By Tyler Lehmann, Volunteer
Every year, Friends School of Baltimore high school seniors end classes a month early to begin their Senior Work Projects. The Senior Work Project is a month long internship required for all seniors to graduate, and is meant to help students gain work experience before entering college. Most students either pursue a passion, or gain experience in a career field they might pursue in the future. I, along with fellow Friends School student, Kate Strain, chose to work at the Central Branch of The Enoch Pratt Free Library because of our shared passion for reading.
I volunteered in the Volunteer Services Office of the Pratt Library. I worked to spread the word about volunteer opportunities at the library. I spent time traveling to Pratt Library Branches such as Hampden, Brooklyn, and Waverly. At the Hampden and Brooklyn Branches I photographed long-time volunteers at work. At the Waverly Branch I entertained children while their parents attended Raising Him Alone, an event for single parents. I also helped at the annual Volunteer Luncheon, designed the bulletin board in the Volunteer Office, and wrote Pratt Chat blog posts about topics that interest me.
Kate volunteered in the Maryland Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library under the direction of Manager Jeff Korman. Kate worked to encase and catalog items from the Ephemera Collection, comprised of 60+ boxes of odds and ends. Items include: a French biography of Wallis Simpsona the Duchess of Windsor, a list of the Laws of Maryland from 1737, a prohibition pamphlet, a program from a Muskrat Skinning Contest, a diary entry from the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, and the list continues with 6143 more items. Kate really enjoyed cataloging items in the ephemera collection, Kate explains, “it sounds cheesy, but it’s always a little bit exciting opening a folder and finding the most random and ridiculous things.”
Volunteering at The Enoch Pratt Free Library was a very rewarding experience. I did meaningful work and was allowed creative freedom when completing projects. Kate and I agree that Pratt Library employees are extremely nice. Employees went out of their way to be friendly and even though I was a volunteer, I was still treated as a valued coworker.
Tyler Lehmann lives in Towson, MD and is graduating in the class of 2012 from Friends School of Baltimore. He will attend Elon University in the fall. Tyler completed his Senior Work Project in the Volunteer Services Office of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.