Keith Spiro photo.

Surreal. It’s a word I keep going back to.

Merriam-Webster defines surreal asmarked by the intense irrational reality of a dream, alsounbelievablefantastic.”

Life has changed suddenly and drastically for us all. And, to me, it has the “reality of a dream” aspect to it. I know many of you are facing challenges that none of us thought imaginable. Topsham Public Library is trying to maintain a level of service to help you at this time.

One of the big issues for those now staying home is connectivity and internet access. Libraries provide computers and wi-fi that much of the public depends upon. If you know someone who needs internet, please let them know if they go to Topsham Public Library they can use the wi-fi from the parking lot. In order to access the wi-fi use the Topsham Public Library link (not the TPL link). Usually a password is needed, but while we remain closed the password is no longer necessary. Even if you have friends in other parts of the state who need internet, encourage them to try it at their public library as many libraries are trying to provide internet at this time.

Emma has been working hard to keep you all updated with resources and activities that you can access from home that may help keep you busy. Check out her stay at home mega list! Cyndi and Mariah have added items to Emma’s list for YA and children’s audiences as well. And Cyndi has started a page just for Teens to give them some easy craft ideas to do at home.

And to keep up with updates from Topsham Public Library check out this link.

For those who live in the MSAD 75 communities, all children 18 years old and younger qualify for a free meal. For more information check the MSAD 75 website or for the latest letter about the free meals click here.

Again, please don’t return items at this time. We have locked the drop slots, so just keep them home. Don’t worry about due dates or fines. Even if the item belongs to another library, just hold on to them for now. All fines will be waived once we are back in action.

The staff is working from home. We have staff meetings using Zoom, and we have our regular annual safety training that we are now doing online. Emma has purchased more ebooks and audiobooks for the CloudLibrary app. (What’s CloudLibrary, you ask? Check it out here!)  Mariah participated in an online meeting with other children’s librarians from around Maine in which they shared ways to stay connected and engaged with children. Linda and Emma are busy keeping the Topsham Public Library website updated. Cyndi, Dale and Julie are working to update records and keep technological systems running. Susan is working hard from home staying on top of best practices and latest developments and how that impacts us. The rest of us have online training and skill development we can work on from home.

For those concerned about the annual Joy of Lens contest sponsored by Friends of Topsham Public Library there is good news! The show is moving to an online forum. Check out the information here!

With the recent events, we are all facing challenges that are so unexpected. At Topsham Public Library, we are adapting in order to maintain a valuable level of service. We do love our community! In these surreal times, look out for one another, be safe, and wash your hands!