Posted in Separate spaces?

Why tweens should NOT have separate spaces in public libraries





A variety of concerns have been raised about having separate spaces for tweens in public libraries:

  • Is there actually a need for a separate tween space?
  • Space limitations might not provide for a separate tween space.
  • Staff will need to be reassigned from other duties, or additional staff will need to be hired.
  • Expenses related to creating a new space, such as purchasing furniture and technology, adding to the middle grade book collection, programming costs, and staffing.
  • Children’s and teen spaces already exist in many libraries, and carving out additional areas for target populations might reduce the space available for all patrons to use.
  • Separate spaces might imply to children that they are not welcome to use materials in the areas designated for children or young adults outside of their age range.
  • Tween’s preferences change so frequently that it is difficult for staff to know what to provide and have concerns that offerings in a tween area may become quickly outdated.


Anjackson. Is there a need for distinct tween materials, sections, services, statistics? [Web log post]. Retrieved from


Goforth Gregory, J. (2015). Stuck in the middle. American Libraries, 46(5), 42-45. Retrieved



Kropp, Lisa. (2016a). Tween spaces – wants or needs? Retrieved from


Watkins, Ally. (2016, March 29). On tween programming. Retrieved from


Image retrieved from


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