When you think of teens hanging out, the library isn't the first place that comes to mind.
But a program for teens at the the Confederation Centre Public Library has proved so popular, they needed a bigger space.
'It's cool to have your say in what you want to do.' — Kristen Thompson, Teen Space participant
The library has hosted its Teen Space program since 2012, offering a drop-in drawing group and weekly activities, plus colouring books and board games that are available any time.
The teens say it's a place where they can learn new things and something they can call their own.
"A lot of people appreciate having a place to come that's their own space, they can meet with friends and develop new friendships," said library assistant Minerva Gamble-Hardy.
The key to the program's success is getting input from the teens, she said.
And that means a lot to participants like Kristen Thompson, who was hesitant to attend the program because she thought it would be boring.
"At first I thought I'd never come to teen space program, like the library just wasn't my thing," she said. "But now that I've started, I've started coming more and more because it's just fun and they have really great activities."
Being allowed to contribute pays off far beyond the reaches of the program, she said.
"It really gets you into the community and society," she said. "It's cool to have your say in what you want to do."
Participant Alyson Pitre agrees that her opinions are valued by the program's organizers.
"I think it means that we're a bit more understood, like, how we can actually take stuff that we want to and do them with a whole bunch of other people who like to do those things, too."
Many of the teens have started volunteering at the library, helping with adult and children's programs, said Gamble-Hardy.