YOUmedia at Chicago Public Library
Space planning, graphic design and custom furniture for Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia at the Harold Washington Branch. Design by ERA / Eric Rothfeder Architect.
YOUmedia at the Chicago Public Library
YOUmedia was the first space dedicated to teen services at the Chicago Public Library. Located at the Harold Washington Library Center, YOUmedia provides 5,500 square foot of multi-disciplinary resources, including a recording studio, makerspace, facilities for art, fashion and STEM, as well as traditional library services. ERA was engaged to conduct several user workshops, which revealed several issues with the existing space: a lack of public visibility, the need for a system of resource storage that was visually open and accessible, a redistribution of book shelving to encourage browsing, and clearer identities and boundaries for individual program areas.
Through ongoing design work, ERA is developing architectural and furniture solutions that address these concerns. Working with staff librarians, we have developed new spacing planning and room layouts, as well as options for combining an open storage system with their circulation desk to encourage greater contact between teens, mentors and librarians. Further solutions include programming and designing each alcove window along State Street with specific activities that can display the resources available at YOUmedia and promote the work by teen artists, writers and musicians to a broader public.