Teens Working at the Free Library

By Emily S. RSS Mon, July 17, 2023

We here at Youth Services are so proud of our new teen hires! Thanks to PYN, they’ll be with us all summer long.

What is PYN?

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) works with strategic partners to create education, skill-building experiences, and employment opportunities for youth and young adults looking to begin their future career paths. One of their initiatives, Work Ready, has partnered with the Free Library and other organizations to help create paid work opportunities for teens.

For over 15 years, the Free Library has collaborated with PYN to hire teens to help out at neighborhood libraries. And we’re so happy that they’re here!


Four teens smiling, one covered in stickers and one laughing


The Teen Experience

After getting through all the paperwork, newly hired teens gathered at the Parkway Central Library for an orientation to help them get prepared for summer employment at the Free Library. We went over the rules, talked about expectations and work readiness, got to know one another a little, and played some games! It was a lot of fun. One of the teens even discovered a new use for our Summer of Wonder stickers.

As the summer progresses, our teen employees will work at neighborhood library locations, helping librarians with Summer of Wonder programming for kids and sometimes creating their own. If you see them at the summer table when you visit your library, say hi! They can certainly sign you up with a summer passport and some prizes. They might play a round or two or Scrabble Slam with you, read a picture book aloud, or introduce you to a new kind of craft.

At Parkway Central Library, they will continue to attend regular professional development sessions where they get the scoop on all sorts of “adulting” skills. They will learn to write resumes and cover letters, discuss interviewing skills, practice public speaking, and review some vital financial literacy information. Maybe this summer will mark the beginning of a bright new career in librarianship! They might even make some friends along the way.

How can my teen be a part of it?

Libraries have filled all of their paid positions for teens this year, but many locations are still interested in teen volunteers! This is a great opportunity for young people to get to know the library, develop relationships within their community, and gain experience and skills that will stay with them as they grow. Many PYN workers and teen volunteers go on to find employment with our LEAP After School program in the fall. Inquire at your neighborhood library to learn more.

For teens and young adults aged 12-24 who are looking for paid opportunities this summer and beyond, go to workready.org/summer to explore open programs and apply!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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I'm looking for a job opportunity.
Ronield Jean-baptiste - Philadelphia
Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Hello Roneild. Thanks for your interest in working with the Free Library. Give us a call at Youth Services, and we can help direct you to the right opportunity! 215-686-5372.
Em S. - Youth Services
Wednesday, August 2, 2023