Working From Home During a Pandemic

It has been a while since I have last posted. My blog had been hosted on LISHost and after many years Blake decided to move on so I had to find a new host. I transferred my blog to the new hosts, Libchalk, at the end of February. Then in March the coronavirus hit and the time to blog disappeared.

I decided my first post back would be a little bit about what we are doing at my library and a totally shameless plug for MLA’s “Join the Covid-19 Conversation: Managing Remote Workers and Work” hosted by Ellen Aaronson, AHIP, Mayo Clinic Libraries, and yours truly on Tuesday 4/14/20 1:00pm eastern time.

Here is brief run down of what we are doing at my library:

  • The library is sort of closed. The space is closed to everyone except 4 library staff who are answering phones, setting up library accounts, and ILLing our print collection to our healthcare teams as well as to other libraries in need.
  • The rest of the library staff, including those who work in our community hospital libraries, are working from home doing searches, answering LibChat, setting up online resources, ILLing online stuff, as well as other things.
  • I know our team is making a difference as we have provided info (searches, articles, and ebooks) on things directly related to Covid-19 to our doctors, nurses, researchers, administration, and to state officials.
  • I have been communicating with staff via email, text, Microsoft Teams, and through LibChat. I have been communicating with other medical librarians via Twitter A LOT. And I have to say the medlibs on Twitter have been super helpful.

While things have been serious, it is important to also to keep your sense of humor. My card table desk, overlooks my street and I feel like I am now a part of the neighborhood watch as I see everyone walking their dog, families trying to wear their kids out on tricycles, and everyone getting Amazon deliveries. I recently learned that a local brewery was delivering beer to homes because I saw their bright green car pull up to a neighbor’s house. I made a mental note to call them later for a delivery.

I feel my card table office is in a way better location than my husband who is in the basement. But he seems to have better quiet spot than I do. When he shuts the door the kids seem to leave him alone. When I shut the door it seems like it is an invitation for the kids to come in talk to me when I am on Zoom. That is why I often take my Zoom meetings (especially with my bosses) while sitting in my car in the driveway. The mail person has walked by me several times while I have been in the car on Zoom. She must think I am crazy.

Our MLA discussion on Tuesday will focus on some of the things we have been doing to make things work while keeping in mind that we are not just working from home. We are at home during a crisis trying to work. To make it more of a discussion and less of lecture, feel free to ask Ellen and me questions about what we are doing library related or just what we are doing to deal with the craziness of managing work from home during a pandemic. I look forward to “seeing” all of you online.

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