Media Services settles into new location in Scribner Library: New lab space offers more equipment and technology to students

Posted by Julia Leef

At the start of the semester, Media Services opened its new location on the recently renovated ground floor of the Scribner Library, which will provide more space and equipment for student use.

 Although some equipment remains on the second floor of Palamountain Hall, which was Media Services' location for the past 20 years, most of the video cameras, audio recording devices and other classroom materials are now in Scribner Library.

 "It's been a very fast move because of the people moving out of Starbuck," said Taylor Conard, director of Media Services, in reference to the relocations of employees in the Starbuck Center next week. "We've had to abandon our front office faster than we expected to." The Bursar, Card Services and Financial Aid offices will occupy this space starting Feb. 6.

 Despite the rush, Conard said he is happy to see Media Services in its new location, which is more spacious than the old one, providing space for 22 new computers, two soundproofed editing rooms and new furniture for students. In addition, Media Services has extended its hours to match those of the Scribner Library, although the staff will not be available after 10:30 p.m., the same closing time as in Palamountain Hall.

 "We were always cramped in our existing location without the capability of expansion at all," Conard said. "This way we've actually been able to design from the ground up and make an area that will hopefully service us many years in the future."

 In addition to the greater space, Conard cited the importance of having some of the College's major student resources, such as reference materials and the Writing Center, in one area.

 "The real advantage to the move is that there's always been a natural synergy with the library, Media Services and the help desk," Conard said. "We're bringing more centralized service together for the entire student body here."

 The Scribner Library also gives Media Services a more central location to the majority of buildings on campus that would require technical support, yielding faster response times from staff. The only exception involves the auditoriums in Palamountain Hall, which used to be in close proximity to Media Services. To overcome this disadvantage, Conard cites plans to keep a satellite location in Palamountain Hall with staff members, especially during presentations, in order to provide rapid aid, if needed.

 The relocation of Media Services is the first step in a series of changes that will occur in the Scribner Library, including the Information Technology department's own move into the area.

 "This [Media Services] is part of a much broader project that is a partnership between the library and IT and is a combination of space and resources," said Justin Sipher, chief technology officer. "The overall project is bringing about 270 additional student seats into the library, and trying to make those spaces optimal for student use."

 According to Sipher, the changes will involve increasing the number of computers on the first floor and adding more technological aspects to the group study rooms in Scribner Library, such as connectors that will allow laptop images to be projected onto a larger screen. Most of the renovations will occur over the summer.

 "I feel good about the process," Sipher said. "At the end, we hope that we've adapted the facilities to align with the needs of the students today and with the needs of students in the future. We need to make sure that [the changes] meet not only your needs, but also the needs of students a decade from now."

The Blotter: Campus Safety reports last week deal with power outages and icy conditions

A Call to Service: Tough times call for a renewed public-spiritedness in our country