Tag Archives: community service

AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Junior Friends

11 Apr

volunteer-652383_960_720.jpgProgram Name: Junior Friends of the Library

What: We’ve had a lot of success with this program and I can’t take the credit as it’s been in existence longer than I’ve been working at the library. Our Junior Friends of the Library is a community service organization for middle school students (grades 5-8) that meets at the library once a month during the school year. The kids help out with projects in the library and we offer additional programs for the middle school kids to attend – book discussions, game and spa nights, movie nights, trivia competitions, etc.

Where: This program gets anywhere between 15-35 kids during the school year and we meet in our storytime room in the library.

When: We host meetings once a month during the school year and every Monday night for six weeks during the summer. The kids help out with our large family programs – crowd control, raffle drawings, used book sales, snacks, pajama storytime, straightening shelves, etc.

Who: This is run by our children’s librarian with the help of other staff members as necessary. Each month she decides on a few projects for the kids to work on and let’s them go to town. They are an awesome force for good when we can harness their energy in the right place.

How: This program looks great for kids as they are getting ready for Junior National Honor Society, it keeps kids coming to the library as they get older and many join our Teen Advisory Group when they phase out of our middle school group and enter high school.


  • Try offering a TAG group that meets and decides on the programs they’re interested in.
  • I’d love to try an “Adulting 101” class for high school kids – how to set a budget, find housing, cook a few simple meals, do laundry – all of those things that should be taught in school because everyone will eventually have to do them.


During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I’ll be offering you a library program plan with everything you to need to re-create it at your own library. Most of these programs we’ve offered in the past, others are programs I’d like to try in the future. I’m always looking for new inspiration and I thought you might be too!


10 Read Aloud Titles About Service for MLK Day

13 Jan


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day that many people spend time offering service to their community – small acts to make a difference. Volunteerism can start with the littlest ones in your family and sharing some of these stories is a great way to teach kids kindness and service. These books range from one small act of kindness that ripples through a community to even larger acts such as purchasing an animal for a family overseas which can make a big difference to their way of life. But no matter what you have to offer, teaching children kindness and to think of others is something that I think everyone can do. Holding the door for someone, smiling a hello as you pass them by and asking another child to play together are all simple ways to teach kids to think of others around them. Share some of these great stories for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and share some other titles with me!

  1. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  2. Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt
  3. One Love by Cedella Marley and Bob Marley
  4. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
  5. The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen
  6. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
  7. Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
  8. Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
  9. One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
  10. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

Junior Friends of the Library

18 Sep

I was lucky enough to come to a library that has had a strong middle school program for at least the past 15 years.  In the township where I live and work the middle school includes children from 5th – 8th grades, this can pose problems because of the developmental differences between the ages, but we have a very strong (and large!) group of kids that hang out with us on a regular basis.

Our Junior Friends of the Library is a community service organization for the middle schoolers in the area.  Our first meeting of the school year found us with 33 middle school students full of excitement and ready to jump into pretty much anything I could ask of them.  During the school year the kids meet just once a month, but there are a number of projects that the kids can work on depending on their availability.

The kids can help with our Pajama Story Time – our librarians plan the program, but it’s the middle school kids who read the stories, sing the songs, use the flannel board and puppets.  The young children coming to story time really respond to seeing some older kids enjoying themselves and being silly with them.

They can also write book, video game, and movie reviews for the Junior Friends newsletter, or help maintain their own website.  We also assign them small tasks around the library such as taking down bulletin boards, cutting out nametags and craft pieces for other programs.

Theatre and art are also very exciting for the middle school students.  Simple art projects such as q-tip skeletons for Halloween and paper kites for march decorate our bulletin boards and the kids have a great time working on them.

The key to working with this group of kids is to harness their energy and find something that can help the library and is still exciting too!  I’ll let you know how our try-outs for our Enchanted Library program go tomorrow… wish me luck (I’m expecting close to 30 for tryouts tonight!)

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