Librarian providing remote services

From Anna Karwowski ’14

I am the youth services lead at the McHenry Public Library in McHenry, Ill. My team and I have jumped into virtual programming with both feet, developing database tutorials, storytimes, crafts and more on both Zoom and our YouTube page. We are also working hard to transition our summer reading onto Beanstack, an online platform that allows patrons to log minutes read with incentives like gift card drawings and a free book from the Friends of the Library. As the school liaison, I am in direct communication with area teachers and librarians and forwarding them information about services such as our temporary e-library card, our emergency food service during closure, and more. To see what else we are doing, follow us on Facebook or check out our YouTube page.

And, on a personal note, I have sewed about 25 masks for friends and family who need them and have more requests for masks incoming!

Stories to get us through

From Laura Miller Dryda ’10

I am an editor-in-chief with a healthcare media company that connects hospital executives and physicians to share information during this challenging time.

Personally, I am continuing my creative writing and organizing virtual readings for authors to share their work during this time when we aren’t able to gather in coffee shops, book stores or conventions. Hopefully, the stories shared will also bring joy to people in a tough place economically and help us come together, as a good story always has.

If anyone would like to participate as an author or attendee to the virtual readings, contact me and I’ll add you to the events!

If you give a librarian a ukulele …

From Amy Schardein ’98

I’m a children’s librarian in Covington, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati. While the library is closed, we are programming on social media. I’m doing storytime on Facebook Live three times a week.

I was surprised at how emotional I felt during the first session. There were the names of families I know and see weekly plus many more, and then so many more from the wider community. I found I was nervous and relieved that my hands knew how to play the ukulele through nerves I have not felt doing storytime for years.

After the first session, parents sent photos of their children watching–some are gleeful but most seem to be comforted—calmed by some familiarity. Parents are watching even when their kids are not. Distant family members are tuning in.

Storytime has always been my strongest skill at work. I get to use all of my teaching skills while implementing the improv skills I learned with my friends in college. Now, I’m realizing what a touchstone it is for me. Three times a week, in between homeschooling the children and caring for our home, I make myself decent and make my community feel a little better. I’m also making myself feel better.

You can find my storytimes at the Kenton County Public Library Facebook page.

Humor and song

From William Budding ’13

I’m providing my work team with daily jokes and humor to keep us all laughing during the days while we work from home full-time.

As a choir singer, my choir in Boston has organized online sing-a-longs so that we can stay connected through music.