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7 Things To Know Before Applying For a Library Job

by Christine A - 20 Comment(s)

Each library in our system receives hundreds of applications from students each year. As a former Page Supervisor myself, I know that maybe only ten of those applications will be read and only three of those applicants will be called for an interview. Supervisors don't have time to read each and every resume so they flip through the stack of hundreds and choose the handful that made an immediate good impression. If you'd like to know how to stand out from the pack, read on!

Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System1. Know What the Job Entails.

Youths ages 14-17 are employed as student Pages. A Page shelves books, movies and cds in their correct order, meaning that the ability to sort items by author, title and Dewey Decimal number is crucial. If you can answer these questions, you have the sorting skills to be Library Page!

a) Arrange the following entries in numerical order:

J 373. 01124 MOD

J 372. 011244

J 373. 011

b) Arrange these authors' names alphabetically:

Brown, Georges

Browne, George Andrew

Brown, G


2. There Are No Summer Jobs.

It takes a few months to train new hires. If we hired students for the just the summer, they'd leave us just when they were turning pro. Pages work both evening and weekend shifts, usually 6-9 hours per week. So, you may work 3 hours Tuesday night and 6 hours on Saturday. Your supervisor will be flexible with your schedule if you tell her about your extracurricular activites and study habits; however, she needs to make sure that the branch operates efficiently. When returned books don't make it back to the shelves on time, customers can get grumpy!

3. Your Availability.

On our employment application form, there's a grid asking which times you're available to work. Be sure to fill it in and remember: the more you're available, the more employable you are! The Page Supervisor might be looking for someone who can work specific shifts, so if you're only free on Sunday afternoons odds are you won't get a call. Cry

4. Never Have a Parent Drop Off Your Resume.

People who let their parents job-hunt for them lack initiative. It tells us that you don't really want a job, but that Mom really, really wants you to get a job. It's fine for your parents to accompany you, but you should take the application to the Information Desk yourself and ask your own questions. Let Mom and Dad hang back. The world of work is not like the world of school. If, for example, you had to negotiate a shift change with your supervisor or coworker, you'd be expected to do so yourself in a mature way. You can always discuss what you intend to say with your family before attempting it at work, but you deal with your boss and colleagues independently. Diplomacy in the workplace is a life skill you'll start developing at your first job.

5. Go the Extra Mile.

Everyone fills out an application form. Applicants who stand out include a cover letter and resume. A cover letter is a top page with a couple paragraphs you've written about your wondrous suitability. The resume is a listing of your experience and skills. There are lots of ways to format these papers, so do check out some examples.

6. You Do Have Experience

You're so young that no interviewer would expect you to have any real employment experience, but you still need to fill in the work history part of the application. If you babysat, it shows you're trustworthy and can work without direct supervision. What? You helped your school librarian stamp books in grade 6? Well, clearly you've had a long-time interest in library services. Think about any volunteer, extracurricular or academic experiences you've had that can go on a resume.

7. Follow Up
When you drop off your resume, ask for the Page Supervisor's name and call her within the week to request an interview. If she says she's not hiring at the moment, ask her to please keep you in mind for when there is an opening. Believe me, unless there's a problem with the application (misspellings, poor availability etc) she will put your resume in the "To Be Called" file and you probably will get a call when she's interviewing applicants again. Once you've spoken to the Page Supervisor, do not badger her with phone calls! Don't call 6 times. If she doesn't ring in a month or two, follow up again.

Lastly, should your parent follow up for you? Refer to #4.

The Calgary Public Library is a great place to work! Staff and customers treat Pages well —no one will hassle you because you forgot to give them extra ketchup. And there may be a career in it: if you were a great Page, you may get hired for an adult Support or Customer Service role when you turn 18. I know a few people who started as Pages and, after completing their Library Science degrees, are now Managers. So, maybe 7 years from now you'll be your old boss' boss... Now wouldn't that be sweet?

Page by Page

by Alexandra - 0 Comment(s)

pages staffYou always knew your Calgary Public Library card got you wicked stuff IN the library (free books, free programs, free homework help, free music, free space...) but just the other day we found out about an awesome deal your card will get you OUTSIDE the library too!

Pages on Kensington offers a 10% discount off books to any teen who shows their Library Card at time of purchase! That's ANY book, with ANY CPL Teen Library Card! We understand that sometimes you just can't wait for 400 people to finish reading the hottest title before you get your hands on it, or that sometimes you love a book so much you just HAVE to have your own copy... when those times hit, head over to Pages!

And if you're confused about the part where we said "ANY Teen Library Card", that's probably because you didn't know we now offer several different styles of cards, not to mention the chance to customize your own from photos or artwork (for a pretty penny, but could you ASK for a better cause?)! The best deal in town just got even better!




The boys from Pages love their ya lit!

So you have some difficult Questions? Who you gonna call?

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)


You know those questions you don't want to ask ANYbody? Or you talk about all the time but your friends seem useless at? Yeah those questions... Sometimes it's much easier not to .. or to browse the Internet or..., well we have just added some Teen Health & Wellness Links to our TeenZone page precisely for that reason! Plus we have a great book list. Warning= Scroll down on the page to see them! We also have more - lists on particular subjects such as Death & Disease, My Body, GLBTQ, Disabilities & Disorders under our INTENSE Booklists tab. Last year I wrote a blog called My Life Just Turned Upside Down that has some great book suggestions in it as well! To access the page normally click on our Teens page. There are health & wellness and a jobs & career links tabs which both get you to the same place. Or - you can access them through the Information tab under our Booklists on the top left hand side of the Teens page.

Here is a list of what's on the page and how it might be helpful. I encourage you to check out the pages - lots of them have interactive elements like live chat, places to submit your own art and writing and to take quizzes/ games at. Some feature videos, clubs, and courses you can take as well.

kids help phone logo

Kid’s Help Phone

24 hour Confidential counselling, information and referral for youth up to age 18.

By phone or On-line Chat. Legal Advice.

Website has some great mini pages on Bullying, Dating, Finding a place to live etc.

connecteen logo Connect Teen (Calgary Distress Centre)

24hr Counselling & Emergency Service.

Chat on-line or on the phone.

Connect Teen also offers a Youth Blog.

maple leaf

Just for You

Youth Health Information (Government of Canada):

A comprehensive information source for teen health.

calgary sexual health centre logo

Calgary Sexual Health Centre

Offers teens information about birth control, safe sex, STD’s, relationships and coming out.

calgary outlink logo

Calgary Outlink

The Inside Out Youth Group is a fun, Calgary, casual, peer and social group for GLBTQ youth. The group is a safe and welcoming place for all. Group facilitators are trained volunteer youth peer support and adult support.

mental health logo

Canadian Mental Association - Got a Brain?

Education around mental health and positive ways of managing it. Includes resources about stress, suicide, eating disorders and teen depression.

Submit your story, play on-line games.

between friends logo

The Calgary Between Friends Club

Fun and fellowship for disabled youth!


Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta-Calgary Chapter

Support for teenagers with learning disabilities.

Programs, services, on-line library.

Perspectives = On-line magazine.

street survival guide cover

Street Guide for Calgary Youth

Names and addresses of dozens of organizations to help youth living on the streets and with general


Looking for a job, house or career advice (yes we are aware that teens need this type of advice on occasion) our Jobs and Careers links can help as well as this great booklist!


Opportunity Knocks! Be a Reading Buddy!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Feeling the graduation stress? Still need volunteer hours? Looking for something to pad out that resume? We can help you with that!

The Reading Buddies program is looking for volunteers! Come hang out with kids in grades 1-3, take part in awesome crafts, and help your little buddy practice their reading in a fun-filled environment.

If you’re in grades 7-12, we would love to have you take part in this program! We still have openings at the following locations:

Alexander Calhoun: Thursdays, January 24 – March 21 from 4:30-5:45

Forest Lawn: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:00-5:15

Glenmore Square: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

Shaganappi: Tuesdays, January 22 – March 19 from 4:30-5:45

To register, please contact Brin Bugo (403-260-2709 or or Jody Watson (403-221-2062 or! We’re looking forward to having you join our awesome team of teen volunteers!

By Brin

Sustainable Poetry: Write & Perform Poems for Prizes!

by Adrienne - 6 Comment(s)

It's sPRinG!

gEt Outside!

JumP ArOUnd!

Hide in buSHes! (sCare your sister - not TOO mUch ;0)

Ride Down the hill FAST!

Lie dOWn, stare at the sKy, wAtch the birds fly by...

sIt bY a tRee

and WRite a pOEm for this month's Youth SLAM!

In honour of April = International Poetry Month!

Saturday April 14th 2pm in the John Dutton Theatre 2nd Floor + 15 level of the W.R. Central Castell Library. Presented in collaboration with this years Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and the Library's ECOPALOOZA! Poems are to be on the theme of nature (in some broad way). Write a poem on nature/ sustainability - your interpretation - and then perform it in a SLAM competition, competing for $$ prizes! Be inspired by these environmental poets and Kate MacKenzie's WorldViews Project!!

The Winner will also compete in next year's National Slam Competition! Sheri-D Wilson Calgary's original "Mama of Dada" and the CiSWF organizer will be on hand to host the Slam and offer inspirational feedback, advice and tips!

There are 3 prizes:

1st = $70 gift certificate to Shelf Life Books,

2nd = $50 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton,

3rd = $30 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton.

Special thank you to Shelf Life, Pages, CiSWF and Ecopalooza!

The SLAM will follow a performance from Voices of Nature Choir (1-2pm).

Families are welcome! It’ll be awesome!

+ We will have a face painter and other activities going on the 2nd floor before and after the slam. Be sure to check out our Verse Novels display and SPEAK Art Show in the teen space! There is also a great Verse Books list on our website

Stumped on where to start? Check out The Spoken Word Cookbook by Sheri-D Wilson, Kris Demeanor's CD's (Calgary's 2012 Poet Laureate) and the following nature / environmental poem books. And at the end of it when you're done, you could also submit it to YouthInkit!, a Calgary magazine published by and for youth. Happy trails!

This photography really speaks to me...

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

The Central library just got more beautiful.

And Speak is the reason why. Speak? you ask. Yes, Speak, I say. Speak is the mesmerizing new show of student photography from Calgary’s Sir John Franklin school, which is on public display at Central on the 2nd floor until April 28.

These stunning photographs look like they belong on book covers. There are many different types of photographs – photographs of people, of objects, of landscapes, and of old machinery. Some are action shots, some are stills. Some are realistic, and some are distorted. Some are black and white, and some are in colour. All of them look as though they belong in an art gallery.

One is a mind-bending angle of what turns out to be, with a closer look at the photograph, a chain-link fence. Another is an action shot of a dancer on a rooftop. A third is of a girl’s back, with her spine and vertebrae highlighted by what appears to be paint (pictured). Yet another is a sepia-toned image of a boy hugging his knees – this photograph, entitled Bullying Sucks! is a strong visual statement on the emotional impact of bullying. Other photographs are abstract (When I look at Dreams in particular, I question whether it is of paints mixing together in water, or of an alternate world.) Freedom is where you discover is more realistic, yet whimsical –- it is clearly a portrait of a girl with balloons giving a coy look to the camera. And Everyone follows the flow is a beautiful landscape shot, in this case the landscape of a snowy world that encases a river.

You can also read about the photographs in the gallery book, located in our Teen Zone. This is where the young artists give eloquent Artist’s Statements that explain their work. Be sure to check out these beautiful images next time you check out books at the Central Library!