This past year, Edneyville Branch Library in Henderson County worked with the local Henderson County School System in a program designed to help at-risk or needy teens in our area. The program finds volunteer jobs for the teen and then pays the teen to work a certain number of hours at that location during the school year. The idea is to teach them a good work ethic and help them financially as well. The Edneyville Branch Library hosted a high school senior, Joseph, who came after school 2 or 3 days per week and shelved children’s books. He also assisted the staff, Teresa and Martha, with many other tasks, like rearranging shelves and reading shelves. This was a great help to us and a benefit to him as well since he is trying to save his money to buy a moped to use as transportation to a job after graduation.
Through this program, Teresa learned that Joseph was having trouble deciding on his senior project topic. Money and equipment were his main concerns. He showed the staff pictures he had taken with his cell phone of beautiful sunsets and nature He wanted to do a project with photography but didn’t have a camera.
Our branch manager Teresa mentioned Joseph’s talent to our local 4-H club contact who often helps with programs here at the library. The woman contacted 2 friends who are professional photographers. They offered to tutor him in photography and loan him a camera for a “shoot” in nature. Joseph studied the photography books they gave him and met with them here at the library a number of times.
One Saturday, the two library patrons and photographers took Joseph to the DuPont State Park waterfalls and let him take lots of pictures for the project. One of the library patrons also loaned Joseph a camera to practice taking pictures before the trip to the Park. After the visit to the State Park, Joseph chose his best and put them into a PowerPoint Presentation for his senior project. Joseph received an A- we were all very proud of him. The library was happy to be the bridge between our student volunteer and 2 great patrons.
Libraries change lives!