he official launch of the The Labs is two months away, and the team is laying the groundwork for what the project will become. Building a functional infrastructure for a project like this requires developing a set of uniform policies and procedures for each Lab site, as well as researching, ordering and cataloging the necessary equipment. While these processes don’t offer the immediate thrills of watching teens develop their filmmaking or music production skills, they are necessary steps to ensure The Labs are a success.
New cables and equipment!
The selection process for equipment and software is based on several factors. Ideas were gleaned from pre-existing digital learning lab models, such as Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia and the Digital Media Lab at Skokie Public Library. The Labs coordinators also consulted with Drew Davidson of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s programming partners Hip Hop On L.O.C.K and Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the CLP – Main Teen Advisory Council. The overall mission of The Labs also has influence over equipment and software purchases; items are assessed for how accessible and easy they will be to use.