LINCOLN SQUARE — Sulzer Regional Library and the Albany Park Library will begin offering teens hands-on experiences with digital technology this summer as part of a $2.5 million expansion of Chicago Public Library's YOUMedia program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.
YOUMedia programs are already offered at five libraries around the city. The Sulzer and Albany Park branches were among six additional libraries chosen for the expansion.
Through YOUMedia, teens will have the opportunity to learn how to use digital technology such as 3-D printers and laser cutters, as well as participate in workshops about digital media production, be it photography, music, animation or graphic design. Along with giving teens access to technology, the program offers mentoring from adults who share their digital expertise.
The city will kick in $500,000 from its 2014 budget, on top of a $2 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to bring YOUMedia to more libraries.
Sulzer Library also received $5 million in Tax Increment Financing dollars in 2013 for maintenance and upgrades. Construction on the new $15 million, 16,300-square-foot Albany Park Library is underway and expected to be completed by August.