Do I Hear a Waltz? Teens Dancing in Chicago

prom court

Weekends in May mean prom for many Chicago teens. After months of planning, the big night has arrived. Now it’s time to slip into formal dresses, rented tuxedos, corsages and boutonnieres. If you look under any flowering tree on Saturday night, you’ll probably see a group of teens posing for pictures to commemorate the evening. […]

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Prama: Teen Books about Prom

Young man in tuxedo places corset on the arm of a young woman in a dress

Prama (noun): drama that ensues before, during or after a high school prom. I first heard the word prama early in my senior year of high school (yes, a long time ago). By winter break I had fully learned its meaning. The buildup to prom can be filled with anxiety, awkwardness and, of course, tons of […]

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Teens: Shout Out to Your Hero

Shout out to your hero

Shout out to your hero on our website! Who’s your inspiration? Share drawings, music, videos, blog links or anything else that tells a story about your hero. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

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Shout Out to Your Hero: Sample

Brother Mike Drawing

This year we spotlight teens in our Shout Out to Your Hero posts.This entry is a sample created by our Teen Services staff. “Brother Mike” Hawkins helped create Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia at the Harold Washington Library Center. He was loved and appreciated by hundreds. One thing that Brother Mike did that I think was […]

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Teens: Create Positive Change

elevate your voice logo

Teens, summer 2017 is yours for the making at CPL. Hang out with friends and mentors who can help you with your next big idea. Create art, play games with your friends or meet someone new who shares your interests. Grow a plant, make a bracelet, record a podcast, design a T-shirt…the list is long but summer […]

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Instant Downloads for Teens

I'm a big believer that spring break should mean taking an actual break. Take some time to read magazine, watch television, and enjoy comics. And the best part is, you can do all that without ever leaving your house (even if your parents changed the Netflix password). Check out these instant digital downloads available to you […]

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Teen Voices: Featuring Kayla

Source: Kayla G., 2016-17 Teen Winter Challenge Entry

Each month we spotlight a teen at CPL. Kayla G.'s submissions for the 2016-17 Teen Winter Challenge stood out because of how charming they were; one juror noted they collectively felt like a "low-fi collage." It was evident that Kayla had spunk and sarcasm, in addition to a lot of inspiration behind her work, which included vivid images […]

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Teen Voices: Featuring Antonio B.

Antonio B., 2016-17 Teen Winter Challenge Participant

Each month we spotlight a teen at CPL. It looked as though Antonio B had recently visited the museums of Illinois’ Cantigny Park (, where teens can envision the experiences of U.S. Army figures. Using unique shading and experimentation with light, Antonio used an Artisto app to create some interesting 3-D like images he used to portray […]

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Teen Voices: Featuring Assata M.

Source: Assata M, 2016-7 Teen Winter Challenge Submission (Cropped)

Each month we spotlight a teen at CPL. Assata M.'s Teen Winter Challenge portfolio included very different pieces with great depth. We were excited to see her journey in experimenting with different mediums, such as watercolor and oil. One juror found her image with motion and smoke in the subjects’ eyes was so striking, and recommended Assata […]

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Teen Voices: Featuring Tashauniel

Tashauniel N., 2016-17 Teen Winter Challenge Submission

Each month we spotlight a teen at CPL. Tashauniel N.’s submission for the 2016-17 Teen Winter Challenge took our jury into a whimsical world of intriguing dimensions and lovely hues. Select jurors saw the political messages with quotes from Evita and were impressed by the layers and levels of these skillfully composed works. Not all of words […]

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