Digital Media Lab renovation upgrades library facilities, technologies

The Digital Media Lab on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library hosted its open house on Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. Although the lab opened years ago, it recently renovated its facilities and added brand new technology to the suite. The open house served to showcase the changes.

“We have new equipment, services and an exhibit that we wanted to let people know about and view first hand,” Lab Manager Vanessa Rodriguez said.

The lab comes equipped with 16 Apple computers with editing programs like Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut, Avid and the iLife suite. The inner room of the lab also houses digitizing equipment like flatbed scanners, VHS and DVD players, a record player and a cassette tape deck.

In addition to the stationary lab equipment, students can check out equipment including cameras and audio and visual equipment. GoPro cameras, brand new digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and a Form 1 stereolithography 3D printer were added to the lab as part of the renovations.

“One of our biggest draws is our large-format printer,” Rodriguez said. “We can print up to 44 inches long and however many feet. We’ve printed up to eight feet, but theoretically we can print even longer than that. There is a small fee for printing, but since it only covers the cost of the materials, it’s normally less than printing in a regular print shop.”

The lab also installed a new photo exhibit, “Photographs of Peru,” by Santiago Paez-Pardo. The exhibit shows Peru from the perspective of UM student Santiago Paez-Pardo while he was on a study abroad trip with Professor Richard Weiskoff through the international studies (INS) program. The photographs were taken with cameras provided by the Digital Media Lab.

Students can receive software consultations from lab staffers, who may suggest an appropriate computer program based on each student’s needs. Mariam Girgis, a freshman biology major, attended the event to see what the Digital Media lab had to offer.

“It was really cool to see all the different tech that the Digital Media Lab has. I never knew it existed, but I’ll definitely be using it more often,” Girgis said. “Coming here to use or check out equipment for projects is a lot cheaper than buying it, and way easier, too.”

Rodriguez said that she hopes students will continue to learn about the resources available to them and to make use of the renovated lab.

“The Digital Media Lab has grown since its first inception years ago, and not just in size. We try to keep our equipment current and relevant to the needs of our students,” she said. “We are always open to suggestion. Our staff is here and ready to help the UM community.”

The Digital Media Lab is located in room 118 of Richter Library and is open during regular library hours. The staff hours for spring are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays.