Teen Zone

Picture a room painted in bold, unique colors. The visual impact is obvious the second one enters the wide doorway. Furniture in this room is constructed in fun, modern designs. Comfortable chairs invite a reader to sit down and stay for a while. One wall of the room is made from partially frosted glass and creates a cozy, yet open atmosphere. One side of this room houses state-of-the-art computer technology available for patrons to surf the web or type documents.

The room described above currently exists at the Crossroads Branch. It was specifically deigned to be appealing to teenagers. It is hoped that this area will encourage independent use of the library and lead teens to explore other library services, such as programs. It outwardly, and interactively, acknowledges teen patrons and their needs.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has published information on the American Library Association’s website, www.ala.org, which supports the fact that teenagers will use a library facility more if they feel welcomed into their own separate environment. According to, “The Need for Teen Spaces in Public Libraries” authored by Kimberly Bolan, the future of tomorrow’s libraries depends upon today’s teen patrons.

Most library users are aware that each Guernsey County facility has a separate section of books labeled, “YA” for young adult. This is the section where popular fiction titles such as, “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” are shelved. These books may be marketed to a specific demographic, but readers of all ages enjoy them. “YA” fiction covers various genres including sci-fi, romance and everything in-between.

However, the teen area contains much more than just fiction. There are shelves devoted to non-fiction, or factual information. Books dealing with social issues such as recreational drug use and dating can be checked out. College preparatory information is available for area students. A teenager will also find books that discuss important current topics, such as bullying and juvenile health issues.

Graphic novels have been around for several years, decades in fact, with the existence of comic books. The industry trend today is to take a popular title, such as “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyers, and publish it into a fully-illustrated adaptation. The library’s teen area has a large selection of both fiction and non-fiction which falls into this category. However, some of these titles may be deemed inappropriate for younger readers and parental discretion is advised.

Magazines are popular among all ages of readers. Some titles are written and promoted to the ‘tween and teen crowds. The Library currently subscribes to several titles including, “Seventeen” and “J-14”. Many teenagers are too busy with sports and extra-curricular activities to take time to read a whole novel. But they will pick up a magazine and spend five minutes reading an article.

Today’s teenagers lead busy lives. The Library hopes to become an integral part of those lives and to help provide necessary learning blocks for youth to succeed in the future. Further information regarding the teen area or “YA” collection may be obtained by contacting Children’s Librarian Donna King.

Happy Reading!