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Skokie Public Library Digital Media Lab

Skokie Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Richard Kong, Adult Programming and Technology Coordinator, rkong@skokielibrary.info

Problem Statement

In an increasingly digital world, libraries face the challenge of helping their users become more transliterate with the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media. One way to meet this challenge is to empower users to work with digital media in order to create videos, music, podcasts, images, and websites.

Innovation

In order to address the aforementioned challenge, Skokie Public Library created a state-of-the-art digital media lab that will enable Skokie community members to creatively express themselves through digital videos, digital music, digital photography, websites, graphics, podcasts, presentations and other forms of digital media.

The Digital Media Lab features four new Mac desktop computers equipped with creative software, including iLife 09, Adobe CS 4, and Final Cut Pro. The Digital Media Lab also consists of scanners, microphones, a MIDI keyboard, and a chroma-key wall. Users have the option of checking out digital cameras, Flip video camcorders, and portable hard drives.

Finally, trained lab assistants offer one-on-one appointments to users who require instruction with a digital media project.

Progress

Opened in September 2009, the Digital Media Lab has seen a steady increase in usage from a wide variety of users. A sampling of our typical users include: 1) groups of high school students working on digital video projects uploaded to YouTube; 2) business people creating promotional flyers, websites, and videos; 3) older adults digitizing personal videos and photos to preserve and share with loved ones; and 4) musicians of all ages recording and composing songs. Additionally, users have made use of equipment offered in the Digital Media Lab, especially the Flip video camcorders.

Library staff members have offered many personalized instruction sessions and have created tutorials to enable self-paced learning.

Finally, several other libraries around Illinois and other states have inquired about the lab with the thought of creating their own versions and bringing digital media literacy to their own users.