Virtual Princeton Public Library is open. While our building is off-limits for the community and staff, the business of the library moves along, with staff planning online events, curating digital collections, providing research assistance, and recommending reads. We aim to stay connected.
In these homebound days, work is done on time we carve out of days that look and feel the same. Offices are where we find space, from an improvised desk on the living room piano top or in a spare bedroom, to the kitchen counter, or maybe outside on a pleasant day. Virtual meetings and chat rooms to discuss plans, accomplish staff training and review webinars fill the days as the business of the library continues. Missing colleagues, we gather online to share thoughts and concerns, worries and accomplishments.
I’ve noticed when meeting virtually with my library colleagues how we gather and rally around food as a common ground, even in separation. While I have always loved the kitchen and it has become a bit more of a chore to be home for three meals a day, making good food from scratch and baking is now back on my radar. I can focus, breathe deeply and put aside my stress and uncertainty while doing kitchen tasks. Sharing tips and tricks for shopping challenges has opened up new channels for farm-direct/food distribution center-direct purchases. I’m pleased to buy my milk, eggs and butter from a local restaurant owner who delivers them to my house. Planning meals from what’s on hand and following step-by-step recipes has brought comfort. Drive-by pickups from the local businesses trying to survive and serve are treats and seem like small but essential gestures of support.
More than ever, reading and keeping up on publishing are vital for my colleagues as we coordinate remotely to keep the work of the library rolling on. Publishers are getting the word out about new titles and comfort reads and authors are making online appearances in popup events during this time of quarantine. Close to home, you can find reading recommendations and booklists created by library staff for adults, teens and kids — and we’re always adding more titles and lists!
We miss the library and the human connections and interactions with our colleagues and the community. If you want to see us in action, check out our playlist of staff poetry readings. We’re still here to help. The digital collections we offer are available 24/7 to keep you entertained and informed. The virtual Information Desk is open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 7 p.m. Chat, call, or email us. We love to hear from you.
Photo courtesy of Janie Hermann.
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