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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!
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