A few weeks ago, I posted about the small changes we’ve made to the teen space in our library. And those small changes went a long way toward making the space more teen-friendly.
The challenge has always been that this space is part collection, part programming, and part hallway (we’re the easiest access to the Community Meeting Room). So as we looked at the small things, it got us dreaming of other things we could do.
There’s a rumor of a plan that we’ll be renovating the space in a few years (pending funding), so we didn’t want to do anything too permanent. But one easy-to-notice problem with our room was the limited space to do homework or group projects, or even to use the teen laptop comfortably. Everything was covered in books. Don’t get me wrong, books are great, and a definite service to our community. But they are only one of the services we provide.
So after some (long overdue) weeding, we rearranged the room, removing about 3 shelving units to create more open space in the center of the room (the part that doubles as a hallway) and build a counter-height desk against the wall. We put the laptop and the iPad on the counter, along with a charging station for mini-USB and lightning chargers.
We hauled the giant memory-foam bean bag out from behind the shelf where it was tucked away, and it’s already being used half an hour later.
It’s another step in the process of developing this space. While it seems much bigger, it was in fact pretty manageable thanks to the small things we’ve done before.
We’re not just sticking to a Field of Dreams mentality here, either. We know they won’t come just because we built it. So we’re going where they already are, finding out what they want, and trying to build it into our space and programming design. We’re offering a bus stop from the middle and high schools. We’re trying new approaches, and I’m excited to see the changes the teens bring with them.