A Reflection of the Last Year

As an institution, a library represents hope. A library contains things that seem incompatible. It’s a place where people come for introspective pursuits like reading, studying, research and writing. It’s a place where people come to interact and learn from each other. It’s a place where people who have different belief systems and values interact every day.

Those of us who work in libraries are drawn to this work for a lot of reasons. One thing we have in common - we want to help people access information and resources to accomplish their goals.

Like many of you, the pandemic is the biggest challenge we have faced in the past year. Never in my life did I imagine that libraries across the country would stop offering in-person services and programs.

Our staff has risen to the challenge. Their creativity and resilience have resulted in the creation of many new services while adjusting essential services to ensure that we are in alignment with public health priorities.

We continue our focus on leveraging resources to support those suffering from job loss, families struggling with educational needs, marginalized communities, individuals and families suffering from social isolation, and those who rely on the library to mitigate the impact of the digital divide.

If you have a conversation with anyone who works at the library you’ll learn that this is a team of helpers who are committed to serving the community they call home. As in past times of economic distress we know we’re going to be relied on by our community as part of their physical, economic, and emotional recovery from the pandemic. We are ready.

As COVID-19 rates improve and vaccinations are distributed this team of helpers is looking forward with great optimism. Looking forward to restoring the services and access that have been missing, while maintaining the innovations that have resulted from the pandemic.

I want to thank you for embracing the changes we needed to make as we worked through the pandemic. Thank you for your kindness throughout the past year. Thank you for taking the time to read this reflection on 2020 posted below.

-Colleen Rortvedt, Library Director