UGL and CITES provides more loanable technology, support for students

As the Undergraduate Library continues to implement the media commons project, the use of loanable technology, a major component of the project, more than doubled this past year. Through the media commons project, the UGL and CITES academic technology services department are working together to provide more loanable technology and more technology support services for students. Classes using loanable technology items increased from 95 in spring 2012 to 215 in fall 2012. 

With CITES’ technical assistance, Lori Mestre, head of the Undergraduate Library, said she hopes the media commons will both provide the technology for projects and also provide assistance for the projects, seeing them through from beginning to end.

The UGL now has 105 unique technology items available for loan to students, with multiple available of each item, totaling more than 500 pieces of technology. Mestre said this number has doubled in the past year alone, mostly due to the addition of high-end cameras, 3D technology, lighting and other accessories.

“Media has become such a key part of how we teach and learn and such a huge part of our lives generally,” said Glenda Morgan, director of the ATS department in CITES. “It is key that we provide support for its creation and use, but also create a place where we can provide students with the tools and the skills to develop and create their own videos, audio and other multimedia.”

In fall 2011, the media commons project added seven new collaboration rooms for students and faculty members to use. Two of the 11 collaboration rooms  feature tables that have the capability for multiple laptops to be plugged in so presentations and images can be projected on a larger screen.

These collaboration rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis, if they are not already reserved. Students can now make reservations online to use the collaboration rooms, and Mestre said the University Library and CITES ATS partnership hope to make online reservations an option for other aspects of the media commons as well.

Eric Kurt, media commons coordinator, said the UGL continues to expand its loanable technology and is open to suggestions from students.

“We can assess what students want and what they’re interested in, and we’ll evolve the space based on that,” Kurt said.

Janelle can be reached at [email protected]