YOUmedia, Preparing Children for a Transliterate World

YOUmedia is a joint venture between the Chicago Public Library and Digital Youth Network, the YOUmedia expansion is funded by federal stimulus dollars, the City of Chicago and private investment from theMacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust.

YOUmedia is an innovative, 21st century teen learning space housed at the Chicago Public Library’s downtown Harold Washington Library Center. YOUmedia was created to connect young adults, books, media, mentors, and institutions throughout the city of Chicago in one dynamic space designed to inspire collaboration and creativity.

High school age teens engaging with YOUmedia can access thousands of books, over 100 laptop and desktop computers, and a variety of media creation tools and software, all of which allow them to stretch their imaginations and their digital media skills. By working both in teams and individually, teens have an opportunity to engage in projects that promote critical thinking, creativity, and skill-building.

Mentors from Digital Youth Network as well as Chicago Public Library librarians lead workshops to help teens build their skills and create digital artifacts – from songs to videos to photography to blogging. Teens learn how to use a variety of technology and digital equipment, including still and video cameras, drawing tablets, and video and photo editing software. YOUmedia also provides an in-house recording studio featuring keyboards, turntables, and a mixing board.

Earlier this month The MacAuthor Foundation highlighted plans to expand the program –  YOUmedia Program Builds On Success at Downtown Library, Expands to Underserved Chicago Neighborhoods

Now, just over a year after its launch, YOUmedia is expanding to branch libraries in three underserved communities: Pilsen, Englewood and Humboldt Park. The first two locations are scheduled to open this winter, while the Humboldt Park space will be housed in a new library that will open its doors in summer 2011.

Description: YOUmedia, an innovative 21st century learning space for teens, is located at the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago. The first-of-its-kind 5,500 square foot place is home to thousands of books, laptop and desktop computers and a variety of media tools and software, including a recording studio. Because of its ability to successfully engage young people, YOUmedia was recently recognized by President Obama, and has inspired the creation of 30 similar hands-on learning centers across the country.

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