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Garden Helpers

May - November
Grades 7-12
Help us tend our window well garden by watering throughout the growing season. Email for more information and to set up an orientation session. Earn 30-minutes of volunteer service for each watering shift. Shifts can be scheduled Monday-Saturday at a time that is convenient for you.


Coming Together With Care

May - June
Grades 7 - 12
Reach out to neighbors and community members by sending them postcards to tell them you're thinking about them during these difficult times. Visit the Teen Desk to pick up postcards. Visit  for more information. Earn 1 voluneer hour for every 4 postcards you send out into the community. Send us a photo of your postcards to receive credit.


Yarn Bombing

June 6
All Ages
Yarn Bombing is a type of street art where public buildings are decorated with crocheted or knitted materials rather than paint or chalk. At NMDL we will yarn wrap pillars, make pompoms, attach knitted or crocheted flowers to yarn chains to create a beautiful community art installation. Thi is an outdoor, in-person event. Registration is required. All ages are welcome and no previous experience is necessary!  Click Here to register.

  • Pick up yarn and pompom kits at the lower level Technology Desk (available while supplies last)
  • Make flowers, stem like chains with leaves, pompoms, circles and squares. Bright colors in any and all combinations.
  • We have two collections boxes ( main entrance and lower level) for dropping off completed knitted or crochet projects. We will collect projects until May 28th.
  • There is a pre-yarn bombing workshop to learn how to crochet a flower. Knowledge of basic crochet stitches is required. Here is a link to register for this workshop.

Earn 1 volunteer service hour for each piece you drop off by May 28th, and 2 hours for participating in the Yarn Bombing on June 6.


Project Linus

Throughout April and May
Grades 7-12
Make no-sew fleece blankets for children in need. Email for information on how to pick up a materials kit, instructions, and a link to a video tutorial. Earn 2 hours of volunteer service for each blanket you make. Blankets must be made in a smoke-free environment.


Kindness Rocks

Throughout April & May
Grades 7-12
Create Kindness Rocks painted with inspiring messages to contribute to Samer’s Memorial Garden. Rocks will be left out to uplift anyone who needs a pick-me-up. Email for information on how to pick up a materials kit and instructions. Earn 2 hours of volunteer service for each Kindness Rock kit you complete.


Liberation Library

Liberation Library needs bookmarks! Every book they send to youth in prison includes a personalized bookmark. Make bookmarks at home and send them to:

Liberation Library
c/o In These Times
2040 Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 606047

Bookmarks must not include stickers, tape, or glue. Bookmarks can be made using pens, pencils, crayons, markers and the like. Email us at with pictures of the bookmarks you make and the date you mailed them. Receive 2 hours of volunteer service credit for every 4 bookmarks you make.

The organization's mission: Liberation Library provides books to youth in prison to encourage imagination, self-determination and connection to outside worlds of their choosing. We believe access to book sis a right, not a privilege. We believe books and relationships empower young people to change the criminal justice system.



2020 has been a year of incredible hardship and upheaval. In this historic time, teens' voices need to be heard. The #WeWereHere Project is an opportunity to show the world how you’ve dealt with big issues like health concerns and quarantine, missing friends and milestone celebrations, protest and social justice, and a society examining its attitudes about racism, wealth, and privilege. It's also a way to demonstrate how you've connected to and helped others in your community and beyond to make a positive impact. Share your experience here. Then email us at to get 2 hours of volunteer service credit.

  •  I Am Here: Your words, images, and firsthand accounts of 2020
  •  I Am Helping: Your community projects, tips, and useful information
  •  I Am Okay: Sharing how you stay positive
  •  I Am Not Okay: And that's okay, you can vent and be heard


Social Justice Reading Club

Earn volunteer hours reading about and discussing social justice issues. Social justice issues can be complicated and deeply personal. They impact our laws and often determine our sense of public safety and belonging. Understanding the history and current state of oppression requires a commitment to learning and unpacking our own biases requires the desire to do better. Joining this club means you’re dedicated to both of these actions. Each month we’ll read a fiction book, nonfiction book, or collection of online resources about a social justice issue separately and then meet online to discuss it together. Register here and Ms. Rachel will email you information regarding what you should read before our monthly meeting and help you check out whatever materials you need. She will also email everyone a link to the Zoom meeting before the scheduled date. Attending and participating in a club meeting will earn each teen 3 volunteer hours (2 hours for reading, and 1 hour for attending). Let’s read in solidarity and imagine the world we want to build together.


Teen Advisory Board

Want the chance to help shape services for teens at the Library? Come join a friendly group who meet the last Saturday of the month year-round. Help put with special projects, plan programs and advocate for teens in the community. All meetings are currently taking place virtually using zoom. Click here to register for our next meeting


Write for our Blog

Write for our Library Buzz Blog! Earn 1 hour of volunteer service for each blog post you write. Contact Teen Librarians Donna and Rachel at 847-663-6490 or for more information.


For Active Volunteers

Active Teen Volunteers may sign into VicNet here to view your hours and sign up for shifts!

For more information about Teen Volunteering, please contact your Teen Services staff at


Sign Up To Get Updates on Teen Volunteer Opportunities

Teens in grade 7-12 who would like to help out with programs or keep the Teen Underground neat 'n tidy once we re-open to patrons, please fill out this form. Contact Teen Librarians Donna and Rachel at 847-663-6490 or for more information.