The Pickerington Public Library has established a new scholarship for teenagers who have provided a wealth of volunteer service to the library and its patrons.

The deadline to apply for the library's Teen Volunteer Service Award Scholarship is Jan. 31.

This is the first year the library is awarding the scholarship, which will go to a teen or teens who have provided a minimum of 25 volunteer service hours at the library in the past year or at least 50 service hours over the past two years.

"A total of $1,500 will be available each year," said Lindsay Friedman, the library's community-engagement assistant. "One or more applicants could be selected as a recipient to receive a minimum award of $500 per individual."

The scholarship application form is available on the library's website at pickeringtonlibrary.org, or free printounts may be obtained at either library location. The main library is at 201 Opportunity Way and the Sycamore Plaza Branch is at 7861 Refugee Road.

Instructions for submission are included with the application.

"This scholarship was established to provide assistance to high school students who have provided outstanding volunteer service to the Pickerington Public Library and plan on advancing their education," said Tony Howard, library director.

"The award may be applied to any type of education or training, including internships and apprenticeships; during or post high school graduation."

The scholarship is funded through an anonymous donation made by two Violet Township residents.

Award-winners will be selected by the Pickerington Public Library Fund and fundraising committee.

Friedman said the library hopes to assist area students who volunteer time at the library and plan to advance their educations.

"Teen volunteers can serve during the school year and/or summer months," Friedman said.

"Examples of volunteer opportunities include assisting staff with special projects and events like the Summer Reading program, supporting fellow students in the Homework Help Center or helping to keep library collections in order."

Friedman said, the library has about 80 volunteer teens.

Teens may become volunteers by calling Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Edmonds at 614-837-4104, or by visiting the library website volunteer page.

Teen volunteers must be 12 years old or older, or in grades 7-12, looking for an opportunity lasting at least three months, able to commit to an on-going schedule and have a Pickerington Public Library card.

Howard said he hopes the scholarship will help students pursue their higher education and career dreams.

He also encouraged students to volunteer at the library, both the for the experiences they'll gain and to help improve the library and their community.

"Volunteers are valuable resources because they help library staff meet the lifelong learning and enjoyment needs of our community," Howard said.

"Regardless if they are preparing supplies for educational classes or helping students with homework, all help from volunteers is equally important to us accomplishing our mission and vision.

"The library encourages teen involvement and offers a variety of rewarding volunteer opportunities to match interest, skills, availability and help further educational, professional or personal growth," he said.

"Teen volunteers act as role models for our youngest customers by supporting the library's mission to inspire knowledge and promote reading."

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