Page no more! I'm not a librarian yet, but I've managed to get out of the page level. I've landed a part-time position as a circulation clerk, doing circ and customer service at the front desk in a branch about 20 minutes from home.
I'm thrilled. My hourly pay rate just doubled, and it will be a huge relief to my middle-aged back and knees.
Another reason this is very important is it guarantees I will not be a page again. If I get a librarian position that is temporary, such as covering a maternity leave (a not-uncommon way to break in to the professional level), when that job ends, I can return to circulation clerk, rather than return to being a page.
More than the paycheque, more than the security, the most important takeaway from this is the confidence boost it's given me. It's very difficult even to get an interview for these positions. Often managers don't even open the competition to pages, to avoid conducting 50 or 60 interviews for one spot. Pages may wait six months just to get an interview. When I walked out of my interview, I felt as though I had done all right. But while I waited to hear, all the doubts rushed in: why didn't I say this, I should have said that. Learning I placed first has given me so much more confidence.
Also on the page-to-circ theme, I've joined the Labour-Management committee of my union. I'll be part of the union team that meets with management monthly to discuss and try to resolve issues. I have an idea that would give pages at a better shot at circ jobs and save management time and interviews.
I'll leave you with a little library humour from the brilliant Tom Gauld, courtesy of M@.