Check It Out: Teen library volunteers have fun while helping summer reading programs run smoothly _lowres

Photo provided by Jennifer Deffner - Teen volunteers Emma Busby and Thomas Warren helps register Landon Flaherty for the library’s summer reading program at the Causeway Branch.

Summer is the St. Tammany Parish Library’s busiest time of year. Last summer, nearly 9,000 St. Tammany youths visited the library for fun programs and reading incentives.

With so many children and teens to register for summer reading and so many events to prepare for, librarians can use a helping hand. For the past eight years, teen volunteers have offered one by registering children and teens for summer reading, helping to set up and break down for events, directing audiences and confirming event attendance.

The teen volunteer program was begun in 2006 by Jennifer Deffner, the library’s teen services coordinator. When asked what about it makes her most proud, Deffner said, “I love that 80 percent of the teen volunteers return each year. They love doing it. I love that the teens get to meet new friends in their town who go to different schools. I love that the teens take their responsibility seriously and I see them striving to get their key responsibilities down perfectly.”

The teen volunteer program is open to teens who have completed the seventh grade. Teens learn about job responsibilities and work ethic while allowing librarians to perform their main duties.

Working in teams, teens also have the chance to socialize. In fact, two teens who met while volunteering at the library went to prom together, Deffner said.

For information about the teen volunteer program or the summer reading program, visit www.sttammanylibrary.org.

Programming for June 5 to June 12 includes:

MATT SANDBANK’S SHADOW FACTORY: Families will enjoy “A Wild Goose Chase,” a series of interactive vignettes and verses that will excite youngsters about poetry and puppetry at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Lacombe Branch, 28027 U.S. 190, or at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second St. For information, call the Lacombe Library at (985) 882-7858 or the Slidell Temporary Library at (985) 646-6470.

LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will perform and introduce their instruments at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Folsom Library, 82393 Railroad Ave. For information, call (985) 796-9728.

ROBOT DEMONSTRATIONS: Children are invited to see a local high school robotics team demonstrate the robot they built for competition at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Bush Library, 81597 La. 41. For information, call (985) 886-3588.

TEEN MAD SCIENCE MYTHBUSTERS: Teens are invited to a fun mythbusting science workshop at 6 p.m. Friday at the Covington Library, 310 W. 21st Ave. For information, call (985) 893-6280.

TEEN MYSTERY DINNER THEATER: Teens will enjoy dinner and a whodunit at 7 p.m. Friday at the Covington Library, 310 W. 21st Ave. For information, call (985) 893-6280.

INTERVIEWING DO’S AND DON’TS FOR EMPLOYERS: Sandy Hughes will instruct business owners on what questions they can ask, should ask and cannot ask during a job interview at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Causeway Library, 3457 U.S. 190, Mandeville. For information, call (985) 626-9779.

HAMPSTEAD STAGE COMPANY: Families are invited to enjoy live theater in the library at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Pearl River Library, 64580 La. 41; at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lee Road Library, 79213 La. 40; or at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Bush Library, 81597 La. 41. For information, call the Pearl River Library at (985) 863-5518, the Lee Road Library at (985) 893-6284 or the Bush Library at (985) 886-3588.

RICK KELLEY’S “GOOD VIBRATIONS”: Families are invited to enjoy this interactive concert highlighting the physics and science of music at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Covington Library, 310 W. 21st Ave.; at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Madisonville Library, 1123 Main St.; or at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second St. For information, call the Covington Library at (985) 893-6280, the Madisonville Library at (985) 845-4819 or the Slidell Temporary Branch at (985) 646-6470.

BOOKWORMS BOOK CLUB: The club will discuss “Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Causeway Branch, 3457 U.S. 190, Mandeville. For information about the club, call branch manager Sally Barringer at (985) 626-9779.

PAGE TURNERS BOOK CLUB: The club will discuss “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Slidell Temporary Library, 610 Robert Blvd. For information about the club, call branch manager Nancy Little at (985) 646-6470.