Ramses Escobedo probably wouldn’t call himself a hero. But during the pandemic, he was asked to act in some heroic ways. Escobedo, a bilingual Spanish-English librarian, manages a branch of the San Francisco Public Library. For more than a year, however, Escobedo hasn’t been lending out books. Instead, he’s worked with a Covid-19 contact tracer team for San Francisco’s Department of Public Health.
The Boston Public Library has made more than 8,000 photos, ranging from pictures documenting the construction of the McKim library building in Copley Square to 19th-century daguerreotypes, publicly available on Wikimedia Commons, according to library officials.
Librarian Kay Lyons has journeyed with local children for almost three decades to places like Wonderland, Narnia and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but when she retires in March, it’s her turn. She and her husband, Rick Roy, will take some trips of their own, though never forgetting the joy she’s known.
After nearly three decades of service to the town, the director of the Plymouth Public Library is moving on.
But Jennifer Harris will continue to work in support of libraries in retirement and may get even more involved in local government.
In a reversal from earlier in the year, the Community Preservation Act Committee is recommending that the Town Council use $1 million from the account for the proposed build-out of a new special collections room at the Jones Library.
Despite all the challenges 2020 has brought, those organizing the effort to fund a new public library in Medford say there has been an outpouring of support from the community that has them quickly approaching their goal.
While the adults in their lives head to the polls to choose a president, kids across Massachusetts are being asked to participate in another type of election.
Starting Monday, at www.KidsVoteForBooks.com, young people can choose their favorite books and see if their choices are in the Top 25 when the votes are tallied. Voting is open through Nov. 9.
If there’s a service that’s been thriving for municipalities during the pandemic it’s been public libraries.
While internal access to libraries continues to be either very limited or non-existent, use of libraries’ resources, whether physical or digitized, is available and in demand.
The public library in Franklin has been loaning books for 230 years — the town boasts the first continuous public-lending library in the nation. It was founded in 1790 with a donation of books from Benjamin Franklin. But when the pandemic hit, like all other libraries in the state, the Franklin library closed its doors — leaving patrons like long-time resident Safdar Mahmud eagerly awaiting its return.
“I’m a teacher. … So, for me, libraries are very important,” Mahmud said. “Just to have the distinction of Franklin being one of those historical places — there’s even books in there that were sent by [Benjamin] Franklin, and some of the original books going back to the early 1700s are actually housed in there.”
Jazmine Adams-McNeal tried time and time again to explain to her young daughter why their weekly trips to the library stopped suddenly in March.
It didn’t go over well.
“It was a lot of meltdowns,” said Adams-McNeal, 31, of Ferguson, Missouri. She, her wife and their children – a 4-year-old girl and twin 2-year-old boys – are staples at their local library. “My daughter grew up at the library. We stay going to all the programs. Definitely the lap-times on Fridays.”