I can tell I’ve gotten busier – my blog has become neglected! I don’t think I could ever have guessed while typing my blog entries earlier this year that the library system would still only be offering online programming. What a strange and interesting time this has been for starting to build experience as a librarian – it should make for a strong foundation I can build my career on going forward. Which reminds me, one particular bright spot is that the COVID-19 closure prompted HR to extend my temporary librarian position (which was originally slated to end in September) until the beginning of next year. That is, “unless extended, or ended early.” Literally, that is what the email says….nice and decisive.
Here’s some updates as to what I’ve been up to….
- As June approached and Seattle Pride cancelled their usual events (like the parade), I felt it was important that the library do what they can to show support to the adults in the LGBTQ+ community. I emailed the KCLS Diversity Programming Coordinator to ask if anything was in the works, and when I found out it wasn’t, I suggested we curate community conversations about LGBTQ+ identity. I asked if we could put together a team of other LGBTQ+ staff members to contribute their ideas around this program, and what we ended up with was much bigger than a group dedicated to helping with a single program. Instead, this group has now collaborated and put together four programs, including a series of films and discussions about the overlap and connections between LGTBQ+ and BIPOC identity and rights movements. Our latest was collectively viewing the film “Paris is Burning” (I was able to get permission from Janus Films for the library to screen online) and having a panel discussion with Seattle icons like DJ Riz, Rosette Royale, and Gaysha Starr. This planning team and our work has become what I’m most proud of – it’s a completely unique setup at KCLS to have staff from all different classifications help represent part of their identity in program planning. I would love to grow this idea of representation and “own voices” into something that even extended beyond KCLS staff – to community members and groups who could bring additional insight and ideas. It’s an interesting idea to hold on to in the future.
- I got married! Our wedding was planned for September 12th and ended up being one of the most chaotic days of my life. But it was also amazing. Pre-COVID, our plans were to get married at the Des Moines Beach Park. As September grew closer and Washington state stayed in Phase II, we decided to switch to a small gathering in the beautiful backyard garden of a friend, live-streaming the event to a broader audience. But then the morning of our wedding, we woke up to horrible air quality due to wildfire smoke. It’s not many brides who can say their vendors described the outdoors as a “hellscape” on their wedding day – Katie and I had to scramble and replan the entire wedding same-day (note, the third time we had to replan our wedding we had it in our living room!), but in in the end it was still magical. A tribute to how Katie and I have overcome so many obstacles already, and will continue to work together and adapt to many more.
- I’ve been co-leading a team of KCLS staff on a collaboration with SPL called “Your Next Job.” It’s a fantastic service and incredibly timely, so it’s been a privilege to help spearhead KCLS’ involvement as an extension of SPL’s work.