Summit Teen Scene: Ways to get more involved with the library
How do Teens get involved at
Summit County Library?
Summit County Libraries hosted a mid-summer-reading program celebration on July 7th, 2023 featuring the Salida Circus, face painting, fun activities, and a chalk festival for the community. This chalk festival, in addition to other aspects of the celebration, were possible because of the generous and energetic volunteer hours of the Junior Librarian Committee at the South Branch Library.
Teen library volunteers, or junior librarians, have helped Summit County Libraries for years but in 2022 the teen library technicians incentivized an already required duty by adding volunteer hours to the summer reading program. These days, volunteers between the ages of 13-18 come into all three Summit County Library locations and help with program preparation, decorate the teen spaces, shelve books, help make displays of their favorite books, and many more bookish activities.
Shayne Taylor, the teen program technician at South Branch, started the Junior Librarian Committee in the spring of 2023 to organize the South Branch Junior Librarians into bigger projects. This group meets biweekly at the South Branch and is growing as teenagers get more involved with the library community. More information and sign up can be found here.
The North Branch Library in Silverthorne
Christina Chambers, the teen program technician at North Branch, is planning a similar committee once the building renovation is complete. The new Youth Advisory Council (YAC) will be looking for members grades 6th-12th. YAC will require a monthly meeting to serve as the youth voice to the North Branch and the bigger library system. Members would participate in book recommendations, program development, outreach suggestions, leadership development, education about library systems, community partnerships, and other youth led activities. Meetings would count as volunteer hours and members are welcome to spend additional hours volunteering in the library if interested. The first YAC meeting will take place at Bluebird Market in Silverthorne on Tuesday, September 12th, from 5-6 pm. More info and RSVP details can be found here: https://summitcountylibraries.org/programs-news/calendar/YAC
Why is teen involvement in the library important?
1. School Volunteer Requirement: There is a volunteer requirement for graduation from Summit High School. Getting ahead on these hours prevents a rush to get them all done right before graduation. Volunteer hours are also required to join honor societies at Summit High School.
2. Scholarships: The Friends of Summit County Libraries offers two $1,500 scholarships for graduating high school students who are teen volunteers at the library.
3. It’s Fun!: Spending time in the library is a great option for leisure time. Have a few minutes before a volunteer shift and want to play a video game? No problem. Want to read more as a brain a break from screens? Shelving books can help you discover new book recommendations. Interested in a new hobby? The library not only has tons of books and online resources that can guide you, but actual physical items, such as a Ukelele that you can check out as well. Read more about the library of things here.
4. Gain Leadership Experience: Summit County Libraries needs our Young Adult voices to know how to adapt, grow, and change our community for the better. Having regular meetings of a diverse, young group of people who can share ideas and inspiration to encourage more youth involvement can benefit everyone involved! Not to mention you will gain lifelong friendships and have fun at the same time.
Contact your closest library’s teen program staff for more information on volunteering and youth advisory. We need your voice.