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Harold Washington Library just opened up an awesome new reading room for kids

Written by
Grace Perry

Chicago just made an excellent investment in the future of the city. The Hughes Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library Center just got a massive makeover, making it a 24,000 square foot, 21st-century learner experience center. The South Loop flagship CPL location now boasts a whole host of activities aimed to encourage STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning for children under 13.

The space was designed by Gensler Chicago, whose work you may recognize from the 2015 Navy Pier redesign. The children’s library at Harold Washington features a “plaza” at the center, flanked by three “neighborhoods” aimed at different age groups: the Early Learner Neighborhood for preschoolers, with a puppet stage and a story nook; the Elementary Learner Neighborhood, which introduces STEAM-based activities; and the Tween Neighborhood, where kids can use digital media tools including laptops, a blue screen and virtual reality tools.

The new children’s library is serving as a model for future projects at CPS locations citywide, including Austin Irving branch, Little Village Branch, West Englewood Branch, South Chicago branch and many more. Check out the photos here:

Tom Harris, Gensler

Tom Harris, Gensler

Tom Harris, Gensler

Tom Harris, Gensler

Anyway, here’s what you all clicked on this blog for, which is a photo of Rahm Emanuel holding a pair of giant scissors mere inches from small children.

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