In this week’s installment of the Leatherby Librarians at Home blog series, Coordinator of Brandman University Library Services Margaret Puentes shares her tips for staying connected, and giving yourself a break while working and studying from home.

1. What has been the most challenging aspect for you of working from home so far, and how did you overcome it?

When I first switched to remote work, I had technology issues…my internet is not the fastest and my laptop is over 10 years old. However, since I started using my tablet for Zoom and Team meetings, everything has gone much more smoothly. Working with two devices also makes transitioning between tasks faster.

Photograph of a laptop, with the internet browser open to the Leatherby Libraries home page, with a whiteboard with magnets in the background

Margaret’s workspace

2. What is your favorite remote resource for students and/or faculty?

I recommend taking advantage of some of the free database trials we have right now. Vendors are aware that students are completing their classes online, and have been very generous with offering free access to resources. One of my favorites is NewsBank Access World News. You can browse entire issues of newspapers, including local papers. This is a good way to stay informed about the latest headlines in your hometown and worldwide.

3. What book(s) have you been reading recently?

Right now I am reading the eBook version of The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. It is about a lawyer who accidentally takes on a job as housekeeper. Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors because her books make you laugh out loud. It is a good way to escape and put yourself in an uplifted mood.

Cover of the The Undomestic Goddess, which is a red background with an illustration of a white woman with short brown hair and bangs in leggings, flats, and a red shirt with a blue apron, holding a frying pan

The Undomestic Goddess, Margaret’s recent read

4. What is the most interesting change you’ve made to how you do your job in the past few weeks?

Since I work in Distance Education, not much has changed. I still provide the same online reference assistance to students.

5. What is your number one piece of advice for students learning remotely and/or faculty teaching remotely right now?

Try not to stare at your computer all day long. Get up and walk around every so often, even if it is just to walk around the house or up and down the stairs. You will feel refreshed and more focused when you get back to your workspace.