Erin Cataldi: Working to improve your work-from-home experience

Since March of last year, the work landscape has changed drastically.

Millions of Americans have started to work remotely and that comes with a new set of challenges. While getting to work at home with our pets, beloved coffeemaker and family can be fun (or a nightmare) — home “offices” don’t have many of the amenities that workers have come to rely on.

According to the U.S. Census, only 85% of Johnson County residents have access to broadband internet at home. Of those with internet access, many don’t have printers, scanners and faxing capabilities. Granted not every home office requires those, but many do. What’s a person to do?

Go to the public library of course. At Johnson County Public Library, residents can scan and fax papers and get documents notarized for no charge. Don’t have reliable internet at home? Check out one of our more than 30 hotspots with your library card. You can also utilize free Wi-Fi in any of the library branches by coming in or using your device in the parking lot, even after hours. 

If you haven’t thought about utilizing your library in a while, think again.

Yes, we have books, music, movies, newspapers, games and more, but we also offer many services — digital and in-person — that can assist you while you work remotely. Struggling with understanding software, accounting, marketing or other business ventures? Check out our online classes through Gale Courses or

Except for making copies and print jobs — at 10 cents a page — everything is available at no charge. You can email us your documents ahead of time, bring them on a thumb drive, or use one of our public PCs to print out what you need. We try to make it as easy as possible for you to get what you need. From tax forms to legal documents to finance and investing books, our librarians can help you find exactly what you need.

And for those who are looking for a job, don’t forget that you can utilize the library to search for jobs, create resumes (which we can help with), apply for benefits or use our digital resources to learn a new skill to beef up your resume.

We even have the WorkKeys Assessment available for anyone to take. The assessment measures a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries. Many employers in Indiana are on the lookout for potential hires who have taken the assessment, so come in and take it today.

Don’t spend your hard-earned money on improving your work-from-home environment when our mission is to strengthen our community by connecting people, resources and experiences. We do that daily. You are invited to stop by any of our four branches or visit to learn more about how to optimize your remote work environment.

Erin Cataldi is adult and teen services librarian at the Clark Pleasant branch of the Johnson County Public Library. Library staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].