National Library Week 2012: My Job, and How You Can Celebrate

I work as a page at my local library, and can you believe that I head nothing about this wondrous week while working? (say that five times fast)

Even though I now work at the library, it doesn't mean that I stopped reading their books; most libraries get the hottest releases as soon as they're out, and some do beforehand. Curious about a book, but want to check it out before you commit and buy it? See if a library has it. If your library doesn't, see if they'll do an inter-library loan to find it for you. Have extra books? Donate them! Anything that doesn't end up on our shelves can be sold at our book sale, which is still a huge help to us.

My Day

I work as a page, which is that dedicated (not to float my own boat) person that you see pushing carts of books around to be put back onto shelves. I usually get in to work after school and stay until we close at about eight. 

We have a pretty small library, especially compared to some in neighboring towns, and so my day starts with shelving downstairs books: large type, new books, DVDs, and most magazines. I then move onto the upstairs carts: children's books, teen book, adult books, and non-fiction books. 

Before being shelved, books on carts are alphabetized (or put in numerical order if non-fiction) and put away. If a shelf has to be straightened, or books need to be moved because they're too tight (called "shifting"), that's done too. 

After carts are shelved, our jobs depend on whatever needs to be done. The cart in the children's room that houses all of the books people don't want and don't want to put back themselves* are shelved. More shifting in done. Shelf reading (peeking at the call numbers to make sure that books are in order/ put in the right spot) is also done.

We also help patrons to find what they need, and direct them to where they can find the books that they're looking for. We also sometimes answer questions regarding how the library works (for example, books can only be checked out downstairs, even though the children's librarians have the computers to do it upstairs.) On some days we may have a children's program, and in that case I help children with crafts. This summer we'll have a lot of that going on :)

At the end of the day, chairs are pushed in, computer monitors are turned off, and the children's room is tidied. Lost books are put on shelves or carts for the next day. Lights are turned off, and the day has ended!

Writing it out it sounds a little boring, but it all depends on what you make of it. I always bring an iPod to listen to music and books on tape, and time has been flying faster now that the days are longer. I've also gotten close to one of my fellow pages and talk with her during some of the more boring jobs.

Each library is a little bit different, so I can't tell you everything about the job, but feel free to leave questions in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them!

Overall, I hope that you take the time to appreciate libraries this week :) They're really such a great place, and it upsets me that some people don't get out there enough. If you've been planning a trip for a while, there's no better time to do it!

*I should clarify. This isn't intended to be mean at all; we pages are expected to shelve books! A lot of libraries will have carts off to the side to save yourself the trouble of having to find and put back a book yourself, especially if you are unfamiliar with the library. It also helps keep things a lot neater.

More things to celebrate: 

Monday- 2012 State of America's Report released (with the list of Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books)

Wednesday, April 4th to Wednesday, April 11th- National Library Week Six Word Story Contest

If you're interested in showing your support through Facebook, @ Your Library has a bunch of Facebook cover images (assuming that you have the new layout) available for download. Or, you can share your story of how a library has impacted you.

Follow @ Your Library: Twitter and Facebook

And for a happy send-off, a PBS video about the Biblioburro:
Biblioburro - Trailer on PBS. See more from POV.

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