Library ready for close-up of new multimedia lab

CrewSpace will provide equipment patrons can use to make music and movie videos, among other things.


WALLA WALLA — The city’s public library on Friday will premiere its new movie making media lab called CrewSpace.

The lab, in a renovated conference room in the southeast corner of the building, was paid for by $136,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. In addition to completely overhauling the room and buying equipment, funds will also pay to hire media lab director Jeffery Townsend, who along with library staff helped write the grant and design the concept of CrewSpace.

“It is always going to be an empty room. It is deliberately not rows of tables and computers that are six months away from being obsolete,” Townsend said in a recent interview. He said tables and chairs are kept in a closet and require the users to bring them out and set them up.

In spite of its empty, dark, utilitarian look — with concrete walls and exposed metal parts — the lab is actually designed to be swarming with ’tweens and teens.

The grant project will introduce middle and high school students to video and sound recording and lighting, and includes equipment they can use to create their own movies, podcasts, music videos and other projects.

“They will have to earn it (the chance to work with the equipment), and be in a few classes. And we might end up with a wavier for parents to sign,” Townsend said, noting details remain to be worked out.

The equipment includes six iPads that shoot high-definition video, handheld boom and shotgun microphones, mobile light kits, a mobile audio recording booth, two Mac mini computers, a variety of editing software and what some teens might consider the pièce de résistance — a chromo-key screen that will allow them to put whatever they want in the background of their videos.

The grand opening will be Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at or 526-8325.


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