Harlem library invites youth to interact without adult scrutiny.
Harlem’s Hamilton Grange branch is home to the New York Public Library’s first full-floor 4,400-square-foot space specially dedicated to teenagers.
The area is airy and open, and encourages kids to play video games, eat snacks, and hang out without having to worry about parents’ or elders’ eyes watching. The open space means the kids are free to interact, engage and explore with only two librarians on watch from one end of the room.
The space includes a 20-foot-diameter glass wall where visitors can play Wii and Guitar Hero available with special speakers preventing much of the noise from filtering out. There’s also L-shaped loungers that can be rolled into a range of positions. There’s also a Snack+Chat Niche and Study Zones where the teens can do homework together or prep for exams.
Architect Lyn Rice explains, ‘The key is a space without much security, where kids feel free to just hang out.”