On June 22 the White House is set to launch an initiative tentatively called the Summer of Service. This initiative will be run through the Corporation for National & Community Service and the goal is to encourage Americans to take some time this summer to volunteer in their local communities. One area of focus will be summer reading. Americans will be encouraged to volunteer at their local libraries to help with summer reading and library card registration programs in an effort to prevent the ‘summer slide‘ that many students experience.

While there isn’t much time to prepare, it’s important that librarians, including teen librarians, are ready for an influx of volunteers. If you have experience working with teen or adult volunteers in libraries, please share your successes and tips on YALSA’s wiki. If you’re new to working with volunteers, visit YALSA’s wiki for ideas and also the California State Library’s web site. ALA is also gathering together resources for libraries to support this effort which will be featured in the June 10th issue of AL Direct.

To supplement these efforts, YALSA invites you to tell a story from your own life about a positive library volunteering experience. YALSA is also looking for teens to tell their stories about their experiences volunteering. Visit the YALSA wiki to post your story and invite the teens in your community to visit too to tell about their own volunteerism.

And, if you have some free time this summer, please keep in mind this initiative is a good way for you to get out into the community as a volunteer in programs sponsored by other agencies and organizations.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

One Thought on “Summer of Service

  1. Tamie Nickelson on May 31, 2009 at 10:22 pm said:

    I have a teen volunteer that I cherish. She comes in when she can to process, tidy up, shelve, or to do any other things that are needed. She has become a wonderful asset over the last few years. I feel disheartened that she will be going off to college this year. She will be here for the Summer Reading Program and then she will be gone. We will all miss her greatly. Yet I am excited for her. I am glad her love of learning is carrying her to new places.

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