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Coping with Crisis

March 19, 2020

Things have changed rapidly for Pennsylvania libraries over the last week.   Public libraries, schools and many non-essential businesses have closed.  Universities and colleges have moved classes online for a few weeks or for the rest of the semester.  Instructors are working to modify their lesson plans for an online environment.  Libraries are shifting to provide more virtual assistance to users.  Students are also struggling – unable to return to campus, missing the connections they’ve made with their friends, their professors and their community at large. 

In this new normal, we’re all struggling to figure out how to best support our users and each other.  Here’s a few pieces of advice for facing times of crisis: 

Give each other (and yourself) some grace 

In times like this, it’s more important than ever that we show kindness, understanding and grace to our coworkers and ourselves.  These are trying times.  Let’s support each other and lift each other up.  Give yourself a break too – you need it.

Be flexible 

If the news is any indication, things are changing rapidly.  It’s important to be flexible and willing to change practices quickly to make things work for our users and for our colleagues. 

Practice self-care and make healthy choices 

Now more than ever, it’s incredibly important that we take care of ourselves.  Running on empty isn’t good for anyone.  Working from home?  Make sure to take breaks and keep the blood flowing with some movement.  Get some sleep, unplug when you need to, and yes, wash those hands! 

Find ways to stay connected 

This situation has already caused many to feel isolated.  Find ways to reach out to your friends and colleagues.  Instructors are using Zoom or Skype to connect with students.  Artists like Coldplay and John Legend shared live broadcasts on their social media accounts with hashtag #TogetherAtHome.  With modern technology, we can still find ways to connect with each other! 

Laugh a little 

In these trying times, it’s important to have a sense of humor.  We all could use a little levity.  Instructors and students are having fun changing their Zoom backgrounds.  Share a fun video or photo you stumble on with a colleague.

Take care and stay healthy, everyone.  We’ll get through this! 

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