Learn more about VolunTeens, UPL’s Teen Volunteering Program!
Effective September 2023, preference will be given to those who live and/or study in Union, NJ.
Please contact email@example.com using a personal (non-school) email if any of the following applies to you:
- You don’t live or study in town, but are still interested in volunteering at UPL.
- You would like to receive a list of local organizations that may need volunteer help.
- You would like to learn about virtual volunteering options available.
- You have other questions related to teen volunteering.
How to Volunteer at UPL
- Before you start volunteering, please read through the Volunteer Expectations section below, then complete the UPL Teen Volunteer Application so that we have your details on file. Due to the high volume of volunteer applications we receive, you may not receive an individual response to your application, unless you contact us with a specific question. Once you fill out the application, you’ll be added to our volunteer mailing list.
- Complete volunteer activities – see below!
- Submit your work using the UPL Teen Volunteer Hours Submission Form. It is your responsibility to log your own hours. As long as you regularly log your work, UPL will be able to provide proof of your volunteer activity upon request.
The VolunTeens program is designed to be mutually beneficial for the library and for volunteers. There is flexibility in terms of the time commitment, plus you’ll be able to develop to explore your own strengths and interests. It’s a great opportunity that you can include on college applications, job applications, resumes, and more!
We expect all volunteers to follow these guidelines:
- Respect: Be respectful of library patrons, staff members, and other volunteers. Remember, your behavior while volunteering reflects upon the library.
- Clothing: Wear appropriate attire. You may need to bend over, reach up, or lift to perform certain tasks. Please no bare feet, high heels, bathing suits, clothing with offensive or threatening messages, revealing clothing, etc.
- Focus: Pay attention to whatever task(s) you’re working on. Please minimize your cell phone use, unless the specific task you’re working on requires it or there is an emergency.
- Neatness: Please clean up after yourself and put back any items or tools you’ve used during your shift. Library staff should not have to clean up after you when you leave.
- Timing: We cannot accommodate last-minute volunteering requests, especially for those who need to earn several community service hours within a short period.
- Please ensure you have enough time to complete your community service requirements before the deadline. We recommend contacting us at least a month prior, if you’d like to earn these hours through volunteering at UPL.
- If we’re unable to fully accommodate your needs, we can provide a list of other local organizations who may be able to assist you.
- Communication: It’s a two-way street. Help us help you!
- Tell us if you don’t understand instructions for a task you are given, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing a certain task. Let us help you work through it or assign you a different task. We want you to speak up for yourself!
- Log your community service hours on the UPL Teen Volunteer Hours Submission Form, so that we can keep our records up-to-date.
(Source: Summit Free Public Library, Collingswood Public Library)
Regular In-Person Volunteer Opportunities
- Students in 7th grade and up can attend the drop-in volunteering sessions held twice monthly at the Main Library. We work on different projects that benefit the library and/or wider Union community. No registration necessary! View the Events page for information about upcoming drop-in sessions.
- NOTE: Currently, we can only accommodate a maximum of 15 volunteers at a time during drop-in sessions, due to space limitations. Staff reserves the right to limit volunteers to a certain amount of time (e.g. 30 minutes for a one-hour program, an hour for a two-hour program) in order to make room for other volunteers, if demand is high on a given day. – 1-2 hours of community service
- Behind the scenes: Staff may recruit teen volunteers to assist with the preparation and running of children’s programs, helping with crowd control, passing out program supplies, cleaning up after programs, etc. – 1-2 hours of community service
- Chess TA (Teaching Assistant): You’ll help us run our popular chess program, which runs every Tuesday after school. Intermediate or advanced knowledge of the game and its strategies is preferred. – 1 hour of community service
- Decorate the library: You’ll work with library staff to come up with ideas that will spruce up our space. All materials will be provided. – 1-2 hours of community service
- VolunTeens Summer Program: All volunteers who want to earn hours over the summer must attend orientation. More information to come in spring 2024.
Program or Project of Your Choice
- Interested in leading a program or workshop at the library? If there is something you are passionate about, or if you have a special skill or talent that you’d like to teach/share with others, feel free to discuss it with us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Youth Services Desk at the Main Library.
- Some recent examples:
- Helping staff run Nintendo Switch gaming tournaments
- Leading graphic design, music, and dance classes
- We are happy to discuss collaboration ideas with scout troops and individual scouts.