New teen space at Burnaby Public Library fills youth need


The new place for youth aged 13-19 at the Tommy Douglas Edmonds department serves “a kaleidoscope of needs and pursuits” for teenagers. Celebrate the grand opening on Saturday, July 9.

When the Burnaby Public Library soft-introduced its new teenager room final thirty day period, youth right away claimed it as their individual.

“I really don’t think I have at any time seen a teenager house so right away made use of by teenagers. … I consider it goes to exhibit there definitely was a have to have for place especially for teenagers to use,” reported Duncan Olenick, teen services librarian.

Burnaby Public Library’s Tommy Douglas department is hosting a grand opening for the teen place this Saturday, June 9.

A ‘community living space for teens’

“It’s a room that has a kaleidoscope of features and serves a kaleidoscope of wants and passions,” mentioned Olenick.

He stated the teens manufactured it distinct that getting a physical space especially allotted to them manufactured a significant variation in their willingness and enthusiasm to have interaction with the library.

“It’s sort of like a local community living space for teens,” he explained, noting the space has the capacity to adjust dependent on who is utilizing it and how.

He mentioned possibilities for general public areas for teens are restricted, specifically possibilities for non-commercial spaces.

“This is a house the place teens can appear, and they you should not have to buy anything to invest time in that place — and that’s distinctive, that’s a exclusive service to deliver.”

Teen space developed in collaboration with youth

The house has been in the works for the past 3 years, a joint undertaking with the library and its teen advisory team, designed up of youth aged 13-19.

The collaboration has turned an underutilized laptop or computer room into a place which is shiny, ethereal and crammed with plants.

Teens can use it like a makerspace: the library has purchased two sewing machines for the place there will be craft materials and a Cricut device for do-it-yourself creations.

Youth can brainstorm tips on a shared whiteboard, then share their art publicly on a large bulletin board.

New tech has also been included into the area: there will be a sensible Television set with gaming attributes, and a electronic synthesizer with lendable headphones.

In the coming months, teens will also be equipped to check out iPads to use.

The place contains a variety of electrical shops to demand tech.

The teenager advisory group educated the library on what teenagers needed from the space.

Strategies for the room’s design and style provided theming it as a 1950s diner, like the established from the Television display Riverdale.

Other thoughts integrated a skate-park concept, including a “pink crystal chandelier” or disco ball, or even a flooring-to-ceiling, all-black area.

“The all-black color scheme, that was controversial,” stated Olenick, laughing.

“There was a ton of opinions that it doesn’t need to have to be theatrical, it doesn’t have to have to be a topic park, it can just be a genuinely calming space exactly where teens can come in and do their own point,” he explained.

The vegetation arrived as a reaction to the teens’ research into their favourite community areas. A recurring favourite was legendary, plant-stuffed Burnaby espresso shop La Forêt.

“People genuinely commented on the lushness of that miniature forest, and how it is like escapism to go in there,” Olenick claimed.

The room is adjacent to the young adult portion of the library, in which there is a numerous assortment of reads for teenagers, which includes in various languages.

Diversity and inclusion at the forefront

The teenager advisory group also related with gender and sexuality alliance groups in universities all over the metropolis, talking about how to make the library, and its areas and collections, far more inclusive and assorted.

Out of these discussions came the realization of the want for visual illustration of inclusion.

As a result, 1 of the room’s highlights is a neon rainbow sign, with the term “Teens” shining in colourful capitals.

The teens also opted for lightweight, easily movable chairs that give extra entry to tables for teens who use wheelchairs.

Teenager spaces will also be involved in the new Cameron Recreation Centre, as perfectly as the renovated Metrotown library.

At the grand opening on Saturday, Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery will give out free of charge ice product.

When: Saturday, July 9, 2-4 p.m.
Where by: Burnaby Public Library, Tommy Douglas branch (7311 Kingsway)
Charge: Free of charge

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