After landing job, library remains preferred work location

Geno Peek quit his job. He had no job lined up and no plan. His home was full of distractions.  

What he needed was an office. What he found was Elkhart Public Library’s Cleveland Branch

Working from the available meeting rooms, he polished his resumé and submitted applications. He held virtual interviews. He took a job, but still likes to consider the library his out-of-home office. 

“I live at home, my mom works at home, so there’s not a quiet space in the house,” says Geno, now 26. “I started utilizing the library and these rooms” five days a week for two months in a row. “It gives me a lot of quiet space to think, a big desk, and fast internet.” 

This past September, he accepted a job as a trade sales representative with Pella Windows and Doors. 

“All of us here enjoyed following Geno’s job search as he moved from job hunting to Zoom interview to finding a new position,” says Mary Ann Kempa, the Cleveland Branch manager, “and returning now to occasionally work remotely.” 

Geno says while he’s not in the Dr. Franklin Miles or Janice Dean rooms every day, he still shows up to Cleveland at least once a week. “My office can be wherever I want it to be,” he says. “I spend time here and work off my laptop. …  

“The library gave me a space where I felt comfortable and could focus on the objective. There’s no distractions, plus these rooms are nice. I grew up right down the road, but I hadn’t been here in probably 10 years.” 

Library staff were helpful and supportive, too, he said. They offered encouragement on days when he had interviews and would tell him about job postings they knew of. 

“A couple of them had job recommendations,” he says. “They showed me a lot of courtesy.”  

Mary Ann says seeing Geno’s successful journey shows what else libraries have to offer – quality spaces for work, personal improvement and relaxation.  

Geno says he told staff he would bring in coffee and donuts when he finally landed a new job, but admitted, “I guess I’m a couple of months behind on that.” 

Mary Ann says the addition of the meeting rooms through EPL’s branch renovation project in 2020-22 is proving popular with the community. 

“It is a significant asset to many of our patrons. They regularly use them for individual studying, remote meetings, and small group gatherings,” she says. 

For more information on reserving meeting rooms at any of the library locations, click here.