Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Professional Reading #12

Springen, K. (2011, March). “What’s Right With This Picture?” School Library Journal.

What an incredibly inspiring article. In my MLIS classes I read so much about making the library more of a community space. It is through this process that the library will remain a relevant service in the digital age. The YOUmedia has achieved just that. The library realized that there was a need in their city to boost young people’s knowledge of new technology and they found away to fill that need. Libraries are struggling financially right now and not every library will be able to provide a space like this, either because of space limitations or funding, but it is incredible to know that it works. The photos in this article show tons of teenagers at the library, interacting with one another, creating music, videos, and socializing. YOUmedia is an excellent model for how libraries can keep current and continue to provide a valuable service to their community.

I love that the library involved teenagers in the creation process of this program and the space itself. They asked the teenagers in the community how they would like to sit while playing video games or what they would want in this type of program. Giving young people a say in something that is intended for them, gives them a sense of pride and a greater desire to take advantage of the program. Not only does YOUmedia provide a creative learning environment filled with digital media and technology, including media workshops run by teens, it also promotes the libraries other services as well. Library circulation among teens has risen as teens using the YOUmedia space are also picking up books on their library visits, many even participating in the One Book, One Chicago program. As the article states, YOUmedia follows President Obama’s goal of making young people “makers and creators of things, rather than just consumers.” I have read so many articles this semester where the goal is the opposite, it was incredibly refreshing to read this article.

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