For those who love to read, the public library can be something of a magical place, a haven filled with books for no upfront charge. But what might come as a surprise is that the St. Louis Public Library offers services beyond access to free books.
These services range from branch to branch, with the most high-tech advancements available at the Central Library downtown. Back in 2012, when the Central Library was renovated, a new addition to the space was the “Creative Experience,” a resource for anyone hoping to learn digital creative skills. This includes game and virtual reality (VR) development, audio and digital editing platforms, and, as of 2013, a recording room.
The Creative Experience area is in use often and the recording room, in particular, is usually booked up, said Honna Veerkamp, the resident Creative Experience Specialist. Musicians, podcast hosts, and interested novices reserve the space to work on various projects. The library even has a podcast itself, “Your Library Podcast,” hosted by Veerkamp, that offers important insight into happenings at the library for the public.
With programs aimed at teaching new skills to teens and online tutorials that can be accessed by anyone with a library card, the Creative Experience plays a key role in keeping the library as up-to-date as possible, something Veerkamp said is a necessity.
“Media tools have become more and more ubiquitous in this area. And more and more people are starting to have those within reach, even on your phone. But to be able to have professional programs and professional equipment to do that well and learn how to do it and stand out in that field is really important,” she said.
She said that the SLPL is dedicated to maintaining a digital initiative, adding, “It is really important to us to stay current and to be providing resources that are helpful for people for entertainment, education, literacy, job skills, [and] creativity.”