UA-27757076-1 -

Film making in a Library? Carnegie Library’s New Media Lab

I enjoyed a SPARK hosted lunch and presentation at the Carnegie Library in Oakland with Jean Barsotti, Director of the Beaver Falls Library. We have been discussing ways in which BC STEM and the Beaver Falls library can work together to make opportunities for students to master skills in digital media, robotics, video game design and programming.  Jean and I listened to artist Carolyn Speranza describe her “End of the Line” project that turned the Carnegie Libraries into hubs for digital and public art. Her project paved the way for the libraries’ shift to digital labs.

When the presentation was over, we toured Carnegie Library’s Oakland Teen Department’s new media lab. Kids can come in during schedule hours and receive training on the MacPro, video cameras, digital cameras, drawing tablets, photoshop, Greenscreen, Mics, and IPads.   Once trained, a student can use the equipment as they needed to make movies, recordings, project art, and a wonderful assortment of creative media for two hours at a time.

THE LABS: Equipment

Apple iMac, Apple Macbook Air, Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Fireworks, Protools, GarageBand, iMovie, AV40 Studio Monitors, MXL V63M Condenser Mic, CAD CM217 Condenser Mic, Shotgun Book Mic, Cabib Vixia HF R399 Camcorder, Chromakey Greenscreen, Monoprice 12×9 Drawing Tablet, Snowflake USB Mic, Audio-Technica Professional Headphones, Audio Oxygen MIDI Controller, VoxGuard Mic, Insolation Panel, Lipstick Cardioid Condenser Mic, MXL Mic with Shockmount, Tripod, Arudino, Scratch

People who receive training in each piece of equipment get a badge that gives them permission to use it as they needed.

THE LABS: iPad Apps

Art/Animation AnimationDesk, Animation HD, Comic Life, Doink, Motion HD, OmniSketch, Procreate, Sketchbook, Skitch, Smoovie, and Warhol DIY

Comics/Manga Dark Horse, DC Comics, Marvel, Rage Comics, Marvel AR, VIZ Manga, and Yen Press

Education Ancestry, Constitution, Dictionary, EBSCOhost, Google Earth, Smithsonian, TED, VoiceThread, WolframAlpha

Games Addicting Games, Angry Birds HD, Angry Birds Space HD, Asphalt 6, Bakersville HD, Brain Test, LEGO Creationary, Cut the Rope, Draw Something, Minecraft Explorer HD, Game Center, Glow Worm, Hamsteria, Jetpack, NFL Rivals, Spell Tower, TellTale, Temple Run, Where’s My Water, WordsHD

Music/Audio DrumMachine, GarageBand, GleeKaraoke, GuitarTuner, Pandora, PianoFree, Rockmate, Shazam, SoundCloud, Spotify, Story Corps, Tempo, Ukulele Tuner, Virtuoso

Photo Cinemagram, Graffiti Me, Hipstamatic, Instagram, Photo Booth, Photo Crop, PopBooth, Postagram, Adobe PS Express, Stachematic, Trollaroid, ZombieBooth HD, Zombiematic

Science Grays, LeafsnapHD, Mood HD, NASA, NASA Viz, Planets, Science360, Star Walker

Video FaceTime, FlipShare, iMovie, Video Star, Vintagio


I am brainstorming with Jean how we can shape a grant proposal to pull in equipment such as robotic components and computer technology to offer some programs at the Beaver Falls library. Possibly a video game design club, a robotics engineering class, a stop motion animation film class, and a narrated story youtube class for area kids, homeschool groups, and teachers looking to introduce these skills in their classrooms. Libraries are making an effort to keep up with the digital revolution and envision new philosophies, technologies and spaces to live out their mission.

What is your library doing?  Here’s what I’ve found to be a useful…

  • An online book search and request service.  Our library notifies me with an email that a book I requested (or my son or husband requested) is available for pickup.
  • MP3 books that I can clip onto my belt as I go for a walk.
  • A database of online articles for my son as he does research for projects.
  • A space where my son and a student he was tutoring could meet and study together.
  • A research librarian who can do a material search faster than Google (well – maybe not as fast, but definitely more accurate).
  • The opportunity to download new books (for a limited time) to Kindle and other tablets.
  • I don’t take advantage of, but see others use the computer lab, the classes on how to use information technology, the book clubs and manga drawing club and book writing clubs, and the movie nights.

Libraries are redefining their roles as institutions of learning in the 21st century with participatory learning and community engagement. Visit your library today and commit to help it grow despite budget cuts.  Check out what local children and teen departments are doing!



Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.