1. Introduction

This section provides an introduction to the basic principles of design thinking.

After completing this section, you will be able to...

  • Describe design thinking and the design thinking process
  • Understand how design thinking relates to connected learning and to youth librarians

Young people brainstorming and then sketching out imaginary homes inspired by books from local architects. Teens partnering with librarians and historical centers to create personal community maps and learn about their city’s history in the process. Librarians experimenting with new styles of programming and activities through “pop up programming” and then refining and improving delivery.

These are just some of the projects and activities coming from youth librarians around the country who have enacted the power of design thinking—a process and way of working that will help you and your youth community address challenges and create new services, spaces, and experiences.

In this module, we outline design thinking methods for librarians serving youth. Design thinking can be interpreted in many ways. This module provides broad guidelines surrounding how the design experiences of youth librarians and young people can be supported. With a focus on programming and activities, you can customize the design thinking process for your own library community and context.