Ilsley Library asks area teens for input

MIDDLEBURY — Teens and tweens would like a little more room at Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library.
That’s the recommendation from youngsters age 11 and up who were invited to the Main Street library this past Tuesday to discuss how the library currently serves their needs and how it could do a better job.
The discussion, led by Library Director Kevin Unrath, involved local teens, a Middlebury selectboard representative, and members from the Ilsley Library Board and Building Committee. They met to discuss space for teens specifically; the general sense garnered at the meeting was that there is not enough teen-designated space in the library.
The young people’s suggestions regarding space included establishing a living-room-like setting or a larger common room with age-targeted books where teens could congregate. Teens were also interested in more availability to undamaged DVDs and recording equipment, time and space to use the recording equipment, longer computer time, and a place to eat within the library.
The current teen center, located in the basement of the municipal building, will be moved to the warming hut at the town recreation park when the municipal building is torn down next year and a new town office building is erected next to the library. The smaller space in the warming hut should prompt people to look for more places in town where teens can congregate, Unrath said. The library will begin afterschool programs for teens this fall, which he hopes will provide them with more of a space to just hang out and decompress.
 This conversation was part of an ongoing discussion initiated by the Ilsley Library Building Committee to assess the institution’s space needs. The main 7,600-square-foot building was erected in 1924, with an 8,200-square-foot addition opened at the beginning of 1989.
The library’s discussion will continue with a meeting open to the public this coming Monday, Aug. 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Ilsley meeting room.

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