I really appreciate this opportunity to hear from everyone. I'm so sorry to hear about all the necessary shifts and cancellations on projects everyone has put so much heart into planning.
Personally, I've been recovering from eye surgery so it's a hard time to be "screens" only. But I'm hoping for grace on slow emails and plugging through. Haha.
Our agency is working hard to connect libraries with resources to serve their patrons. Here is an example of a blog post (https://bit.ly/39jf03R
) they issued today.
We closed to the public last Tuesday. Yesterday, Austin issued a shelter in place. Many of us were already working from home. Only a few staff remain in our building.
Have we heard from Rocco? I'm worried about him and NYC.
We cancelled our LAL awards ceremony as it would have been today at the cancelled Texas Library Association Conference. Two weeks ago,
I sent out a letter to our Lone Star Día
grantees letting them they have flexibility with their Children's Day, Book Day celebrations (those are generally in April). We gave them $200 grants to use in First Book for celebration/
Like most things, it's a wait and see on how that programming and the LAL ceremony will go. We are planning our 5th Annual Texas Authors Celebration right now. But i's a bit hard to
know exactly how thing will be, even in Oct.
I look forward to hearing about the LOC's resources for sharing and our next online meeting. That would really be a buoy right now. On that note, I would like to have phone meetings with as many of you as possible. It would be great to hear how you are doing
firsthand and get an idea on your project planning. Please let me know in a separate message if you want to connect in April.
If y'all can, will you please use your signatures when you respond in our listserv? It's nice to be able to see/use that contact information.
Hi from RI!
It's really great to hear from you all.
I love Sharon's quote, "diversification in delivery is our new programming priority"...think I'll send it to all our committees.
On March 1st we received our first grant rejection letter blamed on Covid 19, stating that the foundation board decided they wouldn't be able to accept any grant requests as they "needed to err on the side of conservatism
because of the global meltdown due to Covid 19." It's pretty much been downhill since then, in terms of funding.
We've had to cancel all our Reading Across Rhode Island (One Book, One State) events and are planning a virtual event with the author for April 2nd. High school teachers on our programming committee are hosting A Virtual Evening
for Educators the second week of April to discuss ways to bring students and adults together online, to talk about the statewide read.
It looks like we will also cancel all our Kids Reading Across Rhode Island events as well. That program was scheduled to kick off at the Rhode Island State House on May 2nd. We 're looking into setting up Skype/Facebook/Zoom
events and writing workshops with the author for the month of May and will wait to see what happens with our summer programming.
We are hoping to go forward with the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors in October and Feria del Libros y Las Artes in November.
Ending on a positive...grateful we got our visit in w/ Chelsea Clinton. Her book
Start Now! is the elementary companion read to our 2020 Reading Across Rhode Island book Rising. We had a full day of activities with Chelsea including a visit to a public library
that partners with community schools, an appearance on Story in the Public Square, with our partners at Rhode Island PBS and a presentation with three elementary and middle schools in Providence. She's a great speaker and was amazing with the kids. https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20200303/chelsea-clinton-wows-south-providence-students-with-tales-from-white-house
I'm also interested in exploring the suggestions of seeing if there's anything we can do together such as a 24 hour event focused on literature, etc.!
Be well everyone. Looking forward to our next virtual meeting.
Thanks for opening the convo on this, Guy. I've been interested to read the reports from the field rolling in.
Mass had planned a series of events this year linked to our 20th anniversary -- and we are now not only rethinking all of them but also interrogating our delivery model ... understanding how dangerous it is to have nearly all of our activities culminate
in large social gatherings. Even those that are promoted at more of a distance presume that the commonwealth libraries will be open as sites for the promotion ... Diversification in delivery is our new programming priority!
I'm spending the next two weeks catching up on admin tasks and asking our two very part-time folk to keep our book awards (the 20th annual) and lal (yep also 20th annual) programs moving forward while we rethink how we will deliver the performance of them
in public. I am betting dollars to doughnuts that we won't have access to the State House (where each of these programs normally culminates) until at least the fall and so we, like Minnesota, are exploring video and how to make it exciting.
I will be eager to get the news about author resources from LOC, Guy. I'm about to darken the commonwealth events calendar we host and replace it with a page of online resources and streaming events and will be happy to have that to add.
Guy, do you think LOC is rethinking National Book Festival? I ask not to be alarmist but to factor in our Great Read announcement and what may or may not happen to that ...
Take care everyone ... last week I felt as if the sky were falling ... now I feel that calamity is easier to deal with after it's arrived than when it was only anticipated.
Regards to all,
Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Mass Center for the Book
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.