Prior to 2020, a title like “The Masked Librarian” would probably be attached to a thriller by the likes of James Patterson, or perhaps a YA novel about teenage spies working to overthrow an evil overlord all while working the circulation desk. I never would have imagined that the masked librarian would be me!

We're all masked librarians now, and socially distanced to boot.  It's strange, and hot, and not at all what working at a library looked like in previous summers.  We all are looking forward to the day when the dangers of Covid-19 are in the past. But in the meantime, what do we do?

Go on living. Wear a mask. Wash our hands.

I left my office on March 20th, 2020, certain I’d be back in a month’s time. One month turned to four, and I stepped back into the library on June 19th.  Our beautiful building was waiting. At a glance, its like no time has passed. The trees now have leaves, and the planters are maintained and flush with fresh blooms. The soaring wooden beams of the atrium still remind me of the architecture I saw in Europe, and I was beyond grateful to see my colleagues and learn they are doing well, despite the many challenges we all face.

But by necessity, much has changed. That we were able to institute such large scale changes in such a short amount of time speaks well of the dedication of the full time staff members who had to re-imagine the flow of the building, as well as the job duties of those on staff. No doubt more changes are in store as we learn more about this novel corona virus and how it spreads.

My role at the library for the months of June and July has not been that of an assistant librarian, but as a “runner.” Hopefully some of you have seen us. If you haven’t, let me tell you how you can get in on the fun! Since you’re reading this, I assume that means that you’re at least somewhat familiar with our website, From our homepage, you can search our catalog for books, movies, and CDs. If you don’t know what you want to read or watch, click here for some recommendations from our staff.  Go ahead and make those requests!

What is a very simple process for you actually requires a lot of steps from our team inside the building. Material Services receives your requests, and they go about the building gathering your items. Another team brings them in the back and makes tags with your name so they can be shelved and easy to find.  Larger requests are boxed ahead of time.

When you come in, you will call into Customer Service, who will get your information. They let the runners know you’re here.

Runners  get the items off the shelf, check them out, and place them into your car, contact free.


But seeing all your smiling faces makes it all worth it.

Please know that no matter what comes next, we will do our best to continue to serve the needs of the community. The building will remain closed to the public until July 27th. However, even after we open, we will offer Parking Lot Pick-up, or PLP, until a time at which such a service is no longer deemed necessary.  Until then, if you see me waving at you, I hope you wave back! Stay safe out there.


  Adult Services Assistant Librarian Ivy Dally