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CCU Atheneum: The media checkout center was developed and implemented by the Edwards College this semester. It is located in Edwards 284 and is open to students, faculty and staff.
The media checkout center was developed and implemented by the Edwards College this semester. It is located in Edwards 284 and is open to students, faculty and staff.

Edwards College introduces Media Checkout Center for students, faculty and staff

by Nicole Pippo
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It is now easier than ever for students, faculty and staff at Coastal Carolina University to access professional media equipment. Beginning this semester, the Edwards College Media Checkout Center was created to offer a wide collection of multimedia equipment for use across various departments, majors and classes.

Also known as the John Cage, or “the Cage” for short, students, faculty and staff can utilize the center to check out cameras, camcorders, tripods, microphones, 3D printers, presenter kits, GoPros and laptops. For example, students in a visual arts class can use equipment from the center to take digital photographs for a project, or journalism students can check out a camera kit for recording a news piece—all for free.

“Like a lot of other initiatives here at CCU, this is all about the students,” said Travis Brooks, media resources manager for the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “We're trying to make it more convenient for them to do the work they're trying to do to develop the skills necesary for the profession they want after graduating from Coastal Carolina.”

From theatrical equipment to television news cameras to geo-positioning equipment, Brooks has experience using all of it. His background includes working as a manager of a performing arts center for seven years, and as a classroom technology and media services coordinator for six years. In April, Brooks was hired by the Dean's Office to executive the media checkout center initiative. He has worked with Michael DiGiorgio, director of the Digital Production Studio in the Edwards College, to acquire inventory, organize the equipment using a barcode system, and put a qualification system in place to ensure individuals have access to the equipment they need, when they need it.

Previously, faculty members from different humanities departments purchased equipment for their students to use for specific class projects; however, most of the time, students needed access to that technology outside of class time. According to Brooks, the Dean's Office felt it was becoming a burden on the faculty to provide equipment to their students, along with teaching classes, grading and other responsibilities. The initiative was created to collect all of that equipment in one place for easy access.

“We had a situation where equipment was diffused across multiple departments, and occassionally we'd have two programs each trying to purchase the same item,” said Daniel Ennis, dean of the Edwards College. “By organizing all this equipment, we can get more use for each piece, and students can take on projects that required different tools without having to buy or rent anything.”

Brooks decribes the checkout center as a hand-me-down system. As departments upgrade and purchase new equipment every few years, the older equipment (which, according to Brooks, is still good equipment, just slightly dated) then becomes available for other students.

For instance, journalism classes have to upgrade cameras regularly to keep up with the same ones local news stations are using, so other students can check out the older cameras for use on other projects.

“The newest and highest-demand equipment is usually reserved for specific departments, with faculty members sending me lists of which individuals should have access each semester,” Brooks said. “Any new equipment purchased by the college that is intended for student use outside of a classroom will be immediately added to the collection.”

Faculty and staff are also encouraged to utilize equipment available in “the Cage.” When faculty and staff leave campus to recruit students, present at conferences, meet with community groups, or engage in other off-campus activities where they need to show PowerPoint or video, they can take a presenter kit to ensure they have all of the multimedia equipment they need. Presenter kits include a laptop, a projector, a USB-powered speaker and a presentation remote.

A polling system has also recently been added to the collection. It will be used initially only by faculty, but eventually students in the political science and intelligence and national security studies programs will use it to conduct in-person polling.

Student workers handle the checkout process using a subsystem of the Kimbel Library's checkout system.

“We have a digital system that will remind students when equipment is due back,” said Brooks. “It will let us know when we need to track down a piece of equipment and who to contact.”

The media checkout center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Edwards 284. It is open on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays. A CINO Card is required to check out equipment.

The media checkout center will continue to build its collection.

“We hope to encourage student understanding of multimedia equipment and student use of mixed media for presentations, art projects and any other activities that benefit their student experience,” said Brooks.

Additional information:

Contact Travis Brooks at 843-349-6907 or tbrooks3@coastal.edu.

 

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