By Kahlil Griffin
My name is Kahlil Griffin, and I am a youth services librarian with the DeKalb County Library System. Before accepting a position as a librarian, I worked as a library associate with the Fulton County Library System for nearly three years. My tenure working for the FCLS prepared me for a position as a youth services librarian, but it was filled with many surprises. Working as a Fulton County employee, there are certain obligations that must be met. For example, during elections, Fulton County employees may be asked to work different polling centers for extended periods of time.
More recently, with the COVID pandemic, Fulton County re-assigned many employees, especially from the library system, to work at vaccination centers throughout the county. Initially, I was hesitant about the re-assignment because I loved working at my branch. Nonetheless, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to accept the re-assignment. And so, I was assigned to the Aviation Community Cultural Center, where a vaccination site was established. The first few weeks were filled with tons of working, moving around, and consisted of a fast paced environment. Being one of the first employees at the site, I became a site lead, which consisted mainly of me managing others and scheduling vaccination appointments.
In the beginning, only county workers, the elderly, and public safety officers were allowed to receive a vaccination, and they were given either Pfizer or Moderna. Even with many people not trusting the vaccine, there were tons of people that were eager to receive their shot, so they could travel, prevent getting sickly, work, and see their loved ones. From December to January, nearly 300 people were vaccinated daily at the site. After the government opened the window to allow more people to get vaccinated, the number of people getting vaccinated daily jumped to 500-1000 people a day at the vaccination site. With this huge increase, the county moved the site from the Aviation Center to the Georgia World Congress Center.
With more people being vaccinated, the county hired temp workers and brought in other employees from different divisions within Fulton County. Thus, the number of people I supervised and responsibilities increased tremendously. I gained a new work family and leaving the vaccination center in June 2021 was a bitter sweet moment. After Walgreens, CVS, and others began giving out the vaccine, Fulton County closed the vaccination site at the Georgia World Congress Center, sending everyone back to their original positions. Working at the vaccination site was a great experience, and if I had to, I would certainly do it all over again. I gained new friends, and overall, a work family.