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August 16, 2011 > Alameda County Library News: Teen Volunteers @ Your Library

Alameda County Library News: Teen Volunteers @ Your Library

I've been working at public libraries for over 15 years. There are so many things that we couldn't do if we didn't have volunteers - especially teen volunteers who form a major part of the volunteer program.

Some of the things teen volunteers do are: summer reading game volunteers, shelving, homework helpers in our homework centers, techs helping at internet stations, tutoring seniors at Teen/Senior computer and gadget sessions. And they are algebra and geometry tutors in the summer. All of this is just at the Fremont branch!

In the Bookmobile and Foundation offices, teen volunteers help with mailing, filing and other clerical tasks. At Irvington, they run our family game and chess afternoons; at Centerville, teens are the core of our Read with Me (a one-on-one reading program) and Read to Me (story time) programs. In Union City, teens help with computer tutoring, keeping the shelves straightened, the homework center and Reading Buddies program.

So what do the teens get from volunteering?

In their own words:
"I learned to communicate better"
"I learned to be patient"
"I like to keep things organized "
"I like teaching "
"I will never teach"
"I have a lot to learn about kids"
"I work well and efficiently alone "
"It [volunteering] gave me real job experience"
"I don't like romance novels"

To become a teen volunteer at any branch of the Alameda County, teens should visit the library teen webpage ( and click on the volunteer tab. They can also call or visit their local branch because each has different needs, requirements and times for application.

For some, volunteering is an important part of life; a way to give and add to something they feel passionately about. Whatever the motivation, it is appreciated. Thank You!

Beth Buchanan
Teen Services, Fremont Main Library

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