In LITA‘s Top Tech Trends program a couple of weeks ago, Meredith Farkas talked about the educational and technical roles that libraries can play in their communities. As an example, she cited the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. I took a look at the list of programs available in their Technology and Computers section, and they have a fascinating array of offerings. Here is a partial list of classes they offer:
Photo Share with Flickr
Wii Bowling for Active Older Adults
Video Game Design
Digital Photo Albums
Digital Media and Animation Workshop Series
Photoshop Summer Camp
Music Composition with Doug Snyder
Open Source: GIMP
Scanning at the Library
Animation with Corefx
Digital Photography 101.
How cool is that? Digital photography, computer animation, songwriting . . . even playing games with the Wii! If this won’t get people into the library, what will? You really have to hand it to these folks. These programs cover a lot of territory and undoubtedly represent significant investments in hardware, software, physical lab space, and personnel.
This dovetails in an interesting way with comments John Blyberg made during the LITA panel discussion. John raised the issue of the library as content creator, not just content provider. In his comments he was specifically talking about the highly produced, professional presentation of most media our patrons encounter and how libraries’ presentation may or may not compete with that. However, these PLCMC offerings put a new spin on this idea by helping users create their content. Major coolness factor here.