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Age-up Your Space to Keep Them Coming in the Door

Creating a transitional space within your children's library will go a long way in making preteens feel welcome. While many of the concepts and needs are similar to Youth spaces, it's the selection of age-appropriate furnishings and décor that will set the tone.

TeacherGeek® STEM Activity Kits
TeacherGeek® STEM Activity Kits

Ideas & Inspiration

10 Tips for a Successful Preteen Space

  1. Creating a space, even if it is small, is a big step in acknowledging this age group and making them feel welcome in the library.
  2. Continue to support good reading habits and the development of independent learning.
  3. Create a popular collection area featuring high-interest materials and a variety of formats. Use face-out displays to highlight topics and themes of interest.
  4. Include active spaces for gaming, problem-solving activities, art and literature sharing.
  5. Select flexible furnishings that can support collaboration space for group work, teaching/tutoring opportunities, small group programming and instruction.
  6. Include interactive elements such as magnetic poetry, whiteboard walls, art gallery space, board games, etc.
  7. A computer work space that supports individual and small group work may become a shared space with teens.
  8. Include a variety of technologies, and support kids bringing their own devices into the library. These may include tablets, listening devices such as iPods, interactive whiteboards, online resources, software, and access to digital creativity tools.
  9. Include comfortable seating. This encourages kids to hang out and explore all you have to offer.
  10. The maker movement is a great way to engage in a variety of ways with this age group. Use good merchandising techniques including digital signage to highlight events that will bring them back for new library experiences.