Skip Navigation
Back to Navigation

Learning Labs

YOUmedia smallLearning Labs are designed to facilitate a research-based model known as Connected Learning – one that promotes discovery, creativity, critical thinking and real world learning through activities and experiences that bring together academics and young people’s interests, often facilitated by digital and traditional media. The labs connect teens to mentors and peers, as well as anytime, anywhere access to information through online networks, to pursue interests more deeply and connect these skills to academics, career, and civic engagement. Learning Labs help young people become makers and creators of content, rather than just consumers of it.

The Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums initiative supported the planning and design of 24 digital media labs in libraries and museums throughout the country. Using the inspiration of the YOUmedia model developed at the Chicago Public Library and ARTLAB+ at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the labs will engage young people in learning, socializing and participating civically through the use of digital technologies – building on their interests and connecting them to valuable resources and peers. Learning Labs was a partnership between ULC and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Download the final report from this initiative, Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums: Transformative Spaces for Teens. This report is an excellent encapsulation of the mission of Learning Labs, the important community catalytic affect they have, and the exciting future that is in store for today’s youth.

Learning Labs Grantees

  • Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
  • Da Vinci Science Center, PA
  • Free Library of Philadelphia, PA
  • Howard County Library System, MD
  • Kansas City Public Library, MO
  • Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, TX
  • Nashville Public Library, TN
  • New York Hall of Science, NY
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, OR
  • Rangeview Library District, CO
  • Saint Paul Public Library, MN
  • San Francisco Public Library, CA
  • Alabama Museum of Natural History, AL
  • Pima County Public Library, AZ
  • The Lawrence Hall of Science, CA
  • Lynn Public Library, MA
  • Parmly Billings Library, MT
  • Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV
  • Poughkeepsie Public Library District, NY
  • Rochester Public Library, NY
  • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Dallas Museum of Art, TX
  • Science Museum of Virginia, VA
  • Madison Children’s Museum, WI

Image above: YOUmedia @ Chicago Public Library, IL

Learn More about Learning Labs


Additional Resources

View Resources