For teenagers, it's not cool to say that you're going to hang out at the library. Many public libraries are working hard to change their "unhip" status by adding high-tech areas to attract young patrons. The addition of these areas counteracts that long-held notion that the library is strictly a place for silent study.
More public libraries are toning
down the shushing and turning
up the volume to attract youths.
photo source: visualphotos.com
The Chicago Public Library implemented a YOUMedia lab stocked with video games and recording equipment that attracts nearly a hundred teenagers every day. Other libraries, both in the United States and the United Kingdom, are following suit. See the Huffington Post article below for more on how today's public libraries are toning down the shushing and turning up the volume to attract young patrons.
Huffington Post * November 29, 2011
Public Libraries Turn Up the Volume (Literally)
By Lucas Kavner
A makeover at the Chicago Public Library has turned one room into a teen-heaven, stacking the "YOUMedia" lab on the ground floor with video game systems, recording equipment, snacks and beanbag chairs. According to an article in Connecticut's "The Day," this lab, which has been open since 2009, draws up to a hundred teenagers daily. They come to record podcasts, shoot videos and hang around after school.
In the UK, they've been cranking up the volume even more. The award-winning Get It Loud In Libraries program has been active since 2005, aiming to showcase up-and-coming bands in libraries across Lancashire. Their mission: to allow "kids from 5 to 65 to check out bands at close quarters in a book clad feelgood venue before they hit the proverbial big time."
Some of these changes have drawn criticisms from library purists. Writing for the City Room blog in New York Times in April of last year, Sung J. Woo lamented the days of studying and reading in silence. The communal desks have now been "transformed," Woo wrote, "into an open forum for children and adults to chat away as if they were hanging out at Starbucks."