my first days in the library

I love it. I love being in the library. I love being part of the public library, helping to make it work.

I've been placed in the children's department of Mississauga's Central Library. It's a huge department, and there's a surprising amount to learn. Unlike the general library, where materials would either be fiction or nonfiction, there are about 30 different areas where children's materials might be shelved - picture books, books adults read to children, then all the different reading levels, each with fiction and nonfiction, plus French materials (since all children learn some French here), serieses, graphic novels, "favourite characters" (Arthur, Berenstain Bears, and such) - on and on.

In addition, a cart that might hold 50 adult books holds several hundred children's books, and the call numbers wrap around the book, since the spines are so thin. And there are little people running around, and noisy programs like storytimes and puppet shows and whatnot. It's a challenging place to be a page, and that's good, as it will make a repetitive job more interesting.

My supervisor is friendly and patient, as is everyone I've met so far. Four other pages have started in the children's department at the same time, and we're all "mature" (euphemism for old).

It's a wonderful atmosphere, full of the joy of discovery, and the love of reading and books. And a humane work environment, something I haven't experienced in a very long time. More than ever, I am dying to get out of my private-sector job - which used to be well-paid in a decent environment and has deteriorated into an office sweatshop - and work in my community.

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