Small business resources at the VPL Inspiration Lab

VPL Inspiration Lab

For years the Vancouver Public Library has provided some great stuff for small business owners (market research, business books and audiobooks) but VPL has gone to a whole new level its Inspiration Lab that opened this summer at the main branch.

I finally got a tour of the whole lab (part of a meetup with the Kitsilano Business Leaders).

You can create professional sound recordings in five recording studios. One of the recording studios is even big enough to pack in musicians. The other four studios are sized for one or two people but still quite adequate for podcast recordings.

Got a YouTube channel or need a video for your web site? There’s also a video suite including rudimentary green screen technology.

All the studios contain computers with software that records but also allows you to edit your audio and/or video recordings.

What if you don’t know how to use the equipment or software? There ‘s hands-on training events you can attend and drop-in sessions.

And there’s also access to training videos on plus the training resources the library staff have produced.

I went to a two hour training on creating ebooks using the free Sigil software. The class was part of the library’s series on self-publishing. The class was perfect for business owners who want to create small ebooks¬† for things such as a gift on their web site or larger books to promote their expertise. Great little class.

Besides the recording studios, the lab also has over twenty (Windows) computers available with the full Adobe Creative Suite.

Did I mention this is all free if you have a valid Vancouver Public Library card? And you will need a large flash drive or portable hard drive to save your files on.

This page on the VPL web site provides more information on the lab and how to book the studios. Spots in the free training go quickly.