We have come to the end of what is probably one of the most difficult years many of us have experienced, both within work and in our personal lives. When I wrote to you back in March few of us imagined that nine months later, we would still be living with the impact of COVID-19. Moreover, in recent days it appears likely that tighter restrictions will return sooner rather than later and that once again we will have to adjust the way that we live and work.
In the face of these enormous and ongoing challenges, library staff have performed incredibly well across all sectors and this has been acknowledged by senior colleagues, politicians and, most importantly, our users. Libraries have made a real difference to people during a time when then needed us most. While we often made this difference through familiar services such as the provision of books, online content and training opportunities; this year also saw libraries take on a diverse set of roles including community helplines, 3-D printing PPE and contact tracing.
I am, as President of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), particularly heartened by the response of the groups and sections of the LAI during the pandemic. The diversity, ingenuity and regularity of online events, seminars and meetings has allowed the important work of the LAI to continue and, crucially, enabled members to continue to work together, share ideas and connect.
We can now look to 2021 with great optimism. While the pandemic is far from over there are clear signs that next year will see significant progress in combatting it and the prospect of us returning to something resembling normal life. Further ahead, we continue to discuss with IFLA the hosting of the World Library and Information Congress in Dublin in 2022 and I will update you about this throughout 2021.
For now, I would like to thank all of our members for your continued commitment to providing an excellent library experience and for your participation in and support of the LAI despite the many challenges we have all faced.
I hope you have a safe and peaceful Christmas, and we look forward to a brighter 2021.
President Library Association of Ireland
On behalf of Council