San Francisco, CA: The Mix at SFPL

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.

In San Francisco, Teens Design a Living Room for High-Tech Learning at the Public Library

When teens enter The Mix at the San Francisco Public Library, 19-year-old Dayra Banales is quick to step up and offer a tour, walking visitors past a row of new computers and through studios filled with video and audio equipment. She knows just about every inch of the space—after all, she helped design it. Read the rest »

Understanding the Post-Emergent Phase of a Makerspace

Creating and starting a makerspace is an exciting venture; you build a team and purchase new equipment. There are a lot of resources (people and articles) that describe how emergent makerspaces can get off the ground. Once your makerspace has been open for a few years, you begin to experience challenges that are distinctly different from those start-up challenges, and there are very few, if any, resources that describe what this new, “post-emergent” phase entails. Read the rest »