Hi Guy, and all –
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. It has certainly been a transition! My husband and I are lucky enough to both be able to work from home, although as Juliana said, trying to work with kids out of school is its own challenge.
In Minnesota, the biggest challenge we’re facing right now is the cancelation of the in-person Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony. We had anticipated more than 900 people this year and had made some substantial changes to the program and venue, which we were looking forward to seeing develop. We are moving to a virtual delivery of the ceremony on April 28 and are still working out the details for that, but it will likely involve some pre-recorded video elements (if we can make it all come together) and then a live-stream of the category announcements.
We are looking to other ways to stream content with our Book Awards finalists and have a few things in development. Our new online writers map has been on the back burner for a while and now is moving back up to the forefront, and we are hoping to use our Writers Directory to highlight local authors who are interested in doing online events.
I am looking forward to connecting (virtually) with you all soon.
Minnesota Center for the Book/The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
It is hard for me sometimes to believe how are lives and work activities have so drastically changed in just the past two weeks!
I just started teleworking last week and am still getting used to the lack of social interchange with my colleagues face-to-face. I have never teleworked before because I have always enjoyed coming into the office each day. It also puts me in a “work” mindset. The constant racket from the construction project next door is a constant and annoying distraction. If you know Alexandria, Va., and its historic district, then you know we all live in rowhouses in a densely populated neighborhood. I live in one of those rowhouses, attached on only one side. Right next door, about 12 feet away, they are erecting a large Sunrise senior living facility on what has been a parking lot for the entire 33 years I have lived in this house. At least when the times comes, I won’t have to move very far!
On a more serious level, I am writing to reach out and learn how all of you are coping, how your work, activities and plans have changed, and what I (and the Library of Congress) can do to support you. I can tell you we are planning to release online later this week the beginning of a series of reading and learning activities with some top authors who have agreed to work with us to reach out to young readers who are home from school. As soon as I have details, I will let you know. Perhaps it is something you can offer your users.
Can you tell us if you are engaging in any novel approaches to reaching your constituencies?
What activities have you been forced to cancel? Are you doing any virtual programming?
Are you involved in a state or local book festival? Are you making contingency plans?
Anything you would like to say to get the conversation going, please share.
Take care. I hope we return to “normal” soon, whatever the new normal may be.