Central Library: Teen Central

Boylston Street Building, Second Floor

Located on the second floor of the Boylston Street Building at BPL’s Copley Square location, Teen Central is the premier free space for teens in grades 6 through 12 to hang out, discover, and geek out in a wealth of diverse ways. In addition to robust diner-style seating and study spaces, Teen Central boasts a feature-rich Media Lounge complete with Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. On any given afternoon, teens will use the Lounge to compete in NBA 2k tournaments, settle their differences in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or don the PlayStation VR helmet to immerse themselves in fantastic new worlds. During evening hours, teens can even gather a few friends in the Lounge for a movie night.

While many teens spend hours perusing Teen Central’s extensive YA books, manga, and graphic novel collection, others take root in its cutting-edge Lab space, exploring a hardy range of high-end programs tailored to meet the needs of the 21st-Century digital maker. Though Teen Central avails teens to over 30 laptop and Chromebook computers for personal use, the Lab’s 10 performance computers (5 Macs and 5 PCs) offer teens the opportunity to become media creators in their own right, with ongoing programs in music-making, 3D modeling and printing, video production, and more occurring throughout 2020.

Follow Teen Central on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on all upcoming events and programs. In order to ensure a safe, supportive, and positive space that is uniquely their own, all teens must review and sign the Teen Central Code of Conduct prior to entering the space for the first time.

Programs

Teen Central hosts video gaming, software programs, coding, maker programs, a Teen Leadership Council, monthly open mics, tech programs, and more. Check our calendar for what’s happening.

Teen Volunteers in Teen Central

Teens (grades 9-12) participating in the Boston Public Library Teen Services Volunteer Program will learn valuable working skills that will transfer to paid jobs later on. Volunteer jobs help to prepare teens to become job ready while working in the library and learning customer service skills and learning how to interact with a variety of people. Teens learn the importance of speaking and dressing appropriately and the meaning of dependability and responsibility. Teens will participate in a resume building program and an interview skills workshop.

Some of the tasks are:

  • Search for missing books on shelves
  • Search for new websites for the BPL teen blog
  • Create booklists online
  • Put up book displays
  • Shelve books
  • Assist in leading weekly gaming tournaments in Teen Central on Fridays

The volunteer program runs in the fall and spring semesters. Currently, there are no plans for volunteering in the summer of 2022.

Class Visits and Camp Groups

Learn more about scheduling a class or group visit to Teen Central.

Learn more about scheduling a class tour of the library.

Printable library card applications for your visit.

Class Visits, with Contact of Teen Librarian and Email

All school and community visits should be scheduled by contacting Team Lead Chris Jacobs at teencentral@bpl.org or 617-859-2215. Lead time of at least 7-10 days is strongly preferred. To help plan the tour that is best for your school group’s availability, please refer to the list of activities and approximate time frames below.

Teen Central Activity Runtime
Teen Central Resource Tour (quick) 15 min
Teen Central Resource Tour (comprehensive) 30 min
Makerspace Lab Activity – Vinyl-Cut Stickermaking with Cricut 60 min
Makerspace Lab Activity – Printing & Button-making 45 min
Makerspace Lab Activity – 3D Printing with TinkerCAD 60 min
Research Resource Overview 30 min
Research Resource Overview + Activity 60 min
Social Gaming Experience (5-25 participants) 60 min
Gaming Lounge Tournament (current maximum 12 participants/hour) 60 min
Library Card Electronic Resource Overview 15 min
Library Card Distribution (information required at least 1 business day per 10 students before visit) 15 min
Young Adult Recommendations Booktalk (general) 30 min
Young Adult Recommendations Booktalk (catered – lead time needed based on participant requests) 30-60 min

The Lab

The Lab is a digital makerspace that offers teens a variety of tools for learning, creating, and developing their own media. The Lab's high-performance desktop computers are loaded with a variety of creative software. We also have accompanying hardware and maker-kits for teens to explore and create hands-on.

Teens can access this space during weekly Open Lab hours, time for teens to explore all The Lab has to offer and create freely. There are also programs and workshops on different topics offered by library staff, tech professionals, and local organizations. A full list of upcoming programs in the Teen Central space, including technology workshops, can be found by visiting bit.ly/teencentralevents.

What technology is in the Lab?

  • 4 high-performance Alienware computers with the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite and other creative software
  • 5 high-performance iMac computers outfitted with Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and other creative software
  • A high-performance streaming setup including boom mic, high-quality streaming camera, and customizable StreamDeck
  • A Cricut Maker machine for printing and cutting vinyl stickers, iron-on decals, and a variety of other craft projects
  • A makeshift audio booth with studio-quality mic and DAC, with available MIDI keyboards and controllers and additional microphones and stands
3D Modeling

Blender

Music & Audio Production 

GarageBand

Logic Pro X

Adobe Audition

Audacity

Ableton

Alesis V25 MIDI Keyboards

Video Production

iMovie

Final Cut Pro

Adobe After Effects

Adobe Premiere

Graphic Design & Visual Art

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InCopy

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Inkscape

GIMP

Animation

Adobe Animate

Adobe Character Animator

OpenToonz

Game Development

Unity

Coding 

Scratch

littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets

SparkFun! Inventor’s Kit

Raspberry Pi 2

Makey Makey

Books, CDs, DVDs, and More

Teen Central has a large & diverse collection, including:

  • General fiction
  • Mystery
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • LGBTQ Fiction and nonfiction
  • Magazines and newspapers including Hype HairHip HopTeen Vogue, Otaku USA, Teens in Print, and others.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The teen nonfiction collection is interfiled with adult nonfiction.

Any of these items may be located and/or placed on hold using our catalog, opens a new window.

Computers

  • There are four desktop computers with internet access and software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • There are thirty laptops with internet access and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software. These are available to teens for use within Teen Central with no time limit.
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