ALA Annual 2017

Touring the Thomas Hughes Children’s Center at #alaac17

On my first day of #alaac2017 I had the privilege of touring the Thomas Hughes Children’s Center at the Harold Washington Center. It recently had a soft opening and I fell in love at first site. (Cheesy, but true).

The new space was powered by Exelon, and designed to suit the needs of their community. The theme was color coordinated with shades of blue for the Chicago (go Chicago). Visitors are greeted upon entrance by a comfortable and friendly sitting area.
Then the library space was split into zones for each of the respective age groups from the littlest babies to toddlers to beginning readers to the tweens who are itching to grow up and make it to the You Media Lab (CPL’s amazing area for Teens.
Pillars were painted in different shades of blue to identify the zones and age-appropriate toys were scattered throughout.
The entire space was designed to be a maker space- with activities and opportunities for engagement everywhere. Fun items included a full on maker cart with tools and challenges, another one with craft supplies, giant blocks and a green screen for the tweens.

The furniture was placed with the idea of allowing patrons to move it around.
What truly inspired me about this space was how open ended it was, how it invited the patrons to make it their own and how it was truly future focused.
Thanks for the inspiration CPL.

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