I was recently asked by members of the Charlotte-area Metrolina Library Association to participate in a panel titled “Pandemic Perseverance: Art, Memory, and Mindfulness.” I talked about starting and continuing work on Special Collections and Archives’ Deacon Experiences during COVID-19 collection, which we started collecting online last April.

A red-haired woman gestures with one hand while appearing to talk, a window behind her
Presenting from my office on campus

The two other panelists were Leslie Strauss, Head of Family & Studio Programs at the Mint Museum, talking about their efforts to connect people to art despite the museum’s physical spaces being closed, and Richard Moniz, Director of Library Services at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, who has conducted research and published regarding mindfulness and libraries that can help us stay present – at work and away from it. If you have an hour or so to spare, the event recording is available on YouTube.

We are still collecting items for the Deacon Experiences collection, and still adding submitted materials to it. If you would like to share images, writings, audio files, videos, or other digital items that capture some of your lived experiences over the last year, please do! And we are always accepting physical items as well, that information is online too.