A Day In the Life Of Your Friendly Neighborhood Page
October 05, 2010
You’ve seen us around. We’re the ones who circle the library, pushing or pulling those black carts filled with books, CDs, graphic novels, and films, taking them back to where they belong. We’re the ones who come when you need a hand. When a desk clerk calls, we all leave our posts and "race" to make sure that one of us will get there as soon as possible. We are always moving. We are elusive. We are pages. (FYI: If this was a video blog, I would have inserted some sort of “James Bond”- or “Mission: Impossible”-type soundtrack at this point. Unfortunately, management did not think this was the way to go. So, until I go viral, you’ll have to settle for just a normal blog.)
So, we’ve established that you’ve seen us around. Pages are a pretty important part of the library system. If you think of management as the cerebral cortex, and the desk clerks as the grey matter, then the pages are the electric synapses. Or, if you prefer, if you compare the library staff to the human body, then pages are the arms. Yeah, we’re a pretty big deal (again, if I was vlogging, some studio laughter clip or amusing audio effect would sound off here). It seems that people are aware of pages, but they don’t always know who we are or of our purpose (or whether or not we even work here, despite our name badges). That’s what I’m here to address- I’ll be writing several entries in hopes of opening your eyes to our world, the world of the page. Prepare yourself! Baum-Bum-Baaaah ... yea, it just isn’t the same when you type it.
Most of the time, pages can be found in the stacks with carts shelving books. This is the primary responsibility of a page, and it is at least in theory, very easy. Completing this task requires only three things:
- A complete knowledge of the English alphabet.
- The ability to count 1-10 (i.e. a basic understanding of the Dewey Decimal System).
- Enough strength to push a cart (containing anywhere from 20 to 200+ items).
These powers enable us to complete our job with amazing speed and efficiency. But, like any superhero, pages need a place to “recharge”. Some branches have a room set aside specifically for pages; others have an area in the library, like a section of a wall with shelving. We use these areas to organize, alphabetize, and assemble our carts. When customers return books or video recordings, etc., either by way of the book drop-off location or by turning them in at the front desk, the items are first scanned by the desk clerks, officially checking them back in. The items are then sent over to the pages, who separate them into their various categories (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, juvenile, DVD, audio book), and place them on carts. This is the quickest way to shelve items, short of teleportation. Imagine, if you will, if we didn’t have these carts available, and we had to, instead, go back and forth with handfuls of DVDs and children’s books. It would increase the work load by…a lot. Those black carts are one of a page’s closest allies.
This is but one aspect of a page’s work. In time, I will teach you more about pages and their path through and around the stacks. The journey is an interesting one, filled with mystery, intrigue, romance, action, adventure, and fantasy (and oddness).
Do you think you can survive it? Only time will tell. (*Cue ominous sound track*...nope, doesn’t work)
Blue Ridge Branch