Message from Library Director Skye Patrick
Well, here we are: We’ve finally made it to 2021. Despite the date change, many of last year’s challenges and new realities remain. But it does feel like an opportunity for revived commitment and fresh starts.
Taking a look back at 2020—the most challenging year many of us have known—I’m struck by how much we all had to quickly adapt to new ways of working, living, and learning.
As a County, and as a nation, we’ve gone through trials both personal and societal. Those of us lucky enough to have work, food, and shelter find ourselves remembering that not everyone is so fortunate.
Parents and caregivers—you’ve had to navigate distance learning, often while working from home yourselves. Jobseekers—many of you are starting from scratch, learning new skills, seeking out new employment opportunities.
Despite it all, you’ve accomplished a lot this year, whether that be learning to slow down a bit, learning to cook or make the perfect sourdough, learning to garden, spending more time with family, or simply learning to adapt, watching yourselves achieve things you never thought possible. And for those on the frontlines—you have dedicated yourself to service this year, like none ever before it. You have braced your family for this ever windy road and committed yourself to service of the people.
I am so proud of all the Library accomplished in 2020:
- Many of our staff served, and continue to serve, as Disaster Service Workers, shifting gears to aid frontline efforts, like creating PPE, getting meals to food insecure families, and tracing contacts of those who recently tested COVID positive.
- With our doors closed, we found a safe way to deliver materials and offer library card sign-ups outside, via Sidewalk Service.
- Rather than hosting programs in our libraries, we pivoted to offer Virtual Programs—from Virtual Storytime, to YouTube videos, to live events on Webex—to help you learn something new from home. We’ve created special series for parents and for jobseekers.
- We collected your submissions to our Safer at Home: Stories and Art collection, to document these strange times.
- We provided over 2,500 flu vaccinations and 13,500 grab-and-go lunches for free.
- We created a beautiful new set of special edition library cards to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment and celebrate democracy.
- We continue to expand our technology support to address the digital divide. We launched and just expanded our Laptop & Hotspot Loans, started offering wireless Printing Pickup, and just expanded Wi-Fi to our parking lots at select libraries. Our hope is that these services will help those without internet or devices stay connected during these trying times, and beyond.
While we don’t yet know when we can welcome you back into our buildings, you can rest assured that we’ll continue to reimagine our programs and services, and find ways to get you what you need.
We’re still here for you, and will always be here for you, welcoming your curiosity in good times and bad.
Thank you for supporting us during these challenging times. On behalf of LA County Library, I want to wish you a safe and happy new year!