A Passion for Service

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Show kids and teens about the value of giving back. Service projects strengthen your community and send a powerful message to kids and teens that they can make a difference to someone and something larger than themselves. And they can be fun!


  • Start at the library. Check with your library to see what information it has or a librarian can recommend about volunteering both close to home and away.
  • Help your teens explore ways they can volunteer at the library. Some library volunteer programs recruit tech-savvy teens to help library users who are newer to technology. Many libraries also engage teens through advisory boards that help give teens a voice on programs, services, materials for purchase and promote the library to other teens.


  • Teach your kids and teens the importance of civic participation and support their understanding of local and global implications of civic decisions. Take your kids to candidate forums near election time or attend open hearings on local planning for parks and recreation. Many libraries host forums on local or national issues that might interest older kids or teens.
    Research shows that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without libraries. Volunteer at your child’s or teen’s school library or learn about what you as a parent should expect from your school’s library program. Download the “Improve Student Learning” brochure for parents from the American Association of School Librarians at http://bit.ly/studentlearning.
  • Advocate for your school and public library. Reach out to legislators who support libraries and education. Let them know you think the two go together and should be high priority for all kids and teens.
Teen volunteer at San Jose Library's Biblioteca Latinoamericana

Are you booksmart? Tech savvy? A social butterfly? Perhaps a bit of all three?

From the quietly studious to the gregariously outgoing and all shades in between, volunteer roles are ripe for teens just like you at the library.