Continuing our Leatherby Librarians at Home series, this week we talk to Chair of Instructional Services and Performing Arts librarian Taylor Greene about great resources for checking out world-class performances from home, and tips for keeping your work and rest spaces separate.
1. What has been the most challenging aspect for you of working from home so far, and how did you overcome it?
Like many parents right now, the hardest thing for me has been taking care of two small children (a three-year-old and a ten-month-old) while still keeping up with my work responsibilities. Although life is a lot busier, I make it a point to stay mindful about enjoying the extra time with my family. Now, when I take a break from work to stretch my legs, I get to spend a little time with my kids, who would typically be at daycare. It’s a silver lining for which I am thankful.
2. What is your favorite remote resource for students and/or faculty?
One of my favorite databases is Met Opera on Demand. You can watch world-class performances by the Metropolitan Opera in HD from anywhere! The Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music has an excellent opera program, so this is a very popular resource for the vocal performance majors. But you don’t have to be a music nerd like me to enjoy opera. Give it a try!
3. What book(s) have you been reading recently?
Sword of Destiny (part of The Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski. I hadn’t read any fantasy genre books in years, but I recently had a craving for it several months ago. That was around the time when Netflix released The Witcher, so I started reading the books on which it is based, and I found the escapism I was looking for.
I’ve also been reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper. I started this book over a year ago and just came back to recently. I love learning about words and I’m fascinated by information creation (I’m a librarian, after all), so this book is right up my alley.
4. What is the most interesting change you’ve made to how you do your job in the past few weeks?
A few weeks ago, I started taking running breaks a few times per week. At a certain point in the afternoon, after I’ve been sitting and staring at a computer all day, I sometimes feel the need to go outside and also to get my body moving. Since all I have to do is change my clothes and go out, I’m now able to run a few miles in the middle of the day when I don’t have virtual meetings scheduled. After my run, I always feel more awake and mentally focused.
5. What is your number one piece of advice for students learning remotely and/or faculty teaching remotely right now?
My advice is to make a designated workspace and keep your computer there rather than taking your laptop with you throughout your home. Specifically, try to avoid doing work on your bed. If you find that lately, you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, it might be because your work zone is encroaching on your sleeping zone. If you make your bed a work-free space, when your head hits the pillow, your mind will be in resting mode rather than thinking about that email you just sent. I learned this tip years ago when I was a graduate student, and it helped tremendously with getting to sleep at night after doing long hours of schoolwork.