Bristol Public Library thanked its staff Friday for its hard work during the pandemic, and willingness to adjust to a world that makes the exchange of shared books far more difficult.
“The staff has been working hard under circumstances that are very different from what we usually do,” assistant director Scott Stanton said. “We’re usually very people-oriented and we usually have a high concentration of people that we’re working with directly. We’ve had to find ways to improvise and find different ways to relearn how to supply services to the community. Our staff has done a lot of work in that area.”
Stanton, as well as other library department heads Joshua Spiro, Valerie Toner and Beth Martin wanted to recognize the work their employees have been doing, which may be more labor-intensive than the traditional librarian job. They must now gather books for pickup orders, assemble craft kids, plan webinars and other online programs and assist and maintain the computer lab.
“One of the issues with that though, is that we don’t get much feedback,” Stanton said. “We know that people do appreciate what we’re doing for the community, but we don’t have that interaction with the people day-to-day. So I think it’s important to do whatever we can to build up the morale of our people here because they have worked very hard. Librarians don’t tend to get a lot of recognition for what they do so I thought it was important to do that.”
Unsurprisingly, Stanton said the token of thanks was well received.
“I think our people appreciate that, I think they need that from their supervisors,” Stanton said. “We have a pretty good team and we have pretty good communication overall so I think it was something the staff really appreciated.”
With the pandemic roaring forward throughout most of the country the people at the library are starting to get accustomed to their new modifications and are learning to work better in this environment every day.
“The mood going forward is kind of hopeful,” Stanton said. “We have been slowly adding services and attempting to reopen by degrees. The Governor put the brakes on the reopening plan for the state for a while and we have a series of guidelines from the governor we have to adhere to. So it kind of put the brakes on some of the things we wanted to do. Overall, it’s still hopeful because we’re finding new ways to serve the community, we’re finding new ways to deliver programming that had to stop.”