Multi-Media Workstations Available at Lamont

hcl committees

Madeleine Bennett, '11, works on one of two multi-media
workstations in Lamont. The computers were recently installed as
part of a pilot program to offer students more space to work on multi-media projects.

November 12, 2008 - It's already a place to study, do research and hang out with friends, but Interim Head of Lamont Library Martin Schreiner hopes the library will soon take on another role - multi-media authoring facility.

In response to a growing number of requests from students, Schreiner in September launched a pilot program which installed two multi-media workstations in the Lamont Viewing Room. With video and music becoming a larger part of classroom instruction and student assignments, Schreiner said it was a natural fit to find a way to bring multi-media workstations into the library

"Students have been asking us for this kind of support," Schreiner said. "It was clear to us that, in the classroom, they were using multi-media in a bigger way. There's a need, the students are here, we're a 24/5 library. This is a place where students come to do their work. If multi-media is part of that work, the question is: What role do we play in that?"

The workstations are outfitted with MIDI piano keyboards for inputting music along with video editing software like Adobe Premier and Windows Movie Maker. Music authoring software Finale and Sibelius, which allow students to add music to video files, are also installed on the computers. In addition to the two multi-media workstations, three other PCs in Morse Music & Media collection on Level 2 are installed with Finale and Sibelius.

At Lamont, Schreiner emphasized, the computers are available to any student who wants to use them, and help is also available for students who aren't familiar with the software. All student staff and some professional staff at Lamont have been trained in the basics of the software, and Library Assistant Paul Worster can give students more in-depth instruction.

"We're trying to be here for the students," Schreiner said. "Many professors are asking us to reserve video and audio materials for their classes, not just books. These workstations allow students to build on those course materials."

The workstations, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis, are already being heavily used by students. The hope, Schreiner said, is demand for the computers will be great enough to warrant adding more computers in the coming years.

"Depending on how it goes this year, we'll decide whether to add more machines," Schreiner said.