Volunteering for teens

If you're here, it's because you're interested in giving back to your community. Maybe you want to be a volunteer because you're looking for a fun thing to do in your free time. Maybe you have to volunteer for school. Whatever the reason, we can help you figure out what to do.

Volunteer in the Youth Services Department

If you're in grades 6th–12th, consider being a Youth Services Volunteer! Volunteer assist in programs and help librarians with tasks. To volunteer, you need to fill out the application and return it to the 2nd floor Youth Services Desk. Sample jobs include:

  • Making supplies for storytimes
  • Folding brochures
  • Cleaning, dusting, organizing

Volunteers must promise to do a minimum of 8 hours of volunteering—basically, four 2-hour shifts.

Join the Teen Advisory Board

Teen Advisory Board (aka TAB) is for 7th–12th graders. TAB is where teens come to tell us librarians what the library should be doing for teens like you. We fill each one hour once-a-month meeting with silliness, high energy, snacks to get you talking, and just a little bit of work. Perfect for meeting other teens, TAB will get you hooked and you'll keep showing up.

TAB meets one Thursday a month from 4 - 5 pm in The Commons.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Thursday September 14th from 4 - 5 pm
  • Thursday October 12th from 4 - 5 pm
  • Thursday November 16th from 4 - 5 pm
  • Thursday December 14th from 4 - 5 pm

Make Cards for Hospitalized Kids

Twice a month, The Commons is the place to be to make cards for kids in the hospital. We supply the materials and suggested messages--you supply your creativity and energy. The kids who receive the cards are really grateful so it's a special way to donate your time. Perfect for 7th-12th graders.

Cards for Hospitalized Kids happens one Thursday a month from 4 - 6 pm and one Saturday a month from 10 am - noon (but you can show up for 30 minutes or the full 2 hours--up to you and your schedule). 

Upcoming sessions:

  • Saturday September 9th from 10 am - noon
  • Thursday September 28th from 4 - 6 pm
  • Saturday October 7th from 10 am - noon
  • Thursday October 19th from 4 - 6 pm
  • Saturday November 4th from 10 am - noon
  • Thursday November 30th from 4 - 6 pm
  • Saturday December 2nd from 10 am - noon

Project Linus

Make no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus. We'll provide materials and instruction, and you'll be making great blankets that will be given to Project Linus (an organization that provides blankets to children and teens in need). For 7th-12th graders. You MUST register in advance for this program. You can register by calling 847-376-2840 or online

Upcoming sessions:

  • Saturday September 23rd from 10 am - noon
  • Saturday October 21st from 10 am - noon
  • Saturday November 18th from 10 am - noon
  • Saturday December 16th from 10 am - noon

Don't like these options?

Volunteering is personal. Sure, you might have to volunteer because your parent is telling you to, but you'll get more out of it and have more fun if it's something you care about. One of the great ways you can help in Des Plaines is to join the Des Plaines Youth Commission. You can help out with events for families and other fun opportunities. It's a great way to earn service credit hours for junior high and high school students. Fill out the volunteer registration form on their website and follow the instructions on the form.

Want to see what else is out there? See our list of other volunteer opportunities in the Des Plaines area. These organizations need your help too.

Need court-mandated service hours?

I'm sorry, but the library can't help you earn court mandated service hours. Please see our list of other volunteer opportunities to find organizations you can fulfill your time with.