On April 3, 2013 the YouCreate Lab was opened to the community and content creation began!
Part Three: Vision to Action to Engagement
Real, sustainable community change requires the initiative and engagement of community members – Helene D. Gayle
Staff Training: It’s Okay If You’re Not An Expert
The Park City Library is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and supporting the informational needs of our community. Therefore, to ensure that staff are able to help patrons with digital media lab inquires, staff training on the YouCreate Lab is essential. Staff engagement is also necessary in keeping the technology safe and secure for all to enjoy as there is an inherent security risk in providing the community with access to the newest technology.
Staff’s reception of the YouCreate Lab was a mix of excitement and apprehension regarding the new technology. They were enthusiast about the lab’s possibilities as a community asset, but concerns were expressed in relation to: knowledge, ability and skill sets associated with the new technology and being able to assist with patrons’ queries. First and foremost, we addressed expectations by acknowledging that proficiency with the YouCreate Lab’s equipment, software, and hardware was going to time and we assured staff that we did not expect them to be or become experts. Additionally, we affirmed that varying comfort levels and skills sets were anticipated and it’s okay for staff to develop their knowledge and ability in conjunction with the community.
The Park City Library invested a substantial amount of time in training staff. We focused staff training on the policies and procedures; the type of equipment, software, hardware and resources available; as well as conducting regular walkthroughs to ensure the safety, security and functionality of all equipment. After the lab was open, staff’s confidence multiplied! Staff challenged themselves to learn how to use selected software (e.g. iMovie) and how to operate the equipment (e.g. Powerslide 5000 Slides Scanner). They were able to create instructional handouts and videos for the community regarding how to use assorted equipment and software provided in the digital media lab. They also created their own content by digitizing personal history items and producing movies. Additionally, to provide further development and training, we encourage staff to participate in instructional workshops on how to use the equipment and software.
Community Engagement: From What (?) to Wow (!)
Digital media labs are not a traditional component of libraries, so when I first submitted the press release on YouCreate Lab to the local media agencies, I heard nothing back. After a couple of attempts, I was finally able to get a response for our local newspaper, The Park Record. The first question asked was, “what exactly is a digital media lab?”
Prior to the YouCreate Lab opening, we went through the library’s marketing checklist and we knew immediately that our marketing message couldn’t just be about the lab opening; we had to explain what a digital media lab was and how the community could utilize it. Subsequently, we provided tours demonstrating the lab’s various uses to the library board; city council, the mayor and the city manager; the friends of the library board; digital media teachers at the local high school; and anyone who was curious. These tours, along with lab users spreading the word, helped the library transition from questions like “what is a digital media lab?” to “wow, can I use it?”.
Community Lab users have included:
- Non-profits (web design, print and digital content creation)
- Entrepreneurs (web design, print and digital content creation
- Independent Filmmakers (video editing, audio mixing and mastering)
- Local news agencies (print and digital content creation)
- The Mayoral Campaign (print and digital content creation)
- Families (digitizing VHS tapes and making new digital movies)
- Individuals (digitizing personal history items and creating digital content)
What’s Next: Phase II and III
The Park City Library is currently undergoing a renovation/expansion and funding has been allocated to expand the YouCreate Lab by incorporating the technology for phase II and III. Hence, there’s still a lot of work to be done to complete the phases as well as continuing staff development and training; providing further programming and engaging community experts to contribution in additional learning opportunities. We’re so excited and we’ve already begun!
Contact Information: Got Questions?
Please feel free to contact: Jasmina Jusic at or Tegan Davis at and we’ll be happy to assist you!
Coming Soon in August: A recorded slide presentation of “How to Bring a YouCreate Lab to Your Library”, first presented at the 2014 ULA Conference by Jasmina Jusic and Tegan Davis.
By: Tegan Davis, Park City Library Youth and Spanish Services Manager
How to Bring a YouCreate Lab to Your Library: Part III by Creative Libraries Utah, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License.