Iowa City Public Library sets teens up for success through ‘Free Closet’

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) — The Teen Lit­tle Clos­et at the Iowa City Pub­lic Library is made up of a selec­tion of donat­ed clothes younger peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty can use. But it’s a more nar­rowed down selec­tion than you might find at any pantry or thrift store. The selec­tion con­sists of but­ton down shirts, blaz­ers, tai­lored dress­es.

Can­dice Smith has donat­ed sev­er­al items to Teen Lit­tle Free Clos­et since it first start­ed. As with many donors, she has care­ful­ly select­ed items from her clos­et that would be good to wear to a job , a pro­fes­sion­al intern­ship, or even just an impor­tant event.

“I think that’s where some of us come in with sup­ply­ing some of those things that young peo­ple would­n’t be able to go out and get,” said Smith.

While it’s and avail­able to any­one, the ‘clos­et’ is main­ly for teenagers in the who might not have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get the appro­pri­ate out­fit for a cer­tain occa­sion or event.

Fer­nan­dez with Iowa City Pub­lic Library, says she got the idea after inter­act­ing with the many dif­fer­ent who come through the teen cen­ter.

“We help with resume and so we see teens in that job prospec­tive process,” said Fer­nan­dez. “We just heard that some of them did­n’t have the right pants, or did­n’t have the right shirt, and we knew com­mu­ni­ty would be respon­sive to that.”

She adds that they try to be inten­tion­al with the type of clothes they bring in.

Teens can exchange some of their items for oth­ers with­in the clos­et, or they can browse and take what they need with­out need­ing to exchange.

To fur­ther their ser­vice, they ask those in need a spe­cif­ic item to fill out these note cards.

“If kids need a cer­tain size of pants, then we will try and reach out. If kids need a but­ton-up shirt, then we’ll try to reach out about that too,” said Fer­nan­dez.

Sev­er­al teenaged interns also active­ly work on this project. Fer­nan­dez says they help in get­ting the word out to the younger pop­u­la­tion.

The clos­et is cur­rent­ly avail­able on Fri­days and Sat­ur­days. For more infor­ma­tion, click here.

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