Hamilton libraries adding digital media labs
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Jan 24, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Hamilton libraries adding digital media labs

Hamilton Mountain News

By Gord Bowes, News staff

The next Spielberg could be making movies at a library near you this summer.

Hamilton Public Library is opening two digital media labs in the spring as it expands the public computers and training it has offered for many years. The library system has been trying to help people with their digital literacy skills in order to function in the workplace, says chief librarian Paul Takala.

"Building on that, we're looking at doing some more advanced training and having some more advanced equipment that would help people do some additional things," he says.

The digital media labs are being built at the Terryberry and Red Hill branches.

"We're also going to have a mobile (unit) so we can offer programming at other locations," said Takala.

A grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for about $25,000 will cover the cost of the new equipment; the library will pay to convert the space for the labs.

The new equipment, along with guidance from library staff, will help people learn how to edit audio and video in order to create their own media.

Lita Barrie, director of digital technology, said she expects each library to have two stations plus a green screen for special video effects and equipment to convert old VHS tapes to digital format.

"We've been exploring some of these concepts in small ways, so we're sort of seeing this as the next step in being able to have more equipment available," she said. "It will give people a chance to play and try equipment they might not necessarily have access to."

The lab makes perfect sense for Terryberry library, where there a film club meets monthly and where last summer was held a cell phone film festival for youth, said Barrie.

At Terryberry, the lab will be located upstairs, probably in a study room near the public computer section. At the Red Hill branch, a staff area is likely to be  repurposed.

Also on the horizon, the library plans a digital media lab, including a 3D printer, on the renovated fourth floor of the Central Library.

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