Generous funding will allow Library to launch Teen & TEC Lab for tweens and teens

by beth on July 31, 2019

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Above: Now that the Teen Room is open at the Library, the next step is turning the space into a “Teen & TEC Lab” to encourage creativity and innovation. (image edited from contributed photo)

Thanks to a grant, the Southborough Library will be creating a special lab space with programs for teens and tweens.

The space, dubbed the Teen & TEC Lab (T&T Lab), will be funded by a $15K award through the Mass Board of Library Commissioners. The grant will be used for equipment, furniture and other resources to make use of the new Teen Room downstairs. The lab will encourage young adults to use the space to “innovate, create, and socialize”.

An additional $6,370 in supplemental funding will come from the Friends of the Southborough Library over the next year. (Some of that will be for programming related to the new resources.)

The timing of the grant and launch is bittersweet for the Young Adult Librarian who spearheaded the effort⁠—Assistant Library Director Aileen Sanchez-Himes. Sanchez just accepted a position as the new Library Director in Hudson. (She’s still at our Library through most of August. So, you can stop by to wish her well this month.)

I wondered how her departure would impact the lab plans. Library Director Ryan Donovan reassured me that they’ll be going ahead full throttle. Donovan will oversee the program with assistance by staff, including Val De Angelis who helped with the grant application.

Still, don’t expect the launch to take place immediately. While the Teen Room is already open for use, the Library will now need to use the new funding to acquire the necessary equipment to establish the lab. So, stay tuned for news as the Library plans “a more technology dynamic Teen Room over the next several months.”

More details on the MBLC grant are in the press release below: 

Southborough Library was recently awarded a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant for $15,000 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). “We are proud to deliver grant funding to libraries for projects that fill unique needs of libraries across Massachusetts.” said Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “Libraries continue to be a vital resource to the communities they serve. Programs funded through LSTA grants illustrate the diverse range of topics and audiences served by Massachusetts libraries.”

Southborough Library will use the grant to establish the Teen & TEC Lab (T&T Lab) for tweens and teens, providing a space for this age group to innovate, create, and socialize.
The MBLC developed this direct grant program using federal funding to help libraries meet local community needs including programs that help New Americans learn English and become citizens, STEM and STEAM projects, programs that serve teen needs, and projects that preserve valuable historical documents. The MBLC also offers grants to increase access to library services for people with disabilities.

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and mass.gov/libraries which has information and resources for residents. LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on Board’s website at www.mass.gov/mblc.

About IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 merriam July 31, 2019 at 9:16 AM

generous!

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2 Freddie Gillespi July 31, 2019 at 10:37 PM

Great outcome due to the dedication of Staff and Trustees. Our library has all kinds of amazing programing and continues to strive to have something for everyone.
Congratulations on another job well done!

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