This blog post was written by Director and Bob Bullock Archivist Mary Goolsby.
I figured our friends around the country are wondering how Poage Library is coping and thriving during this crisis. So, here’s a little update…
While it has been a difficult adjustment in many ways, Poage staff have each other to lean on. That has made a big difference. We hope you are all healthy and staying at home to do your part in flattening the curve for COVID-19.
Baylor University created a task force in January to address the issues the university would face in continuing classes and supporting the students, faculty, and staff. They have done an excellent job of keeping us safe, while making sure we remain mission critical.
All Poage staff began working from home on March 24th after Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver issued a shelter-in-place order. Luckily, we all had Baylor laptops or computers that allowed us to keep working from home. The use of Microsoft TEAMS has given us a way to chat with each other about projects, to encourage each other throughout the day, and to make video calls.
Amanda is home working with her husband Paul, while Tommy is home working with his wife Rachel. Paul and Rachel are both employed at The Texas Collection as Assistant Director/Processing Archivist and Special Event Coordinator/Map Curator, respectively. Jonathan is home with his girls – wife Shawna and little Rosie. Erik has his energetic dog George to keep his days interes – wait! A squirrel! Although I am by myself during the days (my husband Rick is considered essential as an HVAC company owner), everyone keeps me going. We all have good days and not-so-good days, but we have hearts filled with grace for each other.
Since we had some advanced notice that we might end up working from home, Poage staff created a long list of projects we could work on at home both individually and collaboratively. We also ensured that our three graduate students had archival or exhibit projects to complete. During the interim, we have also been able to assist some long-distance researchers.
On a good note, the first-floor foyer is currently being painted, both the ceiling and walls, in preparation for the installation of Poage’s new permanent exhibit this summer. The electrical work will be completed once we receive final plans.
On a less happy note, we have had to cancel our Dowdy Summer Intern program as well as Summer Teaching Fellowships for professors and graduate students. The Baylor School of Education has also cancelled the iEngage Summer Civics Institute.
Please know we are doing our best to identify and seize the opportunities we have in our forced isolation. We are continuing to upload social media posts, so please check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (under @poage_library), and this blog. We are also updating procedural manuals, cleaning out our digital files, and thinking deeply about what projects we will tackle when we are able to return to the library.
We wish you all the best as you and your family deal with this global crisis. Be sure to take care of yourself – body, mind, and soul. Grant yourself grace to do what you need to do, even if it is “not much.” Please know we are thinking of you and sending our light and love.