I began working from home last week. This coming week, my library is actually closing for spring break. While I won’t have to perform library duties, I have a long list of long term projects to work on ranging from getting a book proposed and written to making a quilt for my youngest grandbaby and working to final the We Are Kidlit Collective Summer reading list. And of course, blogging. Remember it’s Woman’s History month? I have two series going this month, “Imaging: Black Women, Black Girls” where Black women authors share what they imagine for Black girls and “Women Collected” which features collections of IPOC women’s biographies. This should be a good time for me to get a lot of book reviews posted. I hope to read some older books that may be available electronically as well as forthcoming titles to add to purchasing lists. I’m also reading for another award committee.
My librarianship continues from home. This past week, I had a video conference with a doctoral student who needed help maximizing search potential using library resources. This conversation has changed from those I usually have with students because I had to consider the limited availability of resources and suggest different ways to find items. My university’s databases continue to be available for searching as are all institution’s. Unfortunately, InterLibrary Loan services will be disrupted. Of course, there are no deliveries of physical books right now. Electronic items depend on whether libraries are open and how much that Interloan Librarian can access from home.
I’ve begun creating short instructional videos to help with time of need support. I also plan to create lists that I can use to begin evaluating part of my collection for deselection purposes. As this settles more into a routine, I’ll begin to create ways to connect with others to provide engaging educational opportunities to keep us moving forward.
Most public library systems do have electronic resources available to local users. Some have people working from home to continue to acquire new ebooks and streaming content and making them available through their online catalogs.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been inundated with emails making me aware of content that’s been made available for parents and teachers to providing support for children who are suddenly on lockdown. I’m getting bombarded with a lot of material meant to help. I happened to look through one email to find that the publisher developed a list of books that were all available only in print. I don’t always look through this material because I don’t need the resources. I prefer to recommend things I’m familiar with, that I know work well and that is useful. If you’ve used something that you’d like to share, please place it in the comments. I’m sure others will appreciate it.
I recently shared information from Dr. Chavez Phelps to help guide parents through these challenging times. Publishers are giving permission to allow recordings of books to
be placed on social media for educational purposes. Authors are doing live and recorded readings of their works. Educators and librarians are providing ideas on how to use all this content in meaningful ways. We realize that online learning has been thrust upon educators and students who aren’t totally prepared for it. Students want to keep learning, but they miss their friends. Educators know they need to connect personally with their students as well as they know that teaching online is a whole new way of learning.
Many states have always had databases available to help extend learning. Indiana has the INSPIRE databases that provides free access (it’s not really free, tax dollars pay for it) to learn foreign languages; research medical, science career, literature or general interest topics in English or Spanish; or take practice tests for college or career placements. It may be challenging for researchers to work during this time but, do contact you librarians. Many are still working and may be able to locate something that you really need. Maybe.
I missed the big dance party last night on IG but, I am such a loner that I probably wouldn’t have gone even if I knew about it. Time inside, alone is what I thrive on. Oh, I eventually reach that point where I need some human connection, but I don’t reach that point as quickly as most of you.
I admit I do best when I ration my dose of COVID19 related news. Too much information can be a dangerous thing! Librarians are good at parsing through information for accuracy and relevancy. When I have that hat on, every article I see becomes work as a dig to find what’s real. Thanks goodness, I can take it off often enough, relax and crochet shopping bags into reusable totes, cook healthy meals and watch Gentified, Grace and Frankie and as many Marvel movies as I can find. (Self Made the Story of Madame CJ Walker isn’t relaxing! I need to know what it was really like for upper class Black women in Indiana during that first generation after enslavement.)
I started writing this early this morning but had a video conference, dinner to cook, books to read, dishes to was, emails to answer… I’m glad next week is spring break.
Let’s keep our minds, bodies and souls health! If you, or your children, need to chill with coloring pages or reruns on network TV, that’s fine. I may just be doing that this week myself.