Libraries in many places are just starting to open up. But librarians have been hard at work all along, even though they miss having patrons in their buildings. I asked people on the Bob on Books Facebook page what they would want to say to librarians.
A word that kept coming up was “lifeline.” Whether it was help getting e-books or gathering their book requests for the curbside pickups many of you provided, people were so grateful for the effort you invested in getting books to us safely.
People didn’t merely see librarians as helping them, but the whole community, just as they always do. But in a time of isolation and strain, your service sustained that sense of knitting together a community and serving that community.
Several mentioned some of your challenges, from the time it took to get book requests to your need to take our temperatures. We just wanted to say “we understand, and appreciate all the things you are doing to keep us safe. We want to keep you safe as well.” And we won’t microwave the books!
You are so creative. Some of you provided craft kits in your communities or special online programs.
We think of you as essential! We want you to be safe and we will wear our masks (over our noses!) when we can come back to the library. We don’t know what we would have done without you during the pandemic.
We appreciate all those library skills and research skills you taught us. We’ve had all kinds of professional and personal reasons to use those during the pandemic.
In some cases, infection rates are still too high to open up. We want you to know how much we miss you!
Your service moves some of us to song: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; You make me happy when skies are grey.“
One person wrote, “You are important, loved, necessary, and valued!” Some pray for you, others bless you, and what everyone wants to say is: