Library’s third floor offers teens ‘a place of their own’

(Pictured are Library Board Chair Brian Crowder and Librarian Helen Manion, who are happy with the way their plans to make the library’s third floor a special place just for teens have turned out. The visiting teens might also note that, adorning two walls, are bookends used when the library first opened in 1905. Staff photo by Joyce Moran)

It was the fall of 2002 when the library board, along with chief librarian Helen Manion, decided to make and reserve the library’s third floor just for teens. “It’s working out well,” said Manion. “Kids come here to do homework, play board games or just hang-out and visit. No, their sound doesn’t carry to the rest of the building. And, for safety’s sake, we do have two cameras in place.”

Available to the young people are the board games, puzzles, books of teen interest, encyclopedias, desks, tables, stuffed chairs, a typewriter (still popular) and a computer. While the latter is non-internet, it can be used for games and word-processing. Making some of the purchases possible was a $1,500 grant from the city.

The hours for the teens’ special floor are the same as those for the library.

The Little Falls Library is not the only library with room set aside for teens. According to Manion, several, including the one in St. Cloud, have designated special rooms for teens.

There is also a teen advisory group that meets with Manion approximately once a month. “We discuss how things are going, and they give ideas for programs that they’d like to have take place,” she explained. “So far we’ve had a teen trivia, knitting for teens and a coffee house. Proposals for the future include a scrapbooking class. Other suggestions include a demonstration on magic and/or origami. Yes, we’re always open to ideas from the teens on what they’d like.”

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