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What it's like to work as a Teen at the library

April 4, 2017 - 10:44am -- Thane
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The Sam Gary Branch Library of Denver public Library is currently seeking a high school student (ages 14 -17) interested in working part-time at the library in a paid position as a Youth Assistant. More details about the job can be found here.

Do you want to know what it's like to work at the library as a teen? The following is an essay our current Youth Assistant, Gina, wrote about her experience working at the library:

 

I started my experience with the library two years ago as a volunteer in the Teen Advisory Board. The members and I worked with the librarians to develop and implement plans to better serve youth in our community. I helped organize and hold high-participation events such as Harry Potter night. The program took a lot of preparation: the Teen Advisory Board came up with activity ideas and decorations to make the night as engaging yet seamless as possible. With the sorting hat, potion-making, butterbeer, and even floating candles, I was able to bring together and impassion young Harry Potter fans. It was the first time I had held such an extravagant event for the community. The astonished eyes and eager smiles of the young participants greatly rewarded our efforts. I was helping my community better serve its youth as I was gaining maturity as a leader.

The Teen Advisory Board Advisor appreciated my devotion and suggested that I try for a summer position as Youth Assistant. After application and acceptance, I encouraged young people to read by engaging and inspiring them. I guided the readers through the enrollment on the computer, and I gave out prizes such as books, backpacks, and burrito coupons for the work they accomplished. It was so gratifying to see how thrilled the children were about the gifts and their reading. I learned about the significant work the library does to keep the community literate and educated even when the children are out of school. The summer reading program kept the library very busy, and I became knowledgeable about customer service. I learned how to be helpful and organized in the free-flowing nature of the library.

Interacting with the kids helped me transition from childhood to adulthood. Teenage life and competitive school atmospheres tend to place importance on outward appearance and what can be a self-centered awareness. However, when I’m working at the library, my consciousness is focused on the needs and motivations of my library patrons. Younger children pursue joy and prioritize happiness. As my responsibilities grow with age, I can’t separate my decision making from the realities of my life. But as I ponder everyday tasks and existential questions, I remember to take a hint from these children. I find time to ask myself the vital question: What will make me happy? The essence of adulthood is being able to find balance in one’s life.

The library extended my summer position to be year-round, and working as a Youth Assistant at the library is a challenging yet rewarding experience. I continue to help out the library’s efforts to educate children in science, technology, engineering, art, and math through the STEAM program.  As I assume an adult role in helping instill a lifelong love of learning in children, my experience as a Youth Assistant allows me to retain a youthful joy within the greater context of adult service and responsibility to society.

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