Dear Library Community,

Are you working from home? So are we. This is something new for many of us, as you know the library is a community space defined by people learning, discovering and working together. We are learning new ways to work and connect. We hope to translate what we offered in our libraries into a virtual space, please stay tuned and sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media. In the meantime, we wanted to share a few tips and resources that are helping are staff transition to working at home.

Here are the basics:

  • define your work space -this can be challenging if you have a full house, but important in creating structure and boundaries.
  • create and stick to a schedule -similar to defining your work space, this allows you to unplug from work at the end of the day. Working 24/7 is work and guaranteed to burn you out.
  • stay connected -check in with your coworkers, set regular meetings and have virtual coffee breaks, this allows you to maintain those essential work relationships.
  • be kind to yourself and show compassion for your coworkers -we are all under a lot of stress, take time for self-care and gratitude, pause before hitting send, take breaks.
  • move around -with no commutes to work, no walking down the hall to get mail or chat with a coworker in another department, it is important to make sure you add movement to your day. Stretch, do yoga in a chair, pace and think, any movement will help reduce stress levels.

Here are some tools for working at home:

  • Use a time tracking tool.  There lots of options out there, one of our librarians uses My Hours, the free version. These are great for breaking down your work into tasks and projects, and obviously, keeping track of time spent on work.
  • The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to focus your attention on what needs to be done, especially if your work environment is now a busy household. The analog version of the Pomodoro Technique is grabbing a kitchen timer and setting to 20 to 30 minutes and spending that time getting a task done. There are lots of apps out there, including free ones like Focus Keeper (Google Play, iOS) and Tomato-Timer. If you are using your phone or a kitchen timer, we recommend that you put it out of reach, as that we force you to get up and move around.
  • We are in very stressful times. This video offers perspectives and tools for managing the extra stresses we are all taking on: IBH presents Emotional Health and Resilience.
  • What is this Slack? Here is a great guide to making the most of Slack.
  • Many of us are now Zooming. Check out this overview for tips for beginners and pros: Zoom 101. And for those who like to make meetings funner, we have our own tips. And don’t forget to take steps to secure your Zoom sessions. Electronic Frontier Foundation offers some excellent tips on privacy settings in Zoom.

Want to dig deeper, we recommend the following resources:

Do you have tips to share with us and the rest of our community? Please contact us.

We miss you and hope to see everyone in the near future. We are in this together. Stay connected and be well.

Sincerely,

Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries