Who do we appreciate!?
It’s the Pages! Did you ever stop to think about how all our books, magazines and audio books are shelved? Every day our Page staff puts away just about all the books returned that day and new items sent up by our Technical staff. Each item on our browsing shelves was put there by a Page. It is their responsibility to shelve non-fiction according to Dewey Decimal numerical order, fiction alphabetically by the author’s last name, and biography alphabetically by subject. If an author has several books then the titles need to be alphabetized. Did you know numbers go before words in a title? As an example when searching the author James Patterson, the title ‘4th of July’ is shelved before ‘Cross,’ and ‘Cross’ is shelved before 'Four Blind Mice.' If there is more than one author with the same last name, books are shelved alphabetically by last name, first name. Each author’s titles are then put in alphabetical order. Did I lose you yet?
Sometimes the Dewey numbers are cumbersome, there could by 6 or 7 digits after the decimal and letters after the numbers….well you get the idea. Also our Pages change every plastic magazine cover when the new issue is ready for shelving. They review all spine labels on every item in the entire collection to insure all books are shelved correctly. This takes months to complete and then they start all over again. Some areas are ‘read’ more frequently because of high usage, such as cookbooks, dinosaurs, gardening and Juvenile biography. Edging is a big part of the job as well; it keeps the stacks neat and makes it easier for customers to find and remove an item. There are about 182,000 books in our library. If you’ve ever walked through our entire building you would realize the magnitude of their task. Pages work in the AV department on weekends and during very busy times trying to get music, movies and games back on the shelves quickly. Paging is a job with nuances, dependent on accuracy and requiring patience. Oh, did I mention the bending and climbing? Our Pages go about their work diligently knowing the public and our Librarians expect to and should be able to find an item where it’s supposed to be, according to Dewey. He would be impressed.