ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center

ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is a learning facility that houses two dedicated libraries for kids and teens, a multimedia production studio, an interactive exhibit space, multi-use classrooms, and two state-of-the-art major theaters. It is situated on a 102,000-square foot area in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is owned and managed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theater of Charlotte.

The center was recently recognized by Livability.com as the number one children’s library in the United States. Being a popular youth destination, ImaginOn is visited by over 300,000 people every year.

Here are the major educational facilities at ImaginOn:

1. The Loft

This space is a library exclusive to teens or young adults with ages 10 to 18. It was designed to be conducive for discovering fascinating information and honing of talents through the wide selection of books and other learning materials.
To assist learners in aligning their interests and passions to their academic or career goals, ImaginOn provides competent staff to guide them. Here, they can also have access to ebooks, online databases, and online tutoring platforms. The Loft also holds classes on 3D printing and vinyl cutting as well as leadership and volunteer programs.

2. Spangler Library

In this section, ImaginOn aims to help shape the minds of young learners as they cater to kids aged zero to 5th grade. Just like with The Loft, this library holds hundreds of print and digital materials on early literacy, child development, as well as teen literature and more.
Taking into consideration the importance of visuals in learning, the Spangler Library has a huge collection of picture books. It also has interactive activities for all ages, a complete set of fiction chapter books for those in elementary and middle school, and hundreds of multimedia learning resources such as software, Playaways, DVDs and audiobooks.

3. Children’s Theater of Charlotte

This section of ImaginOn aims to nurture the artist in every child or teen. It is a well-known theater for families in North Carolina as hundreds of thousands of people come every year to watch performances. It offers classes for all ages, from preschoolers to high school students. Among the educational programs are summer camps, creative drama classes, and theater workshops.
Teachers and facilitators are all professionals and highly-competent theater artists with years of experience as performers, directors, instructors, and playwrights. There are two major venues where performances are held: the Wells Fargo Playhouse which seats 250 people and the McColl Family Theater with a capacity of 570 people.
ImaginOn also holds other events such as family and baby storytime, crocheting classes, educational video gaming, an introductory class to virtual reality, paper embroidery and foreign language classes. Check out their website for an up-to-date schedule of events and activities.
ImaginOn also accepts facility rentals as it has a wide range of available spaces and rooms: The Round, Courtyard, 4 different studios, rehearsal rooms, board room with kitchen and a public lobby. However, birthday parties are not accepted.
This learning center is the first public facility in Mecklenburg County to be certified by LEED. Additionally, the ImaginOn building was granted a silver level certification as a green building by the US Green Building Council.
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