The Summer of Romance and Mystery

The only constant in life is change, right? My library system will be reopening to the public next Friday. At least half the branches and the main library, anyway. I’m still a bit in shock and not really happy with the pace of it, but I’m not in charge (even our director is not in charge; it’s the county mayor’s decision.) But as I must work, I will be there. The virus in our part of the country is not as sweeping as in other places, but it’s still around. So I will wear a mask, sit behind plexiglass desk shields, point to the six feet markers on the floor, wash my hands a million times, and do the best I can. To begin we won’t have any public computer use, and that’s a good thing (less people sitting in the building for a length of time.) No programs or story times indefinitely. I’m nervous, and know that with our nearest branch being closed, we will be doubly busy. But I will be be very glad to see my coworkers and my lovely library regulars.

As to how this will affect my reading, it’s hard to say. I imagine I will be tired and possibly frazzled, so I don’t plan on any heavy reading for a while. I’m calling this summer THE SUMMER OF ROMANCE AND MYSTERY! I had planned to participate in Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer event, and I am still going to give it a go – with the lightest, fluffiest books I can find. My “light and fluffy” still includes lots of murder mysteries, by the way. I’m thinking of knocking out a lot of Agatha Christie this summer, as I have an unofficial goal to eventually read all of her novels. I will post my list for 20 Books of Summer next weekend.

img_5695So for a bit I won’t be around WordPress as much as I have been this spring. I hope to post once a week, on weekends, and catch up on your blogs as much as I can in between. Please send some good thoughts my way and to all library workers as they begin to reopen libraries. I knew I’d eventually go back, but the furlough wasn’t supposed to end for another month, so it’s an adjustment. I hope you are all safe and well, and fully stocked with engaging books. I’m currently rereading one of my all-time favorite books: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. A delicious and smart comfort read if there ever was one. Till next time, read on, friends!

34 thoughts on “The Summer of Romance and Mystery

      1. I know, right? And I think it’s the worry of all the unknowns and what-ifs that are connected to being back out in the world with everything starting to run again. But it sounds like they’re at least taking it slowly and carefully at your work.

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  1. Wow, I’m surprised you were going to be furloughed for another month. I’m also surprised the library will open on a Friday. That’s….weird. Are they opening-opening, or having staff come back to take on tasks that have piled up first? That’s what we did. We got organized for curbside pick up, have been retagging books and shelf reading and weeding. I haven’t encountered the public yet, and I’ve been back for two weeks. Just stay away from people as much as you can, and set boundaries. If someone won’t respect those boundaries, you have a right to say or do something to make you more comfortable again. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to back away from someone and tell them what I’m doing that to ask them to back up. Next week we’ll be letting in a couple of patrons to use computers, which have been scheduled by appointment only for work/school/social services tasks only, and they can’t go anywhere else in the building.

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    1. Yeah, weird. It’s our County Mayor’s decision. Three days of closed building/prep and then opening on Friday. Although my branch is closed on Fridays so our first day open to public is Saturday. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Welcome to my world. Curbside pickup was never even discussed with staff as a possibility.
      I love your idea about backing up and telling the person what you’re doing. I’m stealing that.

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      1. When I was learning how to teach, we were told not to give “you” comments on papers because students take them personally. Instead of “your sentence is confusing” write “I feel confused by this sentence.” It sounds like the onus of the burden is on me, but they still have to fix it. The same principle works with saying “I’m backing up,” when what you really mean is “BACK UP, MOTHAF****ER.”

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  2. I hope all goes well when you return to work this week, though it’s strange the way we have almost become used to being in Lockdown and isolation all the time. A bit of fluffy reading for the summer sounds good though, you certainly can’t go far wrong with Agatha Christie.

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    1. Thank you Alyson. I have definitely acclimated to being at home all this time! Being an introvert does help. I’ve been learning over this time that life really is all about change and so much is out of our control. Challenging lessons but good for me to try and grasp. Staying in the moment is more important to me now. Anyway, I’m excited to read some Christie this summer!

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  3. I’m going to miss you! But I’m sending you happy thoughts and hoping for the smoothest reopening possible. I hope you find comfort being buried in the stacks! And I hope that people are smart and respectful about keeping everyone safe.

    I’ll be right beside you reading fluffy books this summer – especially Agatha Christie. And Excellent Women is such a great book – I’m glad you’ve found an opportunity for a reread!

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  4. I’m glad libraries are opening up but wish more of them were easing into it. On the other hand, my local public library let go more than half their staff and are doing curbside pickup only.

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  5. I hope the reopening goes well. I miss having my library available, but I totally understand why they are staying closed, and with the DC area being a hot spot, I don’t expect they’ll open for browsing anytime soon. Maybe curbside pickup in the next couple of weeks, but I haven’t heard for sure. I just tell myself that this is getting me to read more from my own shelves, which I always say I want to do more.

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  6. I’m sorry you’re having to go back to work before you feel ready. I’m sure you’d feel safer staying at home. But with the measures you’ve mentioned in place (plus gloves to handle the books?), risk should be minimal. I hope you can enjoy getting back into the routine of work. I’d heard that some libraries in North America would be introducing curbside pickup. No word yet on when my library will reopen.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca. I’m sure once I’ve been back a week or two it will feel less scary and normal again. Humans adapt! I’ve learned that with quarantine home life. I would have loved if we’d been able to do a week or two of curbside pickup to ease back into it, but that was never mentioned by administration or the County. Oh well! It is what it is and we’ll be as careful as possible. I hope you can get curbside pickup for your library soon!

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  7. Good luck Laila, I’ll be thinking of you!!! And I think reading through Agatha Christie is a wonderful goal, and I also love your idea of keeping things light and fluffy (with murder) this summer, lord knows we all need light and fluffy in our life right about now 🙂

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  8. For every person who is doubly desperate to get to you because your neighbouring branch is closed, there will be another person who is following the news and determining not to return to regular library visits until more time has passed (like me, despite my full-blown addiction LOL), so I think it will work out okay for you (with all the other ideas you’ve already had and the helpful advice above). Borrow some books on wellness before anyone else can touch those shelves (hahah) and boost your immune system more than you usually bother to–there is always more that one can do to be healthy and strong, and that is a tremendous comfort, also, because those decisions are in your control and you can act on them, on every single one of them, for you and your family (when you can afford to buy food and all that, of course). We control more than we think! (If less than we’d like. :-/) xo

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Marcie. I really do appreciate it. I did go and check out book before anyone else breathed on them, ha ha! But they were mysteries! 😉 I will be sure to get my sleep and take my vitamins and probiotics and continue to do yoga, all the self-care things I normally do. After all, I chose “self-care” as my word of 2020!

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  9. Good luck! I know our local supermarket workers seem to have become less stressed as time has gone on, which makes me think the distancing measures are working out for them. And your regulars will appreciate the library re-opening for sure! 😀

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  10. I’m late to catch up, but I hope it went well. I returned to my local library last Saturday. There’s nowhere to sit anymore, no public computers as well, but I was still very glad to return!

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    1. Things are going okay. I wish we could take out all the chairs but we just took out half. So some people can still linger on their laptops, which is not what I would want, but I’m not in charge. 😦 Other than that things have been okay. People are very grateful we’re open, even if some services are reduced. No computers yet either, thank God.

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      1. oh! lingering on laptops? 😶 I forgot to mention that they got rid of tables in addition to chairs, and the reading room is closed. We’re not supposed to linger. The thing that without public computer I have a hard time locating the bookshelves I need to check, so I end up asking for help much more than I used to. Next time I’ll write down the dewey number or the section in advance.

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  11. A lovely theme! Perfect. My summer will be a Summer of Fantasy and Romance, myself. 😉 At least, that’s what I’m aiming for.

    Ugh. I’m sorry that you’re going to full-time regular (ish) librarianing (I made this word up just for you) so soon! That makes me anxious for you. 😦 Remember to make time for your own mental health. If that means not reading, snuggling with your kid, watching TV, whatever — do it! Trying to manage all these new procedures will be hard enough without worrying about COVID. Wishing you a safe, healthy, and stress-less return to work!

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