Endings and Beginnings

Can you believe another semester is coming to a close?! I sure can’t. For me, this means not only the end of the spring semester, but also the end of my internship at Skokie Public Library. It is bittersweet. I am excited to move on, taking the skills gained from the internship experience into my final semester at Dominican and into my career. However, I am sad to leave my Skokie friends, and the community that I grew up in and had the chance to reconnect with. 

This semester was like no other. It started like usual. However, after only 9 weeks, the whole world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning in March, when this all started, I had hoped to be able to get back to the library to wrap up and say goodbye. Unfortunately, we’ve had to stay closed. We had to miss our intern career days, and I had to miss a storytime visit at Tot Learning Center where my niece Hannah attends. Although during this difficult time, I’ve found myself wanting to succumb to negative thoughts, I’ve also found it doesn’t help my wellbeing or mental health to wallow. 

Very cool screen print I got to make with Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine at Staff Day.

So, I’m not going to focus on what’s been missed, but what’s been gained. While working from home, I got to try my hand at remote programming, and creating e-book lists. I’ve gotten more comfortable with Zoom, with Slack, and with Basecamp. I’ve gotten to cut my commute time down from 30 minutes to 1 minute, and have gotten to eat lunch with my husband every day. There are silver linings.

One thing I will definitely miss about Skokie Library is the culture. Open door policies, warm and inclusive staff, and a true commitment to the public all make this library a great place to be a patron and staff member. Another testament to the outstanding culture is the excellent response to the pandemic. I will use these examples as a beacon when finding the right fit for my career.

Thank you to Skokie Library and to my mentor, Holly, for this invaluable opportunity! And, I know I will be back to say hi, and because I have a huge stack of books to return!

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8 thoughts on “Endings and Beginnings

  1. Lydia, I’m so sorry that your internship experience was interrupted by everything that is happening, but I’m glad to see your positive attitude about the year with us. Thank you for everything, and please keep in touch. I’d like to hear how your career progresses. If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me. Best wishes!

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  2. Shelley Sutherland says:

    Lydia, bittersweet indeed! It’s been a pleasure working with you and I am optimistic that things will turn around. Best with your career and life as you move forward!

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  3. Laurel says:

    Lydia! What an unexpected way to close out your internship. We are going to miss having you at the library. Best of luck!

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  4. Leah W. says:

    Oh Lydia, I’m so sad I do not get to say “until next time!” in person! You did a fantastic job on your internship and thank you so much for all the hard work you have contributed to our community and our workplace this school year. If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

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  5. skokielaura says:

    I love your focus on the positive during this difficult and strange time we are living in! We are so appreciative of your efforts this year and wish you all the best in your future career!

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  6. Amy K. says:

    Lydia, it’s been such a pleasure working with you throughout your internship year–even with the emergency closure and our need to move to new online services and remote work. You’ve done such a great job with that pivot, too, and I’ve loved the activities and ideas you’ve contributed for Skokie families sheltering at home. I truly look forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for you, and wish you nothing but the best.

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  7. Nancy Kim Phillips says:

    Lydia, thank you for your continued contributions, even when we moved into a totally online environment. Your flexibility will be an asset wherever you go. You were a welcome member of the CE team and I look forward to hearing about what happens next.

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  8. Holly says:

    Lydia, I’m so sorry you weren’t able to get the breadth of experience we were hoping for, but I’m grateful for the time we spent working together. I know you’re leaving with a vast knowledge of picture books and easy nonfiction, strong storytime presentation skills with a variety of ages and spaces, proficiency using a number of online tools (some, we didn’t even see coming), and a solid understanding of community engagement beyond outreach. I’ve been reminded of how to go with the flow, enjoy the creative side of work (e.g. flannel stories and rainbows!), and to be grateful for each daily experience. Nothing will be the same when we return to work, but missing you will be a certainty!

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