Putting the “Teen” in Your Teen Space
I’m a big fan of teen buy in. When teens feel that they are a part of your teen programming, including your teen spaces, they are invested. Invested means they are more likely to take care of the space because it is now their space. Invested means they feel welcomed and invited, which is how we want them to feel. So how can we help teens become a part of our library teen space? By getting them involved in decorating the space.
You can upload photos to make collages or include teen pics in your homemade RA posters. Don’t just tell them the library is fun – show them! Make a visual statement to an audience that is very visually oriented.
|Use your teens to make fun end cap signage (WordFoto)|
|Have your teens write poetry and create artwork similar to the signs that are so popular right now in various stores|
|You can use a variety of tools, including the Comic Book app, to create GN looking posters with your teens|
|You can use your teens – or have them create them – to make bookmarks|
But, you don’t have to do all the work yourself. You can get teens involved in creating art for your teen space. They can do any of the projects above or you can allow them to create art on their own and simply display it in your teen area. There are a variety of ways you can display artwork in your teen area at little cost.
At the most basic level, you can use wood strips and clips to create an easy to change out display space.
At a slightly greater cost, you can create a display space that packs more visual punch using a wide variety of clip boards.
Or you could take it up another notch (in both cost and time) and have teens create original tiles to make mosaic table tops or benches. Many towns now have places where you can paint your own ceramics and they fire them in the Kiln for you; contact yours to see if they will work with you at a reasonable price.
If you are really daring, you can allow the teens to paint a mural.
Whatever situation you are in, you can find creative ways to utilize and nurture your teens creative talents and make your teen space rock!
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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