TEEN EDUCATION & CREATION HUB
Visit the TECH Lab - A space for teens to come in, hang out and use 21st century technology to create exciting projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math.
TECH Lab Fall Hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 3-7 pm
Saturday: Open Lab 1-5 pm
Teen Events At-a-Glance
We have a lot of things going on at the library, so here's a quick list of all of our upcoming events. Scroll down the page to find more info on the program you're interested in, or call us at 696-8538.
- TECH Lab Artist in Residence: Audio Journalism with Kamila Kudelska
- Featured Program: Trivia Night
- Computer Science Week
- Magic: The Gathering Draft Tournament
- Teen Art Club
- Teen Japan Club
- Friday Night Magic
- Tabletop Gaming Club
- Teen Book Group
- Teen Advisory Group (TAG)
Test Prep E-Books
Getting ready to take the SAT or GRE? Just need some extra help with geometry? Want to be a firefighter or police officer? Then check out the library's new collection of digital reference books for test prep and study help! All of the titles are free to access and download. All you need is a library card! See our selection, and get studying.
The TECH Lab is thrilled to welcome Kamila as our new Artist in Residence for the fall! Kamila will be in the lab from October-December to teach teens about audio journalism and how to create and produce podcasts.
Kamila recently received her M.S. in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School, focused on environmental and national politics radio reporting. Before that, she lived in Warsaw, Poland, where she worked for Polish National Public Radio. Last summer she spent her time at New York Public Radio WYNC as a producer for the Brian Lehrer Show. Currently, Kamila is a radio freelancer in the greater Montana and Northern Wyoming area.
Artist in Residence Workshops
Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 pm, TECH Lab
Starting in October, Kamila will be holding weekly workshops to teach teens audio, technical, and reporting skills. Teens will learn:
- Basic recording skills with hand held recorders and phones
- What makes a story worth telling
- How to interview
- How to write for the ear
- Gathering tape: going out and recording people
By the end of the month, each student will have produced at least one short audio story. Starting in November the group will work towards creating a Billings Public Library Teen Podcast that will be put on Soundcloud. Call 657-8290 to sign up for the October sessions.
Become an Artist in Residence
Interested in being the TECH Lab's next Artist in Residence? Have some interesting skills you want to share? Or maybe just interested in working with teens, and making some extra money for it? Contact Cody at 696-8538 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Program: Trivia Night
Tuesday, Dec. 19
Join us for a fun night of science themed trivia! Phillips 66 has provided a generous grant to the library for the creation of 6 STEAM crates that will soon be available for check-out, and we are going to hold a trivia night for each of the crates! This session will focus on our Science crate, so bring the family and come down for snacks, prizes, and a look at the Science Crate and all of the equipment that will come with it! Registration is required, so call 657-8290 to sign a team up today!
Computer Science Week
5 pm in the TECH Lab
It's time for the TECH Lab's annual Computer Science week! Come to the lab each day during the week for a different workshop to learn awesome computer coding skills, or about other topics related to computer science. Each workshop will start at 5 pm in the lab, except the Saturday Mathematica program which will begin at 1 pm. We ask the you register in advance, so call 657-8290 to sign-up today! Workshops during the week will be:
Tuesday, Dec. 12: Introduction to Bitcoin
Learn about the history of Bitcoin, and why it’s becoming such a valuable commodity.
Wednesday, Dec. 13: Talk Like a Pirate
Create a web page that translates English sentences into Pirate Speak! You’ll learn how to create a web page and use jQuery to cause live updates on your page.
Thursday, Dec. 14: Scary Spot the Difference Game
Create a Spot the Difference game using Python that will scare your friends!
Friday, Dec. 15: Make a Web Server
Use Flask to create and host your own web site. You’ll also learn how to code with HTML and CSS.
Saturday, Dec. 16: Introduction to Mathematica
(This program begins at 1 pm in the TECH Lab)
Learn how to use Mathematica, a computer programming tool popular in science, math, computing, and engineering.
Magic: The Gathering Draft Tournament
3 pm in the TECH Lab
Come to the lab to participate in a draft tournament for Magic: The Gathering! A draft tournament is where each player builds their deck via a card draft and sealed booster packs on the day of the tournament. You don't need to have your own deck or even any cards of your own! There will be prizes for everyone, and extra cards and more for the winners. We are limiting sign-ups for the tournament to 10 teens, so call 657-8290 to sign up now!
Teen Art Club
Wednesdays at 5pm in the TECH Lab
The Teen Education and Creation Hub (TECH Lab) at Billings Public Library is starting its own teen art club! The club will be led by Damin, a TECH Lab mentor and life-long, self taught artist. Members of this fall's art group will learn essential drawing fundamentals such as the human figure, perspective, and composition. These methods will allow teens to more easily draw what they see or bring to life the places and characters of their imagination. This program will be very adaptive to participants' interests. Among the areas we might explore are: character, creature, and vehicle design; portraits; and/or symbolism and visual communication.
No previous training or education is required, just a desire to be creative and improve your skills. The library will provide basic supplies, although teens can feel free to bring their own items. The art club will meet every Wednesday at 5 pm in the TECH Lab, starting on Sept. 20th. Sign-up is required, to call 657-8290 to join the group today!
Teen Japan Club
Every Wednesday, 6-7 pm, Computer Classroom, 2nd floor
The Teen Japan Club is back! Learn Japanese language and culture for free! This opportunity is brought to you by Billings Public Library and the Southern Montana Intercultural and Language Exchange (SMILE INC). Classes will be taught by Rod Gottula and Rie Kuroki. Rod is a former National Board Certified Teacher of Language Arts and high-school English teacher . He holds a master's degree in linguistics, has spent four years living and working in Japan as part of the JET Program, and is a former Japan Club Advisor. Rie is a native Japanese speaker and part-time translator who has lived in Montana for over fifteen years.
Classes will focus on teaching students basic spoken Japanese, the Hiragana and Katakana alphabets and various aspects of Japanese culture. The course will serve as a valuable springboard for students who wish to go on to study Japanese at the college level, those who simply want to supplement their love of anime and manga with a dash of academic knowledge, and those who have a strong desire to visit Japan in the future. We only ask that you commit to attending regularly, so that you can truly benefit from the course. Mata ne!
This year we will be meeting on Wednesdays in the Computer Classroom on the second floor of the library. We are also splitting the club into two sections: 6-6:30 pm will be reserved for beginners and first time participants, while the second half of the hour (6:30-7 pm) will be reserved for those returning from last year who want to keep working on their language skills.
Friday Night Magic
Fridays at 4 pm
We're starting Friday Night Magic in the TECH Lab! Come to the lab every Friday at 4 to play Magic: The Gathering. Don't know how to play? Don't worry! We have starter decks and lots of helpful, enthusiastic people who will be happy to teach you. We'll be having some tournaments in the future, so now is a good time to start learning the basics. See you there!
Tabletop Gaming Club
Thursdays at 4 pm
Join a local teen as he leads a group dedicated to playing a variety of tabletop games, from Dungeons & Dragons to Clue! Come and join the fun, or bring your own game and share it with others!
Teen Book Group
*Rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 4:00-5:00 pm
Teen Study 2Join the Library's Teen Book Group. We meet once a month on Thursday afternoons. In December, we're reading Kerri Maniscalco's Stalking Jack the Ripper, a gothic murder mystery.
Register and reserve your copy of the book by calling 657-8290.
Teen Advisory Group
Teens who are 13 to 19 years of age can apply to be part of our Teen Advisory Group - the TAG. The TAG advises the library about programs for teens, helps promote services, and volunteers at the library.
Volunteering at the Library
Are you looking for ways to spend your free time? The TECH Lab is looking for 16-18 year old teenagers to help lead and mentor younger teens in the lab during open hours. Volunteers need to be interested in technology, willing to teach and learn alongside other teens, and be in the lab for a minimum of 4 hours per week. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience, or just give back to your community! For more information, contact Cody in the TECH Lab. Submit an online application..
Local Teen Interviews Architect of Billings Public Library
Katelyn Bauer interviewed Will Bruder, the architect for the new Billings Public Library building,
and used the TECH Lab equipment to edit the video together. Way to go Katelyn!