Milwaukee Public Library Promises to Expand Services to Teens in 2022, Including More Creative Spaces | WUWM 89.7 FM


Milwaukee City Librarian Joan Johnson said a program to get Milwaukee teens to use library resources to help them with their studies and careers is developing in early 2022.

the Connected Learning Program for Teens started about five years ago. The Mitchell Street Library has a makerspace and community kitchen for a culinary arts program. Johnson defines a makerspace as a room, “where people can come in and create their own content. For Mitchell Street, we focused on the people who create audio and video content, and the people who create graphic arts.

Johnson said the Mitchell Street Library provided hardware and software.

She said that a new makerspace at the Good Hope Library focuses on industrial design and features a laser cutter and a 3D copying machine.

A soon-to-be-available makerspace room at the Washington Park Library will focus on information technology, including computer coding and robotics.

The town librarian said other libraries have sewing machines to help people create content.

Johnson said planning for a new Martin Luther King library includes hearing from the neighboring community about what they want in a creative space. The new King branch is slated to open in fall 2023.

Johnson said the Milwaukee Public Library’s efforts to involve more teens also included hiring of more than 30 teenage interns. She said workers in paid positions “help us develop programs for their peers.”

Johnson said the current starting salary is $ 15.00 per hour and the incentive salary range for residents of the city of Milwaukee is $ 15.45 per hour. Applications and high school transcripts must be submitted no later than 4:45 p.m. on Monday, January 10, 2022.

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Left to right: Joan Johnson, City of Milwaukee Librarian, Cavalier Johnson, Acting Mayor of Milwaukee, and Jennifer Webb, Head of Library Services at the Washington Park Library, discuss the Teen Connected Learning program at the Washington Park Library.

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson joined the City Librarian for a tour of the Washington Park Library on Thursday. He said library programs that engage young people “keep them off the streets. It’s an impact on public safety,” Johnson said. “We’re talking about making investments upstream to stop some of the things that we’re seeing backwards, in terms of public safety and involving people in the justice system.”

Acting Mayor Johnson also spoke of his long personal use of libraries, including a brief period when he was afraid to go to the library.

“I had borrowed a book on Batman and lost it. I thought my fine was going to be astronomical. But luckily they forgave him and I got a new library card years later, ”Johnson said.


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