Letter from Debbie

February 25, 2021

With vaccines steadily being injected into the arms of those around us, there is real reason to celebrate and look at the jar as half-full rather than half-empty. Whew…what a year! Not that life will return to “normal” any time soon, but there is certainly new-found hope that we are turning a corner and will see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hearing from more and more of you that your physical doors are open, that you have a date for reopening, or are in your final preparations. Stay vigilant!

For the past few weeks, many of you (in fact about 35 to date) have stepped up to be a part of MLA’s meet and greets with our freshman legislators. It has been inspirational to hear your stories and we applaud you for getting through the worst days of the pandemic all the while continuing to innovate, expand and evolve your programming and services. We continue to hear that you are making progress on the challenges you prioritized in 2020 and plan for even more accomplishments in 2021 and beyond. The hardships and setbacks of the pandemic have shown how capable you are at achieving your goals. Stay vigilant!

But as we look to the future, we obviously realize that the pandemic has created anxiety and fatigue for you, for family, friends and colleagues. As you continue to navigate and strategize what is next, know that the MLA staff is always here to take your call, and to walk you through any challenges that you might be facing. We are but a phone call, email or Zoom away – always open for a virtual cup of coffee just to connect with no agenda.

It is now more important than ever to check in with each other. Library workers have done an incredible job working with the public during this pandemic, and as you and I both know, it has been extremely stressful. Never forget that our libraries rely upon people to run them. Talented, knowledgeable, passionate, helpful, customer-oriented people. Take a minute to thank each other. Take a minute to show each other you care. Take a minute to protect each other further. We encourage all libraries to continue to create stable schedules, offer fair compensation, and put increased focus on safe working conditions for all library workers. People first! People are central to the library’s success! Stay vigilant and focused on your library colleagues' health and well-being.  

Be safe, stay well,

Debbie Signatiure

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

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