New Digital Media Center Opens this Summer with 9 Free Workshops For Teens.

The Foundation is pleased to announce that a new Digital Media Center – the top item on our 2016 wish list – opened to rave reviews on July 5, 2016.  Thanks to the generosity of a first-time Foundation donor, Heath Windcliff, the Center is not only equipped  with the latest Apple technology, it also offers  free programming for teens interested in learning new video and technology skills. The Media Center is on the second floor adjacent to the Teen Center.

 According to Sean Harty, Instructor/ Mentor at our  Digital Media Lab  “These summer workshops give local youngsters basic video production skills, an introduction to the industry and an opportunity to express their creativity. It’s not just about what the students learn, it’s about what they create within themselves that’s most important. I wish there had been something like this for me when I was growing up.”

Workshops for Teens

This nine-week program, funded by the NRPL Foundation, teaches all aspects of video production. Workshops are free and are open to students entering 6-12th grade. This summer’s ‘sold out’ program was taught by Sean Harty, a master of the technology and a young professional in the field. Sean led 6 afternoon workshops and 9 evening lab sessions during July and August. According to Sean, “By working in teams,  students are given the opportunity to try their hands at writing, editing, camera production and sound. At the end of the program everyone creates a demo reel with two original projects showcased in a short 60-second video.“

Teens, Technology and Mentorships

The Digital Media Lab is located on the 2nd floor, in a secure space adjacent to the Teen Center. In addition to the two fully-loaded Apple editing stations the Lab is equipped with the tools to create original music and cameras for still and video production. Libraries have changed dramatically over the last 5 years. According to Library Director Tom Geoffino, “Today’s library is less about books and more about shared information, technology and creating spaces for collaboration. Creating mentorships and the opportunity for community youth to come together is an essential part of our plan for the future.” According to a July 4th article in The New York Times, “public libraries are redefining their mission at a time when access to technology, and the ability to use it, is said to deepen class stratification, leaving many poor and disadvantaged communities behind. “ For donor, Heath Windcliff, “This was an opportunity to ‘even the playing field’ for some of the youngsters in our community. Technology is expensive. We want to make sure that everyone has access to the powerful world of information.“