Trustee Newsletter April 2020

A Note from Ron

This note has a different tone than what I usually post, but stick with me. I care a lot about libraries and the people that work in them and these past two weeks have been pretty intense for all of us. So if you're feeling stressed, it's okay. Unprecedented times are upon us. I mean, who could have guessed, even just a few months ago, that we would be held up in our homes watching daily addresses from our Governor hoping beyond hope that we could go back to work or visit loved ones or even just go to the store without feeling afraid.

Everyone is feeling out of place at the moment. Keep in mind that it's okay to feel uneasy; especially as we work towards shifting to a new normal. Your new normal may be attending countless Zoom calls from your dining room table, checking email on your phone rather than your office computer, maybe you've had to brave the unemployment system, maybe you're stuck at home because social distancing is your safest option, or perhaps you're an essential worker that is required to risk your health every day so our economy and health system does not fail completely (thank you). Whatever it is, be sure to take care of yourself.

I have found that a lot of the organizations, news outlets, and social media business gurus are saying that this is a time for extraordinary productivity. Now that you have all this time at home you can do all of the things that you haven't been able to do in the past. All of the things that you have put off on your "someday maybe list." That's great if you're into that, but it feels more like we're trying to fight for a sense of normalcy in an abnormal time. A distraction from the realization that we are going through something historic. Something difficult. Something that we will most likely never completely recover from. Even after we are back to the office and life begins to resemble what it once was, we will move forward with a little more caution than before. That's okay. Caution is a good thing. It means we learned something from all of this and that we will be better prepared for the next catastrophe that we meet.

So, for what it's worth, I say take this time to reflect on what a new normal might look like, then embrace it. After that, get in touch with friends and loved ones. Don't beat yourself up if your productivity slows during this time, you can just say, "Ron said it's fine." Take care of yourself and the people close to you. We'll get through this. We'll find a new normal.

COVID-19 Resources to Libraries and Boards

System staff has been working hard to keep everyone up to date with the daily changes in State-wide information impacting libraries. I know there have been a lot of email messages crowding director's inboxes and many have probably been passed along to Trustees as well. We're going to continue to update everyone, but if you miss an email we are putting all of our information on our Community Docs page. We're also updating our Frequently Asked Questions Docs page on a daily basis.

So far, we have provided answers to these questions: We will continue updating this page with new information as it comes out.

Minimum Standards Workshop - April 7, 2020

On Tuesday, April 7 at 6:00 pm, Suzanne Macaulay and I will be doing an impromptu talk about the updates to the State Minimum Standards for Libraries that will go into effect January 1, 2021. This is a follow-up to requests made following our Running Effective Board Meeting presentation last month. No registration is necessary, you can find the GoToMeeting information on the Trustee Workshops 2020 page.

Also, please note that the April 23 and May 19 workshops have been moved online.

Construction Grant - Intent to Apply Deadline

The Intent to Apply deadline for this year's grant cycle has been extended to June 30, 2020. Visit https://docs.owwl.org/Community/ConstructionGrants for more details.

Last Month's Newsletter

Trustee Newsletter March 2020
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