Friday, May 14, 2021

Library Renovations: New Opportunities to the Young Adults

With Marshall County approving the grant for the library's renovation, there are important questions to ask. "What does this mean for the Young Adults in the Bremen area? What new services/opportunities can Young Adults start looking forward to?"

A big change the renovation brings is the creation of a space dedicated to the Young Adult clientele. This space is one of many new spaces the library plans to create that allows people in the community to gather and not need to be turned away because of space limitations. The great thing about this creation of new spaces is that the Young Adult community will get an entire meeting space to use for their own purposes. As it is currently planned, this Young Adult space will be where the current non-fiction area is. This space will have the library's YA collection, a few computer stations, and a television. This is not the only space the Young Adult community will be able to take advantage of. The library renovation brings three separate smaller study areas, in contrast to having only one larger one now, and an expansion to the media lab. These new study spaces will also bring flexibility. Although they are distinctively three different study spaces, two of these study spaces will have a removable divider, which will allow for these two different smaller study spaces to turn into one bigger study space.

Ask yourself, "As a Young Adult, what is there to do in Bremen on any given day?" Nowadays, an answer to this question is few and far between; there simply isn't much to do that is entertaining to a Young Adult audience. The dedicated YA space will bring many new entertainment opportunities to the Young Adult community. When discussing possibilities for the YA space, the consensus is that there are numerous options when it comes to possible programs the space can host. Programming ideas that have been discussed is using the YA space for programs that are very practical to the Young Adult community. Practical programs would be the SAT prep, trade profession talks, and other educational programs. These practical programs would help the Young Adult community tremendously. 

Of course, this won't be the only thing the space will be used for. Another great idea on using this space for movies to be played on the TV in the space. Mentioned earlier, this new space will have a TV, giving an entire new world of possibilities when it comes to entertainment in this space. Currently, there is no space in the library that has a TV, or larger screen in general, dedicated to any one demographic. This new YA space's TV simply creates so many more opportunities than what the library can currently offer. This TV can be used to play movies or maybe have some game console hooked up to it. In the past, the library has seen how much fun the community can have when playing on a video game console. This community involvement over video game programs like these warrants an exploration of how the Young Adult community might respond if they have access to game consoles in their dedicated space. This TV, paired with the new computers stationed in the space, will be a game changer when it comes to entertainment options the Young Adult community has.

This YA space won't be totally unsupervised. This space will have a librarian stationed near the door, and there will be windows that allows staff a direct line of sight inside the room from their workroom. These steps are taken to ensure that the space is being used appropriately, and to ensure that the people in the space are safe and secure. The idea of this space is to give the Young Adult community of Bremen a safe and fun environment to hang out or make new friends at. This space is being made with the idea of community involvement in mind. When the space gets made, the library wants Young Adults to use the space; the space is made for them. The belief we at the library hold is that if we get the peoples' feet in the door, they will want to stay. This is why the space is being created, to get peoples' feet in the door, and make sure they realize what the library has to offer. So if you are a Young Adult in Bremen when the renovations are done -- optimistically less than a year -- then come down to the space that is, literally, made for you.

"If we create this space, then they will come." - Chris Scandling, Library Director

This writing brought to you by BPL volunteer and Student Advisor, Braden Unruh

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