Chicago Public Library partnered with the MacArthur Foundation to launch YOUmedia in 2009 as a way to engage teenagers at the library. The space is equipped with a music studio, digital cameras, 3-D printers, loads of computers and, of course, books. It’s all self-driven, but there’s a staff of mentors and librarians ready to help.
The loose atmosphere is based on University of California, Irvine professor Mizuko (Mimi) Ito’s study that found teens engage with digital media by “hanging out,” “messing around” and “geeking out,” as she puts it. Teens can “hang out” at the center by playing games or relaxing, but mentors are there to help them “mess around” or learn how to use new tech and gadgets, and “geek out” or dive deeper into passionate projects, like music production, designing a float or writing poetry.
Read the full story at SDPB Radio.