Hiring, Training, and Supervising Shelvers

Shelvers are crucial to library operations. They play a major role in determining how your physical collection is organized and presented, helping ensure that your library is as user-friendly as possible. But how do you find good library shelvers and keep them for more than a few months? In this workshop Patricia Tunstall, a former page who has also supervised shelvers, offers practical advice to help you do just that with a complete overview on how to hire, test, train, and retain shelvers.

Topics Include:

  • How to select the best available candidates with the right interview questions and asssessment tools
  • Practical strategies for helping new shelvers absorb large amounts of information quickly
  • Language for effective communication while training
  • Tools for assessing the progress and success of new shelvers
  • How to deal with disciplinary and performance issues
  • Helping shelvers understand their role in terms of both limits and possibilities


Patricia Tunstall is an information assistant at Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling, Illinois. She spends most of her time at the reference desk helping patrons with their questions and their leisure reading choices. She was first employed as a page at Indian Trails and subsequently as the supervisor of pages and shelving. Since receiving a teaching certificate from Nottingham University in England, she has held jobs in a variety of fields. She is an occasional contributor of articles to library publications. 


How to Register

Registration for this three-part ALA Editions Workshop is available on the ALA Store at both the individual and group rates.