Page (assistance occupation)
A page is an occupation in some professional capacity. Unlike the traditional pages where they were normally younger males, these pages tend to be older and can either be male or female.
Some large libraries use the term 'page' for employees or volunteers who retrieve books from the "stacks," which are often closed to the public. This relieves some of the tedium from the librarians, who may occupy themselves with duties requiring their more advanced training and education.
Many legislative bodies employ student pages as assistants to members of the legislature during session. Legislative pages are secondary school or university students who are unpaid or receive modest stipends. They serve for periods of time ranging from one week to one year, depending on the program. They typically perform small tasks such as running errands, delivering coffee, answering telephones, or assisting a speaker with visual aids. Students typically participate primarily for the work-experience benefits.
The following examples illustrate the range of legislative page programs:
- The Canadian House of Commons Page Program employs part-time first-year university students who work roughly 15 hours a week and are paid approximately $12,000 (CDN) for a one-year term. They perform both ceremonial and administrative duties and participate in enrichment activities such as meetings with MPs and government leaders. They also meet with student groups to explain the workings of the House of Commons and their duties as Pages. The Canadian Senate Page Program is similar.
- The Legislative Assembly of Ontario employs 7th and 8th grade students for periods of two to six weeks during the legislative session. Participants must be high-achieving students who take leaves of absence from their schools while they serve as pages. Duties of pages include acting as messengers in the legislative chamber, taking water to MPP's, and picking up key documents (bills, petitions, motions, reports by committee). They also have opportunities to learn about provincial government and the lawmaking process.
- United States
- Both houses of the United States Congress have or had formal page programs. The House program has ended but the Senate program continues; pages are high school juniors from throughout the country. The application process is very competitive. Pages serve for periods of several weeks during the summer or for a full school semester during term. They live in dormitories near the Capitol and attend special schools for pages, but are always present on the Senate and House floor during session to assist the proceedings as needed.
- In the Virginia General Assembly the pages range from young males and females 13-15. They assist Senators and Delegates with deliveries and errands.
- Ohio is notable for its large and robust page program.