New Library Employees
Before you begin, ask your supervisor to review the Supervisor page. When you finish, take activities
and quiz to supervisor for review.
Organizing information for library users is what libraries are all about.
The following pages help you explore the way libraries are organized. What
you learn can help you survive your first few days as a new library
As a new employee, you've probably already let go of that great fantasy
about libraries as quiet, stress-free places where you read books all day.
The fantasy is gone, but the reality can be great - days that are
challenging, interesting, entertaining, ever changing, and rewarding.
Then there are those other days.
Knowing how libraries work will help!
The following pages have Activities for learning. You will learn by
working with the material in this program, by exploring sites on the
Internet, and by talking to your library staff. Why involve other library
staff? Because they know everything! Everything, that is, about surviving
life in a public library.
Complete the Activity, try the
Explore section, and then go on to the next page: The
The Library's Mission
Links updated June 2008.
More than half of Americans visit libraries! Results of a Pew Internet & American Life survey "challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age. Libraries drew visits by more than half of Americans (53%) in the past year for all kinds of purposes, not just the problems mentioned in this survey."
"Young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (age 18-30) led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the most likely to use libraries for problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose. Furthermore, it is young adults who are the most likely to say they will use libraries in the future when they encounter problems: 40% of Gen Y said they would do that, compared with 20% of those above age 30 who say they would go to a library." (Report of IMLS-funded project with University of Illinois -Urbana-Champaign and the Pew Internet & American Life.)
What will you need to do? Complete the Activity on each page and take the
quiz at the end. Many of the Activities require you to investigate every
corner of the library, so print a summary page of Activities to carry with
you. Prepare for library aerobics!
After you read each page and do the activity, be an explorer!
Explore links to suggested sources on the Internet - to help you learn the
job, do the job, and survive the job!