Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Jean Pocha
Pathfinder Staff 

Bounty of audio-visual equipment donated to Seeley Lake community


February 2, 2023

Equipment and training for podcasting and videotaping was recently received by Seeley Lake Library from Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT).

 “I remember it like Christmas!” said Michele Holmes, Seeley-Swan High School librarian and Business and Technology Teacher. “MCAT asked what types of multimedia equipment we would want...I immediately thought of the upcoming elective that I am teaching--videography.  I had already received a grant from the Seeley Lake Community Foundation for a high quality video camera, so I thought--why not have another of the same kind?” 

The podcast equipment included a Rodecaster Pro 2 audio production sound board, two headphones with microphones, a small sound booth, two video cameras and a tripod, a green screen for backgrounds and an iMac computer for sound mixing. There is a switcher available to use with multi camera videotaping as well. Training for using the equipment is available through the librarians. 

The sound editing program “Audacity” and the podcast equipment is for use at the library. Video cameras, tripod and green screen can be checked out by library card holders after users take a 30 minute tutorial from the librarians.

 “The library wants to emphasize that the equipment is available for the community’s use,“ said Carrie Benton, Library Tech for the Seeley Lake Community Library. “Home videos can be brought in on a media card or usb and we can teach them how to use the equipment to arrange scenes, add music or voiceovers and many other editing tasks.” 

“This equipment has already helped our BPA (Business Professionals of America) podcast team who were able to learn the equipment and produce a podcast earning them fourth place at Regionals and a chance to continue on to the State competition in March in Billings,” said Holmes.

“While we had some basic abilities already to create podcasts, this allows us to benefit with top of the line equipment and unmatched sound quality.”

In addition to school usage, a podcast hosted by Benton and Hailey Haines is being streamed on Soundcloud. “Seeley Reads” is highlighting a year-long reading challenge in partnership with Missoula City-County Library.

“I hope that the equipment will be a great tie-in for extra-curricular projects, school projects, you tube videos and possibly commercials,” said Benton. “If people just want to come in and see the equipment and hear all the voices it makes; there’s chipmunks, robot, reverb, echo and pitch. There’s something about interacting with the equipment that generates ideas.”

Training for using and teaching about the podcast and video equipment was provided to Carrie Benton and Michelle Holmes by MCAT. MCAT’s mission is to support people in producing media based on their interests and concerns. 

“Funding for MCAT to make such generous donations comes through a franchise for use of road right-of-ways in Missoula County by the cable TV companies,” explained Joel Baird, MCAT General Manager. “In an effort to use some of the profit for public good, Missoula gave 70% of those proceeds to fund the Missoula Community Action Television (MCAT), a privately run non-profit.”

As plans for the new Missoula City County Public Library were being made in 2015, funds were collected via tax bonds from city AND county residents, and Baird thought it was a good time to improve MCAT services to the out-of-town county residents. Through lobbying at the County level, Baird secured funding from the cable service right-of-way franchise for MCAT to reach the county library branches so people can access it without driving into Missoula.

“I’m going to take some of that good county money, and I’m going to invest in the Seeley community library and school as a way to give back to all the residents,” said Baird. “Swan Valley has a library building by the Senior Center. We have provided two digital cameras with zoom lenses to Swan Valley already.”

Baird and the Seeley Lake library staff began talking about audio equipment for Seeley Lake library in 2021, and in August 2022 the equipment began trickling in. In the fall the podcasting station was set up and librarians began training to teach others how to use the equipment at the Seeley lake Library. Benson’s time training new users of the equipment is paid for by MCAT.

“I focused on providing equipment to Seeley Lake and Swan Valley first because they have the most people, and are the farthest away from Missoula,” said Baird. “I feel like it is a real opportunity for people in the Seeley Swan area to get connected with technologies they may not otherwise encounter.”

For anyone interested in learning more about the equipment, a podcasting studio time is held the first Monday on the month from 4-6 pm. Call the library for more information. 406-677-8995


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023

Rendered 03/12/2023 23:31