Making the Most of Teen Library Volunteers: Energizing and Engaging Community

Libraries Unlimited. (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians). Mar. 2020. 150p. pap. $45. ISBN 9781440865626.
Acknowledging that attracting and keeping teen volunteers can be daunting, Boland (Ela Area P.L., Lake Zurich, IL) enthusiastically presents ideas and practical information on running these programs in school and public libraries. She combines personal experience and ample interviews with librarians around the United States to provide broad tenets (volunteers are not paid workers; start small), examples of what has been successful for her, and ideas that can be scaled up or down to fit population size and budgets. Stressing that students should be accountable for attendance, she offers a variety of options, including paper sign-up, and online forms, and encourages librarians to adapt as needed. The author details programming that will attract teen volunteers, as well as ideas for volunteers who are assigned and in need of engaging activities that don’t require continual adult supervision yet still allow them contribute meaningfully to the library. And if teens pronounce all the volunteer jobs boring? Boland has an idea for that, too: Include them in brainstorming activities.
VERDICT Filled with solid ideas for new programming and creative tweaks to established programs, for librarians in service areas large and small.

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