Tucson Teens: Are you looking for a place to study, volunteer, learn new skills, or meet up with friends? Consider your local library!
Pima County Public Library is made up of 27 locations, spanning 9,200 square miles in Southern Arizona - including Tucson and the surrounding communities of Arivaca, Green Valley, Sahuarita, South Tucson, Ajo, Marana, Oro Valley, and Catalina, as well as several unincorporated communities.
Teens are welcome at any and all of the 27 libraries and there are plentiful materials available to entertain, enlighten, and inspire!
Teen 365 is a service designed by Library staff just for teens. It focuses on four areas that will help teens be successful now and in the future: Lead, Seek, Make, and Tech.
As part of Teen 365, Pima County Public Library offers tons of events and programs for tweens and teens! From drop-in chess and Code Club to Makerspace Open Lab and Messy Science, there’s something for everyone. In addition, Nanini and Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. libraries host Teen Advisory Boards, which offer an exciting opportunity for teens ages 14-18 to plan programs, participate in book discussions, and work on community science projects.
Three Tucson libraries also have dedicated spaces designed specifically for middle and high school students. Called 101Spaces, these areas "offer young people opportunities to nurture a sense of community and to explore and develop their interests in collaboration with adult and peer mentors."
The workshops and programs offered in the 101Spaces are unique in that they are driven by youth interest and connected to real world learning opportunities and skill building. From technology-related workshops (like coding and 3D printing) to leadership-focused classes (like public speaking), the opportunities are as diverse as the teens who attend them. Best of all, these classes and programs are free.
* NOTE: Year-round teen programming is available at all 26 library branches.
The 101Space at Joel D. Valdez Main Library opened in 2016. The 4,500 square feet space is located on the 2nd floor of the library. It is bordered by the teen book collection, including teen fiction, graphic novels, manga, and magazines and includes a hangout space and a dedicated workshop room. The Main Library's 101Space features 8 teen computers, comfortable seating, and game tables. It also has a wide variety of equipment, including a vinyl cutter, digital cameras, a sound booth, laptops, and a sewing machine.
The 101Space at the Oro Valley Public Library opened in 2017 and is approximately 1,170 square feet. It sits in the northeastern corner of the Library in the teen zone. The space features booth-style seating and has two 3D printers, two MacBooks, an HP Sprout, and board games. In addition, there are 5 teen-only computers.
The Valencia Library currently holds 101Space programming in the 576 square foot meeting room adjacent to the Teen Area. It features a Silhouette Machine, a button maker, a Sphero Robot, board games, an X-Box 360, and a Wii.
While all of Tucson's libraries have materials available to teens (and remember - any item found in the catalog can be requested to any library!), not all have dedicated spaces. The three 101Spaces highlighted above are the most notable, but the following three libraries also have welcoming teen areas and/or programs of note.
The Nanini Library has a teen section set apart by shelving and has a private, alcove-like feel. The space includes a bulletin board where notices of interest to teens are posted.
The stand-alone teen section at the Miller-Golf Links Library is bordered by a wall of windows on the north side of the Library. There are 2 teen-only computers as well as a table and comfortable chairs. The section features a display of teen artwork.
At the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, teens are invited to use one of 4 teen-only computers or relax in several cushioned seats. There is a bar and high seating to use while searching the catalog and one round table with chairs for homework or reading.
Tucson teens can also get involved with their local library by joining a Teen Advisory Board. There are currently TABs at the following branches: Nanini Library, Dusenberry-River Library, Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, and Oro Valley Public Library.
Volunteer opportunities are available for teens (ages 14+) at all Tucson locations. Inquire directly at your nearest library.
If you have other questions about services for teens at your local library, don’t hesitate to call the library's main line at (520) 791-4010.