Missing your quirky local librarians and supporting cast of characters?
Wondering what they’ve been up to lately, work-wise and otherwise?
The building may be closed, but they’re busier than ever.
Read what some have been up to as they check in from quarantine…

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  • Things I’ve been working on: working mostly from home, waking up a teen to do school from home, taking walks outside, cooking dinner, reading, stalking the cat, spending time with my dad, and Netflix binging.
  • Something I learned/did: got a portable ballet barre, setting up Zoom meetings, exploring the world of TikTok, trying new Ben & Jerry flavors, and learning how not to second-guess myself. Sometimes the best laid plans or intentions fail, so we need to be flexible and not lose hope.
  • Something I thought was ‘essential,’ but isn’t: in-person K-12 school, in-person doctor visits, in-person meetings, and getting exactly the groceries you want.
  • Something I didn’t think was ‘essential,’ but is: manufacturing and warehouses, online shopping and delivery, and masks.
  • What I’m most looking forward to after quarantine: seeing my mom, sister, nieces, nephew, cousins, friends, co-workers, library volunteers and patrons; meeting up with my best friend for dinner/drinks out, eating at the diner with the fam, going shopping at nonessential stores, going to the library, movies, beach, pool, zoo — going places in general! Not a homebody!
  • One more thing: the stay-at-home order was for the greater good of the community, but really changed our way of life and made us reevaluate our priorities. Technology allowed many people to stay in touch, but left behind those without access. I am very thankful for our community heroes, and those who took care of our most vulnerable populations, who unfortunately experienced more confusion, isolation, and routine disruption than ever. Still, we rise.

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  • Things I’ve been working on: I’m actively working on a couple of things, with others on the back burner. I was able to successfully reschedule the April and May Art@EPL workshops to June, but now realize that may have been too optimistic, so we’re looking at other options as we wait to reopen, just in case. I’m also challenging myself to build a virtual escape room with a fairytale theme to go along with the Summer Reading theme of “Imagine Your Story.” Another thing: I’m building up the library’s Pinterest account with some neat Quarantine Crafts and Quarantine Recipes. There is so much imagination and ingenuity out there. We can not only make do with what we have, but we can also make cute & delicious things out of it.
  • Something new I learned/did: I’ve been delving into how to write grant proposals through GrantSpace. On the personal side, I started baking crackers from scratch because they’re easy to make.
  • Something I thought was essential but isn’t: I thought it was essential to do crafts in person with patrons. However, our staffer Maria suggested a virtual format for Pinterest Parties where we pick crafts that are made from common household objects and send the instructions to people who are interested in joining us via Zoom. It’s a fun and low-pressure way to chat with others and work with your hands at the same time.
  • Something I didn’t think was ‘essential,’ but is: just being outside in the sunshine is essential. It improves your mood and adjusts your perspective. Leave your phone inside unless you’re listening to music or audiobooks on it.
  • What I’m most looking forward to after quarantine (besides work/seeing everyone): I miss ‘new book’ day. That is when the new books for the month have been processed and are ready to be put on the shelves. I put each book on my favorite green book cart (a.k.a., “the cart of joy”), check them in, and notify people that their holds are ready to be picked up. I enjoy being able to put that eagerly awaited book in a patron’s hands. On the personal side, I really want to be able to sit in a restaurant and order food that someone else made for me or let my kids play on the playgrounds.
  • One more thing: here’s some evergreen advice from the Longmire mystery series by Craig Johnson, “Stay calm, have courage, and wait for signs.” I will see you on the other side of this.

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Hi, from Miss Sue! I’ve been busy doing video storytimes, planning Summer Reading (!), sharing online resources, setting up bibliographies, and attending Zoom meetings for EPL!

I miss everyone, but I’m still interacting through Facebook, including a livestream on Monday mornings to let people know what we’re up to at the library during the lockdown.

My cats were happy we were home, but now are a little tired of us all. Meanwhile, I found an online convention to attend called Concellation 2020 — a convention for science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and animé fans completely on Facebook. It’s been going since the beginning of the quarantine, and is a space where people can meet to talk and laugh and do fun things! I am a “non-attendee!”

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  • Things I’ve been working on: data clean-up projects in SPARK (our circulation system), updating calendars as events go virtual, issuing library cards by email and helping patrons resolve card/online access issues, attending webinars, trying to sort my “liked songs” playlist down to 30 hours (…was over 10 days).
  • Something new I learned/did: trying to write/run a bot to auto-populate recurring events in the calendar – fail – my coding is still mediocre at best. Baked cookies, muffins and bread from scratch and/or with modified box mixes.
  • Something I thought was ‘essential,’ but isn’t: americanos (hot espresso and water – no milk/cream/sugar).
  • Something I didn’t think was ‘essential,’ but is: bedtime.
  • What I’m most looking forward to after quarantine (besides the library and seeing everyone): new books, not being “high risk,” or being less ‘at risk’ as testing becomes more widely available and COVID-19 becomes more easily recognized and treated.
  • One more thing: I kind of liked being forced to slow down, stay in place, and be given the time to focus on one task at a time. Also, I like some really, really eclectic music, but still can’t get into ‘Modern Country.’

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  • Things I’ve been working on: my J. Cramer card inventory, a 30-day photo challenge with a friend, my table-tennis game (we moved the ping-pong table outside), reading books (The Secret Life of Lobsters, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Boston Girl), and attending webinars. Oh, and ‘biking for bucks’ for Giving Tuesday.
  • Something new I did/learned: a paper-weaving project with scraps from my photos, learned how to Zoom–it’s how our family stays in touch now, and getting most of our food from a local farm…and local businesses.
  • Something I thought was ‘essential,’ but isn’t: going to the grocery store so often (twice a week) — now it’s twice a month.
  • Something I didn’t think was ‘essential,’ but is: outside activity for mental health.
  • What I’m most looking forward to after quarantine (besides the library and seeing everyone): cycling with our usual group, and family/friends gathering to socialize.


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  • Things I’ve been working on: creating is my jam, and ‘stay at home’ has given me longer blocks of time for both current and new projects, including our new COVID-19 resource page, the Giving Tuesday project, issues of BELONG every two weeks, flyers for virtual events, homepage slides, a new ‘Support EPL’ page and more — with Mollie, my ‘studio dog,’ napping through it all (…when she’s not ‘announcing’ every delivery in the neighborhood). On the personal side, I’ve been shopping and running errands for the seniors in our family and having weekly Zoom calls with my granddaughters as part of their homeschooling (…teaching them about different artists so I can indulge my curiosity too).

  • Something new I learned/did: I’ve learned a lot more about WordPress (for our website), am no longer a Zoom virgin, have been crafting with old/rescued books (see bow), and discovering new podcasts. One new find is NPR’s ‘How I Built This‘ with Guy Raz. It’s about ‘innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists — and the stories behind the movements they built.’ It features fun interviews with everybody from Richard Branson to YouTuber Casey Neistat. I find inspiration as they talk about how they got their ideas off the ground and overcame challenges by getting creative and never giving up. So good.
  • Something I thought was ‘essential,’ but isn’t: I second Jill’s sentiment on frequent grocery shopping, also TV (…though that pre-dates quarantine by a few months), and trying on shoes in person.
  • Something I didn’t think was ‘essential,’ but is: the second (very old) refrigerator we have in our garage, since I now avoid grocery shopping like the coronavirus. Patience and equanimity …even more than previously thought. Being able to cut my own hair.
  • What I’m most looking forward to after quarantine (besides the library and seeing everyone): Unlike Maryellen, I am such a homebody that it will be more of an adjustment to start going out again after quarantine. I do, however, look forward to shopping for craft and art supplies (among other things) in brick-and-mortar stores, and going to the beach…which I rarely get to do, but have an extreme craving for right now.
  • One more thing: At times like these when my ‘snow globe’ gets a good shake, I revisit the model of change described in the ‘oldie-but-goodie,’ Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, by William Bridges. First there are the endings — all the things we’re forced to let go of, and the sense of loss and sadness that comes with it. Then the neutral zone, the ‘in-between’ time when the old is gone, but the ‘new’ hasn’t yet taken shape — a very confusing time, but also filled with seeds of potential. And finally, the new beginnings, when we start to find our footing in the new reality and can focus our energy in a new direction. When I’m mired in the confusion and frustration of the ‘neutral zone,’ I try to remind myself that the new beginning is on the way. I hope out of this very challenging time comes something new, wonderful and unexpected for everyone.