I’m writing this in my living room on Friday, February 19, 2021. The library is closed due to snow and ice. This is the eighth closure we’ve had during the 2020-2021 winter season. That’s not even counting our early closure this past Monday. While this is far more than usual, the library, like many institutions at our latitude, does have to close during winter weather.
While such an occasional break is nice, weather closures can be disruptive to our routine. Being closed and losing in-library work time inevitably leads to necessary catching up when we reopen. It often means extra returned items to check in and a backlog of deliveries to clear out. In short, things pile up. Depending on the severity of the weather and the length closure, these tasks can take some time. And of course, being closed means cancelling or postponing events and our patrons losing access to our physical collection.
Closing doesn’t mean we stop working. With modern connectivity we can still, like I am now and have been more since the COVID outbreak in March, do many things remotely. I respond to emails, attend meetings, order books, work on finances, and monitor social media. Obviously we can’t shelve books or fulfill holds from home, but we can and do many things even when not physically at the library.
The act of closing even triggers a surprising amount that needs to be done. I’ve got a checklist: communicate with scheduled staff, inform the library system, post to social media, contact TV stations, etc.
You, the user, have access to a whole range of e-resource offerings through York County Libraries website (https://www.yorklibraries.org/library-services-programs/yclonline/) or YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/YorkCountyLibrariesPA). We also offer our own activities via our Facebook (www.facebook.com/dillsburgareapubliclibrary). There is a lot to see and do, even from home.
Snow days, while never ideal, aren’t so bad after all!
Keith L Greenawalt, Library Director