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CHECK THIS OUT: Creating at the Nelson Public Library’s Tech Hub

Avi Silberstein writes about how patrons are getting creative
A patron works on their art using equipment at the Nelson Public Library’s new Tech Hub. Photo: Submitted

by Avi Silberstein

Public libraries are no longer places for exclusively consuming knowledge and entertainment; they are now places that are also meant for creating and sharing it.

Earlier this year I wrote a series of columns about the new Tech Hub we’ve created at our library (thanks to a generous Columbia Basin Trust grant). The Tech Hub is made up of three separate rooms: a Digitization Station, a Recording Studio, and a Media Station.

Since I wrote that column, our community members have been hard at work using the Tech Hub to create and share content in every imaginable way.

The Digitization Station has all the tools you need to digitize old photos, slides, video tapes, vinyl records, and audio cassettes. One of our patrons has brought in her wedding photo album and a VHS video of the ceremony. She’s scanning the photos and converting the VHS into a digital video that she can store on the cloud. Another patron comes to the library once a week to digitize the hundreds of slides he has from his travel adventures of long ago. And there’s a local couple who have been collecting the cassette tapes they have of their now-grown children talking and singing, and are planning to use our equipment to convert them into mp3s.

The Recording Studio is your go-to room if you’re looking to record videos, podcasts, music and more! It contains a large green screen and a lighting kit, as well as photography equipment (including a light box and an SLR camera). One of our patrons is an aspiring podcaster; he’s using the room to learn how to record and edit his own podcast. Another patron recently recorded an audiobook for the National Network for Equitable Library Services. We also have a couple of local non-profits that are using the Recording Studios: one is filming a series of educational environmental videos, and the other is creating training videos for their customers.

Finally, our Media Station offers a state-of-the-art Microsoft Surface Studio 2 computer and Adobe Creative Suite software — just what you’ll need if you’re looking to work on graphic design and animation, or for editing. One of our patrons is learning to use Adobe InDesign to do the layout for a new community newspaper. Another is a teenaged artist who is using the computer (and stylus) to work on her art. We’ve also got a patron who is planning to create their holiday cards using Adobe Photoshop.

As you can see, the options are endless! Can you think of anything you couldn’t create in our Tech Hub?

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Avi Silberstein is the children’s librarian at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. If you’re interested in learning more about library programs and services, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website or by giving us a call.