Teen Space Feature, Tacoma Public Library’s StoryLab (Fall 2012 Issue)

In the Fall 2012 issue of YALS, youth services librarian Katherine Trouern-Trend takes a look at the new National Teen Space Guidelines from the Young Adult Library Services Association. These guidelines were created in 2011-2012 by a task force and adopted by YALSA’s board of directors in May. Several libraries were included as model spaces. We asked some of them to share photos and information about their spaces and will be featuring them in the coming weeks.

First up is the Tacoma Public Library in Tacoma, WA. Librarians Kristy Gale, Adam Brock, and Sara Sunshine Holloway offer a peek into their teen space, StoryLab.

“The mission of StoryLab is to provide teens with the tools, resources and training to become skilled creators of digital media.

We live in a digital world. While the need for effective communication has not changed, what has changed are the tools. Age, economic background and location are no longer potential obstacles to anyone who wants to share ideas and tell stories. The new barriers are access to the tools that level the playing field, as well as the education to use those tools effectively.

The Tacoma Public Library began work on StoryLab in the spring of 2010 to address these barriers in our local community. The Library applied for and received a 3-year $150,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to create StoryLab – a digital media lab at the downtown Main Library for teens and young adults that provides mentoring, training, equipment, software… all the tools and skills needed to excel in the new communication world. Teens can use StoryLab to write and record music, make a film, build a web site, illustrate stories and then animate them, design and print posters and brochures, or further develop their photography skills. Through StoryLab, the library offers free workshops with media professionals.”

Hip-hop recording artist, Q-Dot, taught a four week series on the art and craft of hip hop, beat production, lyric writing and the ins and outs of the music business.

Interactive. Media. Teen. Book. Club. (for teens in 6th – 12th grade) incorporates a book club blog, teen created video booktalks, video book reviews, video book trailers, book related podcasts , playlists and more. Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder, visited the club to participate in a discussion of her book. Teens interviewed her on film, recorded her booktalk of Scarlet (Book Two in the “Luna Chronicles” series), and she signed their copies of Cinder. Portions of the interview and her video booktalk can be found on the book club’s blog.

Teens worked in small groups with professional videographer, Jason Ganwich, and became skilled in script writing, camera angles, and video editing using Final Cut Pro X. They had a blast while creating some impressive works of film art.

In April, we took StoryLab to Lincoln High School’s “2012 Youth and Family Summit,” for middle and high school students and their parents. Workshops focused on issues of race, gender and class with an emphasis on pedagogy. StoryLab offered three sessions of the workshop Artivism: How Artists Turn the World Inside Out. Two community art activists shared their process for creating unique posters with a powerful message. Participants then created their own advocacy posters and left with a color print of their work.

In “Capturing a Sense of Place and Time with Picture and Words,” professional photographer, Jesse Michener taught photography basics including the use of color, light, perspective and texture. Teens photographed in neighborhood locations and then learned how to edit their work using Snapseed photo editing software. Author and teacher, Mary Boone, worked with students on writing short photo essays inspired by their photos.

Check out the fall issue of YALS to read Katherine Trouern-Trend’s article on the new teen space guidelines, along with more content on advocating for high quality service to teens. If you are a YALSA member YALS is a perk of your membership dues. If not a member learn how to join, or learn how to subscribe.

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