Last week one of my co-workers brought in her out of state grandchildren for a visit. during the day her granddaughter, who's 12, was in, she was put to work helping verify catalog information and book location. This involves working in pairs with one person reading the call number while the other person checks the shelf.
It was a flashback hearing a young voice reading the call numbers. When I was in school, several holidays for which mom didn't want to leave me at home alone, I went along for a day at the office. If I helped with whatever project was on the list. My pay would be lunch out with the library director and my mom. I helped shift periodicals collections, filed back issues of magazines and reports, and did my share of shelf reading.
I actually don't hate shelf reading. I find making certain items are back where they belong a soothing task. During grad school, I worked as a temp and spent many days at a time with collection moves and inventories. With the exception of Children's fiction/literature and the cooking section, I can read stacks quickly. Leave me in cooking section and I'm liable to start looking for a new recipe or a twist on an old favorite. Children's literature is slow reading because I start reading. I will move along and then find an old favorite, read the book jacket or flip through a few pages. After an hour, usually only a partial shelf or perhaps a whole shelf have actually been checked.
As a third generation librarian, it makes me smile to see any kid/young adult interested enough in books to help out even for a day.