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A View From the Third Floor

The People of PPL

Greetings, Folks,

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that so many people are not going to be able to see their loved ones due to the pandemic and the reported increase in COVID-19 cases in our communities. I was reminded of how thankful I am for the people I care about and won’t be able to see, as I know many of you are.

Among those people missed that we at PPL are thankful for are the wonderful patrons and friends of the library. 

For a little while now some of us PPL staffers have been thinking about you all, about how we miss having the doors open to the community, and how much we miss seeing each of you walking through those doors, roaming the aisles, perusing books and movies, reading the newspapers and magazines, browsing the web, or just hanging out.

We miss it, and I say this as a fella who, at the time the library closed its doors to this pandemic, was one of you: a then-reporter who would use the library as an office and would consume as many Kurt Vonnegut books (print and audio) as possible.

Since the time the doors closed in March, the world (and our interior) has continued to go through drastic changes. We think about those changes every day, and have been hearing from many of you: hearing about what you have been missing about the library during this time, about your memories of first experiences here, what brings you back, the people you would meet on Sundays to swap sections of the Watertown Daily Times (I might be a little biased, but I really love hearing that, as a former Times reporter).

These stories mean a lot to us, and by the fact that you are sharing them with us, we know they mean a lot to you. I had been talking with your faithful library director, Annie Davey, about these stories and she shared hers with me. The library brought her back to her hometown all the way from Denver, and as I am tapping into my years as a journalist and applying them however I can to this new role as the Adult Program Coordinator at the library, I started asking some of you to tell me your stories so that I can share them with the community.

Here begins the People of PPL edition of my A View From the Third Floor blog: Your stories, memories, anecdotes, the things you miss most about the Potsdam Public Library during this time of “Rona & Renovation.” We are asking you to send them along (500-1,000 words with a portrait) so we can share them with your library community. You already know each other, but, in some cases, you haven’t been introduced. Such was the case with one woman who talked about a group of patrons she would trade sections of the newspaper with: “Oh, Chris was great . . . I don’t know that I know his last name, we just happened to be at the library at the same time.”

Now you can get to see each other and share stories again, just in a bit of a different medium, as a placeholder until we can commiserate inside the library together again.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to weckert@potsdamlibrary.org, and be sure to include a photo so we can see your smiling face again in whatever environment makes you happiest.

Can’t wait to hear from you,

William Eckert

PPL Adult Program Coordinator