Ages 13-18 Teen
While the spaces are important for teens, so are the adults they interact with. Teens bond with adults who are welcoming, have a positive attitude, are patient and approachable, and have a sense of humor. Teens want a place for self-guided, interest-driven learning — a place for exploration that is intertwined with sharing and learning from others.
Create a Space They Can Call Their Own
Furnishings and decor set the tone for your teen spaces and can help teens feel like they are a part of the adult world they’re striving toward.
10 Tips for a Successful Teen Space
- Understand teens and their developmental needs. Review the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets as well as YALSA resources.
- Allow teens to take ownership of the space. This is often done by creating a Teen Advisory Board that gives input on the space design, furnishings and programming.
- Keep the space flexible to support a variety of experiences from live performance to hanging out, to movie nights, gaming and more.
- Encourage kids to develop and express their identities through art and creation.
- Provide access to technology including computers and support the use of their own devices.
- Digital media labs and maker spaces are increasingly popular and scalable. Start small and grow as resources permit.
- Give space to engage with others to problem-solve, complete group projects, share content, etc.
- Comfortable furnishings are essential. Consider a mix of less expensive pieces that will be replaced to keep the space "current" with one or two "wow" pieces.
- Engage with community experts and resources to provide rich and timely programming.
- Support individual learning and reading by creating visible popular collections and the use of good merchandising techniques.