Teen Volunteers and Advisory Boards

Theme

Youth participation and assistance in library services.

Intended Audience

Teen Volunteers - Ages 12 to 18; 2 to 6 attendees.
Teen Advisory Board (TAB) - Ages 14 to 18; 2 to 10 attendees.

Program Duration

The length of the program may vary; a suggested length is two hours once a week during the summer. (Be careful not to allow volunteers to work too much or too often or their enthusiasm will wane.)

Program Description

Teen Volunteers are young patrons who assist library staff with a variety of library-related tasks such as preparing and presenting children’s programs, filing and shelving library materials, and other duties. Teen Advisory Board members are older teens who work specifically to build the library’s YA department collections, services, and programs.

Many teenagers volunteer at the library to fulfill community service requirements for school and other institutions. Teenagers willingly contribute by helping with tasks that they consider important. They develop a sense of ownership of the library and its services in a healthy teen volunteer or advisory program.

It is recommended that librarians interview young adults prior to their participation in one of these programs. Interviews will let teens know that they are respected and mature and that they will have important responsibilities. Interviews will also let them know the behavior that will be expected of them, what their responsibilities will be, and when and how often they will work.

Each teen volunteer should be scheduled to work two to four hours per week at regular times, usually once or twice a week. Teens have many activities and vacations throughout the summer. Library staff must let them know that is is permissible to miss a meeting or volunteer session, but that they need to let the librarian know in advance.

Planning is the key to the success of both of these programs. Library staff should plan appropriate activities and be prepared to offer quite a bit of supervision. Projects should be planned in stages that may be completed in one or two sessions so participants will experience a sense of accomplishment. To encourage enthusiasm, librarians may allow the young adults to choose from a variety of possible activities and explain why the activities or projects are important to the library. Teens will give “busy work” a cool reception.

Activities for Teen Volunteers

Plan and present puppet shows, dramatic plays, or other programs for children.
Plan a weekly “Teens and Tots” program in which teens read to preschoolers.
Face painting for community summer events.
Stuff “prize packets” for children’s programs.
Prepare craft materials for programs for all ages.
Design and decorate bulletin boards and displays.
Assist children with using computers.
Assist children with finding books.
Shelve picture books and fiction titles.

Activities for Teen Advisory Board

Read critical reviews and suggest titles to be purchased. (The librarian will make all final purchasing decisions.)
Write reviews of young adult materials. Post the reviews in a note book, on the library’s web site and/or submit them to local news- papers.
Plan and produce a teen newsletter.
Plan and assist in presenting young adult and/or children’s programs.
Suggest titles for subject booklists.

Publicity

The library may publicize planned programs by sending announcements to area schools, newspapers, and radio and television stations, and posting flyers about upcoming programs. Staff may encourage young adults to participate by discussing plans with preteens and teens who are regular library users and by sending invitations to members of previous young adult reading clubs.

Sample Public Service Announcement

Teen Volunteers Needed at the (your library)!

Are you looking for something to do this summer? Here’s your chance to help out your community and have fun at the same time. Volunteer at the library! Young adults ages (starting age) to (ending age) can call (phone number) for more information!

Legal Issues and Forms

Appropriate forms for young adult programs are essential tools to establishing guidelines and expectations. Examples of each of the following are included in this section: “Volunteer Information Form,” “Volunteer Agreement and Confidentiality Statement,” “Parental Permission Form,” and “Parental Travel Release” form.

The library’s volunteer coordinator and/or a city or county attorney should advise library staff who supervise young adults concerning child labor laws and legal restrictions for minors of various ages who work in the library. The “Parental Permission Form” below contains a clause stating that the parent assumes all risk of loss, injury, or death which may results from the child’s participation in library activities. Library staff should discuss this and all other forms with their legal counsel. If possible, library staff should avoid transporting teen volunteers in their own vehicles or in a city or school vehicle. Parents must complete a “Parental Travel Release” form if a volunteer does require transportation.

Professional Resources

Sizzling Summer Reading Programs for Young Adults by Katharine L. Kan.
Young Adult Program Idea Booklet by Wisconsin Library Association YA Task Force.

Volunteer Information Form

Name: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________________
Address: __________________________________________________________________
Home Phone: _____________________________________________________________
Name and Phone Number of Person to Contact in Case of Emergency:
_________________________________________________________________________________

Have you ever worked in a library? Yes _____ No _____
If yes, what were your duties? ________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

Please place a check by activities you would like to do:
_____ Type
_____ Work with computers
_____ Help with children’s story time
_____ File or shelve books
_____ Help prepare displays and bulletin boards
_____ Assemble crafts for children’s programs
_____ Recommend books, videos, and CD’s for the library
_____ Participate in a book discussion group
_____ Check out books
_____ Other: _____________________________________________________

Please circle the days when you can to volunteer:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Please write the hours that you are available (no more than 2 hours per day):
From ______ A.M./P.M. To _____ A.M./P.M.

How often would you like to volunteer?
_____ Daily _____ Weekly _____ Monthly _____ Other: __________________

How old will you be on May 31, 200_? ___________

Do you have any health restrictions: No _____ Yes ______
If yes, please describe ______________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

Information in this form will be used for library purposes only. If you are under 18 years of age, please have your parent complete the Parental Permission Form.

Volunteer Agreement and Confidentiality Statement

I, __________________________________ agree to serve as a volunteer for _________________________________________________________ Library.

Girls may wear skirts and blouses, dresses, and slacks/jeans and blouses/shirts. Boys may wear shirts and slack and jeans (with no holes) and shirts. T-shirts that are in good condition and contain no writing, slogans, or pictures on them are all right to wear. Shorts, halter, tube or tank tops are not permitted. Sandals may be worn, but thongs may not.

As a volunteer, I agree to do the following:

Complete assignments to the best of my ability
Maintain confidentiality of information
Dress appropriately
Call my supervisor if I am unable to report at assigned time
Observe all staff rules and policies
Maintain a time record of hours that I volunteer

The Library agrees to provide the following:

Adequate work space and supplies
Supervision of my work
Evaluation of my performance on a regular basis
Training in Library procedures and policies
Time sheet for recording hours
Record of my volunteer time, which is available upon request (records will be kept for at least 5 years)

I have discussed my schedule with the librarian and these are the days and times that I agree to work at the library each week:

Day: _________________ From: _____________ To: _____________
Day: _________________ From: _____________ To: _____________
Day: _________________ From: _____________ To: _____________

I will call ______________________________ (the librarian’s name) at __________________ (phone number) in advance if I am unable to follow this schedule.

Signed___________________________________________ Dated_________________________

Parental Permission Form

I understand that my child, ________________________________, wishes to volunteer at the ____________ Library. As a material inducement to the City of ______________________, I consent on behalf of myself and my child to such volunteer service, and further agree as follows:

My child may volunteer to work as needed in the adult collection as well as in the children’s collection.

On behalf of myself and my child, I hereby expressly assume all risk of loss, injury or death which may result from or arise out of my child’s participation in volunteer activities with the _________________________ library. On behalf of myself and my child, I agree to release, relieve, indemnify and hold harmless the City of ___________________________ (including its officers, agents, employees, and elected and appointed officials) against any and all claims, demands, damages, judgements, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees for the defense of such claims and demands, arising out of or in any way connected with my child’s volunteer service with the City of ________________________.

I am aware that this form contains a release of liability and indemnity agreement which is intended to be legally binding. I have read it, I understand it, and I sign it of my own free will.

____________________________________________________
Signature

____________________________________________________
Date

Parental Travel Release Form

I consent on behalf of myself and my child, ___________________, for them to ride in a vehicle owned by the City of _________________ and operated by a City employee for the purpose of traveling to ___________________ [location] on ___________ [date].

On behalf of myself and my child, I hereby expressly assume all risk of loss, injury or death which may result from or arise out of my child’s riding or traveling with a city employee as set forth above. On behalf of myself and my child, I agree to release, relieve, indemnify and hold harmless the city (including its officers, agents, employees, and elected and appointed officials) against any and all claims, demands, damages, judgements, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees for the defense of such claims and demands, arising out of or in any way connected with my child’s travel as set forth above, regardless of whether such claims, etc. arise in transit or at the destination.

I am aware that this form contains a release of liability and indemnity agreement which is intended to be legally binding. I have read it, I understand it, and I sign it of my own free will.

____________________________________________________________________
Signature

______________________________________
Date

Main Manual | Teen Poetry Workshop

Page last modified: August 25, 2011