Posted by Kendra Skellen, TAGS Committee Member, Gwinnett County Public Library

This is the way to go if you want to limit the number of teens you have on your Teen Advisory Board. Some areas to recruit from are:
• Library teen volunteers
• Recommendations from School Media Specialists

• Recommendations from library staff
• Recommendations from teachers
• Other teen leadership groups in your area
• Boy & Girl Scout Leaders
• Boys & Girls Club counselors

You could use an application process and use the applications to then interview the teens and make your choices from there. This could be a very time consuming process, but it will usually weed out the teens that are not really interested in being on the board.

Sample applications:

Gwinnett County Public Library Teen Scene

Vancouver Public Library

Halton Hills Public Library Teen Advisory Group

About Paula Brehm Heeger

Past-President of YALSA (President, 2007-2008) and current member of the YALSA Board of Directors (2006-2009). Past YALSA Committee Chair positions include Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT), TAGS, Intellectual Freedom; Past ALSC Chair positions include Notable Children's Videos; Contributing author to upcoming "Quick and Popular Reads" (ALA Editions, forthcoming)

One Thought on “Recruitment by Invitation

  1. Lisa YOUNGBLOOD [Member] on May 31, 2006 at 8:26 am said:

    Comment from Lisa Youngblood, Library Director of Harker Heights Public Library and member of TAGS committee

    I would like to make a few suggestions about the number of teens in your teen advisory group. Instead of limiting the number of teens who can be involved, a library could consider having several sets of teen groups. For example, our library has a teen volunteer group. Before a teen can move to the actual Teen Advisory Board, they spend at least one year in the teen volunteers doing several activities at our library. Those activities vary from assisting with computer programs, to performing Internet searches, to making booklists for the YA section. This is just another opportunity for teens to take ownership of the library, but it does keep the numbers in your Teen Advisory Board manageable.

    I also interview all prospective teen volunteers and teen advisory board memebers. I find that so often parents have decided that their children WANT to be involved when in fact the teenagers are not interested. An interview process will allow the librarian board or gropu sponsor to determine which of those applicants really are uninterested. In most cases, though, I have been able to accept even those initially uninterested teenagers into the volunteer group by providing them with projects that are particularly interesting to them. I am pleased to say that many end up loving the opportunity and go on to become members of the Teen Advisory Board.

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