About Us - Partnerships

MacArthur Foundation logo Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums

These grants supported the planning and designing of up to 30 Learning Labs in libraries and museums throughout the country. The Labs engage middle- and high-school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media. Grantees participate, in-person and online, in a community of practice that will provide technical assistance, networking, and cross-project learning. Projects provide prototypes for the field and be based on current research about digital media and youth learning. There were two project deadlines for this grant program, in FY 2012 and FY 2013. See list of Learning Lab Grantees.

Learn more about the Learning Labs grant program.

Report Now Available: Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums: Transformative Spaces for Teens
Learn how 24 cities and counties applied new research about young people’s media practices to create physical and digital spaces for learning. This publication describes lessons learned, new models and practices and the impact of Learning Labs, supported by IMLS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Read now.

Read Two-Page Executive Summary

Project Resources

The White House "Educate to Innovate" Web site

The MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning blog

Learning Science in Informal Environments podcast from the National Academies of Science (MP3)
Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. This podcast looks at what how and where informal science learning takes place and the benefits it can provide to all people.

The Exploratorium’s Learning Studio is a model example of a "learning lab", for professional developers, educators, and youth. It's the collaborative, developmental engine where new experiments and activities are designed for the Exploratorium Tinkering Studio (a space for visiting youth and adults to become engaged in experimental making with tools, materials, and staff facilitators).

YOUmedia.org – Resources For Youth Digital Media Learning

YOUmedia Chicago: Reimagining Learning, Literacies, and Libraries: A Snapshot of Year 1 (May 2011)

Museums Afterschool: Principals, Data and Design  
The Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, has been leading a network of 13 informal learning providers in developing and researching approaches to providing high quality informal science experiences in after-school programs.  

Huffington Post article by Mimi Ito:" When Youth Own the Public Education Agenda"

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century
Produced for PBS by tpt National Productions and Mobile Digital Arts, with major funding from the MacArthur and Pearson Foundations and additional support from Cisco Networking Academy and Adobe, this film explores how educators are increasingly using digital media and interactive practices to ignite their students' curiosity and ingenuity, help them become civically engaged, allow them to collaborate with peers worldwide, and empower self-directed learning.

Additional partnership content on the IMLS website:
Susan Hildreth
Blog Post: A Message of Farewell

January 15, 2015 03:53 PM
During my four years leading IMLS, we helped shaped a future course for the nation’s libraries and museums through our investments, partnerships, and leadership initiatives. Read More