Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) launched a Memory Lab featuring digital conversion equipment and video editing software in 2017. An emerging library service, Memory Labs allow community members to take control of their personal archives by offering access to digital conversion equipment and information about personal digital archiving. Inspired by the D.C. Public Library Memory Lab and Queens Memory Project, FCPL’s lab builds upon these models by providing ongoing training to help older adult users build technology skills and by using a mobile outreach lab to increase access to the program. Using data and images from the program and quotes from patrons and volunteers, the proposed poster will illustrate how this intergenerational program was developed at FCPL’s Urbana Regional Library and expanded throughout the system, as well as its demonstrated impact on the community and teen volunteers.
Staffed by teen volunteers, FCPL’s lab offers patrons an opportunity to take authorial control of their story by learning how to digitize family memories, record family histories, and remix them into a personal narrative. Partnering with cultural advocacy organizations such as Centro Hispano de Frederick and the Asian American Center of Frederick helps FCPL reach underserved areas and prioritize the inclusion of diverse voices during a time when the county’s population is rapidly becoming more diverse. Teen volunteers gain valuable interpersonal skills by teaching adults of all ages and patrons whose primary language is not English. Staff evaluate the program’s success through patron and volunteer surveys and attendance statistics.