Monday, April 05, 2021

National Library Week: Welcome (?) to Your Library

Today began National Library Week in the U.S. This year's theme is "Welcome to Your Library."  Given the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts, furloughed staff, closed physical spaces, a move to online programming, more of a reliance on digital resources, and the impact of racism on us all, "welcome" can be a hard word to say.  

The Welcome Mat is Out

Right now we are welcoming people to come into our physical spaces and asking them to do so in a way that protects their health and the health of library staff. We're asking community members to engage with us in different ways than before, again in an effort to keep people safe from COVID. We're finding ourselves doing more cleaning - or asking patrons to sanitize spaces - and worrying about airflow. We're reassigning staff to help with COVID testing, contract tracing, and COVID vaccinations, where we hope they can be a helpful and a welcoming community presence. We are busy!

Looking to the Future

The pandemic and its effect are not over. Racism has impacted all of communities and it having us re-evaluate our collections now, thanks to Dr. Seuss. And we're advocating for an improvement in our budget shortfalls caused by the rippling effect of COVID on our communities. There is much for us to do to ensure that we are seen as welcoming in the future.  Maybe the events of this week will help to fuel us for what us ahead.

ALA National Library Week Events

Each day this week is focused on something different:

Happy National Library Week!

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