Welcome to the new Teen Room blog for the Campbell County Public Library! We hope this will be a space to not only talk about the great books we read, but also to share information on all the cool things happening in the Teen Room, all year long.

Right now, in September, we are getting back to our school-year schedule for clubs and other activities. Today, for example is an early-release afternoon in the school district.  This means that the Teen Room is a busy place – teens hanging out playing video games and board games, doing homework, and socializing.  Actually, the entire Library is busy:  there’s an event for school-age girls upstairs, and an exhibit from the Cheyenne Children’s Museum in our large meeting room.

Our library staff could not support all these activities without the help of our CCPL Teen Volunteers. Our volunteers donate their time to help with events, lead clubs, and perform behind-the-scenes duties that make the Library a great place to be.

Just as our Teen Volunteers do great things for the Library, we think we do good things for them, as well. We use our volunteer program as a way to promote job skills and a good work ethic among our force. Teens have to fill out an application; secure references; and attend a training session before being able to volunteer. In addition, volunteers are expected to track their time; be on task while volunteering; and call ahead if they cannot fulfill an assigned task.  Teens who volunteer for several years often develop confidence and leadership skills that help them when seeking “real” jobs.

Joe, for example, began volunteering in the Teen Room as a new 7th grader, several years ago.  Although he began with volunteering on our gaming afternoons, he moved on serve as one of the leaders for our afternoon clubs.  Leading a club meant showing up on time; being prepared for an activity; and cleaning up when the club meeting was over.  Joe also recognized the need to behave as a role model for other teens. Although Joe started out as a relatively shy volunteer, leading the clubs helped him grow and become more confident in himself.  Eventually, his leadership skills and work ethic helped Joe secure a job; he recently moved up to management of his department.  Certainly, Joe’s volunteer experience was not solely responsible for his success, but we like to think being a Teen Volunteer for several years helped in his growth.

Just this afternoon, there are at least twelve Teen Volunteers working in the building. Two supervise the video gaming in the Teen Room; four paint fingernails and make crafts for the Girls’ Day Out school-age program; one gathers recycling throughout the building; and five play with young children at the Cheyenne Children’s Museum exhibit.  All are learning to lead, to work, and to interact with people. These teens will make great employees someday.

We have just accepted a new round of Teen Volunteers for the fall season, part of our back-to-school activities. We’ll take applications again at the beginning of the second semester, in January. If you are a 7th-12th grade teen, come join our volunteer force.  You’ll help the Library, and we’ll help you, too!