A new digital learning space at the West Vancouver Memorial Library will help the community preserve the past and look boldly towards the future.
That’s partly the message behind the launch of The Lab, the library’s long-awaited space that will be used to turn digital learning into a collaborative and creative experience.
“One of the things that we built into our lab was that it was really a flexible space so that as the digital learning needs of the community change we can actually adapt the space for that,” said Jenny Benedict, director of library services.
The Lab is an 800-square-foot space on the library’s lower floor that offers tools for community members to do everything from creating digital media, digitizing personal and local history, to learning coding and exploring emerging technologies.
The initial inspiration for The Lab occurred during community consultations hosted in 2016 where people emphasized they saw the library, in large part, as a place of learning.
“They expected to encounter new and emerging technologies here,” Benedict said.
Last year the project got underway with support from the District of West Vancouver and the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation.
The library hosted its launch for The Lab last week.
On hand for participants who checked out The Lab during launch was the space’s Green Screen Photo Bomb station, where people can learn how to use technology like video cameras and green screens, as well as the software to manipulate and edit images, audio, and video files.
Another station asks people to Preserve a Memory.
“We heard from adults in our community this huge interest in digitization of personal and community memories. In the community we’ve got home movies, we’ve got photographs, we’ve got people with slides, and for them to be able to share those means putting them into a digital format and then being able to send them to family and friends or even uploading them to our digital collection that we have online,” Benedict said.
The Lab comfortably fits 25 people at a time. The space will feature a combination of drop-in sessions and structured programming.
“I think a lot of people still come to the library for deep concentration and quiet and for study, and for sure that is still here in the library, but to come into the library and find a space that’s collaborative and is creative, that’s a new idea about what a library is,” Benedict said.
For more information visit westvanlibrary.ca/lab.