Today marks 23 years as the Director of the Carver Public Library. Twenty.Three.Years.
I wrote extensively about my time here 3 years ago for my 20th anniversary and everything I said then still holds true. Looking back over that post, though, I can’t help think about how blissfully unaware I was of the changes that were just 6 months down the road.
In other words, being a Library Director during a global pandemic was really challenging. All the things I took for granted . . . my staff, the hours that the library was open, the daily flow of patrons in and out of the building . . . went away. I spent a lot of my work time alone during the first few months of the pandemic. I cried when I updated the library voicemail to say that we were closed indefinitely. I felt helpless when I had a Zoom staff meeting and told everyone they were furloughed. I struggled with how to meet the community’s need for a library without being able to open the doors. They were the darkest days of my career.
I suppose this is the part where I get philosophical and wax on about how you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I don’t know that I have that perspective on the pandemic yet, though. I can say that those months of being closed and the months that followed when we only provided curbside service and then the months that followed that when we were only open a few days a week showed me once again how important libraries are. It helped me remember that this is indeed a noble profession and that the services we provide are invaluable and even life changing and saving.
I can’t say I’m glad to have learned that lesson. But I can say that I’m glad to have had 23 years in the same place with many of the same people. It’s my home away from home and I’m so grateful for the path that lead me here and the road I continue to walk.
Happy Work Anniversary to me and the Carver Public Library. It’s a good place to call home.