Teen Central

Johnson building, second floor

Department Hours and Contact Information


Located on the second floor of the Johnson 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.

Hours of Operation

View Teen Central's hours of operation here.

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 year round; in the fall, spring and in the summer. Interested teens should reach out to Jess Snow at jsnow@bpl.org or 617-859-2335.

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.

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 five Windows and five Mac desktop computers are loaded with a variety of maker-oriented software. We also have accompanying hardware and maker-kits for teens to explore and create hands-on.

Teens can access this space during Open Lab hours, times set aside for teens to explore all The Lab has to offer and create freely with the help of Teen Technology staff members. There are also programs and workshops on different topics offered by library staff, tech professionals, and local organizations. Check the BPL event calendar to see all upcoming programs!


Hardware Accessories:

3D Modeling 

Pixologic Sculptris 

Blender

Autodesk 3Ds Max 2015

MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation 3D Printer

Music & Audio Production 

GarageBand  

Logic Pro X

Adobe Audition

Audacity

Ableton

Serato DJ

FL Studio

Alesis V25 MIDI Keyboards

Blue SnowBall Microphones

Quality Shure Headphones

Video Production

iMovie  

Final Cut Pro

Adobe After Effects

Adobe Premiere

Cloth Green Screen

Graphic Design & Visual Art

Autodesk SketchBook Pro

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InCopy

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Inkscape

GIMP

Wacom Bamboo Drawing Tablets

Silhouette Studio & Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine

Nikon DSLR Camera

Animation

Adobe Animate

Adobe Character Animator

OpenToonz

Game Development

Construct

Unity

Coding 

Scratch

Komodo IDE

littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets

SparkFun! Inventor’s Kit

Raspberry Pi 2

Lilypad Arduino

Makey Makey

  • MIDI Keyboards
  • Blue Snowball Microphones
  • Headphones
  • Zoom Handheld Recorders
  • Wacom Bamboo Drawing Tablets
  • Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine
  • MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation
  • Cannon Vixia Video Camera
  • Nikon DSLR
  • Digital Camera
  • Cloth Green Screen

Activity Kits:

  • littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets
  • SparkFun Inventror’s Kit
  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • Lilypad Arduino
  • Makey Makey
  • Lego Mindstorms EV3 Education Robotics

The Lab is open Fridays and Saturdays for Open Lab (unstructured time in Lab for open-ended exploration and use of software and materials). There are also programs and classes in the different software programs on other days during the week.

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

Computers Available:

  • 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.