The library - an essential service

An annual report is a moment to reflect, and at present it means that we must acknowledge that the coronavirus continues to play a role, which did not make our work any easier last year. Although the glass often seemed less than half full, it didn’t mean there wasn’t work to do.

Despite the lockdowns, the library was still able to continue to provide services to some extent. The library was considered an ‘essential service’ in late 2021 when once again we were plunged into lockdown. That meant that we could remain open subject to strict conditions. It was recognition for the important role the library plays in the community. Although many activities had to be cancelled last year, there were still many that could be continued. In addition, new activities had also been developed: a book collection point, telephone contact with senior library members, assistance with video calls and the installation of the corona check app. There were activities for vulnerable adolescents in Castricum and Heerhugowaard. We organized online lectures, and we provided online tips to schools and childcare centers. A film for the Nationale Voorleesdagen that was viewed more than 100,000 times was the highlight! There were good partnership projects between Artiance and the Kennemerwaard Public Library including the Taaltheater at the AZC in Heerhugowaard, Dag & Dauw and Groots Alkmaar, and we sought Artiance’s know-how and expertise to gain deeper insight into the activities given during the Kinderboekenweek and the Nationale Voorleesdagen. It was great to see all this happening and certainly something to be proud of. And then I’m not even talking about our ‘normal’ everyday work that suddenly was not so normal anymore due to Covid-19. For example, how do we observe the rules and ensure that our patrons do that too? This was not an easy task when working behind the library desk. We look back on a year where everyone has worked extremely hard and with great dedication to our resident population. We have done everything within our power to share what we find important with our library patrons: art and culture; language and reading; and knowledge and information. That’s what we’ve achieved the past year and what we will continue to do, because through sharing you gain knowledge. Erna Winters, Director ABC Huis

Erna Winters