My set up isn’t as fun as the children’s librarians have but since the week we closed I’ve been; hosting 2 – 3 virtual programs a week, meeting with branch staff to keep us all connected, talking to community members to see how we can stay connected and providing services, making masks to share with local food pantries, helping my daughter do online school, and more recently helping our local mutual aid group with dispatch. I’ve also been working with our state library association create and maintain a database of library reopening plans so we can share information about safe ways to provide library services in a pandemic.

Librarians and library staff never stopped working, we just moved it all online.

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I’m a YA librarian at BPL. I do a weekly writing program on the flagship Instagram account on Wednesdays. The photo shows how I record the videos. I also help run the teen Instagram account and post to the branch Facebook page.

(Is that a banjo in the background? Heck yeah!)

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I’ve been conducting regular Facebook Live storytimes, along with school-age programs, class visits, chat reference, and professional development. I’m hoping to come back equipped to be a better manager and children’s specialist, and I can’t wait to see patrons again.

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T. Evans

Desk with a phone, papers, and laptop on it, with a minimized webinar and calendar on the laptop screen.

Currently I am conducting outreach to Elected Officials, Community Boards, and Friends Group. I am also gathering COVID-19 stories for the Our Streets Our Stories Oral History Project. I am also managing ten locations remotely, including postal services, and overseeing buildings maintenance.

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smiling librairian holding up a book and a paper animal

Librarian in Brooklyn

I’ve been working on the following from home:
~storytimes for ages 1 to 6
~Story and craft program for ages 3 to 12
~Working on the SimplyE booklists for the public to browse and discover books they’d enjoy reading
~Working with my supervisor to moderate weekly program over Slack for teen interns in the BookMatch Teen program
~ Create BookMatch lists in answer to patrons’ requests to be given book suggestions based on what they like to read

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librarian in front of laptop and mounted iPad. iPad shows Bklyn Public Library app and laptop screen is open to Urban Librarians Unite website.

As a non-librarian who works for a Library – I have done most of my work from home in the past couple of months. I’ve spent lots of time thinking about the best way to support the staff at Brooklyn Public Library as they continue or return to work. I’ve taught myself enough about Zoom to teach staff how to get virtual programs and meetings up and running using it as a platform. I’ve brainstormed, visualized, and played devil’s advocate for countless ideas on reopening. I’ve spent hours in the living rooms, kitchens, and dining room tables of staff who are reporting in from wherever they are. I’ve watched kids practice musical instruments in the background as my (thankfully muted) colleagues winced to try to tune out the noise and hear the meeting they were in.

Library staff are often lauded for the work they do FOR the library, but in reality, they ARE the library. We need our buildings as community anchors, don’t get me wrong, but we can continue to be a support – and even reach new audiences! – for our communities in creative and innovative ways through times like this. I’m so impressed by how nimble we have become and how generous we remain as an industry.

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