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Library Learning Labs Use Connected Learning Principles To Draw Teens

The Nashville Public Library Foundation is one of 24 sites that received $1.2 million in grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to build innovative learning labs for teens that promote “creativity, critical thinking and hands-on learning.” After years of planning and collaborating, some sites are opening this year in Nashville, Minnesota, Ohio and elsewhere.

A small lab opened in April in the Nashville Public Library’s Green Hills location, and construction is under way on its main downtown branch: a 2,500-square-foot teen learning lab in the main branch. The space will house a recording booth, editing bays and a bigger makerspace with a 3-D printer and squishy circuits, among other goodies requested by teens involved in the planning (and naming) of “Studio NPL.”