Working in the library …


Ever since my university days, I have enjoyed libraries. They are a place to relax, explore, learn and grow. These days, I work from the local library 1-2 mornings a week. We have a work-from-home policy at the office. Provided we get results, it really doesn’t matter where we work. We simply need internet assess. There are too many distractions at the house so, I chose to work from the library.

This morning, I dawned my rain gear, loaded my pannier with food, my laptop and, cycled  to the library. It’s actually more than a library. It’s a regional community centre that also houses swimming pools, a workout gym, a basketball court, a curling rink, a hockey rink, meeting rooms and, a coffee shop. I usually arrive a 9 am when the library opens with a coffee in hand, find a comfortable chair near the windows and, open my laptop ready for the day.

I like to say that “I work where technology, visual art and social media intersect”, developing  marketing campaigns for small businesses. I research, create headlines, craft messaging, develop strategies and test platforms. I can work anywhere. I work at home (when there are no distractions), in coffee shops, at the cottage, in hotel rooms and, even in the car (after pulling off the road of course). My office is ubiquitous but, the library is ideal. There are other resources here to support my efforts – newspapers, periodicals, books (a lot of books), a coffee shop, a view and, of course, free internet.

I never thought I would support the work-from-home concept but have learned when there is a need to collaborate with colleagues or meet with clients, there is Skype, email and, heaven forbid, even the phone. I used to think that I would miss the social aspect of the office. The water cooler gossip. Perhaps that’s the reason I hangout at the library. I see and, when I want, talk with others. Over the years, I’ve learned that interesting people frequent the library. It’s a meeting place for learners of all ages.

Perhaps this is part of transitioning process, finding ways to fill the time without the need for work or the office. I am beginning to understand what retirement looks like.


6 thoughts on “Working in the library …

  1. I used to find working at home for office bound tasks was sometimes far more productive, away from office interruptions. I don’t think you’ll have to ‘fill the time’ either.

    • I think it is more productive. I am able to juggle a lot of things at the same time. When I am at the home office (I don’t always work in the library) I can prepare a soup, do a load of laundry and work at the same time. And, with fewer distractions I accomplish as much in a few hours as I do in a day at the office.

  2. I work from home too. Everyone in our company works from home and it works well for us. I think people are more productive as the only measure of the work we do is our output. No-one can see that we’re sitting at our desks working so we need to be productive. By contrast, people who sit in an office have the comfort of knowing that their colleagues and superiors can see them at work but they could be sitting at their desks reading Facebook.

    Library are great places too, especially if they have a cafe 🙂

    • I work from the house as well when there aren’t too many distractions. What I like is that I can be doing a load of laundry, preparing a soup for dinner, baking cinnamon buns 🙂 and work at the same time. And, I find I get more done in a few hours than an entire day at the office. I can also get a workout in when I want not after I leave the office. And, if the weather is nice, I can go for a long bike ride and work later in the day.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. For solo entrepreneurs, it is important to find ways not to be too isolated. Some libraries also provide some free sessions to small entrepreneurs and with a library card, you may have access to some licensed research data and full business articles online. Libraries negotiate content licenses for databases that are not freely available on the Internet. Just ask the librarian. Most people forget there is a whole world of more expensive (if you aren’t a citizen in that community or don’t a particular university to use their library) information that has been curated, meatier. You know, accessing the Harvard Business Review for free, not just 1-3 artcles before you’re shut out.

    From your cycling librarian. Yes, I’ve been by formal training and career-wise, a librarian…engineering, law and government. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve learned so much/served wide range of clients (judges, lawyers, firefighters (library on fire protection), etc.).

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