Working From Home

Here I find myself working from home when it is working with the public that I thrive on. Don’t get me wrong…working in my jammies definitely has it’s perks but the lack of conversation is driving this peacock a bit crazy. So I did what all librarians do and began some research…

There are many benefits I’ve found to working at home:

  • working in jammies
  • no alarm clocks
  • having my dogs and son around
  • a stocked refrigerator
  • fewer interruptions (my teenager is still sleeping)
  • no rush hour commute
  • flexible hours

You get the idea.

There are also many drawbacks I have found to working from home:

  • having my son and dogs around
  • difficulty focusing
  • a stocked refrigerator
  • lack of conversation
  • email and Facebook
  • household chores

Again, you get the idea.

My research (using Gale General OneFile) showed me I am not alone. Many people who work from home regularly and temporarily share my frustrations (and perks). I found articles and some great tips to make my time “on the clock” more productive:

  • keep a schedule
  • set aside a designated work space
  • schedule breaks
  • get out of the house (but stay 6 feet from others)
  • set ground rules with others in the house
  • stay connected with coworkers (email, text, Facebook, calls)
  • get dressed

I am hoping these and the many more ideas I’ve gleaned from articles will help my productivity and I hope they help yours. Remember, we are all in this together so cut yourself some slack and support one another. Check in, say hi, and get some work done.

Now…time to take the dogs out.

Lisa Akenhead – Northland Public Library


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Entertainment Time

Things are stressful right now and sometimes you just need a distraction – well the library can help with that! The libraries in Allegheny County have PLENTY of entertainment just waiting for you in our eLibrary. We have music, movies, books, and more!


If you are looking for movies, music, and TV shows to distract the kids for a bit while getting some work done – we recommend Hoopla! (Hoopla also has some great ebooks that you might not find in OverDrive or Libby and you will never have to wait for a Hoopla book just keep an eye on your limit for the month – a just a friendly reminder.)


Looking for a magazine to browse to keep busy while hunkered down? Flipster or OverDrive are what you are looking for!


Want the latest and greatest in ebooks and audiobooks? Look no further than OverDrive and Libby!


We know things are rough right now, but we can all get by with a little help from our friends at the library! Take a long adventure to another world in a book or a quick trip in a travel magazine – no matter what you need to escape right now the library has you covered. Stay safe friends and don’t forget to wash those hands.


Northland Public Library

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Gale General OneFile for reviews of T.V. Shows

Recently, a high school student asked me how to find reviews written for T.V. shows that premiered in the early 2000s.  I suggested we search Gale General One File because it offers content from publications including Variety, Backstage East and West, and The Hollywood Reporter– not to mention Newsweek, Vogue, and Esquire.

We did a search for “Arrested Development” and found a review from 2003 that was published in The Hollywood reporter.

arrested development

Feeling successful in our results for reviews of  “Arrested Development,” we did a search for reviews of “Veronica Mars.”

We found a review of “Veronica Mars” from 2004 published in Daily Variety.

Veronica Mars

If you have a patron looking for reviews of T.V. shows, Gale General One File is a great resource to use.

Kate Straccia – Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


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Ken Burns in the Classroom

PBS Learning Media has rolled out an exciting resource centered around the popular documentarian called Ken Burns in the Classroom.

The site is divided up by his documentary subjects, which range in time from the mid-1750’s through present day. You can browse by era or film.

Burns is famous for his use of primary source material  in his films and this resource provides a hub for archival video clips, images, and even lesson plans.

This would be a nice resource to highlight to supplement not only research projects, but for fans of Burns’ documentaries, or in conjunction with history-based programming.

This month, Women’s History Month is highlighted, as seen below:


Ken Burns in the Classroom


Jeff, South Park

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