November 6 – Cherished Memory #6
My first job – a “Page” in the San Bruno Public Library. Ever since I learned to read I would spend hours in the library. I read all the childhood classics in the “kids” section. I loved Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. I re-read Little Women and Jo’s Boys. I would get on my bike and ride down the hill to the library and check out books and then settle in one of the chairs there and read for hours before starting back home. I remember when I was able to start going into the “adult” section. Mystery stories were my favorite, but I also liked reading autobiographies.
When I got to high school, I knew it was time to get a part time job so I asked at the library if there were any positions open. I remember being very nervous having to interview with the head librarian and taking the test to make sure I knew my alphabet and the Dewey Decimal System (yes, it was that long ago) and how to find things using the card catalog. I was so excited when I was hired.
I worked at the library all through high school and into my first year of college. It was the best. I never felt like I was working when I was there. There was an old elevator that you had to use to get the books up to the second level. One year they decided to switch things around and move the books that were downstairs to the upstairs. That was fun too. We had a big shoot and one person would stand upstairs and put the books in the shoot and another one would stay at the bottom and catch them. They moved the “check out” section to a different part of the room and little by little things started to get more automated.
Finally, after a year of college and training at The Bryman School for medical assisting, it was time for me to get a full time job so I had to leave the library. They had a going-away party for me and little by little I started going to the library less and less. Now it is totally automated and you can check out your own books and go online to have them reserved for you to pick up. I suggested to my children when it was time for them to look for part-time jobs that they should apply at the library because, after all, someone still needs to put the books away, but they weren’t really as interested as I was and the pre-job test and interview were much harder than it was when I applied. Pretty sure they don’t call them “Pages” anymore either. Probably something like Library Assistant. Not as cool in my mind.
I still keep lots of books, more than I need I’m sure but some I just can’t seem to part with.