Curiosity is a major factor in being a good librarian. To remain relevant in our jobs and our community, we must be constantly seeking out new programs, technology, perspectives, etc. in the larger world and then figuring out how, or even if, it fits within our local population. I’m a creature of habit and often times slow to evolve, especially with technology. I accept change is inevitable and do embrace it, but I would just be happier if it happened at a slower pace. Luckily, I have a job that keeps me on my toes and with the times. I learned quickly that I would have to fight my sloth-like nature and foster a more innovative attitude in myself. Our library system received funding for two Digital Creation Spaces a couple of years ago. There were a few staff that were proficient in the software, but not a lot. I was interested in learning the various Adobe software so I could be helpful to patrons, but I was also personally curious about what I could create. I putzed my way through various “Getting Started” tutorials, but had no context for those concepts. I got very overwhelmed pretty easily and focused on other projects, ones that I knew I could do well.
Cut to January earlier this year, while I was still working as Youth Services library staff. A co-worker, Alyssa, proposed I help her with an early literacy craft tutorial project, Library Make. Her original partner had moved to a different library system. I immediately said yes. We filmed the tutorial and then it was time to edit. Ummmm, I had no idea what I was doing. I kind of knew what I wanted to do from the tutorial I did a few months before, but my immediate reaction was to ignore this project. Very slowly, Alyssa and I figured out how to roughly edit our first episode together (i joined the project on episode 2). Instead of letting that experience deter us, we forged ahead and learned as much as we could about editing videos in Premiere and lighting for a green screen. Alyssa is such a great person for collaboration! She has a clear vision and is constantly questioning how we can make our videos better. Each episode we have learned a new shortcut or tried something new. We just finished our 10th episode and are super excited about how far we’ve come. Watch it below and let us know what you think.
Library Make has been such a joy to work on and I’ve grown so much from the experience. I learned a valuable skill that helped me get my job that I have today. The Digital Creation Space at my new library is a huge part of my workload. I’m taking classes in Illustrator and InDesign to feel confident helping patrons with projects. I’m starting to create curriculum and propose more project-based classes. The next step I’m focusing on is how to best market the space. I’m curious about how many people aren’t using the space because they don’t understand what they can do with the software and related equipment. I’m thinking back to when I knew nothing about any of the Adobe software and using that feeling of being horrendously overwhelmed as inspiration and motivation. Many people probably don’t realize that they can use our Digital Creation Space to brand their new entrepreneurial venture or edit their graduation photos and then create a zine of memories to be sent out to family. They can create their own calendars for themselves, to give as gifts, or to sell. I really hope to empower the patrons, as well as staff who are helping the patrons.