I love shelvers/pages/whatever you call them at your particular library. I love them so much because they perform such a vital job in the library. Excellent shelvers are a rare creature, I think. My ideal shelver puts away materials briskly and efficiently, asks for help when needed, and takes pride in the appearance of the materials s/he shelves. Without shelvers, nothing else that happens in a library matters (well, I suppose patrons could still use the internet, but indulge my hyperbole, will ya?).
So all of my feelings on the subject make the firing of Chicago Public pages particularly sad for me to hear. These employees are near the bottom of the hierarchy and the pay scale, yet they do so much of the work that makes a library go, and now CPL has lost almost half of them. I have a feeling that this is going to be even more painful now than it might have been, considering library use across the country is up up up, and I don’t think that Chicago is an exception.
How do you feel about shelvers? Are you or have you ever been a shelver/page?