In order to get a better grasp on the relationship between my local library and the teens of the community, I made the two minute walk to the branch right beside my house. Although I live in a highly populated seniors area, the Teen Annex here seems well developed and surprisingly well used. Below is a list of observations which may explain their success.
- Big comfy couches. Enticingly plush. Conveniently positioned within arms-reach of the New Books display.
- Board games! And not just Monopoly and Scrabble either. They also had Bananagrams, Apples to Apples, and a few other decently current games. If the library wanted to make an even bigger board game impression on the community they could add more popular/unique/addictive games such as: Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Bang!, Quelf, Cranium, Dixit, Taboo, Dutch Blitz, or Dominion.
- Recommended reading list brochures. Fiction for older teens, vampire novels, steampunk for teens, etc. Extensive but not overwhelming.
- New Books Display. Judging by the number of books missing from the display, it’s either very popular or very under-maintained. Let’s hope for the former!
- Graphic Novel section. It’s a great idea to separate this popular teen genre off from the rest to encourage browsing, and to potentially spark new interest.
- Teen Non-Fiction section. Since most teens are unlikely to browse through the adult non-fiction section for fun, the librarians have thoughtfully selected a few dozen non-fic titles that may interest teens. For example, interesting atlases, travel books, and DIYs.
I was happily surprised to find this small branch so busy and the teen section so well thought-out. Unfortunately I observed the section during school hours, so there weren’t many patrons in that area. I would be interested to see how other branches of LPL compare to this one, and to watch how patrons interacted with the space and materials.