Monday, May 6, 2013

Recruiting Teens for Summer

Terra Fewless
Terra Fewless at the Southwest Branch at Brown County Library recently started managing the young adult volunteers.  She shared what they are doing and how she plans on recruiting even more people.

How many teen volunteers do you get each summer, on average? 
I'd say we get about 50 teen volunteers each summer.  Many of them volunteer more than once a week throughout the summer.

What types of activities do teens help you with in the summer? 
We use teen volunteers for costume characters, setting up and presenting story times and events, preparing supplies and crafts, assisting young children with projects, cleaning up, monitoring the Summer Nutrition Program and helping kids sign up for and participate in the Summer Reading Program.  We really depend on them for help for our annual carnival held in June.

How do you recruit volunteers/market to them? 
This year, we're using Facebook and trying to create signs and posts that teens would find appealing.  In the past, I think we've made signs that WE think are appealing.

Recent photo posted on the BCL-Southwest
Facebook page.

I plan to post some teen volunteer memes both on Facebook and in the YA section as well.  We also talk it up with young adults while they are in the library, post signage and applications in the YA section and make the application available on our Teen Zone section on the website.  We created a "Help Wanted" ad in the Green Bay Volunteer Center's listing of volunteer opportunities and post signs and information where parants of teens would likely see them.

What have you tried hasn't worked so well? And, what has worked well?  
It all seems to work, because we usually have a lack of teen volunteers during the summer.  Facebook hasn't yet reached its potential for reaching young adults.  It's relatively new for us.  I expect the Facebook posts to work better in coming years when Brown County has a Facebook page specific to teens.  I've love to utilize Instagram as a recruiting tool in the future as well.

Recruiting hasn't been a problem.  The challenge lately has been retaining reliable volunteers.

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