Award-winning, multi-purpose learning spaces for teens and pre-teens

Founded in 2009 through a major grant to the Chicago Public Library Foundation from the MacArthur Foundation,  the program is present at twelve Chicago Public Library locations. Programming at four of these branches targets middle school students, while the other eight, including the flagship YOUmedia site in the Harold Washington Library Center, are designed for high schoolers. At each location, teens can pursue their interests in graphic design, photography, music, videography, and STEM projects, as well as design/prototype/making using state-of-the-art technology–all assisted by skilled mentors. Open to all teens and pre-teens holding valid CPL library cards, YOUmedia encourages both collaboration and independent learning and discovery.

YOUmedia’s teen-centric programming supports the development of skills essential to 21st century academic and career success, and helps participants develop strong, trusting relationships with caring adults.


schools visited YOUmedia in 2015


branches have a YOUmedia site


workshops were offered in 2015


percent of teens learned something new