The short version: My library wrote and recorded a song, and here’s the Youtube video for it! You can also:
- Download the song from iTunes
- Listen to the song on Soundcloud
- Visit the library’s website for more information
Longer version: Why did we do this?
Earlier this year, my library remodeled the kids area of the library and rebranded it the Kids Library. Part of our grand opening included some of our YA staff writing a song, and library staff performed the song at the grand opening (I played drums! Video here).
Our Marketing Director liked the song so much that she sent the “library band” to a local recording studio to have the song professionally recorded.
Then we decided to go all out with it. I did a number of things with the song:
- registered the song with the Copyright office.
- set up a CDBaby account for the library. CDBaby allows us to easily get a song into iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc for purchase.
- yes – we’re in iTunes!
- the library now has a Soundcloud account.
- and we made a music video for the song. Because these days, EVERY new song needs a Youtube music video, right?
What’s our goal? We simply want to share the song on our website, with our community, and with other libraries and librarians. The nice thing about the song? It’s very library-focused. So if other libraries wanted to use the song as opening theme music for their kids events, it might work well.
Difficulties along the way. There was a bit of a learning curve for me, mainly with CDBaby:
- CDBaby is pretty strict with band names. We couldn’t be “the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library Band.” Apparently, you’re not supposed to mention brands or corporations in band names or album art. So the library band’s name is “The Literaries.”
- CDBaby has two pricing options for songs – a basic one and a Pro version that includes ASCAP or BMI registration for broadcast royalties. Again, because this song was a work for hire by an organization, we couldn’t easily register the song. You can only sign up for ASCAP or BMI as an actual person/songwriter (not as an organization).
So – watch some of us (including yours truly) be a bit goofy and have some fun in the video. Listen to the song. If you think it might work for your library (or if you just like the song), please buy it!
The team of staff working on my library’s makerspace gave some good thought to policies, procedures, and more functional guidelines for use of the space and equipment.
For policies … well, we don’t have any. Other policies like our customer behavior policy and our computer use policy really cover everything we need. So we have a list of more functional “procedures” that can change as the space changes. Here’s what we have so far.
MakeIT Lab Procedures
- Normal customer behavioral guidelines apply
- “Respect the space, respect the staff, respect the equipment, respect each other”
- Hang this up in the room
- Refer to the customer conduct policy
- Age limits:
- Kids with supervision (under age 12)
- Ages 12 and up without supervision
- What can you print?
- Whatever you can print in 3 hours
- Stay with your print job
- If the print has to finish after hours (i.e., customer started printing at 8pm, but print won’t finish until 11pm), staff will put finished print behind desk, and customer can pay the next day
- How to print:
- $5 per print
- Pay using the checkout Kiosk, then get a receipt
- Take receipt to Media Desk
- Media Desk staff will set up the print job for customer
- No prerequisites for room use
- We will have tipsheets and some “getting started” videos, plus staff will know how to turn on the Mac, open up software, plug things in, etc.
- If more help is needed, customer should schedule an appointment with a librarian
- How many people in the room at the same time?
- Up to 6 people in the room at a time
- Checking out the room & time limits
- 3 hours a day
- Two door keys, with barcodes. We’ll technically check out the keys.
- Customer will check out a key using Polaris (MakeIT Lab Key #1 and #2)
- No reserves – first-come-first-serve basis
- Staff will need to monitor the room to make sure customers aren’t going over 3 hours
- Close when the library closes at 9pm
Reserving Media bags:
- Use Polaris, like the other bags
- 7-day check out
- Customers can place it on hold
- Pick up at the Reference desk
That’s what we have right now. Are some of your policies, procedures, or guidelines different than ours? Please share!
Guideline image from Make Magazine
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!