Basehor library being altered to make room for teen area
Thanks to the hard work of some local teens, the Basehor Community Library will soon undergo a facelift.
Beginning next week, a section of the library will be transformed into an area designated specifically for teens, known as the “QuaranTeen Zone.” The idea for the teen area was proposed by members of the library’s teen advisory group led by teen services director Amy Schaffer.
“They went on their own time and made a blueprint and a whole file of examples of what they’d like to see,” Schaffer said. “A couple of them were part of the original group that created their own presentation, then they pulled in the ones that come to my programs a lot.”
After constructing a blueprint of what they wanted in the area, group members presented their idea to the library board, which meets every month. The project, which will cost about $13,000, was approved at the board’s meeting in May.
Group members worked with interior designer Marcia McCown, who designed the library’s interior when it was originally constructed, to get a feel of what ideas would be the most practical and feasible.
“(McCown) was just wonderful working with the kids,” library director Diana Weaver said. “She was really patient with them and kind of explained some things to them and showed them what an interior designer does. There were a couple who were really fascinated by it.”
Beginning Tuesday, books will be removed from the shelves in the northwest corner of the library. The next day, installers will move the shelves to the south end of the section and replace them with furniture in the teen area.
A wall similar used to those used to separate office cubicles will also be constructed at the east edge of the teen area. The wall won’t extend all the way to the ceiling, but will stand tall enough to seclude the area from the rest of the library.
“If Basehor continues to grow, we want to have options on the building so we can continue to grow with the community,” Weaver said of the decision to put in an office wall. “We didn’t want to put anything too permanent in that could put us in a bind later on.”
The remodel is expected to be finished by the end of the day on Aug. 8.
Schaffer, who has worked directly with Basehor teens for the last seven years, said there has been an added sense of enthusiasm among library visitors since the renovation was approved at the beginning of the summer.
“They’re coming in and asking if it’s switched yet,” she said. “Even teens who aren’t part of the core advisory group are really excited about it.”
Even during the summer, Schaffer’s teen programs have drawn large attendance numbers. There are at least two programs a week including book clubs and craft groups, and 126 teens signed up for this year’s summer reading program.
The library had an auction on Tuesday, where teens could cash in “library dollars” they earned by logging minutes of reading throughout the summer. The main prize was a Kindle Fire, while other prizes included T-shirts, tote bags, water bottles and gift certificates to local businesses.