Paula Stevens-Pike, 35, joined the Sacramento Public Library in January as a delivery truck driver.
Tell us about your typical day.
I start at 6 a.m. I load the trucks up with bins for each branch. I come to Central and unload whatever needs to go to separate departments, and I leave at 2:30 p.m. I like working 6 to 2:30. I don't have to deal with traffic.
I stop at nine libraries every day: McKinley, Arden, Rancho Cordova, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Sylvan Oaks, North Highlands, Rio Linda and Del Paso. It's a 60-mile round trip. On Tuesdays and Fridays I go to a book drop at Rite Aid on 48th Street and J Street. I take whatever bins are assigned for that library, and look at what they have to be taken out. We pick up "Friends boxes" of donated books. We pick up and deliver supplies, hours of operation, library cards, chairs, projector screens. I deliver stuff for branch services, Xboxes, Wiis, laptops. There's three drivers total. Jason (Trice) has the longest route. Braulio Cruz does the shortest because he does the mail.
Patrons, taxpayers, they stop and ask about our new trucks and what I do exactly. I explain that if they request a book from Fair Oaks to McKinley, I bring it to them. Someone told me the other day this is a cool service we're providing for them. The new trucks are Peterbilts, 2013. Brand-new, no miles on them, 14-foot bobtails. We just got them last December.
Had you been a professional driver before?
No. I've done customer service, retail and warehouse. But it's something I always wanted to do. I applied online in October and got a call in December. I was put on my own truck within two weeks. I love it. My dad was a long-distance truck driver. He used to show me a lot of things about trucks. My dad had a big old banana boat vehicle, an Oldsmobile 98, 1976 model. I was driving that when I was young. He taught me how to drive a stick when I was 13 or 14, back in Virginia. He's retired. I sent him a picture of me standing in front of my truck just last week, he was really excited about it.
What do you do when you're not bringing our books?
I'm very family-oriented with a beautiful partner of 13 years with four children. I'm a people person. Music is my biggest hobby. I used to play the violin. I sang in my church choir. I've been looking for a church. I found one I've been to a few times. I would love to sing again.