Programming for a Pandemic?

Well I sure picked a weird year to start off my librarian career!

I was off to a strong start – in February I offered a workshop on completing the low-income housing assistance application (which was open in King County for only ~3 weeks) and had 21 people show up (plus their partners/children/etc)! For the Auburn Library that’s a really successful adult program and I was really proud that I was able to offer something so needed by the community.

I was helping to coordinate a special Earth Day event this month that would have hosted several special guest speakers including the mayor of Auburn, the director of KCLS, and real live honeybees! It was going to be awesome…until it got cancelled, along with everything else for the foreseeable future.

My fingers are crossed for summer programming to still happen – I lined up a local improv company to come perform, set up paint and sip events with a local art instructor, and so many other fun things!!

But in the meantime, I’m scrambling to figure out how to best serve patrons in a remote role. I mean, I think all librarians are in a similar boat right now. We’re used to libraries as physical locations and physical resources – but right now, those aspects of service are out of the picture. The community where I work has a prominent disadvantaged population and I wonder about how they’re doing – how they’re staying safe, how shelters are functioning, what libraries could be doing from a distance to support that work. As an adult librarian, what can I do to best help adults during this time?

One thing I did do was I created my own directory of easily navigated links here. I’ve been sharing this directory around on social media and with my coworkers – while this isn’t an official KCLS website, it contains everything you can find on the KCLS website but formatted in a simple, direct way.

mypage
This is the simple link directory I made – scroll down and there are separate sections for children, tweens/teens, adults, and general Washington state COVID19 information.
theirpage
This is the main website for KCLS after it finally got updated with the black header of “Online Resources” – still too busy and difficult to find the really valuable stuff the library has to offer. 

I also researched the senior center locations across King County and compiled a list detailing what services they are currently offering (focusing on meals, mainly).

So I’ve been keeping busy….but right now everything feels so uncertain.