With a video game center and a recording studio, Carson City Library's new digital lab, @Two, is breaking with traditions typically associated with a library. “It's so not ‘shush,'” said Deputy Director Tammy Westergard. “Libraries are not quiet anymore. Some places are. But just like in your house, some places are quiet and some aren't. This is like your living room — and your rec. room and your music room.”The digital lab, opening this week in the upstairs of the library, features computers for public use, but goes beyond that. It has a microfilm station, computers set aside for homework help, a training hub, a teen portal for kids 14-17 — which includes a gaming station — and a large, high-quality printer for posters and banners. In the training hub, courses will be offered to teach patrons how to use the equipment, including classes in iMovie, email and basic computer skills. The library will also be partnering with community members to offer higher level training. Tara Burke, owner of Computer Artistry, will be offering graphic design courses. “I could teach teens what I would look for if I was hiring,” she said. “Show them the skills they would need.”She said she also could offer classes to adults looking to be more creative with party invitations or how to Photoshop the perfect family picture. “There's so many applications for graphic design in everyday life,” she said. The owners of Solstice Studio are interested in teaching clinics and offering lessons in recording. Owner David Allen said universities and performing arts conservatories like Julliard are looking for professional submissions.“We are making this accessible to musicians and available for their rsums,” he said. “There are a lot of talented kids in the area who don't have access to the equipment, much less for free.”He said it is an essential part of learning. “Music saved my life in a way,” Allen said. “I'm sure we can help others in a similar way.”Library Director Sara Jones said the lab works in tandem with the Carson City School District's incentive to create partnerships in the community to foster learning outside of the classroom. “It's really people with real skills getting kids ready for their future,” Jones said. “We'll never replace school, we just want to supplement it.”The lab was funded through a $599,000 federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant, which also paid for the Business Resource Innovation Center in downtown Carson City. It was supplemented with $149,000 from the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation. “This is exactly the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation's vision of what should be happening in Carson City,” said spokeswoman Miya MacKenzie. “It's giving the citizens of Carson City the skills to get better jobs, start their own businesses and really envision what their future can be. It creates a great place to live. “We see the library as an integral part of a healthy community.”Grand openingThe week-long grand opening for the @Two digital lab will include daily Gmail clinics from 10 a.m.-noon; Picture This, a chance to have your picture taken, zombified, and emailed back to you; and basic computer classes will be offered daily.Other programs include “Open App” on 2-5 p.m. Friday in the library auditorium. A computer and projector will be available to demonstrate a wide variety of apps. On Saturday, iMovie will be offered at 11 a.m., and is limited to nine students. Bring five to nine favorite holiday pictures from last year and learn how to make a holiday scrapbook for next year. Learn how to put your iMovie on YouTube during a 1 p.m. class Saturday.The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St.On the WebTo learn more about the Carson City Library's @Two digital lab and the classes offered, go to carsoncitylibrary.org.
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