Today starts National Library Week, and I, as a member of the Board of Trustees, was looking forward to National Library Week this year. I feel like our small (tiny) rural library has grown in so many exciting years, and we had plans for a fun spring full of activities for kids and adults.
We had a concert planned – an actual concert!! And lectures and informational talks with the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site. Story hours and craft hours and a glass painting event and so much more. We were so excited to introduce our library to more and more people – many of whom don’t even know the amazing resource we have in our own backyard.
Of course, the global pandemic has literally changed everything. And like every other community – big or small; every business and not-for-profit; and every family and individual – we had to shift. Take a deep breath and a few step backs, and take time to grieve for what we’ve lost.
I think we are grieving – as a global community, grieving the loss of the familiar, the comfortable – the known. Suddenly, overnight it seems, the world turned upside down. We grieve for the huge losses of human life, the sacrifices of our front-line heroes, and for people and businesses who literally had the rug pulled out from under them. And I’m grieving for small things, like taking for granted “running to the store” because I forgot milk, for not being able to hug a friend, and I grieve for our library: for our patrons who I know rely on us for internet and computer access, to read the newspaper, to get out of the house and visit with someone, and of course, for books and movies and games.
But now, now is the time to start thinking, to start creating, to look to our neighbors and friends and online communities to collaborate, to brain-storm, to gather our community around us in an appropriate social-distance fashion, and build.
National Library Week doesn’t look like what I envisioned it would be back in January, but I’m looking forward to seeing what it will become.
Stay tuned for more National Library Week activities every day this week!
Beverly Osborne, President Fort Hunter Free Library