Ypulse Interview: Kim Bolan Cullin, 'Teen Spaces'

kimbolancullinToday’s Ypulse Interview is with Kim Bolan Cullin, author of the ALA library design resource guide Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover, now in its second edition.

Kim reached out to us after our recent coverage of the ALA Annual Conference where she was also a speaker (see her presentations on “Teen Space: Design with Economy” and “Top Library Building Trends” on her blog The Indie Librarian).  Below, she fields some of our questions on the teen trends happening inside and around libraries. Or, as NPR called them, “the next big pop-culture wave after cupcakes.”

Ypulse: What are some of the biggest changes in teen spaces you’ve observed between the first and second edition of your book? What do you expect and hope to see continue to change in the next few years?

Kim Bolan Cullin: The first change is that there ARE actually teen spaces out there now. It was a struggle with the first edition to find teen library spaces in general; even more difficult to find libraries who were being creative and thinking outside the box. With the second edition, I didn’t even have to look for examples – people came to me – libraries big and small. One thing that hasn’t changed is that good public library examples still outweigh good school library examples. Model school libraries are still unfortunately few and far between. Although, there are several school media specialists out there trying to make a difference in this area too.

Over the years I’ve seen a huge shift in how libraries are thinking about space allocation and “space equity” for teens. This is happening with building revamps and renovations as well as with new building construction. More and more libraries are planning and designing space for teenagers as a priority rather than an afterthought. This is a…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My generation feels entitled and is less willing to put in hard work to get the results they want.”—Female, 17, VA

CoverGirl is getting a marketing makeover to impress Millennials. The brand is changing up their slogan for the first time since 1997, with “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” getting traded for “I Am What I Make Up.” To go along with the new tagline, an inclusive lineup of new CoverGirls will debut the revamped brand—from 69-year-old Maye Musk to pro motorcycle rider Shelina Moreda. Finally, products will be taking on the Less is More trend with “sleeker, more minimal black and white packaging” and a logo to match—a familiar branding makeover move. (Racked)

Riverdale’s recent premiere pulled impressive ratings, especially among young adults—and the show may have Netflix to thank for it. The Archie-remake grew in popularity by 67% from last winter’s premiere and 140% with women under 35. But it gained the most ground with teens, jumping an impressive 467% from last winter’s premiere, making it the most popular show from The CW among teens since The Vampire Diaries in 2012. The show’s presence on Netflix during the off-season may have helped attract young viewers, allowing them to binge the series and get addicted on their time—The Binge Effect at work. (Vulture)

Essential oils are the latest wellness trend to gain traction, appealing to Millennials’ desire to ease anxiety. The most stressed generation to date is turning to little vials of “something between a perfume and a potion” to calm their minds and remedy simple sicknesses. Companies aren’t missing the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand. Two major brands, Young Living and doTerra, “have more than three million customers apiece, and a billion dollars in annual sales.” (The New Yorker)

The majority of teachers say that life skills are more important to success today than academics. According to research out of the U.K., more than half of teachers believe so-called “’soft’ skills,” including perseverance, the ability to problem-solve, and communicate effectively are more important than “academic knowledge and technical skills.” Unfortunately, institutions often focus on test scores instead of “social and emotional learning, or character.” The good news is groups are pushing for change and “teaching ‘character’ is taking hold everywhere.” (Quartz)

Throw that “Me, Me, Me Generation” stereotype out the window, because Millennials are probably not any more narcissistic than previous generations. (Sorry, Time Magazine.) A report published in Psychological Science compared students from a ‘90s study with students in the 2000s and 2010s and found that today’s youth are “at best” equally as self-involved as young people of the past, and may actually be less narcissistic. The professor who led the study reports, “The kids are all right. There never was a narcissism epidemic, despite what has been claimed.” (Uproxx)

“My love of video games and knowledge of technology and streaming naturally eased me into the world of esports.”—Female, 23, FL

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