Connected Youth

About Connected Youth

For a decade, the Austin Public Library has proudly offered an award winning Teen Services program to the teens of Austin. The Connected Youth project, launched in 2009, introduced laptops and creative new programs to the Austin Public Library system. Connected Youth is an exciting expansion of our longstanding services for Austin Teens.


Connected Youth Teen Cards

Teens (ages 12 through 17) can now apply for a Connected Youth Teen card. This card lets you check out regular library collection materials such as books, DVDs, and manga. With parental permission, it will also let you to check out laptops for two hours per day. Talk to a Teen Services Librarian at any of our 9 Connected Youth laptop sites.


Image of Austin Public Library - Teen Library Card
Connected Youth - Teen Library Card

Step By Step - How Do I Get a Teen Card?

  1. Be between the ages of 12-17.
  2. Download the Teen Library Card Application or pick one up at your local branch.
  3. Visit any Austin Public Library Branch with your parent/guardian. Please ask your adult to remember their picture ID and proof of current address.

Step By Step - How Do I Check Out Laptops?

  1. Get a Teen Library Card (see above).
  2. Visit any of the 9 Austin Public Library branches with a Teen Center.
  3. Fill out a Laptop Permission form with your parent/guardian.


Locations - Connected Youth Laptops

Each Teen Center has laptops which are available for check-out, and Teen Services Librarians offer open houses and activities at their home branches as well as other APL branches.


Blue dot Ruiz Branch map link Blue dot Manchaca Road Branch map link
Blue dot University Hills Branch map link Blue dot Windsor Park Branch map link
Blue dot Faulk Central Library map link Blue dot St. John Branch map link
Blue dot Terrazas Branch map link Blue dot Southeast Austin Community Branch map link
Blue dot Carver Branch map link
Blue dot Willie Mae Kirk Branch
map link

Photo of Connected Youth laptop

Program History: Wired for Youth

In 2000, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the City of Austin, and the Austin Public Library Foundation established ten Wired for Youth Centers. The City of Austin and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation committed funds for staff, operations, and computer equipment for and the Austin Public Library Foundation raised funds for children's and young adult materials system-wide.

Centers were opened at the Carver, Manchaca Road, Oak Springs (Willie Mae Kirk), Ruiz, St. John, Southeast Austin Community, Terrazas, University Hills, and Windsor Park Branches, as well as the Faulk Central Library. Each of these centers hosts a minimum of eight computer workstations. Youth ages 10 through 16 (i.e., up until 17th birthday) (now until 18th birthday) have opportunities to use computers for schoolwork, personal interests, email and chatting, research, and leisure.

Each center is staffed with a Teen Services Librarian who is there to assist users with their technological and informational needs. Computers are just part of Teen Services at the Austin Public Library. Teens are encouraged to read and discover library resources, get to know library staff, and find a place for themselves with in the library. Programs, classes, and events encourage creativity, leadership, experimentation, confidence, teamwork, and pride.