Covid numbers are down in Los Angeles County! The mask mandate has been lifted, and life is feeling more akin to pre-Covid days. In the library, storytimes have moved inside, playtime afterwards has been reinstated, and we are living it up! After two years of outside or virtual programming, it feels wonderful!
Our numbers, which took a distinctive downward decline during quarantine and mask mandates, have started to rebound. It feels energizing to see more friends in our programming. Playtime’s return is particularly joyous. Young ones, who have been so isolated, desperately need chances for unstructured play with peers.
Our outreach has picked up as well. Ms. Debby, one of our children’s librarians, had an uplifting encounter at a school visit last week. She was running STEM programming with an after-school crew of kindergarten through second graders. The kids were so excited to have her visit. No one outside of school staff has been allowed on campus for the past two years, so these kids had never experienced public library visits. As Debby wrapped up her experiment, she told the kids “I’ll be back next month,” and then whispered into the microphone “and I’ll bring slime!” She said they absolutely lost their minds! They were screaming and shrieking and going nuts! When she came back to the branch and was recounting the story, one staff member asked her if she felt like Elton John? She said “I felt like Elton John AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN!”
I don’t know how long this moment of community health will last. If we have learned nothing else over the past two years, it is that Covid-19 is a sneaky stinker of a virus. But for the moment, our community, our kids, our librarians are having a blast! May it continue to be so. With all of the sad news in the world, we sure could use some fun!