Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…











{November 16, 2010}   Volunteer “Bouncers”

We were having some trouble in our libraries with tweens and teens coming after school pushing limits (and staff patience) with their shenanigans. They intimidated our soccer moms, stole food out of our vending machines, cussed, made out, played games in the elevators and tried to hide and get themselves locked in to the building when we went to  close.

We all got in to a tizzy over it. We formed a task force to find ways to intervene. The funny thing about it all was they really weren’t bad kids. Who wants to be a “B.A.” in a library? If they were really bad kids, they’d be wreaking havoc at the local Wal-Mart or other retail place nearby.

Seemed they were on a crawl of local places to get kicked out of. Skate Park…Check. Boys and Girls Club…Check. Library…Nope! No Check! We weren’t going to kick them out. We were going to reform them with an intervention~ and that’s where I came in.

Working with Probation and Non Violent Felons, I created the “Bouncer”, and I found the perfect fit. Lean, Muscular, Tattoo Sleeves, Crooked Smile, Piercings and (shh…don’t tell), a heart of gold.

Mr. Bouncer sits at an information table just off to the side of our vending area where our wanna be hoodlums like to congregate. When they act up, he intervenes, when they are loud he shushes them, when they curse, he corrects them. When they confront him about why he’s there, he’s quick to say “I’m doing community service because I was in jail, and you’re on that path too if you don’t watch out”. Tough Love? No, he’s getting his hours in and keeping things in check…and it seems to be working. They move on, study, or leave the area.

Mr. Bouncer is probably one of my favorite volunteers lately, and he’s doing an excellent job! When his hours are finished, I’ll be sorry to see him go, but I know I’ll have a few others waiting for that special position of  Volunteer Vending Bouncer.

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