The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 18, 2013

Library page program sees increased interest

By Kim West

— This year’s library page program drew 27 local teenagers seeking work experience, service hours and an opportunity to work with children.

Library pages, who are 13-18, spend 15 to 20 hours volunteering during the Athens-Limestone Public Library’s summer reading program, said Kelli McLemore, a youth services librarian for ALPL.

“This is the biggest group of pages the library has ever had, and they volunteer with us to shelve books and materials, prepare crafts and straighten the library,” McLemore said. “Their favorite activities are helping out with the programs and reading to the kids.

“We get students from all over Limestone County, and we have a pretty evenly mixed group. We probably have more volunteers from the county, with several from the city and a few home-schoolers.”

The pages, who will celebrate the end of their tenure with a party featuring a water gun and water balloon fight, must complete an application, interview and workshop training to volunteer at the library.

“For most of them, it’s their first volunteer work or job, and they learn to take orders from somebody and learn to work as a team,” McLemore said. “I’m a big stickler for being here on time so they learn the importance of punctuality. We love having the extra help, but we also like being able to help out the teenagers with getting job experience and service hours.”

The summer reading program will host a Hobbit party at 2 p.m. Friday, July 19, and the final installment of the “Star Wars” film series at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20, with a screening of “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.” Both programs are free to the public.

“The Hobbit party is a special event with snacks, crafts, games and different activities to celebrate all things Hobbit, and people can come dressed up,” McLemore said. “The ‘Star Wars’ movie night has been held on Tuesday evenings this summer, and it’s been tremendously popular. We’ll close that out this Saturday during our summer-ending party. ‘Star Wars’ just reaches across all age groups, and we have a little boy who is around 5 years old who brings his parents and granddad to each movie.”

For more information about library programs, contact 256-232-1233 or visit