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

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

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(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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