Empowering Teens through Digital Literacy
The San Francisco Public Library has taken on the critical goal of building technological and media literacy for the city’s middle and high-school youths, many of whom don’t have access to technology, or to the mentorship that could help them succeed. To fulfill this goal, they created a new center within the Main Library, a dedicated, youth-designed, 21st century learning space where teens can explore, create, and develop digital media skills as well as discover the Library’s more traditional resources. To create positive buzz and inspire citywide support, the Library needed a new name and identity for the space.
To name this dynamic learning space, we focused on the creativity, curiosity, technology and community that stimulate the creation and sharing of ideas. The result was The Mix at SFPL, a short and memorable phrase that conveys a youthful energy not typically associated with libraries. Our design partner, Studio Scott, developed a vibrant visual identity that embraces the spirit of The Mix. An exclamation mark doubles as a “you are here” reference, to suggest a place where things happen. The icon bar showcases the breadth of The Mix’s resources, including sound and video recording studios, a maker space, computer labs, study nooks, and a performance area.
Middle school and high school students from across the city have embraced the space with great enthusiasm. With support from the City of San Francisco, the Library and its teen advisory council, the new name and identity has helped The Mix secure additional corporate funding and community partnerships.
“Teenagers in San Francisco now have a safe, comfortable, and engaging space where they will have access to the latest technologies that can open their minds and unleash their creativity,” said Mayor Lee, at its opening in 2015. “The Mix at SFPL provides San Francisco youth with digital literacy skills that will open up new career paths in multimedia fields and make sure they are well-prepared for college and beyond.”