On an average day, at least ten students help Laura Gardner run the Dartmouth (MA) Middle School library. Altogether, over 40 seventh and eighth-grade students work there each year. She couldn’t do it without them. Source: How to Run a Library Volunteer Program that Students Love

There is a category of articles that I call: I wish I Had Read This Ten Years Ago. This article, How to Run a Library Volunteer Program that Students Love, definitely belongs in that category. I ran a “student librarian” program, one that had its good years and bad years.  The suggestions in this article are so practical that even though I was lucky enough to have a library assistant, I could have used our students to do so much more than I did and given them a stronger sense of ownership of their school library.

In this article, Laura Gardner gives worthwhile reasons for having student volunteers.  She explains how her program works and elaborates on the following tips:

  • Get administrator approval
  • Bestow responsibility
  • Keep ’em busy
  • Make it special
  • Celebrate and appreciate
  • Capitalize on their interests and talents

Creating a volunteer library program is a wonderful way to get students into the library and also have students learn a variety of skills that they can use throughout their academic and future careers.  It’s a win-win project if you can get it going on the right foot.