Volume 28, Number 4, Winter 2006


Nebraska Teen Spaces

By Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission

Kimberly Bolan, consultant and author of Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover (Chicago: American Library Association, 2003), came to Nebraska in the spring of 2004 and gave five full-day presentations on making space for teens in the library, sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Library Association. She was so inspiring and on-target that enthused librarians left her presentation with determination to provide such a space in their own libraries or to improve their space already available to teens. She gave ideas ranging in cost from $0 to $(plenty) so those attending could realize that the space did not need to be expensive to attract and appeal to teens. One attendee noted that her presentation was equally of value to all sizes of libraries and how valuable it was for all attending.

Subsequently, the Nebraska Library Commission promoted Teen Spaces as one of the two areas of focus for their Youth Grants for Excellence in the fall of 2004 and 2005. The total amount available for youth grants each year was $50,000 (state funds). The public libraries responded in 2004 with an unprecedented number of applications (47) and amount of funds requested - $98,782. Grants funded in 2004 included $39,336 for 21 Teen Spaces grants; and in 2005, eight Teen Spaces grants were funded for $12,788 in grant funds.

For more information, contact Snyder.