Working at a Library

Good morning, and happy Wednesday!

Today I thought I would talk to you guys about my library job, and why I love it so much.

How I Started

I began working at my university’s library about a year ago, just after I quit my retail job, at the suggestion of my mother. I applied for the summer Work-Study program, which meant that I would be working while I took summer school.

My job last summer was a Collection Maintenance Assistant position – basically, it was my job to keep the shelves organized through shelf-reading and shelving. I had 3 hour shifts, 3-5 times per week. The nice thing about that job was that I could basically take off time whenever I needed to and just make it up another day, since shelf maintenance wasn’t a huge priority.

Where I Am Now

Near the end of summer I applied for the position of Information and Loans Student Assistant during the school year, which is the job I’m continuing to work this summer since they’ve suspended the Work-Study job.

I stand at the front desk of the library, answering questions for library patrons and checking out items (books, chargers, laptops, etc). I also stand in the copy and print centre of the library as basic tech assistance, helping people print their documents, unjamming the printers, and reloading paper and staples, among other things. I also do a bit of collection maintenance for the last hour of my shift, just like everybody else.

During the regular school year I work 3-4 hour shifts, 2-3 times per week. In the summer, however, I’ve been working almost every day for 4-5 hours. It’s a lot harder to take time off with this job, especially in the summer when there are only 6 of us working. I am in charge of finding someone to cover my shift, and oftentimes it means covering another shift for that person (trading).

Why I Love My Job

When all is said and done, I really enjoy my job. There’s a lot less pressure than retail because I’m not trying to sell anything, and I find that the patrons I speak to – mostly students – are less picky and aggressive than retail customers are.

My coworkers are fun people, and we’re all students so there’s a kind of understanding we all share. The library staff members – the non-student workers – are very friendly, always cracking jokes, planning fun library events/decorations, and bringing in food for us. They’re also very understanding, particularly when we’re stressed or have a lot of upcoming projects. They work the schedule around our classes, and will hire more people if need be to cover shifts that nobody else can take (unlike at my retail job, where my manager told me that I needed to start coming in more often, even though I literally could not because of school???).

Another perk is that I get breaks – this shouldn’t be something I celebrate, but the fact that at my retail job I didn’t get breaks unless I worked 6 hours is the reason for my elation. Now I get 15 minute breaks when I work 4 hours, 30 min breaks when I work 5 hours, etc. Woot woot!

Future Plans

I would definitely like to continue working at the library for the remainder of my undergraduate degree. I’ve grown accustomed to how everything works, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people through this job.

In the fall I’m debating becoming a Student Leader, which would basically be the same job, but instead of shelf-reading I would be in charge of making sure that the rest of the student assistants are shelf-reading properly, and maybe some other jobs that I’m not aware of. It would be a lot more responsibility, so I have to figure out if I’m ready for that or not, especially since I’ve only worked here for a year. I feel like my supervisors trust me enough as it is, which is good, but whether I trust myself to do it well is a different question.


So, that’s my life at the library! If you have any questions about working at the library, I welcome you to ask them and I will do my best to answer them.

Have a lovely day! ❤

~Becca

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