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Teen Volunteers

Teen volunteering at the Westbank Libraries is an excellent opportunity to receive credit for your service hours while learning valuable workplace skills before entering the workforce. We’ll work with you to develop communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills while learning how the library works on a daily basis.

I am interested in volunteering.  What do I need to do?

Fill out this application form during the fall and spring or this form for summer and turn it into the checkout desk at either Westbank or Laura's Library. We view volunteering as a gateway to your first job.  That means we expect you to come in and turn in your application yourself - as you would if you were applying for a job. The application process includes an interview, which the library will come back and schedule based on shift availability as well as the applicant's availability.  The library receives many applications and unfortunately there are not always enough shifts for everyone.  We cannot guarantee a spot and it may take time before you hear back, especially in the middle of a semester.

The second step is to come in for an interview. This interview will be scheduled by the library, and is subject to both the availability of a shift, and on your availability to interview. The interview will last approximately 10-15 minutes, and will be conducted by the Volunteer Coordinator. The library receives many applications, and unfortunately, there are not always enough shifts for everyone. We cannot guarantee a spot and it may take time before you hear back, especially in the middle of a semester.

The third step will be the “getting acclimated” phase. If selected for a volunteer position, we will have you come in on a day that you would be regularly scheduled to volunteer to shadow your Circulation Coordinator, and to begin to learn how things work behind the Circulation desk.

What kind of commitment is there?

Shifts range from two to three hours per week, depending on the time and day of the week. Our libraries are very busy, so we expect you to be able to come every week and to commit for at least one semester. If you can’t make it, you will need to arrange to find a substitute. We currently do not take short-term volunteers, but watch the front page of the website for announcements on one-day work parties.

What am I expected to do?

We expect all of our teens to:

  • Follow CPR: be Courteous, be Prompt, and take Responsibility for the job
  • Check in each week by noting the number of hours you work on the sign-in sheet (failure to do this can keep you from getting credit for these hours)
  • Wear your name tag
  • Perform any or all of the following tasks:
    • Shelve books
    • Check in books
    • 'Read' the shelves in your assigned area (i.e. keep them ordered and neat)
    • Complete other library tasks as assigned by your Circulation Coordinator
  • Ask the Circulation Coordinator if you are unsure of what to do
  • Let the Circulation Coordinator know ahead of time if you are going to be absent
  • Request a substitute when you need to be absent (If you fail to do this 3 times, you may be subject to dismissal)
  • If you are sick and it’s too late to look for a substitute, call or email your Circulation Coordinator
  • Wear clothing that would be appropriate at your school. 

I've never shelved before or I don't know the Dewey Decimal System very well.  How can I learn?

Your Circulation Coordinator will go over the basics of shelving during your training. The following two games can also help you with learning how to order books.

When do I start?  When is my last day?

The library volunteer schedule is designed to match the Eanes ISD school calendar.  We split the year into three semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer. The majority of our volunteers come in during the Fall or Summer semester.

Here is the schedule for the 2015-2016 school year:

Fall Start Date: August 24 Fall End Date: January 3
Spring Start Date: January 4 Spring End Date: May 31
Summer Start Date: June 1 Summer End Date: August 21


How do I find a sub?

Send an email to volunteers_teen@lists.westbanklibrary.com. Be sure to include the day, date, time, and at which library you work. These email requests are sent to all teen volunteers and Circulation Coordinators. Once you've found a sub, let your circulation coordinator know. See below for contact details. If you are unable to find a sub, please let your Circulation Coordinator know ahead of time.

How do I contact my Circulation Coordinator?

Please call 512-327-3045 and ask to speak to Circulation. If you prefer email, please send to questions@westbanklibrary.com

If you'd like to email your specific Circulation Coordinator, use the following:

How do I get my hours transferred to my school?

When you would like to request your hours, send an email to volunteers@westbanklibrary.com.  Be sure to include your name, who you'd like us to send the hours, and when you need your hours transferred.  Please allow 48 hours for processing. If you are in the Library, and are filling out a paper form, please route it to the Volunteer Coordinator for filling out. Please leave your email address on the form so that she can contact you once the form is done for it to be picked up.

Please note that you can only apply your hours to one organization at a time.  For example, if you've volunteered a total of 12 hours, you can decide to split your hours, giving 4 hours to CHAPS and 8 hours to NHS. Or, you can choose to have 12 hours go entirely towards CHAPS or entirely towards NHS. However, you cannot give 12 hours to both CHAPS and NHS at the same time (you only have 12 hours total). If you have any questions about how this works, please be sure to ask one of the Circulation Coordinators.

I really need hours and there isn't a spot available.  How can I get hours?

If you are still looking for hours or can't make a weekly commitment, we have a Teen Drop In & Do Some Good program.  No need to sign up in advance. Bring your parents’ contact information when you come. For teens ages 13-18. 

Below are the scheduled dates for 2017.  Please double check the main calendar for any last minute changes.

LOCATION DATE TIME Activity
Laura's Library February 26th 1-4pm Craft prep/collection maintenance
Laura's Library April 30th 1-4pm Trail clean-up/craft prep/collection maintenance
Westbank June 25th 1-4pm Craft prep/collection maintenance
Westbank October 29th 1-4pm Craft prep/collection maintenance

 

There are also many volunteer opportunities around Austin.  Here are some suggested outside resources: