Out-of-school learning experiences for middle and high school students are crucial to readying teens for college, the workforce and beyond. At Studio NPL, the library’s innovative, mentor-based learning space, teens can access sophisticated technology and develop digital literacy skills and 21st century competencies that are key to higher education and lifelong success.
With access to sophisticated technology and media, teens are able to work outside the bounds of school curricula to develop their passions and turn them into educational, economic, and life skills opportunities. Studio NPL’s four areas of concentration are music, writing, gaming, and making. Students use the space to produce music, videos and podcasts or to experiment in creative writing, video game design, robotics engineering and app creation. Teens immerse themselves in a variety of hands-on, problem-solving activities and develop web literacy, digital skills and 21st century competencies key to higher education, employment and life-long success.
In April 2015, Nashville Public Library opened its sixth Studio NPL location at the Main Library, a 2,500-square-foot space with three production booths for video editing, audio editing and recording, a performance space, gaming consoles, robotics stations, 3-D printers and more. In addition, five other Studio NPL spaces were opened at the Green Hills, Bellevue, Southeast, Madison and East branch libraries, and a mobile Studio environment was created to reach public schools, community centers and other organizations whose limited resources prevent a visit to a fixed Studio space.
Skilled mentors like artists, designers, technologists and librarians utilize cutting-edge technologies to create transformative learning experiences for students. Collaboration with local businesses and community partners, such as Southern Word and Vanderbilt University, will teach teens relationship building, foster professional exchanges and ready teens for the workforce.
While all Davidson County teens are invited to experience Studio NPL, a majority come from underserved communities. To further recruit program participants, NPL will leverage programs like Nashville After Zone Alliance and Limitless Libraries, which reaches 83,000 Metro Nashville Public School students.