Just a quick heads up before you read ahead, the word “awesome” is going to be used in excess throughout this article.

But there may not be a better word to describe what’s going on these days at The Public Library’s 2nd Floor.

For teens and tweens, The 2nd Floor is an atmosphere of fun. Activities include photo booths, 3-D printing, Dungeons & Dragons, Nintendo, LEGOs and just about everything else you wouldn’t think a library would offer.

Awesome, huh?


Justin Hoenke joined the library in April 2013 as manager of The 2nd Floor. His job is to develop programs for kids, teens and tweens, as well as oversee a youth development staff.

You can find out more about all of the awesome at The 2nd Floor by clicking here.

Perhaps the strangest (most awesome?) creation thus far is the introduction of The Awesome Bear, a plastic bear that tweets.

On his blog, Hoenke said the plastic bear started his life in the back of a closet before emerging into the world of awesome.

“Its job was simple: Collect bits of paper which people would use to write awesome things on,” Hoenke wrote. “It could be a wish, something neat that they saw or a recommendation. The Awesome Bear would collect these things and put good vibes out into the world.”

With the help of co-worker Megan Emery and James McNutt of Engage 3D, the plastic bear gained the super power-with the aid of a technology called Raspberry Pi-to tweet these random thoughts to the Twitterverse.

Nooga.com gained an exclusive interview with The Awesome Bear via Twitter. The interview was conducted during a 20-minute period in which the bear let his own personality shine through, as opposed to the random tweets provided by teenagers.

The entire interview can be read below.