Posted by: Jennifer Jones on Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Community service is often an integral part of life for metro teens. Many schools, clubs or churches require it. The library is an excellent place for teens to serve, and the benefits are reciprocal.
Teen service teams are a vital part of the library environment. Groups of teens serve at their community libraries on a regular basis. Not only are they volunteering, but they also have a voice in planning library programs. Teens who join can meet other teens who share the same interests and develop relationships while acquiring job skills at the same time.
"I get to talk about what I want the teen programs to look like. I think that is cool,” said a Midwest City Library Teen Service Team member.
Teens can also serve as homework tutors at libraries. Volunteers are the backbone of homework and reading help programs at the Capitol Hill, Bethany, Del City, Southern Oaks, and Midwest City libraries. Many high school seniors signup to tutor for their National Honor Society or senior project, only to find that the rewards they gain from helping children become better readers and ultimately, better students, are the real prize. Most decide to continue tutoring, long after their service project hours have been attained.
Most librarians plan special activities for their teen service teams, so it’s not all work and no play! Village librarian, Elisabeth Wright, plans fun activities for teen to do at her teen service meetings. Village teens decorated the library for the holidays and can participate in a gingerbread house contest. In January, an Iron Chef competition gets teens cooking.
I earned a BA in Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma. I enjoy writing about all of the great things the library system has to offer. When not penning articles and press releases about valuable library services, I hang out with my two creative children. We love to find interesting free things to do around Oklahoma and visit libraries and book stores wherever we go.