Teenagers bring fresh energy and new ideas as employees and volunteers to the library workplace as well as their ability to better relate to library users who represent their generation. However, some adults forget that young people in a workplace need more coaching and quality time than their adult counterparts. Most teens respond well to realistic goals, written instructions, and specific, sincere, and timely praise. How can you turn your teen staff into winners? How can you expand their duties? How can you better prepare your library as a place where teenage workers are productive and thrive? What are the requirements for dealing with course correction and potential termination?


Topics include reviewing the library’s goals, recruitment (and equity, diversity, and inclusivity issues), creating reasonable expectations, the balance between employment and mentoring relationships. orientation, probation, the sin of looking for free/cheap help, and the special skills needed from supervisors.




Introduction: The Biggest Mistakes We Make With Teen Workers

The Key Idea: Teens Are Growing Up, Not Grown-Ups

Everyone’s a Teacher, Coach, and Mentor

The Hiring Process

Co-creating Mutual Expectations

Training and Documentation

Constructive Criticism and Positive Reinforcement

Working with Your Teens, Pages and Students as Library Employees and Volunteers