Ask an Agent: Do You Give Gifts to Your Teen Volunteers?

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: Do any of you give a small gift to your summer volunteers? Our teens mainly volunteer in the summer to help with the SRC table. I
want to do a little something for each of them as a thank you, but don’t know what to do. BTW, I have 45 active volunteers

Alison (Parkland Community Library) says:

This year, I threw a Pixar movie marathon for my teen volunteers as an end of the summer thanks. I provided pizza, soda and candy and they stayed for three movies after hours in the library. They brought blankets and soft buddies to snuggle with as they watched the movie. There was really good turnout and they all had a great time.

Emma  (Brooklyn Public Library) says:

In my library system Volunteer Resources provides incentives for summer volunteers. These include library branded items (one year it was a notebook, this year a card wallet and backpack). I also print out a recommendation letter highlighting a volunteer’s strengths and verifying their hours. If your library provides summer reading incentives that’s another option (in my system we have pencils, library card holders, drawstring backpacks, and giveaway books). Beyond that I’d recommend a small notebook and pen–versatile items that should appeal to almost everyone.

Kelsey (Burnham Memorial Library) says:

What about something from the SR theme? We do CSLP and I usually pick out one of the pricier/bigger/more coveted prizes for teen volunteers (I only have about 6). The bigger thank you is that they get invited to the end of summer lock-in along with TAB teens since not all of them are members. What about a volunteer pizza party or other special event just for them at the end of the summer?

Molly (Moore Public Library) says:

For our teen volunteers we’ve had a screen printing pizza party at the end of each summer. We are lucky enough to have a screen printing kit that we can use, but you can try to contact your local t-shirt printing shop to see if they could offer discounted (or free!) prints if the teens provide the shirts. ARCS and giveaways books make great presents as well. I save books throughout the year from conferences, donations, and some weeded copies and let the teens pick out 2 or 3 (or less if needed) at the end of summer. As for smaller thank yous that might work better for your large group, I try to do little gifts throughout the summer like a bag of life savers that say “Here is a bag of encourage-mints”, or hand-written thank yous when they help with a big program, show a great attitude, or are overall awesome volunteers!

Nicole (Siouxland Libraries) says:

We have given little gifts to our volunteers throughout our branch each year. It really depends on the year and how many volunteers there are, as well as your budget. A few items that volunteers have received are a box of candy and bookmarks that I have seen given while I have been at my location. I think it would be a great idea to get some ideas from the teen volunteers. They always have great ideas!


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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