Making the Most of Teen Library Volunteers
Energizing and Engaging Community
by Becca Boland
March 2020, 150pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-6562-6
$45, £34, 39€, A61
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6563-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Begin a teen volunteer program that can benefit both teens and your library.

When teens volunteer at the library, they gain new skills, make connections, and build their resumes, while libraries benefit from a new generation of advocates. This guide shows librarians how to establish or develop a teen volunteer program.

Advocating a flexible approach, this book speaks to every library, including both public and school libraries. From small libraries with no budget to large libraries with seemingly endless budgets and everything in between, all of the concepts covered can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of the community being served.

The book begins with the big picture, discussing benefits to teens, libraries, and communities; it then reviews volunteer types and volunteer possibilities for teens, including the traditional roles of shelving and programming as well as passion-led projects, programming opportunities, and special initiatives and drives. Specific volunteer roles are described in depth, with instructions for practical applications, and concrete examples and experiences from various types of libraries illustrate principles discussed. Readers will also learn how to establish volunteer partnerships within and outside of the library. The book ends with a discussion of methods for evaluation and assessment.


  • Saves librarians time in planning or developing a volunteer program for teens
  • Offers flexible strategies and programs that can be adapted to different sizes and types of libraries
  • Shows librarians that running a volunteer program doesn't have to be complicated
  • Fills a gap in the literature for teen librarians
Becca Boland is teen librarian and assistant head of popular materials at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, IL. She has been a librarian focusing on teen services for over a decade, managing the volunteer program at each of her libraries. In 2016 she was awarded the Illinois Library Association's Young Adult Librarian of the Year award.
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