ST. GEORGE — If you’re thinking about learning how to make videos or want to record a podcast, the Washington City branch of the county library system is the place go. Last week the library opened a new makerspace dedicated to offering the public introductory tools for audio and video production.
“It’s going to have a video room and a sound room and capabilities to create movies or create podcasts or whatever you want to do,” Washington County Library Director Joel Tucker said prior to the makerspace’s opening Friday.
While most of the new space was already put together when Tucker spoke to St. George News, parts of it were still being finished in preparation for the opening. Acoustic foam paneling was still being placed on the walls of the audio room while some parts of the video room were also being completed.
Individuals who use the video room will find one of the walls painted green for green screen purposes, as well as three canvas backdrops that can be lowered for use, including outer space, cabin and fairy tale forest and castle themes. Light stands can also be moved around to adapt the lighting for various shots, as well as a teleprompter and camera.
“Anything video – it’s that goal of this room to be a video resource for the community,” Tucker said.
The library is also currently using open source software for its video and audio production rooms. Currently, the computer in the video room is using the Hitfilm Express program.
The audio room features a microphone and sound mixing board along with a computer installed with the open source Audacity program.
“It’s a learning process,” Tucker said in reference to the programs the library chose for the new makerspace. “We’re building it as we go, but that is what we’re going to start with.”
The choice of programs may change as time passes based on patron recommendations, Tucker said.
The use of other programs was considered either too cost restrictive or too resource-hungry in relation to the computers the library is currently using.
‘We like to think of the library as a starting point’
A goal of the new audio-visual makerspace is primarily to be an introduction to video and audio production. People, particularly kids, can come and see if it is a field they have an interest in expanding beyond what the library offers.
“For the kids that come here, the makerspace equipment is geared to their level, but its very professional,” Washington County Commission Gil Almquist said while attending the new makerspace’s opening Friday. “They can make things that would segue into what might be a design or career path. We like to think of the library as a starting point for a lot of kids’ motivation, and the makerspace fits there.”
The new addition to the library ran the county around $150,000 with two new rooms being built onto the Washington City library building.
It was originally planned that the library would use the building’s history room as the new video room, but that idea was dropped in favor of an expansion, Almquist said, adding that prior to its creation, Washington City was the only branch of the Washington County Library System to not to have a makerspace yet.
Tucker previously defined a makerspace to the Washington County Commission as “an area where people can go to make, create, to learn, to play with things they wouldn’t normally have access to in their home.” He repeated this during the new makerspace’s opening.
The St. George, Santa Clara and Hurricane branches each have makerspaces dedicated to different themes, while smaller libraries like Enterprise, New Harmony and others have portable makerspace carts available at their locations. Given how successful those spots had become, it was decided Washington City would also get one.
“Come to the library,” Tucker said last week. “See the resources we offer, and maybe start your career in making good movies. … I’m excited to have this resource for the community.”
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