Most people just think you are just a building that holds books, but as one of your librarians, I know better. You are a place of magic, wonder, and knowledge. A safe place for those that seek shelter from everyday life. A point of equal access for all.
Yet now your doors are shuttered, the lights are off, and there is eerie quiet filling space. There are no more shrieks of laughter from kids playing in the children’s library, nor the hum of the public computers, or the soft chatter of tutors helping students. There are no coworkers having book talks in the office or any snacks being shared in the breakroom.
I’m sure you are confused by this and do not understand where all of your people have gone.
There is a virus spreading across the world and the best way to fight it right now is to practice social distancing; quarantine ourselves away in our homes to shelter against the proverbial storm. As you well know, books are the opposite of social distancing. Stories are shared by the community they live in, passed from one set of hands to the other. And so we made the difficult decision to close your doors, in the hopes of keeping our patrons and staff safe. Fear not, it will not last forever. Once the clouds have parted and the sun shines again, we will be there. We will dust your shelves and make sure all the books are in order, and then finally we will open your doors again.
For the time being, we have done what libraries (and librarians) have always managed to do – we’ve adapted. We have adapted programs to be virtual, ensured there is plenty of digital content, and of course, are still answering patron’s questions. We will continue to do the best we can, so stay strong dear library.
Until we meet again,