Building the Train as We Chug Along the Tracks 13 the pace, moving from a weekly format to three or four times a semester on designated training days, similar to the pre-pandemic schedule. Also emerg- ing from staff responses was an interest in hearing more about staff inter- ests, which occasionally came up as different staff members provided trainings. This led to the development of Fun Fridays to highlight the talents and hobbies of library staff. FUN FRIDAYS One of the suggestions that came out of the first round of assessments in the spring of 2020 was a request for a session on mask making. This was when it was still quite hard to find masks and many of the materials used to make masks. One member of the training committee is a quilter by hobby and had been making masks it was suggested that she do a session on making masks with easy-to-find materials. This specific session evolved into a series of Fun Friday sessions on topics that were not necessarily work-related. The training committee saw Fun Fridays as a way to boost morale and create a sense of community at a time when many were struggling with the conditions of the ongoing pandemic. All Fun Friday activities were com- pletely optional and were not recorded. The training committee asked for volunteers to present on any topic they were interested in. In the summer of 2020, there were a total of seven sessions with staff presenting information on topics of their choosing. Sessions in the first round focused on activities that participants might want to engage in during the pandemic. In addition to the original no-sew mask tutorial, topics included baking cupcakes, gar- dening, light stretching, art journaling, Colombian food, mindfulness, and 3D printing—all presented by staff members from home. While not directly work-related, these sessions were a way to feel and stay connected to coworkers on a personal level. A similar series of non-work-focused presen- tations by staff was presented in the summer of 2021, which focused on interests of the library staff, such as mantis shrimp or musings on the postal service in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. TAKEAWAYS In the spring of 2021, Central Piedmont shifted operations back to being fully in-person, bringing an end to the work-from-home environment. Librarians began returning to normal operations, albeit with ongoing safety precautions due to the pandemic. As in-person operations were restored, the work of the training commit- tee continued. Refreshers on in-person services, the introduction of new tools and databases, and more interest in Fun Fridays meant that there were plenty of opportunities for the training committee to host regular sessions. As the committee strategized, continuing in a virtual format made the most
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