Danville Library opens new teen space


Teen Advisory Board members and Town Council members cut the ribbon officially opening the new Teen Zone at the Danville Library.

Lauren Edelman, News Editor

    Cheerful members of the community surrounded the new and modern orange seating as four students cut a gold ribbon, officially introducing the opening the new teen space at the Danville Library.

    On Dec. 12, the Danville Library held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly remodeled “Teen Zone,” replacing the sparsely used reference shelves. Members of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB), a group of students who help choose books for the teen collection and represent local teen opinions, Mayor Newell Arnerich, council members Lisa Blackwell and Karen Stepper, and local Danville citizens.

    The Town Council and TAB members spoke at the ceremony.  Arnerich shared his memories of the opening at the library with over five million people visiting since its opening and how it became the number one library in the Contra Costa system. TAB members expressed their experiences with the library, correlation with the Danville youth, and excitement to see the development of the project.

    The library received a $25,000 grant at the beginning of 2017 to create a new area for teen seating and new equipment.  The teen space added 27 seats, including new plush seats and multiple charging outlets, including a charging tower.

    Community Library Director Seng Lovan and Administrative Services Director Nat Rohanasathira, as well as TAB, reviewed several designs of teen spaces in other libraries, such as the San Ramon Library, in order to make the best use of the space and get inspiration. They especially emphasized the incorporation of comfy seating and tables for small group work, warm and contemporary aesthetic, and accessible charging outlets.

    “We were able to expand the young adult collection, offer more charging capabilities and carve out a bright new space exclusively for teens to gather, study and collaborate,” Lovan said. “It was a very unique and creative project because it was completed by re-envisioning a currently under-utilized area of the library. Additionally, no square footage was added to the existing building to carve out the new space.”

    Senior and TAB member Katie Wong worked with the library for six years.  She feels that the presence of local teens in the library is key to create a sense of community.

    “I think it is necessary to encourage appreciation of learning and knowledge in the teen demographic of Danville,” Wong said. “We’re hoping to bring more teens into the library and evoking that community sense that danville really strives to have around this library.”

   “The teen space gives a lot more space for students to work in an environment specifically catered to them and teens appreciate that. That’s why it’s been a big success throughout these past few months,” Senior and TAB member Maddie Wilson said.

   Lovan agreed with Wilson as she saw immediate usage of the area. She stated her delight to work with teens and encounter the development of the project.

   “We definitely saw more teens during finals week and we hope more students will learn about the Teen Zone because the area was created and the collection was expanded due to direct input from local teens,” Lovan said. “We think it’s a very successful project and we’re so proud to have so much teen involvement. Thank you teen advisory board, you will always have a space at this library.”