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Library Page Duties and Responsibilities
Library pages do more than just process incoming and outgoing books and materials. We researched job descriptions to compile the following list of core responsibilities:
Sort Library Books and Materials One of the main duties of a library page is sorting books, periodicals, and other library items. They may use a library cart to collect materials from the circulation desk or from library drop boxes and sort them for other members of the library staff to receive and inventory. Library pages are also responsible for sorting and organizing books via the Dewey decimal number or subject matter and preparing them for shelving.
Shelve Books Another major duty of the library page is shelving a variety of library materials. This part of the role requires a great deal of organization, as well as the ability to quickly alphabetize books or locate where they belong on the shelf using the library's sorting system. The library page also conducts periodic shelf reads by checking shelves to ensure that books are in the correct order and that no books are miscategorized or left haphazardly around the shelf.
Assist Patrons Library pages directly assist patrons throughout the library by helping them find a specific section or title. They may also assist them with locating library areas or resources, such as computer rooms or quiet reading areas. A library page might also answer questions or make recommendations about specific titles or inform patrons of library events that might be of interest to them.
Direct Patrons Library pages are also responsible for directing patrons to specific library staff members for further assistance. In this aspect of the role, the library page needs a good sense of the librarians and staff members, along with their areas of specialization. A library page may need to use a phone or computer to get in touch with a specific library staff member, or locate them within the library and connect them with the patron.
Cover the Circulation Desk Library pages are frequently responsible for staffing the library's circulation desk when other staff members are not available. In this aspect of the role, they interact directly with patrons to lend out books, movies, and periodicals. They may also collect materials returned by patrons. The library page provides patrons with information related to due dates, so they should have some knowledge of library policies.
Provide Administrative Support Library pages frequently provide some level of administrative support to librarians, assistants, and technicians. They might make copies in the library's office, hang up information sheets about library events and programs, and maintain the library's community bulletin board. Library pages may be called upon to support a wide range of administrative functions within the library, including making mail runs and deliveries.
Library Page Skills and QualificationsLibrary pages provide customer service and clerical support throughout the library. Libraries typically hire candidates who have finished or are attending high school and look for the following skills:
- Organization - Library pages are highly organized, especially when sorting books and placing them on shelves
- Customer Service - Library pages help patrons throughout the library, so they should have some experience with customer service
- Interest in Books - Workers in this role should be familiar with a wide variety of books and should be comfortable with discussing and recommending different titles to library patrons
- Multitasking - Library pages are responsible for a variety of tasks around the library, so the ability to multitask, quickly switch between duties, and set priorities is also vital in this role
- Teamwork - Library pages support staff throughout the library, so they need to be excellent team players and be willing to help out wherever they are needed most
Library Page Education and TrainingThis is an entry-level position, so there are no formal educational requirements for library pages. Many libraries, in fact, hire pages who are still attending high school. Some prior experience in the library, including volunteer work, can help an applicant secure a position as a library page. There are many opportunities in this role for on-the-job training as the library page gains familiarity with the library's operations, holdings, and policies.
Library Page Salary and OutlookBecause this is an entry level role, pay for library pages is frequently minimum wage. Because minimum wage can vary from state to state, PayScale and Glassdoor estimate that the average hourly rate for library pages is around $9.00. This role does provide some opportunities for growth, however. A library page may transition into a position as a library assistant after several years on the job. This position is also a great way for high school students or recent graduates to decide if a career in libraries is something they want to pursue by furthering their education.
If you're interested in working as a library page, there are many resources on the web for further reading and information:
Customer Service in Libraries - The American Library Association provides resources focused on providing excellent customer service within the library.
Customer Service in Libraries: Best Practices - This guide provides a comprehensive guide to providing excellent service to library visitors and patrons.
"Types of Library Classification Schemes" - This blog post explores various types of library classification and organization systems, which a library page uses as they shelve and organize books.
A Practical Guide to Library of Congress Classification - Read about the Library of Congress classification system, used by libraries across the country, with this book by Karen Snow.
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