A DEDICATED TEEN SPACE...
Cultivating a space in the library that teens can activate and own sends teens a strong signal they are valued and welcome in the library. Making the case to managers for a dedicated teen space may be challenging, particularly in library locations where space is at a premium, the idea of teens congregating is problematic, or competition for resources is fierce.
Teen services librarians should not focus on the physical features of a teen space, but rather on the service reasons behind why the library should offer dedicated space to teens. They should consider how teen space is developed; how library space models can be applied to craft space for teen users; and what their implications are for teen services.
-Jennifer Velasquez, Real World Teen Services
Teen spaces are as unique and varied at each location as the teens they serve. Throughout our system, you will find teen spaces implemented at each of our libraries in a variety of ways. Some locations have a dedicated room for teens; others have a space out in the open. Regardless of the way the space is physically presented, our intention for providing these spaces remains the same: cultivating a space in our libraries that teens can activate and own sends teens a strong signal they are valued and welcome here.
The reality of a location's square footage, as well as how busy the branch is throughout the day, directly affects the ways these teen spaces are ultimately activated during operating hours. While some of our libraries reserve an area solely for use by teen patrons all day, other locations allow for general public use of the teen space during school hours with accompanying signage to define teens-only times (such as after-school hours and weekends). Of course, adults and children are always welcome to browse the Young Adult collection and check out those materials if they are housed within the teen space.
Looking for inspiration for a redesign? Connect with other Teen Services Librarians and Liaisons to discover ways to stretch limited resources and give your space a makeover. Click on the tabs above to see teen spaces throughout SAPL.
TEEN LIBRARY @ CENTRAL
PARMAN @ STONE OAK
TOBIN @ OAKWELL