Reading teenagers' minds

25th April 2008 at 01:00
Teenagers can star in their own films, create their own comics and play with the latest computer games as part of a project designed to increase the use of libraries in Edinburgh

Teenagers can star in their own films, create their own comics and play with the latest computer games as part of a project designed to increase the use of libraries in Edinburgh.

Libraries4U aims to make older children feel more welcome in three libraries - Moredun, Craigmillar and Kirkliston - which were chosen because the surrounding areas lack facilities for young people. It was officially launched last week and is funded with pound;100,000 from the Scottish Government.

The project emerged from a pilot at Sighthill Library and may be expanded to other parts of the city.

Library staff have already reported that the scheme is achieving one of its aims of tackling bad behaviour, both in and out of libraries.

Children's advice has been important in creating "teenage zones" with the right books, PCs, games consoles, DVDs and furniture. A Libraries4U video scheme teaches participants how to plan, shoot and edit films about issues in their local communities, and teenagers' artwork is being exhibited.

Edinburgh City Council has also launched Books4U, to encourage reading and book-borrowing. Young people can review books and record the reviews as podcasts for the council's website.

Deidre Brock, convener of the culture and leisure committee, said: "Libraries4U should dispel the myth that libraries are fusty places which are only for older people."

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