New Youth Design Team at Pima County Public Library


Just learned about a terrific new youth media center project designed by a Youth Design Team  at the Pima County Public Library’s Joel D. Valdez main library downtown (101 N. Stone Ave.). Their vision:

“Our vision is a thriving youth community where all youth are passionate, empowered, connected, and use their voice to create a better world.”



A $100,000 planning grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation made this project a reality – “to work with youth to design a community learning lab for Tucson’s youth to dream, learn, take action and fulfill their potential”.

22 youth (from various high schools and colleges in this area) served on this 2013/2014 Youth Design Team surveying 2100 Tucson youth in the community through 9 focus groups.  They found out that youth value mentors and safety in programs, and requested “digital media” and “college/career readiness” for themselves.

Have youth that you know (and love) participate by contacting the LearningLabs Project Manager Jennifer Nichols, 594-5562,

And here’s a 3 minute You  Tube  video they produced enthusiastically informing us about this Youth  Design Team project:

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


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