By JD Hollyfield
We are lucky that we live in a town where the library is a place full of opportunities for education, imagination, and exploration. The technology services at the Naperville Public Library are bar none. We have rows of machines in the computer labs, online databases, technology classes, photo scanners, and 3-D software and printers. Naperville Library’s range of technology services goes way beyond the things listed on signs navigating patrons through the library. Main & Luxe heard about the incredible digital offerings from one of our readers, so we checked in to see what it was all about. “One of our goals as a library is to offer technology that customers can’t readily have access to at home or technology they may not know exists,” Jonathan Charles, Digital Services Supervisor, explains. And, that they are, Main & Luxe learned.
In 2017, the library’s 95th Street location underwent renovations that allowed for the expansion of its digital services offerings. A green screen room, a soundproof recording room, and all of the related software were installed in what was previously little used private study rooms.
Since the green screen room opened to the public, it has been used by a variety of residents from students to business owners. Green screen, also known as chroma key technology, is best known for bringing amazing special effects to the movies. Subjects are placed in front of the screen and an image is digitally inserted over anything that color. First introduced in the early 1900s, the green screen was used in popular films such as Mary Poppins and King Kong. With advancements and cost reduction of digital cameras and editing software, the green screen is in wide use outside Hollywood.
The green screen room at the 95th Street Library offers patrons everything they need to pull off this creative digital skill. This room can transform any idea into a beautiful videography masterpiece—LED lighting, black and gray backdrops, a handheld reflector panel, video editing software, and the green screen wall itself. Should you not be able to bring in your own recording device or extra lighting equipment, the library will allow you to rent what you need. Creativity knows no bounds for children who want to turn existing video clips into a movie with special effects and moving objects, businesses that want to create their own commercials with eye-catching backgrounds and captions, influencers wanting to create animated social media posts, and musicians creating music videos.
Do you have a voice made for radio? Welcome to the sound recording studio located just in front of the green screen room! The sound recording studio comes equipped with everything you need to create a clear and crisp audio experience: microphones, a Mac computer installed with Digital Audio Workstation, and hardware such as Novation LaunchPad and Arturia KeyLab. The room was built and reinforced with soundproof materials, like eggcrate foam, which lines the walls. Jonathan Charles explained to us that people also use the room to record music. Percussion instruments are the only thing heard outside of the room because of the vibration. With the room set up, audio ideas are endless: bloggers producing podcasts, DJs recording and mixing music, and artists recording their spoken word poetry.
All of this was made possible by a donation from then 17-year-old Trisha Prabhu in 2017. Today, Trisha is an entrepreneur, Harvard student, U.S. Rhodes Scholar, and local celebrity. “I loved the idea of offering a powerful and creative way to ignite creativity and creation,” Trisha said. “I hope it allows users to capture and represent other worlds and encourages young people to break boundaries, think outside of the box, and push the limits of what is possible.”
While a student at Neuqua Valley, Trisha developed the anti-bullying software ReThink that has been the recipient of numerous awards and featured on the popular show Shark Tank. The ReThink app detects and prevents online hate by encouraging kids to change their minds about posting mean thoughts. It has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and has impacted more than 5 million students. At 16-years-old, Trisha won the 2016 WebMD Health Hero Prodigy Award. The award included a $7,500 prize, which Trisha donated to the Naperville Public Library to turn her creative conceptions into reality for fellow Naperville students.
Don’t worry—we reached out to her for a future Profile section. Her story is incredible.
Thank you, Trisha.
For a complete list of available equipment, reach out to the Naperville Public Library. Reservations are required for both rooms, and a library-led orientation is required before first use.
The staff at this location are experienced enough to walk you through any process from offering tutorials to directing you to helpful YouTube videos.
Hats off to the Naperville Public Library and its amazing benefactor whose commitment to her community and her craft is an inspiration for all of Naperville. Go tinker around and take the orientation class, if you have an idea, these two rooms are excellent ways to empower you to get it off the ground!
95th Street Library