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Posts Tagged ‘pages’

Many Hands Make for Better Work: Enhancing the Library with Entry-Level Workers

My first library job was working as a page in a mid-sized public library. At that time pages had three main duties- check books in, shelve them, and shelf-read the shelves. There were odd jobs we’d occasionally do, but by-and-large those three tasks comprised the job. Years later, now with a master’s degree and in my first professional librarian position, I found myself in an academic library with a similar structure. Now called student aides, this entry level position had a core set of duties though this time they also included staffing the circulation desk and performing other additional duties. However, over the past three years, the Fulton Library at Utah Valley University has expanded the way it uses student workers with great success. Originally working almost entirely in the Circulation department, the student aides’ jobs were expanded first to include Technical Services, and following that success, to other departments as well. Looking back to my time at a public library, I believe many public libraries could profit from a similar expansion. How this evolved at Fulton Library may help you to integrate entry-level positions to new locations in your own library.

library sign

Library Aides Love the Library

What is a library aide? What do they do? What kinds of people are they? Are they really necessary? Yes. Always and forever, yes. Typically, a library aide is a low-rung worker who does physical, menial tasks like shelving, checking in, shelf-reading, and the like. While the exact title and definition changes from system-to-system and branch-to-branch, the heart of the library aide always remains the same. Most of us, myself included, are aides because first and foremost we love the library.