Westfield Washington Public Library renovates teen area

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From left, Jeannette Wachtel, Teen Librarian Brittany Bush and Library Director Sheryl Sollars showcase the renovated teen area at WWPL. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Local teens now have a hipper place to study and hang out after school because the Friends of the Westfield Library recently donated new furniture to renovate the teen area of Westfield Washington Public Library.

Four years ago, a teen area room was established and decorated with IKEA furniture through a grant. In time, the furniture wore out from overuse and rowdy teen behavior.

Last fall, Teen Librarian Brittany Bush sought input from teenagers using the area and moved the book shelves from the center of the room to the outskirts of the room, opening up the space.

“They were like. this room is cool but it’s two separate, small spaces,” Bush said. “If we move the books, it would open it up and have more space for us.”

However, there wasn’t much furniture to fill the room. The Friends of the Westfield Library raises funds to supply the library with items and decided to supply furniture for the teen area. The furniture arrived March 19.

“This particular style of furniture was specifically designed for this purpose, for people who are going to lie on it and sit on the arms,” said Jeannette Wachtel, a member of the Friends of the Westfield Library. “It slides around. It can be reconfigured for programs and meetings.”

The $12,000 furniture donation includes two egg-shaped gaming chairs, a sofa, a love seat and tables and chairs. Most of the Friends’ funds come from book sales.

Bush said the teen response has been good, and Library Director Sheryl Sollars said the renovation has benefitted the entire library.

“Before this, (the teens) were bleeding out to the rest of the library to try to find a place to sit,” Sollars said. “Now, they have their study rooms. They’re in here more.”

For more, visit wwpl.lib.in.us.

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