Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stay In! Waiting for the Return of the "Get Out!" Events Column

by Peggy Robin

Now that DC is slowly opening up again, the question on the table is "When will the 'Get Out!' events column return?

Short answer: Not yet. Too soon.

Long answer: When the number of IRL events taking place in Cleveland Park or any of the adjacent neighborhoods is greater than ten.

Alternate answer (and probably a more accurate indicator): Whenever the DC Public Library system begins to host events, not online, but real, indoor events at the Cleveland Park Branch, the Tenley Branch, and/or the Chevy Chase Branch. I will be periodically checking in with the DCPL's calendar of events at to see when the word "virtual" no longer appears in front of each calendar entry. When in-person meetings are again a reality, the "Get Out" column will again appear in this space.

If  the open-for-business public library building becomes the standard, then it will function as our "Waffle House Index" for the state of the pandemic. You may recall the formulation by the former head of FEMA, Craig Fugate, who once judged the severity of a tornado according to this trenchant observation: "If you get there and the Waffle House is closed -- that's really bad."  See for the full explication of the term "Waffle House Index.")

While we are on the subject of DCPL, I'd like to pay (overdue) tribute to all the librarians and staff workers who have been holding down the fort during the pandemic. While unable to host any of the myriad of book groups, lectures, workshops, film screenings, help sessions, and so much more that went on inside library meeting rooms, they have done an incredible job of moving events into the virtual world, keeping the information flowing freely.

When IRL meetings become possible again, I'm looking forward to a return to the high level of public events -- always free and open to all -- that had existed BC (Before Coronovirus). And when you are at last able to go back inside your local public library, you will find they have done away with library fines, too!

Not sure when that will be, but the "Get Out!" events column will be back that week, and will begin with a big Hurrah! So stay tuned to this space....

The "Stay In" column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

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