A Space of Their Own

In addition to improving teen collections and programs to include more multimedia, teen areas in public libraries can also address this issue. The Harris Interactive study reported that 26% of youth library users would use their public library more if it had a space just for teens (4). In an initiative designed to find out what teens want out of their library, ten libraries interviewed young adults to discover how they can improve their services and further encourage teens to go to the library. One of the main issues discussed was creating a space that is just for teens. Some of the suggestions that teens made were to make the space bright and cheerful and have a place to listen to music and other activities such as video games. They also want a space that will allow for both studying and socializing. Another issue that teens found very important in the library was the lack of computers and the limited amount of time allowed to spend on the computers (Meyers). The most important thing to consider when designing a space for teens is to get their input on what they like and dislike about the current teen area. It is also important to make decisions that enable teens use the library independently. Finally, when teens are consulted for creating a young adult area, be sure that their suggestions are acted upon to gain credibility and pique their interest in using the library (Bolan).