Hillsborough Teens and 'Tweens Spend Day Job Shadowing in Library

From left, Param Velakanni, Benjamin West, Akshitaa Balasai, Abhiaya Gupta, Jahnave Dadi, Ruthe Mehreteab, Annika West, and Sophia Sansone at the Hillsborough Library job shadowing program. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Library System of New Jersey


HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey recently hosted a job shadowing program for teens and 'tweens at six of its branches, including Hillsborough.

Other branches participating were Bound Brook, Bridgewater, the Mary Jacobs branch in Rocky Hill, North Plainfield and Warren.

"When we originally planned this program, we wanted to create a personal, memorable event that would allow the tweens in our communities to explore different professions and experience the library like they never had before. During the course of the morning, participants had the opportunity to shadow several staff members across different departments in different branches, including those in SCLSNJ's Administration," said event coordinator Lynn Mazur.

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"By the end of the program they not only had a better understanding of how SCLSNJ works as a library system, but they also got a glimpse into the wide array of professions involved in the day-to-day operations of such a large organization," she added. "As the coordinator of the program here in Bridgewater, I was amazed at how engaged the tweens were throughout the program. They asked smart, interesting questions of our staff and were in complete awe of all the work that happens behind-the-scenes."

"It's been my experience in this economy that there is very little room for a young college student to dabble with several different majors," said Cathy DeBerry, business librarian. "There is little flexibility in a college schedule between general education requirements and major/minor requirements for students to take unrelated courses and be able to graduate on time. The more we can expose tweens and teens to different kinds of careers, the better they will be able to select a major as early as freshman year of college - which will not only save time but a great deal of money.

"SCLSNJ's intentions in hosting an event like this was to expose young students to different kinds of careers as early as possible," she added. "The students were not only able to learn about librarianship but they were also exposed to careers in management, marketing, public relations, finance, and human resources."


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