Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Last night was my first internship experience off-site at another branch and was spent at the Twin Hickory Library shadowing and helping their YA librarian with their VolunTeen interviews. First, while I know that its not unique, I love the term VolunTeen instead of volunteer. With AM I got to do a little bit of everything over the course of 5 hours. The first hour was spent at dinner, which was fantastic because I was starving. But, it also allowed us a chance to talk and for me to ask LOTS of questions. What happens at TW is so much different from what happens at DU.

AM receives more applications each summer for her VolunTeen program than she has spots to fill. In the past, she has interviewed each teen that has applied to give them the opportunity to go through the interview process. This summer, however, she just doesn't have the time to interview each of the 50 teens who have applied. Tonight, I got to sit on 4 of her interviews. She has a standard series of questions that she asks each teen, and allows them to follow along on their own sheet. Of course, one of the secondary reasons for the interviews is to impress upon them that the majority (75%) of their time will be spent shelving, since that is the primary need. Since that leaves 25% to do other things, there are several areas in which they let the teens help and they give their top three choices.

Overall, her program is really impressive. She does her whole summer program schedule at the beginning, and after 8 or 9 hours of work, everyone has a place. It seems that with so few places hiring teens, that the aggressive ones are looking to replace those hours volunteering. Some even looking for 40 or 50 hours a week. AM has a fair way to make sure that everyone gets the minimum 2 hours a week. Some teens ask her for 20 hours per week, some just ask her for 2 or 3 and she does her best to treat them all equally. She starts them at 2, and then adds to those who want more in proportion.

My first hour was spent with her on the Children's desk. Spent a lot of time looking up information on the new summer reading lists that just came out. We also talked about how she does her paperback and leasebook ordering. Www.earlyword.com is one resource she uses since she finds it more timely then SLJ. She does read the reviews in the standard literature, but enjoys the added information she learns from this site and even Amazon pre-orders. She also likes the updated awards lists all in one place.

I am excited to go back and help out with this great program and learn more about how she does things!

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