One of our readings for this week, Totally Wired: What Teens & Tweens are Really Doing Online cited a Pew Internet and American Life study that found, “Fully half of all teens and 57 percent of teens who use the Internet could be considered content creators," that they have "created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations” (21).
This made me think of a post I read recently on the IMLS blog about a new project that will build 21st century learning labs for teens in libraries and museums around the country. Following a national competition, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the MacArthur Foundation announced where these 12 new learning labs for teens will be built. Based on the YOUMedia teen space at the Harold Washington Library, these learning labs will be spaces where teens will be able to work with their peers as well as mentors to use both digital and traditional media to pursue their own areas of interest and create their own content, while also building information literacy skills in an unstructured environment.
This project will also involve collaboration with multiple organizations within the community. According to the IMLS blog, they will involve “partnerships with local educational, cultural, and civic organizations to build a network of learning opportunities for young people.”
The winning libraries are:
San Francisco Public Library
Rangeview Library District and Anythink Libraries (Thornton, CO)
Howard County Public Library (Columbia, MD)
St. Paul Public Library (St. Paul, MN)
Kansas City Public Library
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Free Library of Philadelphia
Nashville Public Library