The MacArthur Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced plans to create 30 new youth learning labs in libraries and museums nationwide. These labs will be modeled on YOUmedia, an innovative digital space for teens, at the Chicago Public Library.
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“This partnership helps to advance IMLS efforts to make libraries and museums places for 21st century learning. Projects like YOUmedia are pioneering efforts that use research and evidence to demonstrate how our nation’s libraries and museums can be powerful and innovative spaces for young people’s out-of-school learning,” said Marsha L. Semmel, IMLS acting director.
“Utilizing YOUmedia has redefined who I am as a person,” says Jabari Mbwelera. “I knew I wanted to do something with audio. But I didn’t have the skills or the tools that I needed to do what I wanted to do.” Mentors at YOUmedia helped Jabari gain those skills, and he and his friends have sparked each other’s creativity. Today, Jabari is on his way to college to major in audio engineering. “So yeah, it’s really changed my life,” he says.