Ask an Agent: Board Members Want Teen on Board?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question:  An adult library board member is asking to have a teen sit on the library board with all the adult board members. (We do have a library
Teen advisory group, too). He was inspired by the local school board having a teen as a member. This is GREAT that he’s thinking of teens,
and If the teens are interested, I’m for it, BUT…the meetings are pretty boring, albeit, potentially educational…how do I keep this from being token-ism? How do I make sure the teen has a real voice on the board vs. head patting. What expectations & responsibilities should the teen have? Any thoughts??

Kelsey (Burnham Memorial Library ) says:

think the easiest way to keep it from being token-ism is not filling the position with whomever during the times that there isn’t a qualified and interested teen. That might not please the board. And, has this board member thought beyond having a teen around? If not, working with this person to figure out how to define the teen role from the board perspective and the teen perspective could be a great place to start. Maybe you can check in with the teen periodically to make sure they’re being heard and have the strategies needed to speak up. It could be a great bonding/mentoring experience for both of you!


Thanks to our volunteer agents for the awesome answers. If you have a question about anything teen services related ask it here! Your question will be featured on the blog with answers from our agent volunteers or TSU team members. If you’d liked to be a volunteer agent, please submit your info here.

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