submitted by Tracey Reed, Warminster Township Library Director
In 1815, Mount Tambora in what is now known as Indonesia, massively erupted.
The following year, North America, Europe, and parts of Asia experienced “The Year Without A Summer.”
Volcanic ash in the atmosphere caused less sunlight to get through. Temperatures around the world dropped, which in turn caused crops to fail in many places, which in turn caused floods, famine, disease, and brown and red snow to fall in Hungary and Italy, respectively.
I feel like 2020 is “The Year Without A Spring.”
When this started, the weather was odd – it was grey, wet, and if memory serves, chillier than it should have been for that time of year.
Now, as we start to get out, it’s hazy, hot and humid. Typical Delaware Valley summer.
Where’d the nice days in the 70s go?
I’m not complaining. I’m happy to be able to get out a bit (safely, with social distancing and masks).
I can’t wait to see people in the Library and get back to what we do best – being a community resource for information, education, entertainment. A place for people to interact with their neighbors and community.
The Library is going to be a bit different for awhile though.
All our programs will be virtual, including our Summer Reading Program.
The amount of seating and the number of computers have been reduced. As much as I’d like you to linger, we’re asking that you not stay for long periods of time as the amount of people allowed in the Library is reduced.
Item returns are through the outside bookdrop only.
We will be providing contactless curbside pickup of items for items you place on hold. Like most other places, how we do what we do has changed drastically.
I can only imagine what the world felt like in 1816 and what red snow in July looked like.
But I’m willing to wager that it felt as strange as this does.
While we didn’t have a volcanic eruption, the world is experiencing something that fundamentally changes how we do things.
I believe that people in 1816 were desperate for their world to return to what it was.
What I have to come to terms with is: what it was doesn’t exist anymore. And what will be, will be familiar but not the same.
Changes may be permanent, or they may lead to other changes which work better than what was.
But to get there, I have to work through the bizarre red snow.
That’s my hope, for me, for the Library, for the community, the world.