Tweens (10-12)



Panel Art with Lyndy Bazile

The main goal of this program was to give middle school-aged kids a sense of ownership of the library's Teen Room. We invited a local artist to work with the kids on creating colorful panels to decorate the room. The participants visited and worked within the artists' studio space and got to see their final pieces installed.

Advanced Planning

Initially, I wanted to bring in Lyndy Bazile, a local artist who also goes by the name Afro Plump, for a Summer Learning program. I then had the thought to have her work with middle schoolers on a mural piece for the branch’s Teen Room.

We have had incidents of students not respecting the room and by involving them in the decoration, we hoped to give them pride in the space and for them to feel more responsible for what happens there and what it looks like.

I researched other artist-library collaborations, showed Lyndy some examples and set up a meeting. The branch’s manager, assistant manager, teen librarian, Lyndy and I met in the Teen Room to discuss options. We decided to do panels instead of a mural. We met in January, and the program happened in May. She visited the Afterschool program to speak with the students and get their ideas on what the library meant to them. She returned a couple of days later with some sketches from their ideas. The students colored in her sketches and drew some of their own. Lyndy invited the students to her studio in July to paint the panel pieces.


We promoted the event to our students in the library's Afterschool program because those were the students we wanted to reach. We put a sign outside the meeting room where the Afterschool program takes place that says what is happening that day in the program. Students can participate in the day’s event, do homework or talk with friends. We had a good number of students participate in the panel activity. 


We paid Lyndy a set fee to pay for her time and supplies. If you need to cut costs, you might be able to get supplies cheaper than the artist.

Day-of-event Activity

The Afterschool program took place in May and didn’t need much set-up. The staff who work the Afterschool program helped pass out supplies for the students and things ran very smoothly.

The studio visit took place in July and required more coordination. We created permission slips for the visit and our lawyers looked over the slip and approved it. Parents had to sign the slip, and students had to bring them back to us. Some students met us at the library, and we drove them in a library van to Lyndy’s studio and some students were brought by their parents. Lyndy was kind enough to buy lunch for the participants.

Program Execution

About 15 students participated in the Afterschool program with Lyndy. Five students, one parent and three library staff attended the studio visit. Our director also stopped by and an artist who shares the studio space with Lyndy also helped out.

Lyndy spoke with the students, allowed them to ask questions and talked about how she would put together the panels they created. We worked for about 75 - 90 minutes on the sketches. 

The best feedback we received was when the students walked into Lyndy’s studio and said, “Wow!” I don’t think any of the students and possibly some of the adults had ever been in an artist’s studio before. Lyndy let us look around and ask questions before, during and after the panel painting. Our library has a TV station, and a staff member took photos, recorded the visit and interviewed Lyndy. A short film was put together and it plays on our TV station and in our Main Library.

Once the panel pieces were dry, Lyndy installed them in the Teen Room.

This program achieved our goals: the students created art that gave them more ownership over the Teen Room, we partnered with a local artist and the students had an opportunity to see how an artist works. Several of the students draw and create, so this gave them a chance to envision an artistic future for themselves.


Having examples of what an artist-library partnership can look like was helpful to us and our senior staff who ultimately approved the program. While Lyndy hadn’t done a program like this before, she did an amazing job working with the students and getting them to explore what the library means to them and what the Teen Space means to them.

Let the teens embrace the space and express themselves.

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