|Casey Van Haren, Prescott Valley Library circulation supervisor, is heading up the new Digital Media Lab to open in September.|
A $30,000 grant will help turn the underused virtual reality room at the Prescott Valley Public Library into a place where library patrons can shoot videos, work with Adobe Photoshop, participate in Skype and Webinars, make and edit films, and record music.
Casey Van Haren, PV Library circulation supervisor, said she wrote a grant through the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records requesting $35,000 to revamp the current virtual reality space into a Digital Media Lab. The organization awarded the library $30,000 and the PV Library Foundation is contributing $5,000 to make up the difference.
In the media lab, patrons will learn how to edit and post online an array of digital video, photo, and film projects. They can develop job skills, enhance interview techniques, promote local businesses, and complete school projects.
Van Haren said kids loved the virtual reality room, but a lot of the applications needed to use it were "over their heads." In addition, because it was a closed area, a library employee had to monitor the room when in use.
"We also wanted a more diverse crowd in this space other than teens," she said.
One wall will be painted to use as a "green wall" where images simultaneously can be projected to use with video. Two walls will be set up with tables and four Mac computer stations. The cameras already installed will remain for use. Workers will sound proof for recording purposes and install movable modular lighting.
People will need a working knowledge of Mac computers to use the lab, Van Haren said, or take classes upstairs in the library ahead of time. Yavapai College media instructor Thatcher Bohrman will be teaching many of those classes, as well as assisting people with sound recording, video, editing, and social media.
Van Haren said she hopes to see a place where people can use the room for digital storytelling, educational Webinars, and author talks. In addition to Bohrman, the library will partner with Prescott Valley's cable TV Channel 15, and the Sedona Film School.
She estimates the modifications will be completed in September.