How does a public library function when it is closed to the public? This is a question that libraries around the world have been facing in the last several weeks. For years, librarians have worked hard to convince people that the library exists beyond its physical walls and now our reckoning has come. Help us celebrate National Library Week next week by participating in one or more of the activities below. This year’s theme, “Find Your Place at the Library,” was selected months ago, but with some clever flipping of text, the American Library Association has updated it to “Find the Library at Your Place.” For more details about any of the following, please visit warrenlibrary.com.
Weeklong challenge: During the week of April 19, sign up for a library account if you don’t already have one. All patrons that sign up between April 19 and 25 will be entered to receive a prize.
Tuesday, April 21, 7 p.m.: “Any book” book club virtual meeting.
Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m.: Attend virtual story time with Amanda.
Thursday, April 23: Take Action for Libraries Day. Take a few minutes to think about why the library is important to you. Then put those thoughts in words, a photo, a drawing, an email, however you’d like to capture them. Share your words and art by emailing me or posting on social media with the hashtag #thankyoulibraries. In these uncertain times libraries are already feeling the constraints of budget tightening; please help us show that libraries matter.
Friday, April 24: Harry Potter Trivia Night. Virtual trivia night via Zoom. Registration required.
If anyone is wondering what your librarian’s quarantine reads are, here’s what I’m reading these days: “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators” by Ronan Farrow (available as an audiobook and e-book through Libby/Overdrive and as an audiobook with a much shorter wait through RB Digital). I’ve recently learned about consuming media “machete-style” and I’m giving it a try with this book and its companion podcast, also titled “Catch and Kill.” Farrow tweeted a suggested order of which chapters to read and then podcasts to listen to (they are not in chronological order). So, for example, after finishing Chapters 1-15 of the book, I listened to Episode 3 of the podcast. It’s interesting (and infuriating given the story of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse and predation) to get the more in-depth details that didn’t make it into the book from the interviews in the podcast.
The Veronica Speedwell mystery series by Deanna Raybourn (available as audiobooks through RB Digital and the first in the series, “A Curious Beginning,” is available as an e-book on Libby/Overdrive). This is perfect escapist reading for me – Victorian England setting, strong female protagonist, mystery, witty dialogue and a touch of romance. Speedwell is a lepidopterist who finds herself in a bit of danger as she investigates her family origins. So much fun to read. The library has all of the books in the series if you want to binge-read them when we reopen. I may or may not have stayed up very late one night finishing book two just to start book three at one in the morning. Oops.
As much as we try to meet the challenge of serving our public outside of our library space, it isn’t the same. We miss the chance encounters, the book reviews from patrons and seeing your faces. When it’s safe to reopen, we’ll be waiting for you with big smiles and open arms and hearts. Stay well.