Warren County Public Library

The Second Office and the Third

I have a job that allows me to work remote all the time. There are benefits and consequences for that, just like anything, but I will say that working from home doesn't suck.

My home office is in a loft overlooking my daugther's bedroom. Because it's an office in a loft, I call it the Loffice. There's no wall, just a rail to keep you from falling over the edge and taking 7 - 8 foot (2.1 - 2.4 meters) drop to the floor. Behind me, the roofline slants away towards a wall with built in bookcases that are nice, but aren't nearly enough for this librarian. My keyboards, my computers, my tech-bench, and my assortment of stuff all fits in this hallway of an office that suits me well. If I were taller than five foot four, or 1.6 meters, the roofline would be a problem.

The Loffice
This is the Loffice. It sits in the trees.

But I am five feet, four inches tall, so it's not. I've only bumped my head once up here, and that was after putting a few things on a built in shelf and standing up without thinking.

Sometimes I get tired of the same four walls or, in my case, the same three walls. I can work anywhere, and it doesn't always have to be at home. So I venture out into the wide world and the small city that is Bowling Green, Kentucky. When I'm off to work in a different place, I have very few requirements.

  • It's nice to have a comfy place to sit and a table to work at.

  • WiFi is a must.

  • And a good cup of coffee wouldn't hurt.

The first time I roved out looking for these three things I had in my mind something akin to a Starbucks. It meets all three of the criteria, and god knows I've put in a fair amount of work from Starbucks locations around the country. But I thought to myself, surely there's a local place that might be a better option. I'm a big fan of supporting local businesses over the corporate monstrosities ever present in American society. So I pulled off to the side of the road and canceled the trip to Starbucks I'd mapped out on Waze and instead searched for "coffee."

Ah! Spencer's Coffee. And, look! It's in the Town Square. Sounds perfect.

Spencer's Coffee Shop
Spoiler alert: It is absolutely perfect.

Spencer's Coffee is exactly what I want in a coffee shop. Situated within a gorgeous old red brick interior, there are plenty of tables for the early morning digital denizen looking for a new place to work. When you walk in, the smell of coffee wraps its arms around you and carries you gently up to the counter where you can order the standard lattes, espressos, Americanos, and so on.

The coffee is delicious. All of the coffee. Get what you want, you won't be disappointed.

Coffee in hand, you can find a table with nearby plugs on the wall, or even plugs built into the table. Since it's close to Western Kentucky University, they get their fair share of students looking for an escape similar to mine. Twenty minutes into my first visit and my first cup of Spencer's coffee, I decided that Spencer's would be my second office. There's something freeing about grabbing a table overlooking the Square, watching the sunrise bring life to the outside, while listening to Drone Zone over your headphones.

I'm as happy as I am productive, and I think there's a definite connection between the two.

Spencer's is an excellent place to hang out and drink coffee until my third office opens. For some reason, they hung a sign outside my third office that reads "Warren County Public Library" but I'm sure it's something that'll get updated sooner or later.

WCPL's Main Branch is located in the middle of historic Bowling Green, near beautiful houses sitting on tree lined streets. The parking, along with the entrance, is in the back. The front isn't bad, though, where benches and a beautiful morning view are waiting for you. You'll find circulation on the first floor along with the activity room, children's collection, and young adult collection. Upstairs is adult fiction and non-fiction alongside the public computers and reference desk.

Outside Warren County Public Library
Good morning from your local library.

Naturally I checked to see what ILS they're using and was happy to see it's Polaris. I admit to being a Polaris fanboy, but that's partially because managing Polaris systems puts food on my table. They're running 6.0, which is a good version for the most part.

There are tables upstairs between the non-fiction and fiction stacks, and they're big enough to seat four. Usually it's just me, my gear, and Drone Zone. I still don't know if I can bring coffee in the library and I always forget to ask. Then again, I rarely leave Spencer's with unfinished coffee so the point is moot.

Working outside the loffice helps clear my head and re-centres me. Often, I don't take a lunch hour because I just eat at my desk while I'm working. Instead, on my way home, I'll stop by a local park for a quick 5k run. Even with the trip to the park, the run, and then a quick shower after getting home -- I still come up a few minutes short of an hour before sitting back down to my desk and logging back into the system.

I've had several offices over the years, but I think these three that I have now are the finest I've had yet.