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. This proposal grew from a series of user workshops that investigated how the existing space might be improved. Through these discussions several issues emerged: 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.
The proposal addresses these concerns by integrating an open storage system with a circulation desk that encourages greater contact between teens, mentors and librarians. The design also takes advantage of the window alcoves along State Street by designing and programming each area for a specific activity that can display the resources available at YOUmedia and promote the work by teen artists, writers and musicians to a broader public.