Teen Volunteers

About the Program
The Children's Department welcomes teen volunteers grade eight and high school. To help out with events, teens must be registered with the Children's Department.To register, teens must fill out an application and have an interview (or in summer, an orientation) with the volunteer coordinator before they may volunteer.

How to Join the Summer Volunteer Program  New volunteers (Only the teen him/herself may register) may apply to join the summer program by stopping by the Library to talk to Caitlin, the Volunteer Coordinator in person (Email and phone applications are not accepted, although we can answer questions by those methods). To be sure we are here to welcome you, phone us at 203-385-4165 before you stop in. As of May 5, 2014 we are accepting applications for new Summer Volunteers. Space is limited with preference given to returning volunteers. The Library unfortunately cannot provide a volunteer opportunity for every interested teen due to scheduling and staff constrictions.  

School Year Volunteer Opportunities for Current Volunteers - Use our wiki webpage to sign up for events. Questions? please email caugusta [at] stratfordlibrary.org. You may also phone 203.385.4165.

Award-winning Volunteer Program!

About the Program: The Stratford Library Children's Department Volunteer Program is a fabulous opportunity for teens to develop skills while helping the Library. We emphasize independent achievement, leadership, and a team environment. We encourage teens to strive for their personal goals as part of the program. In 2012, the Children's Department awarded the United States President's Volunteer Service Award to 30 teens, an all-time Library record. We are tremendously proud to be a part of so many teenagers' success stories.

Tasks:  Tasks vary depending on a teen's abilities and inclinations as well as by the time of year. Summer is our busiest season. However, we encourage all our teens to work on a wide variety of tasks and develop new skills throughout the year. Common tasks include:
- Assisting children to create crafts
- Listening to children talk about their favorite books
- Helping families type in the summer books on the computer
- Organizing books and materials in preparation for shelving
- Cleaning and straightening
- Constructing props for special programs
- Creating artwork and displays
- Working on summer programs such as Stratford Olympics, Water Carnival, Mini Golf, Scavenger Hunts, and more.
- Being a 'reporter' for Library events (extra training required)
- Movie making and movie editing of Library programs (extra training/interest required)
- Photocopying, cutting out shapes, organizing papers or files
- Assisting librarians and library staff in numerous other ways

Eligibility: Teens entering grade 8 to 13. College students with career goals in education and library science and by special permission.


Volunteers must commit to 5 hours of volunteering each year to remain a volunteer. Volunteers must enjoy working with children, children's materials, and activities. Volunteers must be self motivated, that is, they should have a desire to be a volunteer, and be able to manage the majority of their volunteer responsibilities themselves, such as scheduling, showing up on time, and questions about the program.

Please remember: volunteering is a responsibility. The Library spends time training teens and investing in their future. Teens are expected to return that commitment by contributing to the success of the Library's Summer Reading Program and treating the volunteer program like any other job.

Volunteers must conduct themselves in accord with Library and volunteer policies or face dismissal. Any volunteer dismissed from the program will not be given credit for any hours volunteered prior to dismissal. 

Training Given: During the school year, interested applicants must schedule and attend an interview with the volunteer coordinator. After a satisfactory interview, volunteers may schedule hours. During the summer, Volunteers attend 2 hour orientations regarding the Children's Department and the Summer Volunteer Program.   During the Summer, teens are given on the job training and are encouraged to ask questions. Summer in the Children's Department is hectic (understatement!) Teens should expect the Library to go from quiet to 50 people in the room at any time of day. Flexibility, patience, and the ability to handle crowds (or work quietly by yourself!) are excellent skills for our volunteers.   


Volunteering is its own reward. Our volunteers grow into true citizens of Stratford who take pride in their work and their abilities. However, our program does include other 'perks' for volunteers.
- Visiting the Library! Being at the Library means getting to check out the hottest new books, DVDs, audiobooks, and video games before or after your shift. Ask us about downloadable ebooks and audiobooks.
- Teen Socials! Teens are invited to parties just for volunteers. Usually we have a fun social in July and our final 'Awards' Social in August where we hand out prizes and silly awards.
- Teen Awards Ceremony! Held in October, our ceremony recognizes any volunteer who has served at least 5 hours in the previous year. Presidential Awards are given out at this time.
- College and Job Recommendations! With proper notice, librarians are happy to write college and job recommendations for students. Many institutions prefer to accept students who have volunteer experience.
- Friendships! Many of our teen volunteers meet other volunteers who share similar interests.