BSGE’s school library is used for classes during school hours and home to students completing homework and meeting with their clubs after school. People are rarely seen standing between the bookshelves and simply browsing for books. To try to make the library more effective, Ms. Clarkson-Farrell and Ms. Johnson decided to ask students to volunteer to organize and maintain it.
Last year, only a few 10th graders who needed community service hours helped out. They did preliminary work, such as taking inventory, cataloging the items the library would soon receive, and what the library needed. This year, with the preliminary work done, more students could volunteer to help out at the library. This year’s volunteers shelve books that have been returned to or are entering the system, organize the periodicals, identify the books that need to be relabeled or repaired, move the shelves up or down when necessary, and dust, sweep, and wipe the library to keep it clean.
Fewer than two months have passed and a lot has gotten done. Most of the books waiting to be put into circulation have been shelved. The library is also a lot cleaner, neater, and more organized. Even so, the volunteers have more work ahead of them. There are a lot of books that have been donated to the library that need to be put into the system, and there are plans to get many more nonfiction books. Of course, organizing the library and taking care of its space is a job that never ends, so there will always be work to do. Ms. Clarkson-Farrell said that her goal is for the library to be a “hub of activity.”
Nicholas Jung ’17, Kenneth Sue ’17, and Ryan Zhou ’17 are all students who volunteer at the library. When they were asked about it, they agreed that it is fun and interesting. According to the three students, they enjoy getting community service hours, organizing things, the experience, and learning how to properly shelve books. They would recommend choosing to volunteer if you are patient and interested, and advise that you should probably try it before committing. Ryan would like to remind everyone who uses the library, “If you are taking a book of the shelf and you don’t know or forgot where exactly the book came from, give it to Ms. Clarkson-Farrell or just leave it on the table.” This is so the books are not shelved in the wrong place.
Anyone is allowed to volunteer at the library. Most of the volunteers are 7th and 8th graders, though. People can volunteer for 15 to 20 minutes during their lunch periods on Tuesday through Fridays, or for 45 minutes to an hour after school on Tuesdays through Thursdays. If you enjoy books, want to help out, and want to earn community service hours, volunteering at the school library might be right for you.