Volunteer Opportunities for Teens 

Rather than having in-person volunteers this summer, we encourage you to work on projects that help the library and your community from home. Complete these activities on your own and then send us a picture and we will award you the amount of "hours" listed here. Have fun!


Come up with program ideas for virtual and in-person teen and kids' programs you would like to see at the Portland Library.

Send cards or letters to nursing home residents.

Sign up to review books through the Page Turners programs at
Words Alive (www.wordsalive.org/page-turners)

Complete a library-themed Tik-Tok challenge that we can post to
our Instagram page

Participate in our library Covid-19 collection: submit photos and
written pieces about your experiences

Paint kindness rocks for our community rock garden

Create Kahoot! questions and games for trivia with younger kids
or other teens

Create original artwork or poetry to fill the teen art bulletin board

Make face masks to donate to people who need them

Register to write letters to people in need through
www.moreloveletters.com. Choose a person from the list to write
to or nominate someone you know to receive letters

Create a video signing “Thank you for your Courage” in American
Sign Language, upload it to social media, and use the hashtags
#Courage4Heroes and #OperationGratitude.

Hours Awarded

1 hour per three ideas

1 hour per five cards

1 hour per three reviews

1 hour per two videos

1 hour per five pictures or two paragraphs of journals

1 hour per two rocks

1 hour per ten questions


1 hour per two masks

1 hour per three letters

1 hour per video

YALSA Teen Top Ten Nominees Announced

The Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online for their favorite titles from the list below between August 15-October 12 here on the Teens' Top Ten site.

The winners will be announced the following week after.











1. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2)* by Gretchen McNeil.

2. Are You Listening?* by Tillie Walden.

3. Aurora Rising* by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

4. The Beast Player* by Nahoko Uehashi.

5. Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley.

6. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection* by Victoria Aveyard.

7. Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic* by Sam Quinones.

8. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager* by Ben Philippe.

9. Frankly in Love* by David Yoon.

10. The Grace Year* by Kim Liggett.

11. Last Bus to Everland* by Sophie Cameron.

12. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me* by Mariko Tamaki.

13. Lovely War* by Julie Berry

14. The Memory Thief* by Lauren Mansy.

15. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant* by Laura Dockrill.

16. Opposite of Always* by Justin A. Reynolds.

17. Pumpkinheads* by Rainbow Rowell.

18. Stolen Time (Dark Stars #1)* by Danielle Rollins.

19. Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon* by Mary Fan.

20. These Witches Don’t Burn* by Isabel Sterling.

21. Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World* by Jeff Henigson.

22. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)* by Rainbow Rowell.

23. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya)* by Hafsah Faizal.

24. Wilder Girls* by Rory Power.

25. With the Fire on High* by Elizabeth Acevedo.

For complete book descriptions for each title,
visit the annotated list HERE.

2021 Nutmeg
Nominees Announced!


The Nutmeg Book Award is the only book award in the state where KIDS pick the winner. Voting on the 2020 Nutmeg nominees has concluded.


For a complete list of 2021 nominees in each category, visit our Nutmeg Books page HERE



Check out these ideas for something different to do. 

Aiden Tyler, QuaranTEEN: Join author Rex Ogle as he reads from his "real-time" novel each Tuesday at 2pm. Rex engages in questions and answers from the audience and will incorporate book ideas into next week's chapters. Illustrate scenes from the story and submit them to be included in the webcast! 

First Draft: Do you dream of being an author? Submit your creative writing and short fiction stories here and have them reviewed for free by the Princeton Library University. Open to kids and teens age 9-17.

CSLP Video Contest: Do you have a passion for reading or libraries? Do you want to share your video or performative skills with teens across the country? The Teen Video Challenge is for you! Create a public services announcement-type video that shows their unique interpretation of the 2020 CSLP slogan “Imagine Your Story”. Videos are to be no longer than 60 seconds and should promote libraries and reading. Five winners will be chosen and will receive: a $200 cash prize, and $50 worth of summer reading materials for their library!

Disney's Imagineering in a Box: Imagineering in a Box is designed to pull back the curtain to show you how artists, designers and engineers work together to create theme parks. Go behind the scenes with Disney Imagineers and complete project-based exercises to design a theme park of your very own.

Free Online Writing Classes: Author Kelly Yang is offering free writing classes for teens on Instagram Live! 

Teen Advisory Board

If you are in grades 6 and up, you are invited to be part of the Portland Library’s Teen Advisory Board. Our board members meet monthly on Monday afternoons from 3:30-4:30 and help us in selecting materials for purchase, brainstorming and running programs for teens and children, and having a lot of fun while making a difference in our community. If this is something that interests you, please contact Jennifer Renk or Patty Ballou at 860-342-6770 or jrenk@portlandct.org.



Call the library or email jrenk@portlandct.org for upcoming meeting dates. 

Homework Help

Not sure where to start? Stop by or call and we will help you use these resources.  


School Links

Portland Middle School

Portland High School

Mercy High School

Vinal Technical High School

Xavier High School


WolframAlpha: Find answers and statistics based on computational data. Lots of charts and graphs!

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper: Great site offering free help in math, science, English and more!

Discovery Education Classroom Resources: Click on Student to find Homework Help and other helpful resources.

Homework Spot: A search engine of homework sites for grades K-12. 

Math & Science


How Stuff Works

Cool Math

Interactive Mathmatics: Learn math by playing with it!

Fun Mathematics Lessons: learn math through games and puzzles

History & Social Studies

CIA World Factbook

U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract

English & Literature

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Absolute Shakespeare: everything about Shakespeare!

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