For Teens, By Teens: TAB Gavel an Original


This gavel opens and closes every TAB meeting. It was carved by TAB secretary and photographer, William Musterman.

Tap! Tap! Tap! The sound of a gavel calls Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB) to order. But the gavel that TAB president, Colleen Kelly, uses isn’t just some run-of-the-mill gavel. This gavel was hand-carved by one of TAB’s very own members.

William Musterman, 17, is the secretary and photographer for our Teen Advisory Board, and he also happens to be quite the skilled woodworker.

Musterman had the idea to carve a gavel because he wanted something for TAB’s president to use while presiding over their meetings. Musterman attended a recent library Board of Trustees meeting and was impressed by their gavel. He set to work crafting a gavel for TAB in late December, spending more than 70 work hours fabricating the gavel.

“I decided to make the gavel out of the blue, and then give it to our president,” Musterman said.

Musterman worked with his great-grandfather, who is a former member of the International Wood Collectors Society, on the project.

The gavel has thoroughly impressed his fellow TAB members.

“When I first saw it, I was amazed when he said he made it,” said Russell Pearman, 18, TAB photographer.

Musterman, who has been using the library since his early childhood, is active in TAB and can often be found hanging out in the The Edge, the library’s teen area.

“William is a very dedicated volunteer who really cares about helping the library.  The handmade gavel is an example of how he goes above and beyond as a volunteer,” said Lena Vogt, teen services specialist.


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