Printer Friendly

Teen Room at Spartanburg County Public Library.

Description: The Teen Room of the Spartanburg County Public Library is on the main floor near the adult fiction. The 1,225 square-foot nearly square-shaped room has two entrances. One wall has a counter with eight stools for eight computers, and three booths are arranged along another wall. The computers have an on-line catalog, word processing, and filtered Internet access.

A comfortable seating area is located in the middle of the room, and there is also a public service desk and a small work room and office in the space.

The color scheme is lime, purple, black, and orange. Windows on the exterior wall overlook the street while assorted round windows allow for better visibility within the library. Quotes from teen books decorate the booth wall, a TV is located above the magazines, and there is an information center and a magnetic wall by the door. Each month, art by a different local teen is displayed on the wall behind the computers. The Teen Room has an appealing mix of workspace and comfortable areas. Two sofas and two chairs offer relaxed seating. Sound domes over the booths provide music in a focused area. Additional furniture includes two cafe tables, a square table for four, and an ottoman. The room is also used for programming and it has proven very adaptable for crafting, book discussions, gaming, and more.

Manga, new teen materials, and magazines are displayed in the room. There are 72 linear feet of new book shelves and 1,008 linear feet of shelving in the stacks. Graphic novels are shelved on round, acrylic, freestanding shelves--two for graphic novels and two for manga. There are also shelves with space for thirty magazines and comics with back issues.

Collection: The teen collection has 15,697 items: YA fiction, nonfiction, comics, graphic novels, paperbacks, hardcovers, recreational reading, curriculum support and homework help, reference, and magazines.

Fiction and graphic novels are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name (or in some cases, the series name) and sci-fi/ fantasy and mystery genres are separate. The manga is shelved alphabetically by title.

While the new fiction, new nonfiction, and magazines are shelved in the Teen Room, the older teen fiction is located just outside the Teen Room and teen nonfiction is interfiled with adult nonfiction on the third floor. The teen audiobooks are shelved in the A/V department on the main floor.

In 2013, 42,063 teen items were circulated at the Headquarters Library.

Young Adult Population and Community: The Headquarters Library is located in downtown Spartanburg, but is available to, and serves, the entire county. The city has a population of about 40,000 and the county, about 250,000. The population of the city is approximately 50 percent black, 44 percent white, and 6 percent other. About 3,000 young adults live within the city limits.

The county has seven school districts, and the Headquarters Library is situated in district 7, serving about 2,500 students in two middle schools and one high school. There also are a preparatory school, several Christian schools, and an active homeschool population in the county.

Hours of Operation and Teen Traffic: The Teen Room is open all hours that the Headquarters Library is open: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30-6 p.m.

After school, five to thirty-five teens visit the teens-only Teen Room. On the weekends, fifty or more teens, ages 12 to 18, visit. Many "regulars" hang out in the Teen Room after school until closing and all day on weekends. Many of them attend the programs, but others use the space to work on school projects, use the computers and Wi-Fi, and hang out with friends. Adults and children are welcome in the Teen Room when actively looking for materials or when accompanied by a teen.

Staffing: The staff serving the Teen Room includes: one fulltime director of teen services, one full-time teen services librarian, one full-time teen services assistant, one part-time teen services assistant with thirty-five hours and one teen services assistant with thirty hours, and one part-time teen services assistant with twenty hours.

Planning Process: The library opened in 1997 and the Teen Room remodel was completed in the spring of 2005. The Teen Room was planned by the teen services librarian, the extension librarian, the director of branch services, and a local professional interior designer. The planning began in the fall of 2004 and it was completed in the spring of 2005. A teen advisory group (TAG) was formed in November of 2004, but it was too late for them to have much input on the final design. The planners researched teen spaces at other libraries for ideas and tried to visualize how the space would be used and designed it with that in mind. Construction was completed in the spring of 2005. In the fall of 2008, a public service desk, the computer counter, and full-time staff were added in the room, allowing it to finally become the Teen Room that had been planned.

Youth Participation and Programming: The TAG celebrated a ten-year anniversary in November of 2013. They meet monthly to give their input and help plan major programs like Teen Summer Reading, the Teen Halloween Party, and Teen Read Week.

TAG members are volunteers and there is also a Junior Volunteer Program for youth in fifth grade and up. The library also occasionally hosts teen interns. Read & Feed is a bi-monthly teen book discussion group and Teen Summer Reading begins the last day of school and ends July 31st each year.

Other programs include: Project: Anime, a monthly anime club in which teens watch anime and eat a related snack or do a craft; Snackdown, a bimonthly food-based program; Art Show, the art of a different local teen is displayed in the Teen Room each month with quarterly opening receptions for the featured artists. Teen DIY, a monthly teen craft program becomes Hooked, a crochet group, during the winter months. School of Thought is a program for homeschooled teens that runs during the school year.

More programs include: Hyperbole, a bimonthly teen writing group; Game On!, an occasional video gaming program, mostly scheduled on days when school is out; Game On: Unplugged, a monthly gaming program focused on games that don't require electricity, like D&D; Untouchable, an occasional self-defense class program; Brain Drain, an occasional trivia program; and Geek Out, an occasional program based mostly on pop culture topics like Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and Dr. Who.

There is a teen website at SCPLteen.asp and a teen Facebook page at http://www.facebook. com/scplteens.


This is the YA space of my dreams because: "We remodeled our teen space shortly after I started as the teen services librarian about ten years ago. We had to anticipate what teens wanted and needed since they weren't really using the space. We tried not to be trendy in our design and to choose durable furniture. I think we succeeded on all points and I'm still happy with the overall space and how it's adapted to suit our changing needs. It's attractive and flexible, it's heavily used by local teens, and we staff it full-time."

I still dream of these improvements: "The current Teen Room design has worked well for us, but we're in the beginning stages of planning a remodel/addition. Right now, while we are able to have some programs in the Teen Room, we often have to book one of three popular library meeting rooms for teen programs. The Teen Room also has two entrances and zero doors, so our noise spills out into the library. We plan to add a programming space that would be part of the Teen Room on a daily basis, but that could be closed to hold programs. Ideas for the remodel include study rooms, a small stage area, a larger staff work space with a sink, a storage area, multifunctional furniture, additional shelving for teen fiction, a projector and gaming area, more outlets, and more technology. I don't know what will make the final cut, but were all very excited about this project's potential!"


"It is awesome! Really quiet and you feel like it's your own space where you can just hang out, talk with friends, and read. And the librarians are always really nice. Our Teen Room rocks!" Matthew, age 16

"I like that it's a whole room designated for only teens, and how they have the setup of all the new books, and I especially like how comfortable the seats are." Lillian, age 15

"The Teen Room is like a safe haven. I don't have to worry about being judged or being left out because they are all like me--smart, weird, and love to read." Naomi, age 16

"I feel like I'm at home." Brittnay, age 18

CONTACT: Susan Myers, director of teen services. Spartanburg County Public Libraries, 151 S. Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306. Phone: (864) 596-3506, fax: (864) 596-3518, e-mail:

To submit your YA dream space for consideration, complete the questionnaire at our website and email to
COPYRIGHT 2014 E L Kurdyla Publishing LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:ya spaces of your dreams
Author:Myers, Susan
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Date:Apr 1, 2014
Previous Article:Public library outreach to high schools: best practices for volunteer-driven and minimally staffed services.
Next Article:TAG power!

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters