School, library team up

When Pelham Public Library Director Barbara Roberts began brainstorming ways to publicize new library programs to students, she ended up right where she started.

&8220;I realized the best way to promote [a program] would be kids telling other kids about it,&8221; Roberts said.

Her idea has since turned into an ambassador program that partners 11th- and 12th-grade Pelham High School students with the public library. The young volunteers go through an orientation to learn about library resources and then participate in promotion projects.

Roberts gives students a few ideas to get them started like passing out brochures and making posters, but said most come up with their own.

&8220;One girl went to her church, to her Sunday School class, and did presentations. Another went to her mother&8217;s place where she works, and [the student] did a presentation for all the people there. Another did a blog.&8221;

Senior Jamila Harbin, one of the most involved ambassadors, is participating for her second year.

&8220;I like it because I get to share my love of the library with my peers and get to know other people that way,&8221; Harbin said.

While the volunteer activities can help students meet the five hours of community service required of Shelby County students, Roberts said the ambassador program is about much more.

&8220;The whole point of it is to create a link between the public library and the high school and make students aware of what&8217;s available to them at the library.&8221;