Read On! Rebuilding Year(s)

I’m not really a sports person, but the sports world has something called a “rebuilding year” that perfectly describes how we’re viewing the next year or two at the Pryor Library.

The Library had normal changes in 2020 that would qualify our next few years as rebuilding years – major staffing changes and a major change in our book vendor – but those changes were coupled with a pandemic that changed our basic service model too. We went from 2019’s enthusiastic “Please come in! Stay as long as you’d like! We love having you here!” to 2020’s cautious “We love having you here, but please keep your visit short.”

As the light at the end of our pandemic tunnel nears, we will slowly begin adding seating back, opening our meeting room, offering in-person programming, and rebuilding our library to the fun place it was pre-pandemic all during an actual, physical build just to spice things up.

Rebuilding never happens as fast as we want, which will make these next few years a challenge for our staff. Our rebuild will happen slowly as the pandemic eases and people trust being out and in social settings more. (Our in-person statistics for 2020 are roughly half what they were in 2019.)

To that end, 2020 must be our new baseline. It would be unfair for us to compare our future, post-pandemic library usage to our pre-pandemic usage. The post-pandemic library world will be so different from the pre-pandemic library world. Libraries, especially our local libraries, will be stronger and better on the other side of this, but it will take us time as a community and an organization to get there.

In the meantime, if you’re not comfortable coming inside yet, we’re offering curbside pickup for materials, digital library services, and phone or email research help for the foreseeable future.