Teen Scene Expands

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Jericho Public Library debuts new space

Standing in the middle of the newly renovated Teen Scene section of the Jericho Public Library are Gina Patronaggio (left), reference librarian for Young Adult Services and Director Christina Brenner (Photos by Dave Gil de Rubio)

The Jericho Public Library recently debuted the newly renovated Teen Scene area, a section of the library that’s two-thirds larger than its previous incarnation. The new space was unveiled last month and for Gina Patronaggio, a reference librarian in the Young Adult Services department, it couldn’t come at a better time.

“We’ve definitely been blessed with a lot of teens coming in after school,” she said. “We have an after-school bus from the middle school and the high school that come in and we’ve definitely been noticing a climb in our numbers for our teens, and they needed space.”

With the Jericho community boasting a high-performing school district, it’s not surprising that the library serves as an epicenter for many students to come and study and do research. It’s an issue that came to a head last spring, according to library director Christina Brenner.

Workers moving shelving at the Jericho Public Library during the roughly month-long renovation of the library’s Teen Scene section

“Last spring, during finals, we were inundated with teens. They were on the floor and moving furniture,” she recalled. “They were encroaching on the adults, so that is what I think planted the seed [for this expansion]—we had to think up something to get more seating. If they’re seated, they’re more apt to respond to the space.”

With the heavy lifting being spearheaded by Jericho Public Library Tech Specialist Carlos Munozospina, the transition took roughly a month with the notion that there be as minimal disruption as possible. According to Patronaggio, the biggest challenge was keeping the books in order while not throwing off the library’s day-to-day flow. The old space went from accommodating six seats and six computers to a new space that not only expanded to 18 seats and eight computers, but includes tables able to include an expander in the middle that will allow for more teens to participate in the library’s activity offerings.

“With the new Teen Scene expanded, relocated and rebranded, we’ve been able to provide additional tables and seating for teens to study and collaborate,” Patronaggio said. “With these eight computers, self-checkout station and printer, we plan to host a drop-in program, which was more difficult to do seeing as we had to share a meeting room downstairs with the adults, children and young adults. With this new layout, I don’t have to worry so much about the scheduling and I can offer community service opportunities to the teens. It’s a win-win.”

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