By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – After the Marlborough Public Library received $5,000 from Digital Federal Credit Union, it was decided that the donation would go toward transforming about half of a storage room on the bottom floor into a space for teen patrons. The challenge was to determine how to best utilize the approximate 256-square-foot-area. Jess Bacon, teen services librarian, feels that the relatively small space will solve more problems than it could create.
“Trying to fit everything we want to do in there will be tough, but we didn's have a spot for teens before,” she said. “We had three computers upstairs next to reference, which is the quiet area. So the teens had to keep their voices down when they wanted to hang out and talk.”
Bacon circulated a survey to better understand what features would attract teens to the room. She received over 100 replies answering questions about décor, flooring, seating and furniture, and colors and shades.
“A lot of them want more seating than tables, which is helpful to know,” she noted. “I think the major consensus is for more of a hangout. They really need a place where they can just go, grab a laptop, hang out with their friends and be themselves.”
The room will be equipped with a television and Wii U, and have access to 10 laptops.
When asked their preference for a creativity lab within the teen room, the majority expressed an interest in photography. At this point, Bacon estimates that the donated funds will be divided with $3,000 toward redesigning the space, and $2,000 toward photography equipment and programs.
The first of two workshops was conducted April 22 to help the teens develop a plan. They learned about the best use of space and basic design elements from Eric Moore of Shrewsbury, principal architect of Lamoureux Pagano & Associates in Worcester. Following Moore's presentation, teens worked on design plans in groups.
Teens attended the second workshop April 24 and learned how to budget the creativity lab from Lynn Faust, executive director of the Marlborough Community Development Committee.
Bacon is pleased that teens are enthusiastically involved in the planning of their new space at the library
“I want them to feel comfortable with the room,” she said. “When they come here, they'sl feel like this a place where they want to be. This is their space.”
The teens” room designs are posted online at bit.ly/TeenRoomDesign.
Teen library patrons can vote for their favorite until Friday, May 9. The most popular design will be implemented throughout the following weeks. Teens are also voting for the room's name. A grand opening will take place Saturday, June 21, at 1 p.m., during a Summer Reading Celebration.