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
Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, nonprofits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.