The New York Public Library has a new teen center at one of its midtown Manhattan branches. It offers fun and educational activities, programs, and events to help young adults learn, grow, and thrive as they continue out of the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The center is part of the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library. While the branch has been open since July, the teen center only recently started offering on-site programs and services. The NYPL chose the SNFL branch as the premiere library destination for NYC teens based on its central location and accessibility to public transit. It's currently a model for a new series of enhanced teen spaces that are being planned across the NYPL system over the next 5 years.
The NYPL's effort to support teens is part of the institution's overall investment in learning and education that is being paid for in large part by a $20 million gift from NYPL trustee, James Tisch and his wife Merryl. It also underscores a report released by the Center for an Urban Future that discusses the role libraries should play to support the city through recovery.
What Young Adults Can Expect at the NYPL Teen Center
“Now, more than ever, teens in NYC need safe, inclusive spaces where they can find caring adults to guide them as they explore new interests, learn about college and career opportunities, experiment with creative technologies, and carve out a voice for themselves,” said Siva Ramakrishnan, the library’s associate director of young adult services. “We’re thrilled to be able to invest in these library spaces in so many vibrant communities across our city. And we’re so excited to design these spaces with teens, so that they truly reflect their unique needs and perspectives.”
The center is on a 26,000-square-foot floor and is designed to be comfortable and welcoming for teens. There's general use seating, tables, comfy couches, and areas where teens can just hang out and be themselves.
The flagship teen center focuses on a variety of topics designed to help and appeal to teens, including:
- interest-driven learning
- teen empowerment and civic engagement
- the exploration of teen voice and social identity
- mental wellness
- digital and tech fluency
- mentoring opportunities
Amenities and services offered at the center include:
- a curated selection of books
- a computer lab outfitted with media production software and hardware such as Adobe Creative Suite and 3D printers
- exclusive, teen-only study rooms
- a variety of seating
- job-search and college-readiness programs
- online and in-person courses and workshops
But the center isn't just about life's serious business. There's plenty of fun and recreational services and programs for teens to enjoy including:
- a state-of-the-art recording studio with classes and instruction (great for aspiring musicians or broadcasters!)
- theme nights just for teens and led by teens
- board games and video games
What Teens Need to Know About Using the NYPL Teen Center
Where is the new teen center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library located?
The NYPL teen center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library is located at 455 Fifth Ave., Midtown, Manhattan, on the library's lower level.
When is the SNFL teen center open?
The SNFL teen center is open Monday-Thursday, 8am-9pm; Friday, 8am-8pm; and Saturday-Sunday, 10am-6pm.
Is there a fee to use the NYPL teen center?
No, it's completely free.
What are the teen center's current COVID guidelines?
Anyone who enters a NYPL location must wear a mask.
Main photo by Jonathan Blanc / NYPL