Magazine article American Libraries

Lights, Camera, Create! Library Recording Studios on the Rise

Magazine article American Libraries

Lights, Camera, Create! Library Recording Studios on the Rise

Article excerpt

The rise of relatively inexpensive digital audio and video recording software such as Apple's Garage Band and Adobe's Premiere Pro has made it possible for libraries to offer access to technology never thought possible even a decade ago in state-of-the-art recording studios.

It's happening nationwide: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Library, Joliet (111.) Public Library, Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library, Madison (Wis.) Public Library, and St. Louis Public Library, among many others, all offer such facilities. The technical capabilities vary at each location, but the mission is consistent: to offer a place where patrons of every age and skill set can learn new skills or hone existing ones.

"Our branches are centers of community-based learning where individuals from all walks of life can access technology, acquire new skills, and explore their creativity," Lane Edwards, manager of the Garfield Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, tells American Libraries. "Audio and video recording studios enhance those traditional services and support our mission. They are high-tech learning environments where our customers are afforded endless opportunities for creative expression and personal growth."

Garfield Heights' audio recording studio offers a variety of musical instruments and digital recording equipment patrons can use to record and mix their own music. Novices to professionals have used the studio to record works in genres from rap to jazz, Edwards says.

The video recording studio is fashioned like the set of a television station, complete with audio recording equipment, lighting equipment, a green screen, and a computer capable of editing and publishing videos. The studio draws an equally diverse crowd--teenagers to local businesses have taken advantage of the technology.

"We included the audio and video recording studios in the new teen section in large part because we wanted to have an excellent after-school space where students could learn 21st--century skills," says Edwards. "But that's not to say that the studios are only for teens. People of all ages use and appreciate them--and the fact is that there is no other space like ours anywhere else in the city. …

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