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Teen only areas in the Library?

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Anyone else seen this? our library now has a large sign in front of one room saying "Teens only allowed inside"

 

1. The YA books are shelved inside that room so If I'm looking for a YA book I will ignore the sign and go in

 

2. However, this bugs me beyond that. But I don't have a teenager of my own. Is there truly a need to have rooms in the library where teenagers can hang out by themselves, no adults or younger kids allowed?

 

(I can see the no younger kids part. I am concerned about the no adult supervision part)

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Our library has had a teens only room for years.

 

What adult supervision do you think teens need in a library?

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What do you mean by no supervision? Isn't there at least one librarian for the area? I am sure the idea is to protect teens from predators. You might not know if there has been a problem with someone approaching teens. I am sure the sign gives them a reason to ask certain adults to leave the area when they need to do so.

 

Teens often walk/ride their bikes/drive themselves to the library by themselves or are dropped off by their parents to study, so I would not necessarily expect direct parental supervision of teens in the library.

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I'm a bit puzzled, I guess, as to why this is an issue.

 

1. Yes, our libraries have had teen sections for years.

2. Yes, I believe teens benefit from some teen only space. In fact, I think a library is an excellent place for it.

 

And "adult supervision"? In a library? My teens drive, grocery shop, run errands and have gone on medical appointments by themselves. Why would they need an adult in the teen room at a library?

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Our library has a Teen/YA room, though it doesn't say "Teens Only"--at least I never noticed and I go in there all the time with my 11 yo dd who likes a lot of the fantasy novels housed in there.

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We have had a teen area in our library for as long as I can remember.  Anyone of any age can borrow books and other items from the area.

.

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Our library has a teen area where the YA books are shelved. If adults go in without a child or teen, the librarian in that area wanders over and offers to help them. Younger children can come in to get books but the librarian directs them to the children's section if they want to sit and read. We do have a large population of adults that are homeless or at a shelter that hang out at the library everyday, especially if the weather is cold. The teen area gives teens a place to hang out and do home work and projects together and talk without being in the same common area with the adults.

 

I think it is a good thing.

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Our libraries (headquarters and at least some of the branches) have Teen Only areas. But the emphasis is on the seating areas, not on the bookshelves. Some of them have rather funky cafe-style seating, or other specialized social areas.

 

My 17 yos did get "carded" in the Teen area at Headquarters the other night. He has an awesome beard and does not look like he is 17. They weren't ugly about it, just checking.

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It doesn't seem like a big deal to me except that if you want to browse YA books you probably need to let a librarian know. I imagine they will allow that.

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It doesn't seem like a big deal to me except that if you want to browse YA books you probably need to let a librarian know. I imagine they will allow that.

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Our local library has a teen room. It doesn't have books. The room was decorated by the teens in the area. It is mostly computers for gaming and a few magazines from what I have seen. It has a door, but there are a lot of windows and such that you can see in so it isn't like a secret hang out or something. The library we used to use has a very nice teen room set up. The only downside is that it is where the graphic novels are kept that my sons love to read. They are not teens and it felts awkward going in their with littler children, but the books are for everyone. I tried to make sure that they weren't bugging the teens when we went in there, or best case we placed a hold on them and had DH pick them up for us.

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The only aspect that would bother me I think would be that it makes harder for others to get YA books and both ds and I read these. My own ds is only 8(almost 9) and I don't see that even he needs much supervision at the library.

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It sounds like a good idea, teens often have a greater need for a library than anyone else. If my kid was older I would appreciate such a service at my library.

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You don't have teens, but I do. I think such a space would be great. We have a significant area devoted to children. While we have a lot of YA books, the books are shelved in area that seems more like an after thought. It would be nice for teens to have their own nook to browse and sit down and read.

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Our library has a teen section, but anyone is allowed to go there. There isn't anyone "carding" anyone going in there. What if you 14 year old looks 11 or 20 and doesn't have an ID? They just won't let them in? I'm sorry, but I find that strange.

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Our library is mostly open plan so we don't have separate rooms - but we do have a teen area. It's pretty cool with cafe-style bar tables & bean bag chairs & funky colors. There are signs posted about the area only being for teens & I think that's fine. I've assumed that doesn't mean non-teens can't browse the shelves in that area - that would be weird. I guess I should ask to make sure. However, I've never, ever, ever, ever even seen a teen at our library, let alone in the teen area.

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Our library has a "teen only" area also with YA books. We jokingly call it the vampire section. Almost all of the books in there are about vampires.

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Our library is mostly open plan so we don't have separate rooms - but we do have a teen area. It's pretty cool with cafe-style bar tables & bean bag chairs & funky colors. There are signs posted about the area only being for teens & I think that's fine. I've assumed that doesn't mean non-teens can't browse the shelves in that area - that would be weird. I guess I should ask to make sure. However, I've never, ever, ever, ever even seen a teen at our library, let alone in the teen area.

 

Same kind of set up at my library. Open floor plan but it is clearly the teen area. The teen area at our library is frequently utilized either by teens reading, people looking for books, or tutoring.

 

If it was separate like the children's room I don't think it would be an issue. Teens need a place to be teens and I think a library is a pretty good place for it to happen.

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I'm curious why those of you who agree feel that teens need or benefit from a dedicated room in a library. I have no problem with designating an area and filling it with comfortable furniture and such, but why do teens need a closed in space for 'hanging out'? I find that more appropriate in a cafe or coffee shop.

Lots of teens use our library. During the school day there are many homeschool kids of all ages using the computers, sitting at tables working, or just lounging in the soft chairs scattered throughout reading a book - just like the little kids and adults. During the summer, it's the same...just more kids. But, there doesn't seem to be a need for a closed room just for teens.

What do you think teens gain for having a closed room/space to themselves? (I'm not trying to argue. I am truly curious why it would be beneficial.)

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We have one, and I think it's a great idea!

 

Teens need space to work, study, and write reports...and honestly, most of the young kids I see at our library are loud, ill behaved, and not creating a peaceful atmosphere to study in. Keeping little kids out ensures that teens who are trying to accomplish something worthwhile can do so in peace.

 

We also have adult only areas for the exact same reason.

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All three of the libraries in my vicinity have teen sections. The largest one even has its own separate librarian-- she is fantastic and arranges all kinds of activities/book clubs/computer classes etc. for the teens. None of them are restrictive-- anyone can go in to peruse the books. I think it is great; no particular reason why. My two love little kids but still enjoy having their "own" space in the library.

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Our library has a teen section. I'm not sure if it has a sign on it, as I really have no desire to be in a teen specific section. I imagine the sign is there to deter adults from hanging around in there, either then complaining about the noisy teens or for nefarious purposes.

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There is actually an age limit (mostly computers) for parts of the children's section. I think I have more of a problem with that. It's easy enough to just avoid the teen section. I understand that they probably want to protect young children from subject matter that it seems most teens are into. But, I don't think it's reasonable that my teen daughter is excluded from the area. She is often assisting her siblings, and she still checks out lots of books from the children's section. The adult section is on another floor. I am not sending her up there by herself. Between that and unfriendly librarians, I started reserving books, and have pretty much stopped going inside with the kids at all.

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I have no problem with teen-only sections of the library. It's nice for them to have a 'kids area' that isn't full of picture books and toddlers. It's just as beneficial for them as the children's section is for the little kids. I'm sure they'll let an adult, or even an 11-year-old, retrieve a book from there. It's nice for teens to have computer access for group homework assignments and not compete with job-searching adults or 7-year-olds playing video games. They keep office supplies in there that they don't want accessible by the little kids. They also host teen-specific group meetings in that space. They don't have privacy to do anything indecent in there because librarians are constantly in and out.

 

I have a teen daughter who is like a magnet for preschool girls. It's cute and all, but sometimes she wants to work without some toddler mom thinking it's adorable that her kid is making a friend and letting her hang out indefinitely. Also, if you're sharing a workspace with strangers, it can just be more comfortable for teens to be around their peer group. It's tough to relax and focus next to a mom with three preschoolers or a creepy adult.

 

This is something I think makes more sense when you have teens.

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Teen area in our library, but pre-teen and adults are welcome to grab books there. The designation simply gives them a space where they can lounge comfortably and talk at a modest volume without being glared at. I love the idea, as does my soon-to-be-teen.

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Our library has a teen area. The librarian told me it's because there are a lot of books that teen's read that they want to put in a separate area so that the little kids don't come across them accidentally. She said the parents of the little kids requested that the books be designated somehow. I think it would be great if there were a study room, too. The kids can be really loud, especially when there's a story time or other activity going on. Our library doesn't have study rooms for anyone, though.

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Our library has a teen section, but it's just a section of the main library floor that is tucked back in a corner. There's a cafe type table and the YA books are housed there, but it's open to anybody. Our library has a huge children's room and right next to it is an elderly adult room. The elderly adult room is a separate room and is only to be used by people over the age of 55. Oh, and we also have a cafe! University students practice running a business by selling coffee, sandwiches, or cookies to patrons and sometimes they'll even have a musical group performing. I guess libraries are trying to make a place for everybody.

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We have a teen area and my pre-teen loves to hang out there. I think she feels she's outgrown the kid room with the train tables and puzzles and story time, but she doesn't feel comfortable hanging out in the adult section. It's good to have a place to go. I've sat in the area before without comment, so it's not too strict...

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I have a different angle on this teen only area issue. I have two teens and they are both good kids and we encourage them to be independent. However, there are times when we need to know where they are. Over the past two weekends there were two instances, one in the teen only room of the library and another at a musical performance, where I was treated with what seemed like disdain, and some obstruction, when trying to locate my teen. Both instances stemmed from poor communication on the part of the people offering the teen-only opportunity. In the library, we had never been to this particular library located in downtown San Francisco. My daughter had performed at an event in the downstairs theater and the librarian running a teen program called "in the mix" introduced himself and invited the performers to tour the music studio located on the second floor of the library. No mention was made of this being a teen only space. After a while, we and some other parents were getting ready to leave and wanted to round up our kids. We went up to the music studio area and walked in, not noticing any sign that indicated teens only (certainly we knew it was directed at teens but 'no adults allowed' is a different thing.) We were greeted somewhat rudely by a man (adult), who informed us it was a teen only space. Still being confused we informed him we had just watched our kids perform downstairs and were getting ready to leave and they had gone on a tour of this area. He continued to harass us until the tour guide came rushing out and informed the hyper vigilant librarian that this was a special case. He either thought we were over protective parents or pedophiles-either is insulting and there should be some gray area here when parents are trying to locate their teens. A week previous, we had gone to watch our teen perform with her band at a music venue --a great experience but not the area of town where you want your 15 year old girl wandering unsupervised at night. No communication was made between the organizers and the parents as to where the kids would be and after her solo performance, our daughter who was sitting at a table with us left telling us she was going to the bathroom. For hours, she didn't return and someone told us she was upset with her performance. We texted her and got no response. Let me reiterate that this is a music venue with several bars located in an area where you don't want her wandering around at night. It was after 10pm by this time. Someone told me the kids had special seats (something no one previously told us) behind a curtain near the front of the mezzanine. I went to the man guarding the area and told him my daughter had gone AWOL and could he check if he was back there. I know this venue and know that behind the curtain are only 4 or 5 tables and either letting me peek back there to make are she was ok or going back there and asking for her by name would be simple, but he rudely told me, "Look I don't know your daughter from anyone else." I insisted he let me back to look and I established she was back there and her phone was dead so she didn't get our texts. The music school running this event is for teens and we think they are wonderful. We had no issue with her hanging out with her friends but no one informed the parents where the kids would be--this was another instance of giving teens their own space, which I fully support but the parents still need to know where they are in a setting like this. So I support teen areas and teen activities, but there needs to be communication with the parents before kids are whisked away to these private areas. There is no excuse for treating parents like pariahs. I'd worry about my best friend if she disappeared on me in a public place, too. 

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Our library has a Teen Only area, too.  Since we have a large homeless population that hangs out in the library during the day [especially during the times when it's really hot or really cold outside], the library instituted this area as an unspoken 'safe zone' for the teens who want to hang out there after school.  I've noticed the librarians keeping an eye on the area [not a separate room, just a kind of designated corner on the main floor] and they will ask if they can help you locate a book if an adult wanders in.  I've been one of those wandering through, and when I told them, "I'm just looking for a book for my daughter.." they had no problem letting me browse.  The same goes for the children's section in our library.

 

For our area, it's a safety concern so I appreciate the clear zones.  All are made to feel welcome for however they use the library: reading, resting, socializing, whatever.  But there are certain spaces set aside for certain people.

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Our library has a section for children and teens. Each section has appropriate seating for the age, but the teen section doesn't look much different from the adult section. We also have separate rooms for studying that you can use if empty or register for in advance if you want to ensure you have a room, and there's meeting rooms for teen activities or children activities. It's the setup I've seen most places. I would be very uncomfortable with an enclosed section that only teens are supposed to enter. Most of the time DS wants me to just get his books for him instead of going myself, and I think all areas of the library should be open to all people. I don't think teens need a separate space at the library when they aren't having library sponsored teen activities. 

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We lived somewhere once that had a teen area.  It had doors that kept is closed off from the rest of the library.  They did offer tables for study groups, and tv/gaming systems for gatherings.  So yes, I felt weird taking my younger kids in there to get certain books shelved there.  However, I was certainly allowed to be there, but it felt very wrong LOL

 

Our current library has teen shelves that are opposite of the kids books which do have a specific corner/seating.  

 

We have also had libraries in one of our many locations that books were either kids or adults. And that made life harder b/c I couldn't leave my younger kid in the kid area alone to help the older kid go navigate the adult sections.  That was just a pain.  

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I was so confused for a minute there, seeing "old" posters I haven't seen in a while.

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I love the teen space at our library. It's open but clearly marked and set up for teens, it is not for children (though anyone is free to browse). It's so nice to have that space and it's heavily used. I often see teens of all ages lounging on the easy chairs chatting or reading, or meeting up at the cafe tables for role playing/fantasy games. The excellent YA section is there, PG-R rated movies, graphic novels and comics, plus stacks of various games. We have a devoted teen librarian who absolutely rocks. She hosts teen movie nights and game nights where the kids get locked in the library after hours. They love it and all the events fill up quickly. I could never have imagined having such a resource as a teenager. I would have lived at my library more than I did.

 

So glad this is a popular trend!

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I was so confused for a minute there, seeing "old" posters I haven't seen in a while.

Oops! I didn't realize it's such an old thread!

 

Slinking off...

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I think it's weird because IMO teens don't need segregated from the general population.

 

They don't need their own library area any more than any other patron.

 

There's no reason they can't just go look at books like everyone else.

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I think it's fine that there is a teen area.  What I don't like is that it is a teens "only" area.  No other part of the library is restricted to any other group.  Sometimes I want to go in the teen area and pick out a book for my dd, and I do, but then I am breaking the rules.

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Ours has a "teen" space.  I assumed it was to discourage young kids from looking at material that isn't age-appropriate, while giving "teens" a space to be themselves, talk, collaborate ....  I did walk through there last week to see what it was like, and it didn't occur to me that I might not be "allowed" in there ....

 

That said, I could understand making it inaccessible to adults who have no business in there, if there was some reason to do so.  I've heard that there are some libraries where perverts hang around and prey on young people, so if there is a place where teens can be free of that consideration, I don't have a problem with that.

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Our library has a large teen space. It has low walls around it, so everything (and everyone) inside is visible. There are no signs that say teens only though. I have gone in often for YA books and at one time for the textbooks which were also housed there, although I think they've been moved. 

 

I don't think it is appropriate to say older children and adults can't browse the YA stacks. OTOH, I think having an area where teens don't have to worry about predators and can enjoy a teen friendly space is good. I actually think having a librarian that offers to help any non-teens that enter the teen area sounds great. Anyone there legitimately can say so. Anyone else can move along.

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I'm not sure how having a teen space would be any protection against predators- it's more likely to give a false sense of security unless it's very closely monitored. Teens can be predators and limiting the public view of that area is a bad idea, IMO. Young adults can easily blend in with teens and pretend to be one if they want to groom or harass them. There's a huge gap between a 12-13yr old and a 19yr old. Why do we want them hanging out in a private space??

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Love our Teen librarian, helper and the teen area of the library.  It's nice to see an area set aside for the kids to find stuff, do activities and meet other kids their age.

 

Our children's area still has tons of books that aren't picture books and some books are in both areas.  Also, they don't chase adults out if you are looking for books.  It's nice that the library actually cares about the needs of teens as so many places don't want them around.

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Yes they have that at my local library.  I doubt they will tackle you to the ground and beat you if you want to go in there to look at the YA books. 

 

That said, I never see anyone in there.

 

I don't have any sort of opinion either way.  They have areas for little kids, why not teens?

 

 

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What do you mean by no supervision? Isn't there at least one librarian for the area? I am sure the idea is to protect teens from predators. You might not know if there has been a problem with someone approaching teens. I am sure the sign gives them a reason to ask certain adults to leave the area when they need to do so.

 

Teens often walk/ride their bikes/drive themselves to the library by themselves or are dropped off by their parents to study, so I would not necessarily expect direct parental supervision of teens in the library.

 

I thought Mrs Mungo was back and then realized this is a zombie thread :(

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I'm not sure how having a teen space would be any protection against predators- it's more likely to give a false sense of security unless it's very closely monitored. Teens can be predators and limiting the public view of that area is a bad idea, IMO. Young adults can easily blend in with teens and pretend to be one if they want to groom or harass them. There's a huge gap between a 12-13yr old and a 19yr old. Why do we want them hanging out in a private space??

 

Our system has them enclosed in glass walls, or not "enclosed" at all.  It is not a "private" space around here.

 

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