Students help fill gaps at local libraries

Due to recent budget cuts, Brevard County libraries now use student volunteers to help with day-to-day operations. Volunteers provide the short staff with support to keep the libraries running.

“People use the library for all kinds of reasons,” said Youth Services Librarian Lucinda Dann via email. “They range from virtual schooling to catching up with friends on Facebook to finding a job online.”

She said student volunteers at the library learn initiative, responsibility and professionalism by directing their own programs and services.

“If you want to help, we want you,” Youth Services Librarian Marlena Harold of the Satellite Beach Library said via email. “Plus, it’s really fun.”

All volunteer activities at Brevard County Libraries count for volunteer hours necessary for college scholarships and clubs. After school, students can assist with shelving books, preparing programs and writing reviews.

“We love to recruit and work with a wide variety of student volunteers,” Harold said. “We allow them to work with their peers to provide teen-driven programs.”

The Brevard County Libraries look for students ages 13-17 who are dedicated, communicate well, are enthusiastic, and creative.

“We have various teens’ weeks throughout the year that celebrate teens and the library, such as Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week,” Dann said. “They are a tremendous help.”

Volunteers are used throughout the entire year, but are needed more in the summer to help with the summer programs. The teen volunteers, called Book Buddies, help the youth and children with signing up for reading programs, preparations of crafts, and more.

“Over the summer teen volunteers manage our “Book Bucks” reading program for younger children,” Harold said. “Teens register children, check reading logs and help children shop for prizes.”

Students looking to volunteer at their local library can visit the Brevard County Library website, www.brev.org, for more information or contact the Youth Services Librarian.

By Taylor Eenhuis