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VPL Inspiration Lab - Frequently Asked Questions

May 5, 2015

What is the VPL Inspiration Lab?

It’s a digital media lab at VPL’s central library downtown: a free place that combines traditional, digital and new media in a custom-built space dedicated to digital creativity, collaboration and storytelling.

It features high-performance computers, analog-to-digital conversion, sound studios, video editing and self-publishing software. And all for free.

What’s in the Inspiration Lab?

VPL’s Inspiration Lab is a place to create and preserve stories – through video, photos, sound and self-publishing. It’s 7,500 square feet in all, and has:

Recording studios (3,000 square feet):

  • Four sound booths with computers, webcams and microphones, including one with dual microphones, an eight-channel audio mixer and monitor
  • An 11-by-16-foot recording studio with available green screen, video camera with dolly, studio microphones and LED video lighting, along with a connected control room with a computer and 18-channel audio mixer.

Creativity and digitization stations (3,000 square feet):

  • 12 high-performance desktop computers with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere (video), Reaper and Audacity (audio), Adobe InDesign and Aspose Word Express (publishing and e-publishing)
  • Analog-to-digital conversion for video and sound: VHS, Hi8 and 8mm (library card required), and audio cassette.
  • Flatbed scanning stations for photos, negatives or slides.

Collaboration and program spaces (1,500 square feet):

  • Presentation and training area for up to 16 people with a large LCD screen and integrated wireless presentation system
  • Digital display spaces with seating for individuals and small groups.

What sessions will you have in the Inspiration Lab?

We’ll have programs and one-on-one sessions with VPL staff for those looking for help to get their project started in the Inspiration Lab. Special tours will run every day for the remainder of May to introduce users to the lab.

Over coming months, we’ll start planning a host of programs with industry experts on the likes of film, game development and digital design, including week-long boot camps and multi-session workshops.

Learning and discovering is what the lab is all about – and VPL users have full, free access to the lynda.com service, a popular and recognized destination for online courses and video tutorials on design, video, photography, production and more.

We have access to lynda.com from all VPL locations, and Vancouver residents can use the site from anywhere there’s an Internet connection just by using their VPL card.

How do I book space in the lab and how much does it cost?

Our booking system for space in the Inspiration Lab is open, and some of the programs in the lab will require registration. Booking details are online at vpl.ca/InspirationLab.

VPL’s Inspiration Lab is free.

Were books removed to make space for the Inspiration Lab?

No. We reorganized our main branch last summer to make our materials easier to find and to free up space for the Inspiration Lab. We simply moved our books to different places throughout the building.


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