Positivity While Under Quarantine

By Olivia Buck

Right about now, I feel like a lot of us are feeling a bit…overwhelmed. Everyone is talking about COVID-19 and many of us are sheltering-in-place. This whole thing is pretty scary, but I think some of us are looking for even small things to help us keep a positive attitude. One way that I’ve tried to keep my positive attitude going has been to be careful about how I think about the quarantine and working from home. It would be really easy to get frustrated that I can’t work on certain projects right now or that I’m stuck at home all day everyday. But instead, I’ve been telling myself, “Look at this opportunity to work on projects you never have time for!” I’ve been putting together a digital copy of our home delivery patrons’ requests so that they’re easier to keep track of and I’ve been able to research and brainstorm ideas for new ways to connect with and serve my home delivery patrons. And this is just week one for us.

I’ve also been able to devote more time to some non-home delivery projects that I’m part of. These have included:

● Working with my fellow Bookmobile Drivers on a new project for our Bookmobile, Big B.
● Working on clearing up various lists and reports.
● Following up with presenters that were scheduled for our Bloomington Reads program which was scheduled for late March and early April.
● Working on projects for our Spirit Committee which creates events that contribute to staff morale and working together.

Finally, I’m seeing many of my coworkers try to connect with each other using Microsoft Teams so that we can all learn how to do this whole “work from home” thing together. I think we’re all just wanting to stay connected and keep a smile on our faces while we’re working from home. So, sometimes this means that people are sharing links on how to stay productive while working from home. And sometimes it’s people sharing their quarantine playlists for their work hours, posting about the delicious foods they’re making, or posting pictures of their new office mates. Here’s a couple pictures of mine:

Finally, I’ve been thinking about my favorite patron interactions that I’ve had since becoming a library employee. I’ve been thinking about all the wonderful moments I’ve gotten to have by serving our community. This is the one that always brings a smile to my face:

A boy came up to the Circulation desk with a stack of books to check out. He was probably around six or seven years old and his face barely reached the top of the Circulation desk when standing on his tiptoes. He watched me as I picked up his books and placed them on the scanner. His eyes grew wide and his whole face lit up when he heard the ding of his items getting checked out.

“How does the computer know that [the book] is there? And how does it know which one it is?” He asked, waving a hand at the book with excitement.

“There are special tags inside the book that tell the computer what book it is and that allows us to check it out,” I explained as I opened the book up and showed him the RFID tag inside the book. While I continued to check out his books, the little boy watched, completely entranced by the computer that knew the names of the books and that he wanted to read them. Finishing up with his books, I passed them over to him and a grin spread across his cheeks.

As he left with his mother, he cheered, “Librarians are magic!”

The way that I think about this crazy period of time when the library is closed and I’m working from home makes a huge impact on my attitude. So I keep reminding myself that libraries are magic.


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