SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- The Memory Lab is coming soon to the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
The Memory Lab will be an enclosed section inside the library, 1876 S. Green Road, that will allow families, organizations, non-profits and any other entity to preserve its heritage through digitization and storytelling.
"Our customers have talked about a need to preserve their family histories and to tell stories about their families or organizations, and what better place than the library to do those things," said Hallie Rich, the CCPL's communications and external relations director.
The glassed room, which will measure a little less than 400 square feet, will include computers, photo and document scanners, a VHS-to-DVD converter, a cassette-to-MP3 converter, a turntable for digitizing records, a Super 8 film-to-digital converter, and software for photo and video editing.
The library staff will conduct training programs so that customers can learn how to use the equipment and get creative with their family histories, organizational archives, memoirs and other remembrances they will develop in the lab.
Rich said the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library will host the first and only Memory Lab within the CCPL system.
"The South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch was chosen because it has the William N. Skirball Writers' Center, where people learn to write their memoirs. We thought it was natural that the Memory Lab should be in the same branch as the Writers' Center."
The Writers' Center, again the only one of its kind in the CCPL system, is home to writing workshops, a digital self-publishing platform for e-authors, author events and more.
The Memory Lab was made possible through a $250,000 grant from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, and the lab will be named in honor of the Mandels.
"Public libraries are vital community assets that advance lifelong learning and preserve the stories that shape our culture," Morton L. Mandel, chairman and CEO of the Mandel Foundation stated in a CCPL release. "We are very pleased to support individuals, families and non-profit organizations throughout Greater Cleveland with the establishment at the Memory Lab at Cuyahoga County Public Library.
"This lab will make it possible for generations to pass along the stories, photographs and other artifacts that form our collective cultural history."
CCPL Executive Director Sari Feldman expressed her thanks to the Foundation in the same release.
"We are tremendously grateful to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation for their generous gift to Cuyahoga County Public Library," Feldman stated. "We believe this investment in the community will bring meaningful value to residents who wish to pass along family history to future generations, and to local non-profit organizations that have neither the time nor expertise to record and share their collective impact with a broader audience.
"We are honored that the Foundation is supporting this work at the library."
Rich said a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Memory Lab will likely be scheduled for sometime in April.
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