Green Means Go….Or Does It?

Did you ever get caught at a traffic light that turned green, but there was nowhere to go because of all the cars backed up in front of you? So you sit at that light and you wait, through one, two, sometimes three turns of the light until you’re able to sneak through to the other side. And then you wait some more, in another line of traffic, for miles sometimes, until the road becomes clear? That’s kind of how we’re feeling now as we navigate the reopening of our library.

While Allegheny County has now turned green, it would stand to reason that our patrons are expecting Sewickley Public Library to open our doors and welcome you back. And we would love to do nothing more! But we’re currently clearing a traffic jam -mostly made of books that have to be returned to other libraries in our county-wide interlibrary loan system; but also a traffic jam of questions about how to reshape the daily operations of a public institution that previously welcomed people who worked and learned in close proximity to one another.

In the meantime, we have established a new curbside pickup system for previously held items, or items requested from our own collection. And we continue to offer a wide selection of online programming and services that will continue through the summer -including summer reading. Throughout the next month, we will work together with other libraries in the county-wide interlibrary loan system to clear the traffic jam and ready our building for the safest level of in-person operations. As we determine when that will be, we will share those plans with you. Updates will be provided on our website at www.sewickleylibrary.org.

All of these adjustments to our usual mode of operations have been patiently and painstakingly made by our talented staff to whom I would like to extend my deepest gratitude. They have worked very hard in very difficult circumstances to reimagine what our public library can be, and how we can best serve our patrons in new and innovative ways. Their service lies at the heart of the value of what a public library means to a community.

The road ahead remains somewhat uncertain still; but we believe our path will eventually become clear, and we can’t wait to meet you at our new destination. A place where your public library will be ready to enthusiastically welcome you through our doors.

Carolyn A. Toth

Executive Director