Across The Street and A Thousand Miles Away

Funny how when quiet, one seeks more quiet. At work recently I was talking with a coworker about how we each need some quiet time away from the office. Just to break up the day and focus a bit on our private pursuits. For her, schoolwork toward her Masters Degree and for me, well just writing.

It is quiet at work. We have no issues with getting our work done and helping others do the same. These days there is only so much to do. The greater work is ahead with new jobs, coworkers and indeed, friends.

I mentioned that it would be great if a library was across the street. I live in a community that supports public libraries and I am not far from two terrific new library buildings. Yet, they are not across the street from work. That is where I need a library.

By definition a library is a quiet place and a place for creative thought. I still think young librarians learn the craft of shushing those who dare make any noise above a whisper. For my coworker and me this is not a problem. We work in silence now and even more is welcome as we focus on tasks far from our work.

With thoughts of a mid-day library visit, I daydream thinking of how I can tap into the power of a library as part of my work. I have worked on and led many teams over the years. At times it would have been great to just back away from the work and gain some perspective. To look at problems from a new angle.

An afternoon at the library – after lunch close down the office and take everybody to the library. For most it would be the first visit to a library since childhood. The rules are simple for the afternoon, (1) no talking, (2) no leaving early, and (3) write something – ideas for work, a story, or just journal about the afternoon. We will debrief first thing in the morning.

Indeed daydreaming – imagine getting approval for such a non-team-building-team-building. To give each person an afternoon of silence. A place of creativity and creation. How would the debrief go? I do not know, but the possibilities … oh the possibilities.

Alas, no visit to the library today for team or self. Yet I look forward to the day, working for a new organization, when my boss asks me what I expect to do with my new team on day one.

“Is there a library nearby?”

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