How’re you? It’s been a while. I’m sure you understand why.
So- things have changed. Quite a lot in some ways, let’s get you up to date.
Location– I’m currently working from home most of the time, but not exclusively, not any more. I’m in the office weekly, so, yeah, I’m inducted into the hand sanitiser and working in a facemask brigade. Which I don’t need to do at home.
Day to day work– well that hasn’t really changed too much- I’ve been doing my usual things all the way through- literature searches, answering queries, making information accessible and available and interesting, tweeting… The focus changed for a bit- at the start of this… (what shall we call it- interlude? Too musical. Accurate but scary. Period of time? Not specific enough. OK, we’ll go for pandemic, it’s accurate, if a bit impersonal) …pandemic my focus was on COVID-19 information, on keeping staff up to date, on wellbeing. I was on social media a lot- to disseminate information, and also to keep in touch. It made me cry most days, but it made me proud, and sad, and kept me connected to the wider world of library colleagues out there doing what I was doing. Now, it’s settled down a lot- my focus is back on to a wide range of information, not just COVID-19 related. But my overarching feeling about work over the past 7 months is that I’ve been soooo busy. Seriously full on.
Library colleagues– We’ve kept in touch- a lot. Regular phone calls, loads of emails- both work and a bit of chat. Weekly team meetings where we saw each other’s faces, and reading group meetings. I had happy mail in the post, and virtual meet ups with our wider GETEC team. I felt a bit like I was missing out on the camaraderie by being at home, but the reality of being back in the library is that we were all missing that, and still are. We wear masks, we stand 2 metres apart, it’s difficult to chat, we’re not all in at the same time. It’s weird. You know this, I know.
Connecting– on a wider setting, this is still pretty much virtual. Some things have stopped- journal clubs seem to be a victim of the pandemic, but they’re not forgotten about, so I have faith that the desire is there for them to reappear. Formal meetings have moved to a virtual setting and quite honestly, I’ll be sad if they go back. It makes sense, it’s more economical, they work. Other team meetings I used to attend are slowly coming back to life, mostly virtually. It’s getting there, but my contacts have been pretty solid- I’ve had requests for searches, emails to keep in touch- it’ll come back.
Training– we’ve moved our training offer to a virtual one. It’s working OK- nothing mind blowing, but we’ve coped quite well IMO. CPD opportunities have come thick and fast, and I’ve loved taking advantage of it all, from personal resilience to advanced critical appraisal techniques, it’s been a whirlwind of learning. And it’s not finished yet. I have more booked into my calendar.
So for now, we carry on in this strange limbo- it’s forced lots to change, it’ll be a long time before we know the real impact. In the words of that wise fish, Dory- just keep swimming.
Stay safe friends. Take care.
Images from Pixabay or my own.