TeenSpace: Where community happens

Written by Renee Tecco, Senior Library Services Assistant, TeenSpace, Downtown Main Library

Both Tyler Thomas and Dante Evans come to the TeenSpot every day and are avid participants in our programs.

“They give me something to do and free food,” says Dante. “And it’s educational.”

Tyler also agrees that our after school events are fun. “I'm bored and it gives me something to do to stay off the streets.” 

Over the years our teen events have run the gamut. Teens can sew a plushy monster or learn how to create a stop motion video. If you had a bad day or just want to blow off steam you can come in for a cup of tea and talk to us or get some coloring pages to help you wind down. We hold workshops on financial literacy as well as monthly book clubs. 

Our events give teens a chance to express themselves whether it’s with food made at our Teen Chef nights or art created in our studios. Sometimes teens just want to be someone else for a little while, so they love our big Cosplay events.

Teens find themselves among our stacks. They also find others in our programming rooms who share an interest in their mutual fandoms. Our events help bring young people from various parts of the county together and create a community.

We broaden our community further by bringing in knowledgeable people from around the Tri-State. Having community partnerships is important to teen programming. In the past, the Cincinnati Ben-Gals came to play Just Dance with the teens and the Music Resource Center, opens a new window assisted teens in making auditory essays.

But what is really important about the events in Teen Services is the fact that so many of our events are teen-led. The teens give input on what to cook in Teen Chef or give feedback that we need more coding/tech programs. It helps that TeenSpot and many of the branches have Teen Advisory Boards, opens a new window to help shape the programs we offer. It’s important for teens to know that the stories we tell don’t have to just come from books; teen voices are important. How they walk the earth matters. Their point of view is just as valid as the ideals of someone over 21. 

They talk, we listen. We read and we share. Our programs and events, even when we just play Uno, are community building in action. 

So if you are a teen check out our calendar here, opens a new window by clicking the "teen" filter under Age Groups. And if you know a teen bring them by their local branch. Their world awaits!

Visit the TeenSpace website to learn about all the upcoming events and activities. You can check out book recommendations, share your art and writing, and more at teenspace.chpl.org