Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Wonders of the Bremen Public Library Young Adult Volunteering Program

It is hard for me to believe that it has been 4 years since I first started volunteering at the Library. I can say that for 25% of my life, I have been a volunteer at the Bremen Public Library. The volunteering experience at the library has taught me a lot; from mundane things like how the inner workings of the library happen, to the most exciting things like how there is a "secret" room between floors where all sorts of wonderful things reside. Volunteering at the library has been a continued learning experience, allowing me to see the many different sides of our community.

The young adult volunteering program is perfect for our community. Whether you are trying to get community service hours for NHS or NJHS, are trying to actively help our community at large, or are trying to get some real world experience into how a library runs, the volunteering program is perfect. The program helps build skills that are hard to get elsewhere. The volunteer program gives you the opportunity to see what working may be like for you before you have the ability to work. It shows what can happen when you put your continued effort and dedication into a thing larger than yourself.

Through my volunteer work, I have learned a lot about the library and what it is like to be behind the counter instead of being the person in front of the desk. This change of pace in my interactions with the library is one of the main reasons that I stayed being a volunteer for as long as I have. These interactions that I saw as the person on the other side of the desk is the reason I stayed, I was able to see a side of the community that I hadn't seen before. This is also the reason that I have volunteered almost 200 hours of my time in the 4 years I've been volunteering.

A great thing about volunteering at the library is the great diversity of tasks they can have you do on any given day. I remember when I first started volunteering I was tasked with the simple job of cleaning the front door's windows. Although this task does seem like a small thing to do as a volunteer, it opened a gateway to more jobs that the librarians would give. Just getting started with something as simple as washing the windows opened up the possibility of doing more for the library. Before I knew it, I was tasked with some harder jobs, like pulling books from a pre-made list for the librarians. This then led to the librarians tasking me with deleting books from our catalogue so they could be sold at the book sale. I then learned how to check out books for patrons because of learning how to interact with the cataloguing system. Through a slow progression with my volunteering time, I learned slowly what tasks a librarian is faced with almost daily, and I had gained a better appreciation for our library as a whole.

I know everyone reading this is dying to know how to become a young adult volunteer for the library. The process is fairly simple. Most of the information needed to know how to get started as a volunteer can be found at (Click Here), but I will still guide you through what is the best way to become a library volunteer. What you'll want to do is go to the website listed earlier and click on the volunteer application link. This link will take you to a pdf of the volunteer application. This application can also be found at the library, if you ask the librarian at the front desk for a volunteer application, they will be more than happy to supply you with one. You want to fill out the application to the best of your abilities, and return to the library and then the young adult volunteering coordinator will reach out to you to coordinate your volunteering times.

The Bremen Public Library is a wonderful place to volunteer, and is worth every second of your time. It gives our young adult community a plethora of opportunities for growth, and strengthens the community ties with our young adult population.

This writing brought to you by BPL Student Advisor (and volunteer), Braden Unruh.

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