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Teen Volunteers Make a Difference at Central Library

Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian, Art, Music, & Recreation Department,
Photo of Two Teen Volunteers

In addition to hosting class visits, and teen activities and events, Central Library’s Teen’Scape also has an active teen volunteer program. So active, in fact, that during the month of June our volunteers logged 180 hours of community service. So, what exactly does a teen volunteer do?

This summer many of Teen’Scape’s volunteers have helped out with the Summer Lunch program, serving meals to over 500 kids and teens.

Los Angeles Public Library Coordinator of Children’s Services Eva Mitnick says, “The teen volunteers are our Summer Lunch Ambassadors. They welcome families, cut up fruit, encourage kids to drink their milk, pass around comic books and encourage kids and teens to join the summer reading club. And because they show up each and every day, they know just as much about Summer Lunch as any of the staff - and more than some of us!”

Teen volunteers also help Teen’Scape librarians out with special projects. Some teens are currently working on sorting archival materials from the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection, while others come in one Saturday a month to work at the Library Book Sale. Our teens also help every summer with making sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos programs in the branches, setting up for library events and creating displays.

While most teen volunteers sign on to earn community service hours for school, many continue to volunteer in Teen’Scape even after they’ve completed their hours. Right now, Bernardo is our longest serving volunteer with almost 4 years of service, and Gerardo, Deborah, and Wen have been Teen’Scape volunteers for more than 2 years.

This summer, we’re offering a prize to the volunteer who works the most hours during the summer break. So far, Andrea is in the lead with over 40 hours worked since the middle of June, but her brother, Ever, is not far behind.

We accept teen volunteers who are between 14-18 years old and are able to make at least a 30 hour service commitment. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Teen’Scape volunteer, please visit Central Library and ask a Teen’Scape librarian for more information.