In one of Mr. Rogers famous pieces of advice to his neighbors about scary situations, he says, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
In mid-March, the City of Southlake closed facilities and asked office employees to work from home to protect residents and employees. Southlake Public Library employees began brainstorming ideas of how they could foster a sense of community and bring a light and positivity into people’s homes.
The dynamic duo of Amy Pearson and Abrianna Burton stepped up with a plan to increase the Library’s online presence with photos, videos and social media. What was once a small part of the Library’s daily tasks became the Library’s direct connection with Southlake readers.
“Overnight we went from librarians to content strategists,” Burton said. “We consulted our entire Library team so that we could breach the digital divide and fill a void with online content for everyone, from niche audiences to children.”
Burton’s background in marketing and communication gave her the skills to implement the Library’s online and social media projects. She became the Library’s film director, video editor and sound technician.
“We could not have implemented our social media initiative without her talent on staff,” City Librarian Cynthia Pfledderer said. “She’s my creative go-to person from signs to videos and she never lets me down with her level of care in design.”
A quick scroll of the Library’s Facebook page ranges in content from book reviews, cooking and art classes, as well as the popular Getty Museum Challenge.
“The pandemic brought the Library together as a team,” Pearson said. “We discovered that we’re philosophers, artists, chefs and creators who set out to help educate, be a voice of reassurance and an escape from what had become a scary time.”
Pearson started as the Library’s administrative secretary in February and barely had a chance to warm her office chair and understand her duties before she found herself telecommuting and helping to redefine Library services in this new social distancing world.
“What stands out most about Amy is her ability to generate great ideas and see them through with very little direction. She sees a situation, quickly identifies opportunities and offers to take on any challenge,” Pfledderer said. “I was amazed how quickly she became a vital part of the team, even in such unusual circumstances.
Both Pearson and Burton said they couldn’t have stepped up to the challenge without the creative freedom and inspiration from their fearless leader.
“Working for the City of Southlake is nothing like you’d expect,” Burton said. “This isn’t a boring government job, it’s a chance to innovate and bring your best every day to this world-class community.”
“We want to continue to grow and to provide creative services to Southlake. We take personal responsibility and are committed to delivering excellence to make an impact within the community we serve,” Pearson said. “We’re going to continue to do more.” To learn more about the Southlake Public Library, visit its website, or follow its Facebook page or Instagram page to keep up with all of the fun activities. For more information, call the Library at 817-748-8243.