My new library is fabulous. Not only is it a gorgeous, people-centered space (as opposed to the book/stuff-centered look of most libraries), but the people who work there and on the board are fabulous. We’re starting work on our medialab, much like the fabulous Skokie Library’s.

So far we have a bamboo tablet, a dozen flip video cameras, a blue yeti microphone and some super cool software, like Autosketch Pro, on our medialab laptop. A couple of tripods. A camera. My goal is to eventually have a medialab space set up–possibly the larger of our two study rooms, and bring on the 3d printers etc. that would take it from a medialab to a makerspace.

Problem is, I can’t seem to sell this to some of my stakeholders. The Friends don’t get the point of this at all. Some patrons think it’s cool, but still don’t see why a library should offer this stuff. The local businesspeople I am trying to sell this stuff to–as a way to create a logo, record a video or podcast, design a webpage, and so on–seem perfectly fine with their non-digital status quo. Luckily the teens are all over this stuff.

Still, I am struggling. I can’t get all the stuff I need to make a full-fledged medialab without some money, and I can’t get the money without the buy-in of the Friends at least, and I can’t get the buy-in without having all the stuff to get people excited and making stuff. Holy Vicious Cycle, Batman. Once one adult business owner makes something cool with our equipment I’m sure the word will get out about its utility. But it’s hard to wait.

As soon as I get one or two more things I’ll host an open house and see if that gets people motivated. For now–anyone want to come play on some cool medialab equipment?


One thought on “medialab

  1. Shannon–THIS IS FABULOUS! Lomira is a very lucky community to have you. The stuff you are pitching is cutting edge now, but in ten years will be mainstream. It’s unfortunate that change is so difficult for some–making it all the worse when the stubborn status quo comes from those with power.
    Some good news–I just got the okay at the LaValle Library for a Music Center where patrons can create, mix, produce, and record their own music. It will be part of our Summer programming this year and remain a permanent fixture at the library. And I know that Sauk City has some spectacular mechanical science stuff happening there. You should talk with Ben about how he managed that.
    Ah, the visionaries who must blaze the trail and suffer the fight–what would the world do without you??? Keep fighting the good fight! We will drag them into the 21st century whether they go willingly or not.

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