Library enters world of new media

This fall, the University Library is offering multimedia services that provide students and library patrons with the resources they need in order to produce professional-quality multimedia projects.

Three high-end computers equipped with production software are available in the library with trained Peer-Assisted Technology Support Students (PATSS) on hand to provide assistance with creating graphics, videos, podcasts, websites and much more. The library is providing these services for individuals of all skill levels as tools for improving the overall quality of personal and school-related projects.

"There is an increasing demand for equipment and software packages to enable students to complete multimedia projects for classes," says Allan Gergel, Library Information Systems supervisor. "The library wanted to help out, as we often get these types of requests from students, and we have the facilities and expertise available to provide this service."

The new multimedia stations are located behind the PATSS service desk just inside the entrance to the library, in the space formerly occupied by the reference section. The available equipment includes two PC computers and one iMac computer; two large Wacom drawing tablets; one large-format Epson scanner (scans 11"x17"); and one Midi controller.

The machines will be equipped with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, which includes Photoshop®; Illustrator®; InDesign®; Acrobat® X Pro; several Flash® programs; Dreamweaver®; Fireworks®; Contribute®; Encore; Media Encoder; and more. The iMac also features Avid Protools.

There are also a number of free and open source applications installed on each machine. The applications are listed on the library website: in a section called "Free and Open Source Software". This is a collection of free software that the library recommends for students who cannot afford to buy software elsewhere.

The web page also contains a number of links to free resources that may be used in students' multimedia projects, including images, music, videos and sound effects. Links to useful tutorials are also provided, to save the user from spending countless hours of frustration. These tutorials are available in the Multimedia Creation Resources Section.

And of course, the PATSS are trained on how to use the applications on the computers, and are therefore able to provide useful assistance to library patrons using the stations.

Please let your students know that these stations are available – or come by the library and try them out yourself!