Chicago, IL: YOUmedia Chicago Nashville, TN: Nashville Public Library Foundation

Reinventing libraries for ‘hanging out, messing around and geeking out’

YOUmedia Chicago and the Nashville Public Library Learning Lab were featured on CNN. The article focused on reinventing libraries and the Learning Labs’ encouragement of teens to hang out, mess around, and geek out. View full article

“On the third floor of the Nashville Public Library downtown branch, past the hushed rows of monochrome bookshelves and solid wood furniture, a door leads to a place where adult patrons are not welcome.

Instead of silence, laughter and chatter fills the room. Colorful bookshelves line the wall, holding graphic novels, manga comics and self-help books on bullying and applying to college. Teens sit in circles talking, reading and doing homework. Others play video games on their phones or on gaming consoles attached to televisions.

The staff takes special pride in its mentor-led activities, offered in partnerships with various community organizations: a spoken word workshop, a video game program and a makerspace, or workshop, where teens create birdcages, duct tape wallets and other art projects.

It might be a library, but for 18-year-old Alexis Woodward, the atmosphere is more like a ‘family reunion,’ she said.”

By Emanuella Grinberg
Photo courtesy of John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Originally posted at CNN