So last year when I started writing for the ACRL Blog, my first post was about the tightrope I was walking trying to balance programming during a pandemic. Things started to look up during fall semester, mostly because my college was able to lift some COVID restrictions. However, with the Omicron surge in our area, the campus administration has made the decision to re-implement some policies and procedures. We’re back to rotating work from home, and I expect to hear more about classes shifting from face-to-face and back to online. So, we’re back on the tightrope. But here’s the thing: We also have an upcoming building renovation.
This has been in the works since long before the pandemic, and our library needs it. However, this has thrown a significant wrench into planning, well, anything. The timing for National Library Week (which we always try to celebrate) makes it even tougher. My team is looking to move out of our building around the same time, then we have a semester break, and then I’m off to the Texas Library Association’s conference! April is going to be crazy!
Staring all this down at the beginning of the semester plus the back-and-forth of COVID-19 is a lot. So far, my coping strategy has been taking things one week at a time. I have most my contracts in for guest speakers, and I’m working on planning two more events for National Library Week. This week’s goal is to arrange a speaker from the Library of Congress (fingers crossed!), and next week’s is to start the process of getting a virtual author panel together.
Breaking events down into smaller, manageable tasks isn’t a new idea to me, but I really like planning months ahead! Resisting the urge to set everything in stone hasn’t been easy. I sincerely don’t know where I will be in a few months’ time, though, both physically and mentally. Will we still be dealing with variant surges? Will I be on another campus? Will everything be pushed back as it has in the past? On-campus, off-campus? As a female role-model from my childhood would say: ACK!
I don’t have the answers for any of that. I’m learning to be better about not knowing. As anyone in librarianship probably understands, not knowing something is anxiety-making for me, but I can’t research my way out of the uncertainty.
At least I know I’m not alone. I hope everyone else is handling the balancing act we’ve found ourselves in as we start a new semester. We can do this!