Screens for teens: Library Tech Center helps Midwood kids get creative

Screens for teens: Library Tech Center helps Midwood kids get creative
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The kids are ready to check it out!

A new Teen Tech Center at the Kings Highway Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library will help Midwood teens to create their own podcasts, apps, and short films. The center, which opened on March 28, aims to provide the tools and training to let young adults unleash their creativity, according to a librarian.

“The idea of the center is to be really inspiring,” said Karen Keys. “If you put the tools and the tech into the space, teens can come and explore their own interests and create whatever they want.”

The center was developed with help from electronics store Best Buy, which provided funds and guidance as part of its nationwide effort to train a new generation of tech users, according to a library rep.

“The funding came primarily from Best Buy to help build the space out and provide equipment for the center,” said Director of Corporate Relations Samantha Dodds. “They were instrumental in thinking through what we wanted to do in the studio.”

The library used the funds stock its newly renovated second floor with a recording studio, state-of-the-art computers, cameras, green screens, video editing software, and various other technology that will appeal to Brooklyn’s youth, said Dodds.

“The hope is for teens to walk in and be completely wowed and be driven to create,” she said. “We’re really focused on bringing in teens who don’t really have another place like this, and providing them with a space to inspire and create, and to provide a safe and inviting space for them.”

Since the center opened its doors, it has attracted between 25 and 40 kids each day from local schools, said Keys. The center’s staff and volunteers have guided the teens in how to use the various equipment, said Keys.

“It really is about transitioning teens from being consumers to creators of media,” she said. “It can be anything from really low-tech, like a button maker, to high-tech things like a 3D printer.”

The library hopes the wide array of technology and the specific focus on teens will provide new incentives for youths to visit the library.

“Sometimes, teens have the perception that the library is not a place from them,” said Keys. “So we provided them with a space that is designed specifically for them.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577.