To some teen-agers, the 68-year-old restored Central Library on 5th Street may look more like a monster of a maze than a resource for research.
With 2.1 million volumes spread throughout the shelves of the 540,000-square-foot building, it's no surprise to librarians that youths would prefer seeking help at a smaller, local branch library.
"The Central Library, because of its location and its size, can be intimidating to people coming from the (San Fernando) Valley or the city," said Pat Kiefer, manager for general library services.
"(When) you come in off any of the entrances to the Central Library, you're in a lobby area that could be very intimidating," said Kiefer, who added that the young readers are sometimes overwhelmed when told the library has nine subject areas to choose from.
All of that could change with the opening Saturday of a Central Library resource center that caters to young adults.
Called Teen'Scape (pronounced "teen escape"), the second-floor center offers teen-agers their own collection of fiction, nonfiction, classics and magazines.
"It's really meant for teen-agers to have a comfortable place to come in," Kiefer said. "It's an area where the teens can find information and materials both to do homework assignments and to accomplish recreational reading."
One room contains four IBM-compatible computers with CD-ROM capability, which allows users to obtain information from an encyclopedia and other educational materials. Teens can also try out a computerized Scholastic Aptitude Test tutorial program.
Saturday's opening will coincide with a free 1 p.m. performance of "Lonely Souls," a high school play about a girl's efforts to get out of a gang. The drama will be held at the library's Mark Taper Auditorium.
The Central Library is at 630 W. 5th St.
Information: (213) 228-7555.