Learning Labs: enthusiasm is building

The excitement around new projects, epecially the teen learning lab opening soon at the new Arlington Hills Community Center, is growing within the library staff.  I've watched as library staff talk to Parks & Recreation staff, and the energy catches.  It's contagious: SPNN, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historial Society, Metropolitan State University - people who work for and care for teens are excited about what is about to become a reality in Saint Paul: we are about to have our first teen learning lab.  And it's going to be awesome.

In many ways, it already is awesome - it's brought together staff from all over Saint Paul to talk about how we could be serving teens better.  Words like "interest-based" and "hands-on" and "igniting passion" are being thrown around at the same time we're asking questions like, "Should we buy a Gojo?" We're having conversations about who can build recording studios, who has staff that can teach video production software, and what kind of CAD software is best.  

I'm loving this.  It scares me, but it also excites me.  We may be overrun by teens. We may need to do more publicity.  We need to keep thinking about how to listen to the teen voice, how to incorporate their needs and voices into the space, and continue to grow.  I feel like Saint Paul is growing together on this project.  

The teen learning lab at the new Arlington Hills Community Center will be opening this Spring.  

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