My library is putting the final touches on our fledgling makerspace/digital media lab. It opens December 8, assuming all the details fall into place! I thought it might be interesting to do a few posts on our plans – to share equipment ideas, policies and guidelines, and planning – in hopes that someone else will find it useful.
We are calling it the MakeIT Lab. Our goal is to allow customers to use computers and digital technology to make stuff, including:
- edit and manipulate photos
- create digital art
- create and edit videos
- record music, podcasts, and oral histories
- transfer videos from old formats to newer ones
- scan photos and documents
- and make cool stuff with our 3D printer.
We’ll let customers do this inside the building in the lab, and outside the building by checking out a Media Bag. We’re placing the 3D printer in a very public area with signage about the MakeIT Lab in hopes that it promotes the rest of the makerspace just by … being cool (fingers crossed on that).
This is very much a pilot project for us. We have a starting list of equipment, procedures, trained staff (still working on that one), and a small room. If it goes well, we might need to expand services – more on that next year!
Here’s our starting list of equipment:
For the room:
- Two Apple iMac computers
- Alesis Elevate 3 studio monitors for the computers
- flatbed scanner
- Wacom digital drawing tablet
- MakerBot 3D printer and filament
- Canon Vixia camcorder
- Elgato A/D converter
- tripods and video lighting
- M-Audio Oxygen 25 USB Keyboard controller
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio interface
- Microphones (Audio Technica AT 2020 and Shure SM57 mics)
- Microphone stands and cables
For the Media Bags. These are bags of stuff that you can check out. We do lots of “bag” things, including Travel Bags, Health Bags, and Book Group in a Bag. Each of the Media Bags will have some basic equipment and a Dummies Guide book in the bag. Bags include:
- Video bag: Canon Vixia camcorder
- Photography bag: Canon PowerShot digital camera
- Field Recording bag (for podcasting, oral histories, etc): Zoom H1 digital recorder
- Songwriters Bag: Tascam DR-40 Portable digital recorder, Audio Technica AT 2020 microphones (2 of them), mic stand and cables.
- iLife suite (GarageBand, iMovie)
- Google Sketchup
- Adobe Creative Suite
- And probably some other software that I’m forgetting at the moment.
Should be a fun project!
I recently gave a webinar session on website UX for libraries as part of the cool SEFLIN Virtual Conference that went on last week. Here are my slides from my session – enjoy!
It’s Banned Books Week this week. Check out this cool video my library’s Teen Advisory Board made (with some help from Rebecca, one of our teen librarians)! I thought the teens did a great job with the video. How often do you hear kids talking about censorship and intellectual freedom?
Please watch – thanks!
I’m working on a music video for my library right now, so lighting, audio, and video equipment is pretty fresh in my head at the moment (more on that video later).
If you make video of any type for your library (and you should be!), here’s something to remember: don’t overdo it.
Remember your end-goal. The goal really isn’t a professionally-polished video (although that’s nice). The goal isn’t to have crystal-clear, audiophile-quality sound (although that’s nice). The goal isn’t to have pristine lighting (although, again … that’s nice).
Your real goal is to be seen and heard – to communicate. Make the video, the lighting, and the audio good enough so that it doesn’t distract viewers from your real goal.
With that goal in mind:
- Do you need a great set of wireless mics, or do you just need to scoot the camera closer to the person?
- Do you need a great three-point video lighting system, or do you just need a sunny window?
- Do you need a fancy DSLR camera, or do you just need to … learn the equipment you have first?
Definitely focus on making the best video you can. But also don’t lose track of the real goal.
Cool DSLR setup by Andy Ramdin
Make sure to register!
I’m participating in a really cool virtual conference this Friday focused on UX for libraries. Here’s the info:
What: User Experience: Seeing Your Library through the User’s Eyes
When: Friday, September 19, 2014
Description: User Experience, or UX, is an increasingly important way of evaluating and informing library practices. UX focuses on knowing about our patrons and understanding their perspectives, then using that to inform everything that libraries do, from our websites to the services we provide to the physical layout of our buildings. Join five nationally recognized experts on user experience in libraries for this one-day, live online conference!
Speakers include: Michael Stephens, Aaron Schmidt, Kathryn Whitenton, Elliot Felix, and David Lee King
Make sure to register!