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Library launches project to build Teen Room

September 16, 2018

HARLINGEN — The library’s first Teen Room is taking shape — from its Media Lounge and Idea Lab all the way to its Thought Spot.

Friday, city leaders launched the project to build the 1,300-square-foot area on the library’s first floor.

“It’s a major improvement for the library and a major improvement for our teens,” City Commissioner Michael Mezmar said at the project site. “Libraries are places to open the mind, to travel the world without leaving home.”

During the ceremony, Mezmar praised the Harlingen Junior League for raising $165,000 to fund the construction project.

“The way we can truly make an impact on our youth is through education,” Christina Araguz, the Junior League’s president, said.

For two years, about 100 women worked to raise the money as part of the Junior League’s 70th-year project.

The library’s Teen Advisory Group, a group of young patrons organized about three years ago, will share the area, Dauna Campbell, the library’s director, said.

“We’re going to give them a solid start to their future,” Campbell said. “The library is about community, socialization, gathering and sharing ideas. This is going to be something really phenomenal for the kids.”

According to Amy Muñiz, the Junior League member who designed the teen room, “every space is strategically placed.”

“It’s going to impact every teen who comes here and it’s going to impact generations of teens,” said Muñiz, who helped survey more than 50 teenagers to help her design the area.

Across the area, chairs and desks will feature outlets for computers, tablets and cell phones.

Muñiz said a “teen book collection” will become the focus of the area.

Meanwhile, the Teen Room’s common area offers a “gathering place.”

“There’s diner-style seating where students can do their homework,” she said.

Nearby, the Media Lounge will feature a television screen, five computers, two laptop computers and even game sets.

“Here’s where they can work on collaborative projects together,” she said.

Next, the Idea Lab will include the features of a conference room.

“It’s a collaborative space where they can have conferences and conferences via satellite,” she said.

Campbell has said construction is expected to be completed by fall or early winter.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com

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