The Teen Room

Rheannah Hoover

The Greenwood Public Library offers a special place just for teens who are on their way to becoming adults.

“There are so many great things about our space, and it’s hard to pick just one,” Ms. Jessica Smith, teen librarian, said. “We have a giant playable chess and checkers board built into the floor. We have interactive boards that allow teens to build and create. You can watch movies, play video games, read a book, and get a free snack. I think my favorite thing about Teen HQ though is that it is a safe place where any teen can come and feel comfortable being themselves.”

The assistant director has unique perspective of the room.

“The best thing about the teen room is that we can have a space dedicated specifically to teens where they can feel welcome and safe,” Ms. Emily Ellis, Assistant Director, said.

Teens also share their perspective and thoughts on the room.

“There’s so much to love. It feels like open and nice and like a safe, secure spot. I like the fun chairs, the fun colors. I just like it,” junior Analia Tapia said.

Despite the loss of many regulars, they have a plan to make sure the teen room does not die.

“Since the move of the middle school, the atmosphere of our teen room has completely changed,” Ms. Smith said. “We no longer have a filled room every day after school. And though we miss our regular teen visitors, this has really allowed us to revamp the way we provide programming. We can be intentional about the activities we offer and plan really fun programs that bring in teens that want to be there. So though we don’t have a full room every day, our program attendance is higher than ever.”

Although daily attendance is low; attendance for special programs is much higher.

“Daily we have anywhere between 2-10 teens,” Smith said. “We have had over 120 teens attend programs in January.”

The teen room is used to drastic attendance changes.

“We’ve always gone through different seasons in the teen room, ups and downs in attendance with new groups each year, so we’re used to that,” Ms. Ellis said. “It allows us to make sure that we continue to be relevant and offer programs that are inviting to new teens.”

Some teens may come to the teen room for actives they cannot do at home.

“I think the best thing about the teen room is probably the games and the interactive boards,” Gabby Rogers, eighth grader, said. “It’s nice because if you don’t have things at home, then you have access to them at the library. You can try new games and have fun with your friends.”

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