Basehor library’s QuaranTEEN zone officially celebrates opening
After nearly a year of hard work by local youth and library staff, the "QuaranTEEN Zone" at the Basehor Community Library officially opened Tuesday afternoon.
The area of the library dubbed the QuaranTEEN zone is located near the back of the library facility and is partitioned off. It includes several computers, several booths for youth to read and eat at, a circular couch for discussions and a TV that teens can check out a remote for.
"Before, there was this big space but not many people came here," said Spencer Brown, one of the teens who started planning the teen zone about a year ago. "There were banks of computers that nobody was using."
Brown, along with Liam Hanes and some other friends, approached library director Diana Weaver about converting the dormant area into an area where teens could meet. The group then presented their own hand-drwan blueprints to the library's board of directors and secured $13,000 to remodel their corner of the library.
The result has been a steady increase in youth taking advantage of the new nooks in the QuanTEEN Zone, according to Teen Services Librarian Amy Schaffer.
"The booths have been packed after school," Schaffer said.
Schaffer commended the teens who undertook the project and said they showed real initiative by creating their own blueprints and pursuing the funding.
"It was a step-by-step process but they were very impressive," Schaffer said.
The teens then worked with commercial interior designer Marcia McCown, who designed the interior of the entire library, to create the atmosphere they were looking for.
"We've seen a more diverse group in here and more people working," Brown said.
Brown said they still hope to change some things in the future, including different lighting, but said the new QuaranTEEN Zone is what he and the other teens were looking for when they began the project.
"It turned out great," Brown said.