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Beyond the books

Fountaindale marks successful year in the digital arena

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:58 a.m. CDT

Shelve your old ideas about the local library. Fountaindale Public Library has digital services to meet all your techie needs. Studio 300, a media laboratory located in the Fountaindale, is about to celebrate its first anniversary.

While it was an eventful year – there was that flood that displaced the studio and all its equipment for a few months – manager Jeffery Fisher says the studio is settling in quite nicely into its original mission of being a multi-media resource to Bolingbrook residents and businesses.

Studio 300 is a state-of-the-art lab, capable of meeting nearly anyone’s media needs: record your band, edit family video, hold an electronic meeting. Recently patrons have used the facility, located in the lower level of the library, for everything from recording music to editing video to collaborating on school projects.

“Any given day is unique,” Fisher says.

The most requested service at the studio is digitizing: transferring analog videos or printed photos or music albums or cassettes into digital formats.

“People come in with a project and our staff helps them get started,” he says. “Very often they don’t know what they need to do, they just have an end result in mind. We help them achieve that end result.” In October, a mother came in with the hope of creating a video scrapbook of her son, who soon would be joining the service.

“She was a complete ‘techno-phobe’ but she came in knowing what she wanted to accomplish. She brought in VHS, printed photos and all sorts of memorabilia. She set a goal for her herself and worked at it everyday. Soon she was working on two iMacs simultaneously, editing video, converting images and more. She got hundreds of images and about 10 hours of footage edited down to two hours. She was able to give DVDs away to family members as gifts.”

The audio offerings were very popular from the beginning, he says.

“Recently, there was a young man who was seeking an opera scholarship; he used the recording studio to create his audition ‘tape.’ We also get quite a few podcasters coming in to do their shows,” Fisher says.  “People bring in some very interesting projects. The other day a playwright was in one of the recording booths, using Google Hang out, to collaborate with someone in Los Angeles. They were able to run the dialogue and he was able to record it as well.”

The Group Collaboration Room allows cooperative work across six devises, such as laptops, e-readers, tablets, etc.

“The staff loves to use that room for trainings,” Fisher says. “But other groups appreciate it as well, because you can see what everyone is working on without getting up to see what everyone has on their screens.”

For those looking to get started there are about 40-50 classes specific to Studio 300 offered in a month.  People can learn to navigate the abundant software available; much of which is professional grade, currently used by media professionals.

“We can also schedule one-on-one with someone who wants more than what we offer in classes. We offer lynda.com a video based training website that is free when you’re in the studio. It’s a very large selection of lessons on all methods of media.”

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