Your library is near a middle school or high school and every day you dread the afternoon rush. You would like to give the teens a chance to hang out, but they have too much energy from sitting in school and they can't manage a noise level appropriate for your library. Whether you're looking to build or reinvent an existing teen space, this program will help you generate ideas on how to redirect after-school library traffic into a successful program that creates a better environment for teens, staff and other library users. We'll discuss how you can use this space to incentivize positive behavior, by providing resources like games, crafts, homework space and snacks.
Or, your library is far from a school and you don't see any teen traffic on weekday afternoons. You'd like to provide more services for this age group but the teens programs you've offered in the past have garnered little or no attendance. A dedicated after-school space that is either passive or pop-up is the perfect way to provide consistent services for when the teens visit the library. You can use this space to build rapport with your teen community, find out more about their interests, and create other programs that they will go out of their way to attend.
Dedicated teen spaces provide an opportunity for libraries to be more inclusive in terms of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ethnicity, and this is created through active policies, empowerment of the teens to create the safe space, and proactive staff intervention as needed.
Creating a proposal and advocating for an after-school space.
Drafting/enforcing policies within a teen space.
Choosing games, crafts and activities within a budget.
Staffing and training for your after-school space.
Adapting the services to adjust to changing teen trends and academic needs.
ALA Unit/Subunit: YALSA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.