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.