Beanbag chairs, Macs and Photoshop: West Van Library's new teen space
Absolutely no young kids or adults allowed.
Room 14 at West Vancouver Memorial Library is a space reserved strictly for teens.
With huge beanbag chairs, Macs and plenty of electrical outlets, the brand-new room was completely designed by teens.
"We found out from our survey that students want an area that isn't really loud, but also isn't completely silent either," says Alexandra Fraser, a Grade 11 student who helped plan the space.
A separate room is reserved for group work, while solo studying and discussions can take place outside. There are two dozen outlets in the room, since many students bring both laptops and cellphones to study.
Flexibility is key to its success, says Shannon Ozirny, head of youth services at the library. Beanbag chairs are on the floor instead of a couch because they can be moved around easily. The tables and chairs are also all on wheels.
"We didn't just give the teens two chairs to pick from. They had endless options. It was all up to them," says Ozirny, comfortably sitting in a fuchsia bean bag chair, a colour the teens chose from 300 swatches.
The students picked everything, right down to lighting and paint colour. The Mac and PC computers have Photoshop, music editing and other programs that aren't often available at home.
More basic design elements, like natural light as opposed to florescent tubes, were also on the top of the teens' minds. Even the ceiling of the group study space is light blue to mimic the sky.
"Studying at home can be really difficult because it's hard to concentrate with all the distractions," says Fraser, who will be meeting classmates at Room 14 throughout the school term.