As a mother, I shared my love of reading with my two sons and took them to the library quite often. They felt like “big boys” checking out books with their very own library card. When they finally selected a title, they quickly read and returned it, and checked out a new adventure. Now that they are teenagers, they still utilize the library, but in a different way. They borrow books for research papers and meet their friends to work on class projects.
When they visit, they have a safe space for kids their age. Space to get away. Space to meet new friends. Space to discover new interests and learn new skills. Teenspace hosts regular programming, where they can create art, play video games and explore maker labs at eight locations. They even access equipment and software to make movies, record songs and much more. Since I’m helping my youngest son, who’s 14, explore what he wants to be when he grows up (although he thinks he’s grown now), he allowed me to hang out in this section of the library with him.
My oldest son recently embarked on the college application process, so we’re spending more time at the library these days. Although I miss checking out board books, I’m excited to experience this next chapter in his life. I must admit, I am a little nervous. Carnegie Library puts me at ease, however. We can access the Testing & Education Reference Center with our library cards. There are tons of resources, like free test preparation and practice exams. This service isn’t just for high school students. You can prepare for professional certification and licensing as well as military and civil service exams. Tutor.com also provides SAT and ACT prep.
If your kids don’t go to the library, they should still get a library card. Tutor.com offers live homework help. Your teen can connect with a tutor, submit a paper for review, ask a question about math or take a practice quiz. If your teens are constantly on the go, a free mobile app is also available. If they need science support, Science Online: Experiments and More is like a science lab in your living room. There are more than 1,6000 interactive experiments that replicate the in-class laboratory experience in a safe and user-friendly environment. Your teen can also watch thousands of videos, not found anywhere else, and research science topics from A-Z.
The library is a safe space for our children to work and play. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of teens socializing when we visited. Be sure to check out the calendar and get your teens to follow Teenspace on Instagram.
Written by Farah Middleton and cross-posted on Single Mom Defined, a vibrant, online community that originated as “an interactive art exhibit at the 2018 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival and introduced visitors of all ages to positive images of 50+ mothers in the Pittsburgh region.”