I needed to get a job as a library page in order to be "in the system" at the Mississauga Library. Job openings rarely, if ever, go external. Since after I earn my degree, I want to work as a librarian in Mississauga, and I was advised by several people that a page job is the way in. So this was a career move, a necessity. I never imagined I would love the job - but I do!
As I've mentioned, I work in the Children's Department of the Central Library, a large, vibrant room with programs, games, computers, reference material, and books galore for kids up to about age 12 and their caregivers. Last night while I was shelving books, I made a mental list of why I'm enjoying the job so much. Here are 10 reasons I love being a children's library page.
1. Kids who love to read and are excited about books.
2. Parents and grandparents who care enough to take their kids to the library, and understand the value of reading.
3. Families who spend the evening at the library instead of watching TV, or who spend part of a day-off at the library.
4. People of diverse backgrounds sharing and enjoying a space together - kids playing together, parents shooting the breeze.
5. Literacy volunteers of all ages working with students of all ages. Adults using children's books to work on ESL skills.
6. Brief, pleasant interactions with children. When a little kid has a nasty meltdown, it's someone else's problem.
7. Eavesdropping on tweens and teens while I sort books.
8. I'm a union member!
9. Friendly, helpful co-workers who have made me feel welcome.
10. Surveys of new library users show that biggest predictor of whether or not people return to the library is the quality of their interactions with staff. I would like people who use the library to encounter friendly, knowledgeable, caring staff, so they feel good about the library. In a small way, I'm now a part of that.