Media lab gives access to digital culture
Georges River Council, New South Wales is kick-starting digital creation at a local level, with its libraries now offering a range of state-of-the-art digital technology, both for in-house use and for loan from its freshly minted media lab.
The media lab makes it possible to participate more fully in digital culture, transforming community members from information consumers into creators, and is a welcome addition to the local innovation ecosystem.
It follows extensive research and community consultation as part of the Georges River Library Strategy, guiding the development of the region’s public library spaces, collections and services over the next 10 years.
It will provide the means for people to come together, learn, create, share ideas, socialise and participate in digital opportunities.
The lab also aligns with the Georges River Cultural Strategy
which aims to create a more connected cultural community and provide spaces for cultural production and rehearsal.
Located within Hurstville Library, the lab meets growing demand for digital technology and enables skill development on equipment that can otherwise be prohibitively expensive.
Its location ensures the community can access support from other library resources including its collections, but also through access to expertise in the form of workshops, staff assistance and community networks.
Facilities include a full photographic studio featuring a cyclorama wall, green screen and lighting; Microsoft Surface Studio PCs with Adobe Creative Suite; a sound booth/music practice room with a selection of instruments, including an 88-key upright digital piano; a 3D-printer; and a range of technology to support creative projects and digital media production.
Taking an opportunity to test-run the new equipment, Georges River Council recently partnered with local schools and local, state and national mental health service providers, offering a free virtual event series encouraging residents to ‘Be Kind 2 Your Mind’.
In its final stages, the project has been co-funded through a Public Library Infrastructure Grant which allowed the library to transform an under-utilised storage area into a new creative space.