Wow! We are in such difficult times. The past year has been one of tragedy, struggle and loss for many people. It is sometimes hard to remain positive and even more difficult to see the future. The inability to plan or predict our future seems impossible on many levels. While I miss my loved ones, I have been fortunate to be able to work at home and at the library throughout the pandemic, but I must confess, it has not been without trepidation.
I have worked at Thunder Bay Public Library for 32 years. It has been a joy. I love the staff and patrons and have had so many wonderful opportunities to work in different areas at different branches throughout my career. For the last few years, I have been involved in the planning and implementation of children’s programs such as Preschool Story time, Tales for Twos, Puppet Shows, Northern Nature Trading, and more. I gradually developed many skills and tricks and love having fun and learning along with children and families.
When the library had to close for a period of time and then open for curbside service only, programming had to be re-imagined and reinvented. I was terrified and many others were as well. How do we do this? Do we have the technical skills? Would children watch? Would they be interested? Luckily, with the help, support and encouragement of our management team and coworkers we have gradually developed new online programs for children.
From online stories, songs, rhymes, games and puppets shows, as a staff we have found a way to connect to the public. How did we do it? New software programs, cameras, microphones, tripods, green screens, costumes, scripts, musical instruments, puppets, and more – along with the biggest learning curve you could ever imagine!
When I look at the very first online programs posted by staff last March compared to the present, I see amazing progress! I don’t like to brag but we have some amazing stuff for everyone available online. I’m telling this story hoping others will see that they are not alone in the big new world of change. Just hang on, carry on, and be calm and brave. Wake up with gratitude for the hot cup of coffee you are sipping and start a new day. You are not alone!
If you want to view our uplifting and interesting new programming at your library, just look us up on Facebook or YouTube @tbaypl. Look around, there is something for everyone! While you’re online, check out programs like Read this Next, Author Readings, Sunday Stories with Miss Jana, Chelsea’s Sign and Sing, free activity kits for families, Tales for Twos, Preschool Story time, and many more. I am currently working on a musical Easter show that will be posted in a few days. Watch for it! And, be gentle, I’m still learning. Here’s hoping it makes you smile.
As always, if you need to connect with us for a library card, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up.
Lisa Shaffer– www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.