Big project reveal: Digital Media Lab

I am proud to reveal the big project that I have been working on since last July: the Digital Media Lab. The Lab opens on Friday, June 15th. Check out more photos on Facebook.

Property of Darien Library

This project was conceived by my boss for me to follow up on. I started by researching other digital media labs and ended up in contact with NC State (I visited as a grad student), Skokie Public Library, David Lee King, a local high school music teacher (for sound), and others that I am drawing a blank on right now. Their valuable insight helped guide me through this process. Also a timely Library Journal article was a great read in preparation.

Each resource gave me tips and pointers on what software their population uses, where to find the correct acoustic foam or greenscreen paint, etc. I recorded all this information in a Google spreadsheet which I shared with my boss and the other UX staff member in my department. The columns of my spreadshet:

  • Item
  • Qty
  • Price Est.
  • Notes
  • Where to Purchase
  • Priority
  • Renewable (as in does this need to be replaced?)
  • Comments
  • Actual Price Paid
  • Paid
  • Arrived

When it came to start ordering the items, the UX department would weigh the pros and cons of the larger pieces. Some items have been marked out in yellow as “not now” if they do not fit into our current space. Items that were ordered were marked in blue. Everything has arrived in a timely fashion. The only hiccup is that our storage counter was damaged in delivery.

This project has been worked on by the following:

  • the UX department (research, technical, ordering, setup, policies, publicity, big picture)
  • building maintenance (advice on furniture, installing, & painting)
  • circulation & technical (receiving items & cataloging them)
  • the computer lab workers (feedback & dealing with patrons & setup)
  • head of the computer labs’ personnel (to manage the new workflow)
  • reference (will help out with metadata when we use the lab for internal projects)
  • adult programming (publicity & future patron training)
  • fundraisers (I’m unsure who did what but the lab is here thanks to the Friends and a reverse auction)
  • my husband (advice on light kits & helping set them up)

In short, this has been a total library effort. I know that I could not have done it without everyone’s wisdom and help. The greenscreen was painted yesterday (3 coats!) and we moved in most of the items today. At this point, the project is transitioning directly out of my hands so that others can work on the software setup while I finish up the loose ends (need to purchase a last minute rug!). The next step for me is to become familiar with all the equipment in the room and think of more ways to integrate it into the community’s workflow of how they think about and use the Library.

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