The Foundation – a Teen Space

Indiana has some pretty terrific teen spaces and spaces that have broken the typical library mold and branched out, so to speak, on their own.’  One library, located in the small community of South Whitley, has purchased a whole house for their teen department to use as a program space.’  indianaShannon Langmaid, the Youth Services Librarian at South Whitley, tells the story:’ 

The library purchased the two-bedroom house next door last year for the purpose of putting in a teen center. We felt that the kids in the community needed to have a space to act like themselves without feeling like they were disturbing the other patrons.’  The Foundation opened in December and it has been a success. We do all teen and tween programming at the house. We have had cooking classes- Cooking and Culture, CSI Club, Comic Book Art, Life Size games, TAB (teen advisory board), Teen Screen, Game night, Make it and Take it, Teen Yoga, and Minecraft day.’ ‘  We do not do circulation out of the house since The Foundation is only open for programs. The house does have WiFi, Wii, Karaoke, X Box 360, and Netflix. The teens love the gadgets and are not afraid to make fun of me when I try to play against them! ‘ I think that the best part is that it is another place open for the kids that will keep them involved in the community and a part of the library.’ indianalib

The house provides the library with lots of space for teen programming.’  Because the house is only open for programs, staffing it at all times isn’t an issue and for the time being, the library has decided that two library staff members will be present in the house whenever the house is opened for teen events. Besides being a place where the teens can be loud, The Foundation is also a great place for quieter activities like tutoring, which also occurs in the house.

The library celebrated the opening of the space in December with an open house and has welcomed dozens of teens since then. The library is hoping that The Foundation will be that exactly; a foundation for teens’ developing relationships with the library.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker – Children’s Services Consultant, Indiana State Library and
Shannon Langmaid – Youth Services Librarian, South Whitley Community Public Library

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