The Digital Media Services at Richter Library gives University of Miami students access to digital equipment through an online reservation system.
This idea was part of UM’s accreditation plan submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2008.
Students reserve equipment by registering their e-mails and choosing the times they would like to pick it up. The new equipment includes a Canon G10 digital camera kit, a Canon camcorder kit, a studio lighting kit and two microphone kits.
Almost two months after beginning to offer these services, not many students have taken advantage of the state-of-the-art equipment, according to records kept by the online service.
Bryanna Herzog, the DMS lab manager, worries students are giving up an opportunity to learn about technology that could help in school and later careers. Getting students to turn some assignments and projects into multimedia learning opportunities is not as simple as expected.
“It’s a matter of trying to figure out how to incorporate the two,” she said. “Some faculty are already asking students to make DVDs instead of term papers.”
Herzog attributes students’ reluctance in using the lab to lack of promotion.
Ryan Quigtar, a sophomore, does not use the lab because he does not know much about multimedia software and equipment.
Herzog does not think this is a valid excuse.
“We’ve had students come in and not know how to make video projects,” Herzog said. “We are a lab where we also help you how to use software and equipment.”
Anthony Smith, director of Digital Initiatives and Services, thinks it will take more time for students to catch on to the idea, as the new equipment is part of a pilot project for the library. One big expectation is that faculty members who use multimedia in their classrooms will include the lab in their curriculum.
“What is most important is to empower people to express themselves in creative ways,” Smith said.
Reservations for the DMS lab can be made at www.library.miami.edu/services/medialab.