Last year the Chicago Public Library and the Digital Youth Network launched YOUmedia, an innovative teen center equipped for the digital age. "(It's) where teens are creators of media, not just consumers of media," said Amy Eshleman, assistant commissioner for strategic planning and partnerships, in a promotional video. On the ground floor of the Harold Washington Library Center, the 5,500-square-foot space is a gathering place for teens, with more than 100 computers. The "hang out" space is for eating, drinking and socializing. The "mess around" space is an interactive playground introducing teens to fan fiction, digital cameras, drawing tablets, gaming, a recording studio with keyboards, turntables and a mixing board, and books, of course. YOUmedia culminates with the "geek out" space, where mentors and/or media specialists help students prepare a project for public exhibition. The public is noticing: "President Obama cited (the) YOUmedia digital space for teens as a type of new and innovative learning space that needs to be replicated throughout the country," said Mayor Richard Daley at the recent Carl Sandburg Literary Award Dinner. Three more YOUmedia centers are to open in the next year.
Visit: YOUmedia, 400 S. State St., 1 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, or go to youmediachicago.org.
Find YouMedia at the Harold Washington Library and other Chicago-area libraries on our interactive library map.