Studio FAQ

What can I do in the Studio?

The Studio offers the space, equipment and software for you to get creative with video, music, graphic design and more. For example, you can shoot and edit a video, record a demo for your band, or convert an old home movie to DVD.

Specifically, the Studio is for digital media projects only, e.g. projects related to audio, video, photography, design, development and digitization. General computer use, such as email, web browsing, and word processing should be done in the public computer lab.

Who can use the Studio?

The Studio is open to Arlington Heights Cardholders, Arlington Heights Business Cardholders, Reciprocal Borrowers and students from the following schools presenting a student ID:
  • The Academy at Forest View
  • Buffalo Grove High School
  • Christian Liberty Academy
  • John Hersey High School
  • Newcomer School
  • Rolling Meadows High School
  • South Middle School
  • St. Viator High School
  • Thomas Middle School
  • Vanguard School
If you meet these criteria, but are under the age of 12, you will need a parent to accompany you. Customers with fines above $10 will not be allowed to use the Studio.

Can I bring friends with me?

Sure! However, the cardholder whom the Studio is checked out to must be present the entire time. You cannot check in under someone else’s name or simply drop your friends off. Studios A, B, C and Entry hold a maximum of four people. Studio Production holds six at most.

How much time do I get?

You can reserve a Studio for two hours at a time. Four hours are allowed for video conversion since conversions are time intensive.

Can I stay longer?

If no one is reserved after you, you may extend your reservation. Just clear it with a member of the Digital Services team.

How do I make a reservation?

Book online, call 847-392-0100 or stop by the Tech Learning Center. Please call or stop in for VHS or reel-to-reel film conversions, or if you need to reserve a camera or any of the Studio kits.

How far in advance can I make a reservation?

You can make reservations up to a week in advance.

Is this free to use?

You bet. You’ll only need to pay for flash drives ($6), CDs or DVDs (75¢) (Or if your fines are over $10).

Can I save my files on your computer?

You are responsible for saving your files to your own device. We do have flash drives and DVDs for sale, as well as flash drives and external hard drives for checkout. Before you leave the Studio, you must restart the computer, which will erase all your files before the next use.

What if I need help?

We’d love to help! If you need assistance with a project while you’re in the Studio, you can ask a Digital Services team member for help at the Tech Learning Center. If you need more in depth help, you have a few options. You can make a one-on-one appointment, watch some great video tutorials at, learn web development and programming through Treehouse, take online classes at Gale Courses, or attend one of our technology classes.
There are also binders in each Studio with guides for various things like recording music, scanning photos and converting home movies. We encourage you to use these for self-guided learning.

Will you work on my project for me?

We’ll gladly show you the ropes and help you through any hurdles, but the Studio is a DIY environment with a focus on learning and experimentation. You’ll be doing the heavy lifting.

Can I have food or drink with me?

No. The Studio is a food and drink-free environment.

How many photos, slides or film images can I scan at once?

You can scan any document or photo up to 11.7 x 8.5 inches. You can also scan multiple items at once, as long as there is a half inch or so of space between them, otherwise they will scan as one image.
For slides, the scanning tray holds four, and you can scan them all at once. Using the Batch Slide Scanner, you can scan as many as 800 slides per minute. You will need to reserve the Batch Scanner in addition to the Studio.
For 35mm film negatives, the tray holds two strips of six photos, so you can scan 12 photos at once.
Additional time is required for burning to CDs or DVDs, as well as editing and rendering video if you choose.

What home video formats can I convert?

We have a equipment to convert both VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV and DV cassette tapes. If you have a working player or camera for a different format (Hi 8, BetaMax, etc.), you can connect it to our equipment and digitize from there. You can transfer them to either a DVD or to a digital video file on the computer.
We also have a kit for 8mm, Super8 and 16mm film conversion.

Can I burn CDs or DVDs?

Yes. There are CD/DVD burners in each Studio. We also sell blank DVDs for 75¢ at the Tech Learning Center.
Do not use any of the equipment for illegal or unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials or content you have no right to reproduce or distribute.

How long does it take to convert analog audio/video to a digital format?

Conversion happens in real time, meaning a two hour VHS tape will take two hours to convert, and a 20 minute LP will take 20 minutes to convert.
Additional time is required for burning to CDs or DVDs, as well as editing and rendering video if you choose.

Can I bring in my own equipment?

Yes, but unless you’re plugging in your own storage device (flash drive or external hard drive) or connecting a camera to our video conversion equipment, you cannot connect your own devices. You absolutely may not rearrange or unplug cables from our setup to accommodate your own equipment. Our gear is a custom set up, and any unplugging or rearranging of cables may result in a poor experience for the following users. It’s important to leave things as they are.
That said, feel free to bring your own laptop, etc. to do work on while you have video rendering or converting on our computers.

Can I install my own software?

You may not install your own software, but you can request certain titles be installed. Let us know!

I made some cool work in the Studio. Is there anywhere I can post it?

Awesome! We’re glad you used the Studio to make something you’re proud of. Get in touch to discuss ways to expose your art/music/photo/design/video/app.

How can I submit a suggestion and/or complaint about the Studio?

Monday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Book Online 
Tech Learning Center
Stop by to reserve a Studio.
For the Studio, please call 847-392-0100 to make a four-hour reservation or to reserve equipment for video/film/audio conversions.
Watch video tutorials
Learn software on your own with, Treehouse or Gale Courses.
Attend our technology classes
Register for our classes to increase your tech skills and knowledge.
Make an appointment
Schedule a 30 minute appointment for help getting your project started.
Click here to give us feedback about the Studio.
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy