Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Library Page Boot Camp

Over the past couple of weeks, I've started developing my new-and-improved training for my library pages. I've done a lot of brainstorming and have asked an awesome librarian friend of mine to brainstorm with me because I really, really want to get this right this year. 

The one thing I've totally committed to doing is to refer to them as Library Pages--mainly because it tickles me. I mean, seriously doesn't Page just feel more bookish than Aide or Assistant or Clerk?  So, Page it is. Whew! It feels so good to have that major point settled! ;)

Last year, while I loved my students and appreciate what they did do, the training I provided was severely lacking.  This became more apparent as time went on, and I'm determined to make some serious changes in my training program so that the library runs more smoothly and we are all um...on the same page, as it were.  
(Yes, I have the Nerdy Humor Sickness.  It's a Thing and I totally have it.)
If any of y'all out there have some great suggestions you'd love to share I'm all ears, by the way--but here are the nuts & bolts of my thoughts at this point of my work-in-progress:
  1. My goal is to train them & treat them in a way that encourages a strong work ethic.  I don't want a lot of sitting around or staring at screens.  We have student pages because we need them to do work.
  2. I want it to be FUN.  Okay, so we know a training (and the work itself) won't be Broadway show fun or county fair fun, but you know what I mean, right?
  3. I want the expectations to be crystal clear.
  4. I want a working environment that encourages self-motivated workers, but also is a safe place to ask questions without fear of appearing dumb.
  5. I want to reward a job well done. 
  6. The basics they need to know are: shelving fiction, shelving non-fiction, shelf-reading, keeping the library organized, neat & pretty, and working the circ desk.
  7. The second-tier skills they need are working the copier and processing magazines and books.
  8. These can be "boring" skills to learn, so I want to add some interesting ways to impart the knowledge--some video, something interactive, etc.
I want them to know that I love to be able to write strong recommendation letters for both scholarship and work opportunities for my kids.  I want them to know that hard work pays off. I want them to take pride in a job well done and feel a strong connection to the library being amazing in part because of all they do.

I am looking for ideas I can incorporate specifically from companies who are well-known for creating awesome work environments for their employees.  It isn't enough for me to have kids who are just assigned to work in the library for a class period their senior year--ultimately, I want pages who LOVE to be there. 

What are YOUR thoughts?

image from http://crossfitliger.com/boot-camp/


  1. It has been 50+ years (yes, I know, I'm ancient) since I got to be a library helper in elementary school, but I still remember how I loved it. We helped mostly with shelving books, but the job I remember as the most fun was learning how to put covers on new books.

    1. thank you for your response! I love that you remember that as a fun thing--and will remember to make that part as wonderful as your librarian must have made it!

  2. Somehow you need to find out what Chick-Fil-A does for training. Their employees seem to love their job. They are always happy and enjoy serving their customers.

    1. that is definitely a company I am looking into! I agree totally. It was my pleasure to read your comment this morning. ;)

  3. I'm with you! I have to do a better job with my pages this year. Team building is what it will take, and that includes my assistant and myself. Sounds like a great topic for #txlchat!

    1. thank you! I have been reading The Five Languages of Appreciation at Work lately, to remind myself that each person "speaks" and "hears" appreciation differently. I want to honor that in all my library peeps!