Digital Media Labs in Libraries

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Library Technology Reports, August/September 2014 (50:6)

Families share stories with each other and veterans reconnect with their comrades, while teens edit music videos and then upload them to the web: all this and more can happen in the digital media lab (DML), a gathering of equipment with which people create digital content or convert content that is in analog formats. Enabling community members to create digital content was identified by The Edge Initiative, a national coalition of leading library and local government organizations, as a library technology benchmark. Surveying academic and public libraries in a variety of settings and sharing a range of approaches to creating DMLs, this issue of Library Technology Reports points the way towards meeting that benchmark, showing

  • Funding sources and amounts for 16 DML projects in a range of libraries
  • Links to sample policies and liability forms
  • Information on hardware, software, and websites for sound production, videography, graphic design, and animation
  • How to design a DML, addressing considerations such as power, noise prevention, ventilation, lighting, furniture, and more
  • Configuration and equipment lists for 8 DMLs, ranging from portable to large libraries
  • In-depth profiles of 5 digital media labs compiled from an 11-question survey

Chapter 1 - The Library Context for Digital Media Labs

        What is a Digital Media Lab?

        Criteria of a DML

        DMLs as Whole-Library Efforts


        DMLs of Different Sizes



Chapter 2 - Equipment and Software

        Tracking Your Project

        The Room



        Converting Analog to Digital


        Graphic Design and Animation


        2-D Printing

        3-D Printing

        Screen Capture





Chapter 3 - Training and Policies

        Staff Training

        Patron Education

        Policies and Liability

        Questions to Consider



Chapter 4 - Library Digital Media Lab Profiles


        Studio 300

        The Bubbler

        Studio i

        Teen Media Lab


Amanda L. Goodman

Amanda L. Goodman is the publicity manager at Darien Library, a public library in Connecticut. Prior to this role, she was the user experience librarian there. Goodman's author credits include The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries: A LITA Guide (2014) and the Library Technology Report “Digital Media Labs in Libraries,” and she has written for UX Magazine, Library Journal, and Public Libraries Magazine. Her projects include cofounding LibUX, creating a worldwide map of 3D printers in libraries, and teaching classes on WordPress, UX, and digital signage. She is serving as a LITA Board director-at-large for 2017−2020.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.

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