Digital media labs are popping up at several public libraries across the country, but the lab at the public library in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, provides a great example. The digital media lab at Skokie includes the basic equipment and software patrons need for graphic design, digital photography, audio and video recording, and more.
So why does this fall under the remit of the public library? This slideshow by Skokie Public Library’s Richard Kong explains quite a bit, but my take, in a nutshell, is that public libraries exist in large part to encourage innovation, creativity, and lifelong learning, and many individuals simply lack the means to acquire the equipment and software needed to learn skills for digital content creation. Resources like public digital media labs could go a long way toward providing those opportunities and bridging economic divides.