Administrative and Management Skills

How to look ahead…

We are in a historical moment. A pandemic. We can’t do what we have always done, and maybe that’s a good thing. I hope that our systems, our peers, and ourselves take a second or eighth look at what we have always done and see the potential to do more or rediscover what we could do.

As numbers increase across the country, and more uncertainty looms with the flu season upon us, it’s getting kind of hard to go work. Even if you love it. And so many of us really do.

This is a difficult time to work in the public, and it’s a difficult time to manage those who do.

Psst. I don’t actually have any answers.

I keep going because it’s my job, and I want to serve my community and support my staff.

So, to go on… I practice safety at work. I wash my hands for at least 20 seconds. I practice social distancing (and enforce it to my staff). I wear a mask. I wear gloves. I clean the surfaces I touch and use. And I make my staff do all the same.

I try to remind myself of the joy of the job. I support my staff as they try silly and fun ways to engage with patrons. From creating discovery kits to take home, putting I Spy games on the windows, singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” while antsy toddlers wait on line for their turn to pick up holds, or whatever else seems like a good idea!

I listen. I create space for staff to share concerns, worries, and fears. I advocate for them to my management.

The truth is, I don’t have any answers. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone really does. However, there is still much work to do, and hopefully, you can find a way to make it fun, safe, and accessible. And if you find a solution, please share it! Good luck!

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