Sachem Public Library developed a list of hiring expectations for our teen intern. This included required dates/hours needed, an explanation of the job responsibilities, and desired qualities we were looking for in an intern candidate. Each intern was required to submit a resume and letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach, or employer with their completed application. Intern responsibilities included:
- Attend Intern Orientation. The orientation introduced the intern to all areas of the library and library staff. We discussed guidelines for professionalism in the workplace, our teen behavior policy, and any library policies that may impact the intern while assisting on the public floor or in library workshops.
- Complete assignments from the books The 7 Habits for Effective Teens by Sean Covey and Smile & Succeed for Teens: A Crash Course in Face-to-Face Communication by Kirt Manecke for mentoring on effective communication and successful work skills. These books were intended to prepare the intern for real life work situations. Assignments were completed outside of work hours. Each week the intern met with their supervisor to discuss weekly readings and assignments. We discussed what the intern had learned about themselves and pointers learned that could be applied to their internship and future jobs.
- Plan and teach activities for two (2) Friday night teen workshops and the Teen Summer Reading Club that are centered on encouraging reading and literacy learning. The first event our intern assisted in planning was our family outdoor movie night for Spider-man: Into the Spider Verse. A button maker station was set up for youth to make pins of their favorite Spiderman characters. The intern operated the button machines, created character templates, and engaged youth in the activity while assisting in managing a large crowd. Our Friday night programs typically average 80-90 youth.
- Write questions, formulate trivia challenges, and lead Battle of the Books meetings with Battle coaches. Our intern was an Assistant Coach for our Battle of the Books team. The team meets three times per week for three months. It is competitive and although we start our team with 25+ team members, the library can only select six team members to compete in the county competition. Our intern helped select the team, making tough choices about which students to select or eliminate based on skills and knowledge. The team won 2nd place in the county against 39 teams.
- Assist in various aspects of teen summer workshops including running activity stations in coding and technology at Welcome 6th Graders and STEAMCon. The intern created special effects photos with our green screen at Welcome 6th Graders. For STEAMCon which focuses on trends in emerging technology, our intern assisted with digital art, low tech crafting, and coding with robotics.
- Assist in selecting themed books for book displays in summer workshops. Our Teen Book Reviewer initiative was used to create monthly book displays based on submitted reviews by teens. Bookmarks were also created for selected books pulling quotes from teen reviewers.
- Submit a weekly log on assigned duties detailing experiences in workshops.
The library desired the following qualities for our potential intern:
- Experience working with youth.
- Interest in creating and teaching innovative workshops for youth.
- Ability to work as part of a team.
- Ability to receive/follow instructions.
- Willingness to learn and participate in everyday library work.
- Be self-motivated and able to work independently.
The potential candidate was interviewed by two teen librarians. Our goal was to simulate a real job interview as practice for future job interviews. We prepared a list of interview questions:
- Why did you apply for this internship?
- What interests you the most about the position?
- What do you hope to learn or take away from your internship experience?
- What are your career interests?
- How would you describe your work or study style? How do you approach assignments and big projects?
- Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group of people?
- Do you have any ideas for programs or projects you would like to facilitate with teens?
We were extremely happy with the intern selected, Anaelle Surprise, who will be an incoming senior at a local private school. Anaelle was a welcome addition to our Teen Services team and had a wonderful rapport in engaging our teens.
Laura Panter is Head of Teen Services at Sachem Public Library.