The YOUmedia Learning Labs Network is an initiative that supports the design of learning spaces that align with the YOUmedia model. Learn more about each one by clicking on its name.
Create205 Learning Lab
Birmingham Public Library Central Branch
2100 Park Pl
Birmingham, AL 35203
Create205 Learning Lab is a focal point of the Birmingham Public Library’s services for teens and youth. Complete with advanced engineering equipment including robotics, 3D printers, computer aided design software, soldering irons, a classroom set of Macbook laptops, iPads, and an audio and video recording/editing studio, the lab is an active afterschool location for teens and youth across Birmingham. Our mentors include students from local universities, library staff with backgrounds in video/audio production and fashion, and various community partners, such as UAB and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Grant sponsorships include NCWIT, AspireIT, CS4All, Birmingham Division of Youth Services, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Best Buy Foundation, and multiple Library Services and Technology Acts.
Edna Turner Learning Center
Tuscaloosa Public Library
1801 Jack Warner Pkwy
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
The University of Alabama Department of Geography and the Alabama Museum of Natural History are partnering to plan, design, and prototype the Discovery Learning Lab, which will give middle and high school-aged students access to “geek” mentors who will guide them in explorations of digital technologies not readily available at home or school. Goals for the project include creating formal partnerships with representatives from the entire spectrum of the local education community, planning and designing a space that will allow participants ways to connect with each other and their mentors, providing opportunities for autonomous explorations as well as structured programs, and exposing teens to STEM disciplines, skills, activities, and software at the lab and in a cyberspace environment.
Pima County Public Library
101 N Stone Ave
Tuscon, AZ 85701
Our vision is a thriving youth community where all youth are passionate, empowered, connected, and use their voice to create a better world. We will do this by providing opportunities for young people to explore, and develop their curiosities in collaboration with adult and peer mentors.
Pima County Public Library is dedicated to creating an environment that fosters connected learning and actively engages youth voice. Connected learning makes learning relevant to every teen through interest driven, real life and real work experiences that reflects the ever changing landscape of the digital age.
This will be achieved by implementing the research-based HOMAGO model; hang out, mess around, geek out. Connected learning through HOMAGO provides a framework for life-long learning and active participation in the learning process.
PCPL’s dedication to fostering youth voice is demonstrated through active participation by youth. Youth will be partners in decision making and program development, and will gain leadership experience that will help them become leaders in the center and the community.
- Access: We are committed to accessibility on many levels—physical, economic, social, virtual, etc.
- Community: The atmosphere of the space will cultivate a greater sense of community—among youth themselves and with peer and adult mentors.
- Learning: Youth programming will be interest-driven, peer-supported and connected to real world opportunities.
- Safe and Welcome: The space, people and policies will allow youth to feel welcome without being unsafe because of the identities they inhabit.
- Youth Voice: Youth throughout our community will actively participate in decision-making and opinion-sharing.
Octavia Lab at the Los Angeles Public Library
630 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
The Octavia Lab is an award-winning do-it-yourself makerspace at the Central Library of the Los Angeles Public Library named after the award-winning science fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Octavia Lab gives library cardholders free and unlimited access to state-of-the-art design, fabrication, preservation, and story-telling technologies.
People of all ages use Octavia Lab to access equipment to create projects and archive their collections. Patrons used the DIY Memory Lab to preserve and digitize photos and documents as well as perform analog-to-digital conversion; Laser Cutter to carve and etch designs into fabrics and solid materials; 3D Printers and a 3D Scanner to render and fabricate objects straight out of their imaginations; CNC Mill to carve small items; Silhouette Cutting Tool and Vinyl Cutter for creating such things as vinyl stickers; Large Format Printer for large-scale posters and photos; Sewing and Embroidery Machines; and Audio and Video Production tools and equipment.
The Mix at SFPL
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, CA
Founded by the San Francisco Public Library, California Academy of Sciences, KQED, and the Bay Area Video Coalition, The Mix at SFPL is both a dynamic space at the Main Library and a partnership-driven program platform, with San Francisco Public Library as the lead organization and host, targeting services to youth ages 13-18.
The Mix provides opportunities for youth to create, perform, learn, and engage with peers and mentors through collaborative process and technical resources, including maker, audiovisual, performance, and reading/writing learning tracks. Programs are free, youth-driven, and based on connected learning principles in the YOUMedia community of teen learning centers, which encourage access to a wider community of education, support, enrichment, and 21st century skill-building.
The Mix also supports librarians who serve teen patrons by designing programs, providing professional development, and setting standards for services to teens based on the Connected Learning philosophy. With multiple branch teen librarians and The Mix at Main, the library can provide San Francisco teens with access to diverse information and resources, engaging learning opportunities, and a supportive community to foster their personal and academic growth. Teen Services also participates in citywide initiatives that support healthy youth development.
Teen Hangout Loveland Public Library
Loveland Public Library
300 Adams Ave
Loveland, CO 80537
Loveland Public Library’s Teen Hangout is a safe, engaging space where teens can build relationships, access technology and learn new skills. The Teen Hangout offers hands-on maker programming, leadership opportunities, volunteering, and a connection to community resources. Library staff support teens in developing their own interests through teen-led programs, classes, self-guided projects, and one-on-one instruction in collaboration with a variety of partners including Friends of the Loveland Public Library, Food Bank of Larimer County and Thompson School District, as well as local businesses and non-profits serving youth.
Hartford Public Library
500 Main St
Hartford, CT 06103
YOUmedia Hartford is a digital learning and maker space just for teens (13-19) to hang out, mess around & geek out with state-of-the-art technology. Teens might learn a new trade from a visiting artist or get project support from one of our amazing mentors. We’re here to help young people explore what they love and turn that motivation into real life gains in the way of college and career readiness.
Miami-Dade Public Library System
101 W Flagler St
Miami, FL 33130
YOUmedia Miami is a 21st century digital-media learning center for teens housed at the North Dade Regional Library. YOUmedia Miami builds on the role libraries play as places of innovation and exploration. YOUmedia Miami teaches teens to use technology to tell stories and engage with the world around them in powerful new ways. It is a creative learning environment that empowers teens by encouraging them to use professional-grade hardware and software to express themselves. Teens will create computer-based projects inspired by their own ideas including mixing music, designing video games, creating films and exploring the many possibilities afforded by today’s technology.
Hartford Public Library
400 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
YOUmedia is a library and studio space at Chicago Public Library designed specifically for teens. You can hang out, mess around, and geek out on projects to create your own music, video, 2D & 3D design, photos, and podcasts with lots of help from skilled mentors. And it’s all free!
High School Student Locations:
- Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street
- Albany Park Branch, 3401 W. Foster Avenue
- Back of the Yards Branch, 2111 W. 47th Street
- Chinatown Branch, 2100 S. Wentworth Avenue
- Hall Branch, 4801 S. Michigan Avenue
- Legler Branch, 115 S. Pulaski Road
- Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue
- Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted
Middle School Student Locations:
- Humboldt Park Branch, 1605 N. Troy Street
- Richard M. Daley Branch, 733 N. Kedzie Avenue
- Lozano Branch, 1805 S. Loomis Street
- Thurgood Marshall Branch, 7506 S. Racine Avenue
Saint Paul Public Library
90 W 4th St
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Createch is a creative space for teens that provides physical spaces to gather, access tools needed to pursue interests and spark new passions, interact with mentors who support their individual growth. Createch is currently hosted at six sites: five Saint Paul Public Libraries, including one dedicated space open five days/week co-operated with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, and one is hosted at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN). Each space is different and shaped by teens, mentors, neighborhoods, and community partners.
Kansas City Digital Media Lab (KCDML)
The Kansas City Public Library
6242 Swope Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64130
KCDML is an initiative of the Kansas City Public Library. It functions out of the Southeast Branch (6242 Swope Parkway), and is open to youth ages 12-18.
KCDML is a hands-on learning environment that uses storytelling, robotics, digital media production, and other maker activities to engage Kansas City youth.
Our goals are to support the development of Kansas City youth by 1) offering access to resources and expertise that align with their interests, 2) encouraging and supporting youth voice, and 3) by helping KC teens make connections between their interests and future academic or professional opportunity.
The fundamental tenets of KCDML are as follows:
- You have to be an active participant in your own learning.
- In order to grow in your craft you have to be willing to create, critique, and present your work.
- Deep learning requires commitment, persistence, and play.
- Technology is a tool, use it as a means to achieve your desired goals.
Billings Public Library
510 N Broadway
Billings, MT 59101
Billings Public Library’s Teen Education and Creation Hub (TECH) is a digital media learning lab for teens. The TECH Lab was initially funded through a grant provided by the MacArthur Foundation. The TECH Lab connects to the mission of the Billings Public Library through a shared purpose and goals. It is a safe space for teens to grow and learn by exploring creative expression through S.T.E.A.M. activities. The lab is youth-driven and includes access to technology and instruction by librarians with support from community partners.
DreamYard Art Center
1085 Washington Ave
Bronx, NY 10456
The DreamYard Art Center is located in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx and serves young people from across the borough as well as Manhattan and Brooklyn. Our programs are rooted in art and social justice practices and include arts and activism, visual arts, theater, digital music, fashion, Maker and poetry.
The DreamYard Art Center was able to grow in size, program offerings, and access to digital tools as part of the YOUmedia network. The expansion will help young people more deeply explore our core beliefs of artistic voice, social justice and community engagement through digital learning tools and practices, as well as space to collaborate and hang out, mentorship from practicing artists, and access to the tools that will help them express their voice in the digital age. Programs created since becoming a YOUmedia site include: digital music production, photo/video production, fashion, and Open Studio.
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St, Corona
Queens, NY 11368
The New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York, will plan and prototype a youth-centered, community-engaged Digital Making program within the museum’s new Cognizant Maker Space. Digital Making is a program that will empower diverse groups of middle- and high-school youth to investigate and communicate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics through digital media including sound, video, and games. The programs will be generated by museum staff, Makers in the community, and community organizations. The target population for this project is the museum’s local Queens neighborhood, which includes vibrant communities of first- and second-generation Americans. The Digital Making program hopes to ensure these students have the clearest possible pathway to futures in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, and can participate as fully informed citizens.
Rochester Public Library
115 South Ave
Rochester, NY 14604
Rochester Public Library’s imagineYOU @ Teen Central will provide an inviting, collaborative, mentored space for youth aged 13-18 to explore the art and science of video, music, and animation production. This will give underserved youth new ways of engaging with important 21st century literacy practices. Instructors will be experienced youth and professional filmmakers, media artists, musicians, and animators who will teach through hands-on mini-workshops and informal guided participation. The project will help bridge the digital divide faced by many urban youth through a strong partnership among the public library and Nazareth College.
700 South Limestone Street
Springfield, OH 45505
YOUmedia Springfield is a dynamic, flexible, and highly creative space designed to inspire collaboration and creativity. It’s located in the Greater Springfield CareerConnectED Center under the historic dome. Teens can work with mentors—professional artists, writers, and media makers— to become makers, creators, and producers. Our mentors are tech geeks and artists; they are role models and all-the-way amazing people. Because of this approach our youth are knowledge enthusiasts and crazy-awesome gamers; they are teachers and they are leaders.
Rockwood Library makerspace
Multnomah County Library
17917 SE Stark Street
Portland, OR 97233
Building on experience and learning from an initial planning grant with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Multnomah County Library has created a collaborative learning environment at Rockwood Library where young people learn real-life digital media and makerspace skills. The Rockwood Library makerspace is a collaborative learning environment where young people learn real-life digital media and makerspace skills. It offers instruction, programs, mentors and innovative technology tools like a laser cutter and 3D printers for teens in the Rockwood neighborhood.
The makerspace encourages youth/adult collaboration by providing access to skilled adult mentors and teen leaders, who will teach and encourage youth as they build, create, learn and have fun. The Rockwood library makerspace also fosters teen knowledge, skills, and leadership, creating stronger connections between the library and the Rockwood community.
Funded by a grant from the Mt. Hood Regulatory Cable Commission, private funding through The Library Foundation and by Multnomah County Library.
Free Library of Philadelphia
601 West Lehigh Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19133
LEAP/Maker is the merger of the formerly grant-funded Maker Jawn and LEAP. The Free Library’s Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program – LEAP – advances literacy by promoting a love of reading, guides learning with homework assistance, and inspires curiosity by sharing hands-on STEAM, maker, and humanities programs and activities with children and teens. LEAP/Maker expands upon LEAP’s programming focusing on youth-driven maker interests. Our program employs a trauma-informed approach that promotes a feeling of safety through space, content, and personal interactions. LEAP/Maker also promotes social justice by stressing access to resources for underserved populations and offers a diverse range of activities that include culinary literacy, robotics, bike repair, sewing, and 3D sculptures. With in-person programming suspended in 2020 due to COVID, LEAP and our LEAP/Maker activities have moved to social media, as we focus on promoting teen-led projects and at-home schooling tips.
The Labs @ CLP
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
About The Labs
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Labs program gives youth access to equipment, software, and mentors in the Library. In The Labs programs, the focus is on helping youth discover and explore interests through the act of creating. Staff provide teens with the level of assistance they need in order to make something new.
How does The Labs work?
Workshops occur at five weekly locations. They are mentor-led, draw on the interests of teens, and provide the necessary training to create something new. Workshops are informal, fun, and drop-in friendly.
Open Lab is an opportunity to access the equipment and software with help from a mentor if you need it. Open Lab turns the library into a creative studio for youth.
Labs on Location is a workshop at a library other than one of The Labs weekly sites. Mentors work with Teen Librarians from that library to provide a workshop that draws on the interests of teens in that neighborhood. The idea is to build the capacity of branch teen specialists to provide this type of programming and to engage them in the ideas and research behind YOUmedia Learning Labs programming.
Want to know more? E-mail email@example.com for more info.
Nashville Public Library
615 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219
Nashville Public Library has opened a series of Learning Labs branded Studio NPL, supporting a city-wide focus on moving youth beyond initial engagement with media, information, and technologies to activities of production, learning, and expertise-building. The flagship site, at the Main Nashville Library, was designed with the help of teen constituents and volunteers, teen T.O.T.A.L. (Totally Outstanding Teen Advocates for the Library) staff, and professionals from Nashville’s vibrant creative community. Studio NPL offers music, digital, and STEM programming throughout all NPL branches with a mix of permanent Studio sites and mobile labs, and partners with youth-serving organizations around the county to bring production centered programming to a variety of community sites and patrons.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
Check out hang@MFAH (Houston Art New Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), the Museum’s teen leadership group!
Hang@MFAH is for motivated high school teens who are interested in everything from talking about art to videogame hacking. Throughout the year, hang@MFAH members spend time with a mentor artist in the galleries to discuss works of art and explore concepts through analog and digital tools to develop creative and critical thinking skills.
Meet-ups are designed for teens who are hungry to learn more about art in an atmosphere that encourages dialogue and asking questions. Hang@MFAH members organize teen-focused events, produce new ways to see the MFAH collections for their peers, and explore careers in museums through specialized opportunities.
235 East Plume Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
Norfolk Public Library’s (NPL) Digital Learning Center is located at the Slover Library and features, a digital media studio, a gaming lounge, a green screen studio, collaborative study rooms and commons area. It also includes a mobile component, with kits being developed to circulate to all 11 branches in the fall. The NPL Teen Services team members are fully engaged with local tweens/teens and partner with a wide variety of community organizations that serve youth.
Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Featuring the latest technology-including 3D printers, cameras, Audio equipment, and a giant Green Screen- teens will have their very own space to work solo or collaborate with other students. Create you own 3D design with Tinkercad or SketchUp, test out Adobe Photoshop, or meet up with one of our mentors to learn about programming, electronics, graphic arts, robotics, and much more. Work on school projects, boost you computer skills or just be creative with your friends!
The MiX is free and open to all teens, 13-18. Become a member to sign up for a specialty workshop, mess around or geek out in the lab—and don’t forget to bring your own brain.