Archived copies of all 2020 emails can be found on our Google Shared Drive - All-Lib Presentations and Documents.
This morning Kim brightened our day with a picture of the Easter basket mylar strips that her niece used in Kim’s doorway. Anything for a smile nowadays! (picture not included here)
We also congratulated Stanford on their big win. (No one said anything about trying to get on the good side of a certain Stanford fan!)
Today’s meeting was short, with a reminder from Steve Stowe that as the weather gets nice, spring break is around the corner for school kids, and our own mental health day gives us all a long weekend, here’s a reminder of the travel policy:
Full details are available at https://now.mit.edu/policies/mit-travel-policy/.
With lots of spring warmth,
Lisa, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
The Emergency Team met today and discussed the following details for staff regarding the upcoming summer months:
*Special note related to online conference/webinar/seminars: Anyone planning to attend an approved online conference, webinar, and/or seminar should register via their local Administrative Assistant. Please give the Admin Team enough time to assist you as they are managing multiple simultaneous requests.
As we are (hopefully!) coming towards the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, I've been reflecting on some of the more unusual thoughts I had at the onset of the crisis.
Oddly enough, I thought about foraging for food when it was difficult to get items like toilet paper, paper towels, cereal, and canned soup. I have never foraged food in my life, although I planned to forage Oregon truffles with some partner-dogs last year if it were not for the pandemic.
Yet foraging as an epicurean pursuit is not the same as living off the land in my mind.
Why I felt like I needed that life skill during the pandemic is beyond me. I guess it was my stress mechanisms kicking in. So like a good librarian, I started information seeking.
I learned of foraging communities and how I wasn't alone in thinking about how to forage well.
I also started following a popular forager on TikTok and Instagram who is based in Columbus, Ohio. She does pretty creative things with many items found in parks and on recreational trails. Given some of the ugliness we've seen covered in the press about some Black people being harassed while out enjoying nature, I really appreciate her work and her general joyfulness.
I haven't taken this practice up today, and my close friends find my latest interest pretty laughable. I'm known for "foraging" wine and cheese, not wild onions and tree sap! I don't know if I'll ever pursue it, but it was a fun diversion to learn about foraging during this tough time. Do be careful if you decide to take on foraging so that you don't accidentally digest poisonous items. Consult food and botany experts for assistance.
Alexia, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
I hugged my 82 year old mother yesterday for the first time in over a year. She is fully vaccinated, we both wore masks, and there were tears before she told me to let go because she had had enough and wanted to carry on with other things. We both backed away and burst out laughing because this is exactly who she is: a bit emotional but not at all sentimental. In general, this reflects my own thoughts as we inch into spring and I have all kinds of emotions but want to forge ahead.
President Reif sent an email last week about using a dial, not a switch, to plan for campus in the fall with an emphasis on supporting a rich residential experience for students. This will not be a linear process because sometimes the dial will move backward based on the changing community health environment. He also announced the “Work Succeeding” cross-Institute planning team led by VP for Human Resources Ramona Allen, VP for Campus Services and Stewardship Joe Higgins, and Associate Provost Krystyn Van Vliet that will assess how various hybrid approaches to work life could play out for MIT staff.
Both of these updates have an impact on the Libraries. As a first step, the Libraries has decided not to ramp up any additional on campus services before the end of May.
If you are currently 100% working remotely, you will continue to be remote at least until the end of May. If you are splitting your time between campus and remote work, you will continue to split your time between campus and remote work at least until the end of May.
The Libraries will use the spring to evaluate what on-campus services have to be in place to support plans for the fall and then make implementation plans over the summer. We encourage staff and managers to start having conversations about work-related and individual factors that may impact future scheduling and work locations. It’s too early to put any definitive plans in place but it’s not too early to discuss the options.
We encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the voluntary community pulse survey that was sent to all staff this morning from the MIT Council on Family and Work. It’s the 5th survey and the results are used to respond to community needs during this time.
The emails from the Emergency Management Team are on the LibGuides site but this particular page is out of room. The emails will be transferred to a different format for storage but still accessible from this same link.
Sue, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
Good Morning Everyone,
Just a few quick updates and a reminder in the message today.
Maria for the Emergency Management Team
Greetings, MIT Libraries!
I’m writing on behalf of the Libraries Emergency Management Team this morning - before we get down to business (and in the spirit of our Emergency Management Team emails), I’ll start things off with a picture of our little kitty Pita taking a break from her various cat jobs to watch this weekend’s snowfall with great wonder and curiosity [Image was too large to put in the libguide]
And now, the aforementioned business!
Thank you all, and stay warm,
Welcome to the last week of January 2021. I hope everyone had a chance to rest over the weekend. Today’s message is brief, so this red panda says let’s jump right in.
-> International Research, Politics, and Bias. The Emergency Management Team wanted to reiterate President Reif’s message from last week:
[T]o our Chinese and Chinese American community – our undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, scholars, researchers, staff, faculty, alumni and Corporation members of Chinese descent:... you are essential and integral members of our MIT community. We value your contributions as students, colleagues, teachers, innovators and leaders, and we value you personally as friends – just as we value every member of the global family of MIT, including Professor Chen and his family.
For anyone interested in engaging more deeply in the intersection of international research, politics, and bias, Professor of Physics Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University will speak today at 4:30 PM (Zoom link, password 140608) at the Harvard University Department of Physics Colloquium “Scientific espionage, open exchange, and American competitiveness” (thanks to Ye Li for sharing this).
-> Students are coming back to campus soon. You can find Chancellor Cynthia Barnhardt’s letter to graduate and undergraduate students here; it covers move-in timing and spring semester remote and in-person classes, as well as details about the mail-out test kits and an information session.
-> The LDMC (Libraries departmental monitoring committee) provided a brief update on its work. A detailed message to the whole organization is coming soon, but some highlights are:
-> Face Coverings / Masks: There has not been any official new guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth, or MIT on whether or not double masking is recommended with the new variant of COVID (B.1.1.7) present in Massachusetts. At the writing of this email, double masking is not required by the Institute; however Maria will check with all area managers to make sure sufficient PPE are available for anyone wishing to double mask while at work. As new information and guidance is available from federal, state, and local authorities, including MIT Medical, we will provide an update to all library staff.
Sincere wishes for the best week we can have,
Felicity, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
Happy New Year everybody! I hope that everybody had a peaceful, restorative break from work. I know that I’m not alone in being happy that 2020 is behind us!
We have a flurry of updates about testing, vaccines, and space guidelines to share with all.
Relevant for everybody:
For folks who work regularly on campus:
“Those who live off-campus and are Covid Pass users (employees, students, or affiliates) and who have traveled outside Massachusetts and those who have not traveled but socialized outside of their household should plan to work remotely (if they are able), quarantine for seven days, and test on the seventh day. Ideally, they should continue to work remotely until a negative result is received. Employees who cannot work remotely will report to work but should follow safety protocols (masks, social distancing, and good hygiene); remain vigilant for symptoms; and stick to their testing cadence.”
If you have any questions about testing and timing for your specific schedule, please be in touch with your supervisor to work out details.
As of December 26th, the Commonwealth has mandated that occupancy of shared office spaces must not exceed 25 percent of capacity, measured by a building's occupancy limit. Occupancy must also not exceed five persons per 1,000 square feet of office space. These measures went into effect this Saturday, Dec. 26, and will remain in effect until noon on Sunday, Jan. 10.
While we are confident that our current on-campus plans are fully compliant with the new rules, the Libraries Department Monitoring Committee (LDMC) will review all of our space layouts for those who are working on campus to ensure that we meet the new guidelines. In addition we will be working with the Hayden renovation crews to ensure that they are mindful and following the new limits as well.
All the best,
Tracy, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team