Cincinnati Public Library lets you use DSLRs and studio equipment free of charge

As books are easier to buy and borrow digitally, public libraries are evolving and experimenting with new ways to stay relevant. The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library has a brilliant idea for doing it: the main branch of the library in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, has a makerspace which offers free access to tools for creatives – equipment including DSLRs and photo studio equipment.


It’s a space “where creatives can come together, create, invent and learn,” the library writes on its web page. Members can search for available equipment online, reserve what they need for an hour at a time, then walk to the library to use the equipment.

The “digital audio, video and photographyThe makerspace section offers Canon 18MP digital SLR cameras, studio in a box packages for tabletop product photos, multiple lights, soft boxes, backgrounds and a green screen.

above the table

If you’ve wanted to try your hand at studio photography with different lighting setups – and you live in the Cincinnati area – this could be a great way to do it without having to put paste on your own gear.

green screen

To take your photos home, simply bring a storage device to the library or upload your files to the web for upload later. The makerspace also sells photographic prints for 25 cents each and 2GB USB drives for $ 5 each.

Hopefully, this is an idea that is spreading among public libraries across the country (and the world).

Image credits: Header photo by Erica Cherup, and all other photographs by 5chw4r7z

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