Article: “How the Detroit Public Library is Staying Relevant to Kids in the 21st Century”
From an Article Appearing on Model D:
The HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) Teen Center nestled inside the library, is a haven, a gathering space for teens to hang out after school. They can recharge, relax, socialize, and if they so choose, find an outlet for their creativity.
Amisha Harijan’s job as assistant manager of the Children’s Library and the HYPE Teen Center at DPL’s Main Branch is to tap into what teens really want from a library.
“They aren’t necessarily coming to my area to check out books,” says Harijan, who has about 20 teens regularly coming by during the week. “The draw for them is being able to socialize with their friends and their classmates. It’s a safe haven for them. It’s a place where they aren’t put on the spot to be someone that they’re not. I think it’s important they have a space to connect with each other.”
The HYPE Teen Center has become a revolving door for teens ages 13 to 18. As such, Harijan sees the center as more than simply a hangout spot. True, most use it for that purpose, but an ambitious teen can also earn community service hours for high school.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.