New Mexico State Library

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Branigan Memorial Library’s Summer Reading Program a Success Because of 26 Teen Volunteers

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With the assistance of 26 teenage volunteers, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library’s Tails & Tales summer reading program has been successful.

This is the first year for the Teen Summer Volunteer Program at Branigan Memorial Library. It was established to give teens valuable job and college application experience, and also to create a tighter bond between Branigan Memorial Library and community teens. The Teen Summer Volunteer program started mid-May with applications, interviews and orientation and will run through July.

The volunteers, ranging in ages from 13- to 17-years old, have offered their time this summer to make the reading program a good one. At the Rock the Amphitheater Kickoff, there were 12 volunteers who staffed tables during sign-up of Tails and Tales, assisted with rock paining, handed out water and Popsicles, and contributed to sidewalk chalk art that decorated the area.

Since then, the teen volunteers have been in Branigan Memorial Library helping create crafts for the weekly Take & Make activities, shelving books, handing out materials, and registering people for the reading program. 

“The library staff is excited for a summer of opportunities to learn from and with the volunteer team,” Library Manager Brita Sauer said. “We are so lucky to have the chance to work with such a great group of youth.” 

The exceptional teens have shared with library staff their short-term goals to help in their community and longer-term goals that include traveling the world, learning new skills and languages, and attending college and graduate school. Overwhelmingly, every volunteer wants a future where the work they do makes others and themselves happy.

To hear the teen volunteers describe the library as a space to feel calm, a resource for their education and entertainment, and most importantly, a place that is open to everyone, was inspiring and heartwarming to Thomas Branigan Memorial Library staff.

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