Laboratory for Success
Supervisor of Adult Computer Labs
Skokie Public Library, IL
MLIS, Dominican University, River Forest, IL, 2008
SPL’s Digital Media Lab
Mikael Jacobsen does far more than help people make stuff at the Skokie Public Library’s Digital Media Lab (DML). According to nominator Toby Greenwalt, “Mick is working to show the library’s ability as the creative heart of the village.”
“More than just turn the DML into an instructional facility, Mick has made it a virtual (and real-world) exhibition space for local talent through the library content feed,” says Greenwalt. He also has created an online oral history project, Skokie Stories. And he launched a film festival, Skokie in Motion, featuring patron-made movies.
DML projects of which he’s especially proud? The lab enabled a family to make a video to promote a no-spill Kangaroo Cup, designed by a girl whose grandfather had Parkinson’s; the family later funded the project on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Also, using the lab’s music technology, local singer Ariela Leon remixed and recorded a song.
An advocate of screencasting who conducts some of the library’s 400 1-to-1 DML and computer training sessions, Jacobsen says that the lab’s use increased 19 percent between FY10/11 and FY11/12, to 1,405 uses, and he expects more growth this year. Jacobsen shares his knowledge with other librarians, too, so they can replicate his efforts (see “Build Your Own Digital Media Lab,” LJ 11/1/11, coauthored with Skokie director Carolyn Anthony).
The former ESL teacher and customer service employee says, “If you want a project to succeed, you can never stop working at it.”