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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of diaper commercials are the same thing, just different babies and different brands.” –Female, 25, WV

Instagram is most popular photo-sharing app out there with 30% of Millennials using it daily, according to Ypulse’s March monthly survey. Now the platform has released Layout, a stand-alone companion app that allows users to easily create photo collages, and includes fun ways to edit images. Existing photo editing apps, which many use before posting images on Instagram, often have clunky interfaces and are jammed with ads. Layout preserves Instagram’s simplicity while providing a tool already in demand, and is already being used by major brands like Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and even Michelle Obama. (Fast CompanyAdweek)

Young consumers are obviously passionate about music and want to discover new artists, but with so much new content coming out daily, and in so many different places, keeping up with the latest can be hard. Well, if you’re a hip hop fan, there’s an app for that. White Label is a music discovery and streaming service that helps users keep up with the hottest in hip hop by monitoring user engagement between Twitter and SoundCloud to chart the most popular songs of the moment. Hip hop fans are said to be the “single most active music audience on Twitter” and White Label allows them to stream buzzed about tracks and also read the conversations going on about them, a concept some think “should be made for every genre.” (The Next Web)

Is The Twizzler Challenge the next Ice Bucket Challenge? The new social campaign is a call to action to raise funds for the New York Collaborates for Autism, and asks participants to chew on both ends of a Twizzler until their lips meet, Lady and the Tramp style. It’s silly, a little awkward, and has reportedly been catching on since it debuted on Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars and The Today Show. It hasn’t taken off quite like last year’s ubiquitous icy charitable phenomenon yet, but could be a trend to watch. (The Daily What)

Stuffed animals are still a big part of childhood, but Build-A-Bear is adding some digital elements to their experience to appeal to young consumers growing up in a tech-centric world. Store designs are getting digital facelifts, and the brand has launched a new app and website that includes games, storytelling, and shopping; along with a YouTube series that features their plush characters. In an effort to please all ages, as 20% of their customers are actually 14 and older, the store is also collaborating to create a Disney Princess line, Frozen and Marvel characters, and an upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIIcollection. (brandchannel)

We told you what brands were up to at SXSW last week, which included tapping into attendees to crowdsource new ways to appeal to young consumers. Several brands at the festival also gave young startups the chance to earn support for their own innovative projects. Vitaminwater’s Project Hustle and Mastercard’s Priceless Elevator Pitch were Shark Tank-inspired contests that both took place in fake elevators, and asked participants to pitch unique proposals for a chance to win cash and mentorship to make their ideas come to life. Vitaminwater was also apparently inspired by Kickstarter: 10 Project Hustle finalists will continue selling their ideas and crowdfunding online for the following months. (Mashable)

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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