so much time at home, we have found ourselves craving the outdoors and giving our minds and bodies some respite from the virus conversation. Participating in physical activity feels “normal” and going outside helps us remember that life continues – flowers are blooming, goslings are hatching (near our house!), and spring is here again.
I have enjoyed walking at Shiloh Park around the lake. Usually I see at least one and sometimes two muskrats that live on one end. Once, I even saw a little otter swim across the lake and head quickly into the trees. It is a joy to be able to slow down and watch the natural world for a little while. Once or twice I have seen library friends as I have walked. It’s such a pleasure to see someone I know or recognize.
I really miss the kids and families that come to the library to play, read and learn. I look forward to seeing the staff and settling into a routine again. One good thing about people is that we are resilient. I have found that people in O’Fallon are very flexible and community minded. Before we had to close, we removed toys and shut down kids’ computers to provide social distance. A mother and her daughter were visiting the library and the daughter was unhappy about the changes. The mother said to her daughter, “Remember, this is for the greater good.” I smiled to myself and felt thankful to be a part of this caring community.