Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Digital Media Lab: finally the grownups get to play!

Building a Maker-style library requires that librarians educate the public about what can be done in libraries. As Bill Derry says in his speech, "Retinkering Libraries," people need to see the library as a place for creation, not just for consumption.

We are trying to do just that at the Duxbury Free Library - first by providing experiences for teens and children in STEAM activities and now for adults by creating a Digital Media Lab in the Reference Area.

It will be a place where the public can convert their family VHS tapes to digital files and DVDs.

Recording conversations, radio plays, poetry, prose, and publishing them as podcasts and on RSS feeds will be possible.  We will give people the tools and space to learn new software and the latest applications through multiple subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud and Lynda.com training videos.

We have to see Makerspace programming as highly individualistic if we want people to dig deeply into the new technology and platforms we are increasingly providing.

Large group programs are not conducive to the hands on exploration we are trying to encourage.
At the same time, we can't justify spending hours at a time with just a few patrons. As libraries, we need to help people find the tools and confidence to build their skills in a warm, encouraging environment without taking the initiative away from them.

I am going to be spending some time in well-established Library Makerspaces to educate myself on how to strike the perfect balance between "giving a person a fish" and "showing them how to fish for a lifetime..."  People want a warm social environment, but they need quiet and long stretches of time to dig into a new format and become creative....


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