Review-Teen Spaces

cover artThis weekend I wrote a paper on the best practices for redesigning a young adult area in an urban public library. I may share that paper later, and definitely intend to link you to some of the great library redesigns I found pictures of. First I would like to discuss one of the sources I looked at during my research,

Bolan, Kimberly. Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.

I enjoyed how much emphasis Bolan put on understanding what teens want and what they need before designing anything. Getting their input is essential to making the library work for them.

A great feature of the book is it gives examples from real libraries, and one of the examples was London Public Library, which was a pleasant surprise in an American book.

I do think that a book that talks about the value of colour and discusses aesthetics would have been better off with colour images, because a drab black and white photo of a teen space that the caption is telling us is painted and textured is not very inspiring.

Bonus: She includes sample surveys that you can model your own after when getting input from the youth in your community

While I can’t say I agree with everything in it, I would recommend this book to anyone tackling a redesign.


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