Today, March 23rd marks the one-year pandemic anniversary when the majority of library staff began working remotely, with similar transitions across the university. In celebration of resilience and community, the yoURArcher Blog team is launching Humans of UofR Libraries. The purpose of the series is to create a space for the sharing of pandemic experiences amongst staff, faculty and students. If you are interested in sharing your Humans of UofR Libraries story, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carla Flengeris (Luther Library): The day of the earlier-than-usual cocktail hour
“When we moved our offices home, I had to carve out my workspace in our basement: small house, two non-essential workers and a Grade One student all needing privacy – there was no other place for me to go. This particular corner of our basement is at the back of the house. On the other side of this wall is a gravel back alley used only by us and the city’s garbage/recycling trucks.
A few weeks after the lockdown, a mysterious (and massive) steam roller appeared in front of our house, parked on the street. For a month, it never moved.
My very first library instruction class via Zoom was to about 50 students. I was nervous about the tech, but it was going great: screen-sharing, break-out rooms – we were nailing it. And suddenly, there was a deafening noise and the house started to shake. I searched the faces of the students who had their cameras on to see if it was happening to them, too. I’ve lived in Saskatchewan my entire life – what are we supposed to do in an earthquake? I panicked. I was shouting to the class “Can you feel that? Is everyone ok?” but I could tell they couldn’t hear me – I couldn’t hear myself. They looked terrified, probably because of the noise and seeing the picture frames falling off the wall behind me. I ran upstairs to rescue my kids and as I was flying past a window, I saw it. The steam roller – rolling down the alley, slowly, inch by inch. I ran outside in my sock feet. One worker, leaning on his rake, looked at me, finished the drag of his cigarette and yelled, “Alley refresh.”
We soldiered on – making heavy use of that chat function. “