Book nerds might be able to relate to this story. One of the biggest thrills for a new librarian is the first day you come to work and walk around in the library before all the people arrive. Maybe it is because it is so quiet. Or perhaps it has something to do with the quality of the morning light coming through the windows.
But I tend to think it is more ethereal. For a book lover, there is something perfect and almost poetic about being the only one inside a library with the works of the great authors surrounding you. All the knowledge and great stories of the world sit on those shelves, just waiting for the right reader to stop by and open them up.
Then COVID closed us down and library staff are inside the library ALL DAY LONG with NO PATRONS! Let me tell you, that special feeling of being alone in the library with no public inside has disappeared! Now we are all looking forward to the special feeling we will get when patrons are once again inside our library buildings. We cannot wait!
This all brings up an interesting question: What do librarians do all day when the library is closed to the public? Do we just sit around and read books? Do we run around playing Nerf-gun tag in the stacks? Or maybe we have book cart races up and down the aisles? Those guesses are all wrong! You might be surprised to learn we are busier than ever.
First of all, rather than labeling the libraries as “closed”, we prefer to call it “reimagined”. We are still offering almost everything we offered before, but you just have to go about acquiring it in a different way. In addition to greatly increased materials on our website (you can watch movies, listen to music, read magazines and do research to your heart’s content), we have been providing curbside service at all six library locations for a month now. People are really taking advantage of this option, and last week, the bookmobile even started offering curbside delivery on their route around the county.
If you have not tried curbside pickup, you will be surprised at how easy it is. In fact, I have a shortcut for you…just call the library at 503-842-4792 and tell them what you want. That’s it! It really is that easy! You will get a notice of when your items are available for you to pick up.
Curbside pickup is part of what is keeping us so busy in the library. Every book, movie, or music CD that is requested requires a staff member to hunt it down and get it ready for you to take home. In the meantime, we have thousands of checkouts coming back to us that need to be quarantined, cleaned, and shelved. Not only that, but we have a huge backlog of brand-new items coming in from the publishers that need to be “processed” so that you can check out the newest books and DVDs.
Now that you know we do not just sit around and read books all day, you may be interested in knowing that we will soon be advertising for more library employees to fill vacancies. If you have always thought you would like to work in a library, this could be your opportunity. Keep an eye out for the openings on the county’s job page (https://agency.governmentjobs.com/tillamookor/default.cfm). Who knows, maybe one day you can experience the special feeling of being the first one into the library in the morning.