40 years with the Mississauga Library System

I started my career with the Mississauga Library System forty years ago today. This is my diary entry for that day:

“Alphabetising” is shelf reading, which means checking the shelves to ensure that all the books are in the correct order and aligning them to the edge. I may have shelf read nonfiction or fiction, as I worked in the adult and youth department that housed both. I gave the day an A+. I had gone in on May 31 for a job orientation. The minimum wage in Ontario forty years ago was $2.65 an hour. After four decades in the library system I currently rank #4 on the seniority list of 323 employees.

When I asked my supervisor why pages were assigned 3½-hour shifts and not four-hour shifts, she told me that legally employees were entitled to a fifteen-minute break when working for four hours. Thus when we worked for 3½ hours, we worked without a break. After-school shifts were usually from 5:30-9:00, yet sometimes I was assigned 5:00-8:30. It was always a mad rush to get to work when I was assigned 4:00-7:00, as I was coming right from school in Port Credit which ended at 3:00 and I was walking first to home and then to the library.

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