Problem StatementHow does the Chicago Public Library create teen-centered learning opportunities, resources and spaces that embrace digital media in a relevant way for teens?
InnovationYOUmedia is an innovative, youth-centered 21st century learning space for teens opened in July 2009 by the Chicago Public Library in partnership with Digital Youth Network. YOUmedia at the Harold Washington Library Center, and virtually at the ym.iremix.org social learning network, links high school-age teens to adult mentors, digital resources, books, relevant programming and engaging workshops. By working both collaboratively and self-paced with a variety of digital media, young adults have an opportunity to engage in projects which support critical thinking, creativity, skill-building and ultimately civic engagement.
Based on research by Mimi Ito, the space was designed to address new implications for youth interaction and learning with digital media by becoming a model “out-of-school” environment created by and for teens – providing youth with opportunities to gather and learn in ways which are of particular interest to them.