URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Teen Open Lab at the Urbana Free Library will celebrate its 10th anniversary next week.

The library shared on its website that the program began in the spring of 2013, with the idea to build library services for teens based on what they need and want.  

The Urbana Free Library held meetings with several regular teens at the library, and asked them what aspects of the Library worked for them and what didn’t. The Urbana Middle School allowed library staff to talk with students at school, and a survey brought back over 130 responses.

Staff then worked with the teens to design a changeable layout for the space.

The Lewis Auditorium in the library’s basement then became home to the Teen Open Lab, a teen-directed space with the goal of promoting creativity, peer instruction, and community building. The library said it is a safe place for after-school activities and educational access to science, technology, engineering, art, and math learning.

The Teen Open Lab is open most Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons for music recording, 3D printing, sewing, reading, drawing, crafting, gaming, film-making, or just hanging out.

All teens in the Champaign-Urbana community are welcome to take part in the TOL. They are encouraged to share ideas, create, and learn from each other.

The Teen Open Lab will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, March 22, and the library is inviting people to drop in between 3-5:30 p.m. and celebrate with pizza, snacks, activities, and more.

More information about the program can be found here.