Libraries: A Forgotten Joy


I’ve always been an avid reader.

Before the days of tablets and cellphones, even Nintendo’s, my favorite occupiers of time were the great outdoors, my neighborhood homies, my bicycle, Sesame Street, cartoons and my books.

My books. Oh, my books! I absolutely loved them or should I say love, as I still have most of them. The Berenstain Bears, The Babysitters Club, R.L. Stine stories, Dr. Seuss and Where the Wild Things Are. I love to read.

One of the joys of my childhood was my mother taking me to our local library. We would visit for a variety of reasons – for story time, to find new books for me to read and to hang out. I always enjoyed going there because my little heart burst with excitement seeing all the options available for me to choose.

Somewhere along the way, the fire for books burned out and the giddiness I felt in passing that special place didn’t present itself as strongly. I became busy living the college life, trying to sort out my career path and attempting to embrace this thing called adulting. (I’m still trying to figure that last one out.)

A few years ago, I started working as an independent contractor. I write. I also develop and implement communication plans for companies, businesses and organizations. As a contractor, I often handle my client’s needs from home as they only require me to have access to a laptop, internet and a phone. I can essentially work from anywhere.

My office of choice has typically been my house. It has everything I need. At my fingertips are comfy clothes, snacks, assistants (aka my cats), my bed if I need to take a power nap and an abundant supply of water. I save gas and money by working at home. It’s the best of both worlds.

However, after a while, things became routine. Because I am a person who loves spontaneity and flexibility, I became frustrated with doing the same thing the same way almost every day. One day, I decided I needed a change of scenery. Instead of visiting my favorite coffee shop or the park, I decided to pack up my goodies and head to the local community college. I knew they had a library, so I decided to check it out.

When I arrived on the second floor of the library, I was pleasantly surprised to see an abundance of cubicles and a nice open space. Perfect! Just what I needed. I found a spot and went to work. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? Almost as I finished the thought, the answer popped into my head. I had gotten spoiled!

I’m an alumna of North Carolina State University and we have a library on our Centennial Campus that routinely ranks high on the list of best libraries in the world. It really is that phenomenal. But it spoiled me. It’s colorful, huge, modern, sleek, comfy and cozy. I wanted what I encountered there to be available here, but I had to be realistic. NCSU is a college with a large endowment fund. I’m not going to get the same thing in my local community.

You know what I can get? A change of scenery. A change of pace. I also get a lot done! At the library, no one is rushing me. No one is looking at me waiting for me to pack up my stuff. No one cares what I’m working on. I can do what I need to do, using their free Wi-Fi and leave when my time has been well spent.

As an entrepreneur, I visit a library any chance I get. If I have my laptop with me and there’s a library near, I’ll typically enter it. Guess what I’ve found in each and every library I visit?  The same comfort and coziness I found at the Hunt Library at State. They’re not all as modern, but they offer a place of solace, quietness and peace when it’s time to get things done. For a home-based entrepreneur, it’s a dream come true.

Plus, they have books. And I’m always at home when I’m surrounded by books.

Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart is a jacktress of all trades who is typically hungry anytime you encounter her. 

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