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New digital media studio helps students get creative

Students looking to work with and get assistance with multimedia programs, such as InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, now have a place in the library to make it happen.  

The second floor of the Library now houses a new high-tech, multimedia facility where students can learn about and use computers and software, and check out equipment, such as microphones and cameras, to use for class assignments.

The USF Library Digital Learning Studio, funded by the $5.25 per credit hour Student Technology fee, opened at the beginning of the semester to serve students with all of their multimedia needs for class projects and assignments.

Academic Services Librarian Adonis Amparo manages the center and said there haven’t been many students who have used the space since its opening.

Though some equipment has been rented out, the center has not had much of traffic due to the fact that it is a new addition to the Library.

“Since we are brand new, we are not well known yet,” Amparo said. “Students do not even have assignments yet, and they are just now getting assignments and have started to filter in.”

He said the center serves a dual purpose of allowing students to check out multimedia equipment, as well as giving them a place to come and work with media software such as Adobe Creative Suite.

“We have cameras, camcorders, tripods and microphones for checkout for three days at a time,” Amparo said. “We also have 10 work stations and four PCs all with Adobe Creative Suite. There are also i7 computers, which are the fastest computers available to students on campus.” 

Student tech fees fund the center, so it is open for all students to take advantage of the different resources available and the knowledgeable staff. 

“People submit proposals – students as well as faculty – and they look at all the proposals and they approve some and deny others,” Amparo said. “(The proposal for the lab) was one that got approved the first time it was offered.”

Maryellen Allen, a faculty member at the USF Library, said the lab also provides assistance to students who want help using media software.

Amparo said he hired several students to work at the lab. The student assistants at the lab were hired because they each have their own skill sets and bring something different to the table. For example, some students are proficient in Dreamweaver and other web-design software, while other students are more specialized in software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. 

If more equipment is
needed for students, Amparo said the studio will purchase it. The lab also features SMART Boards – computers in the shape of a white-board that students can write on and use like a typical computer.

The Digital Learning Studio is located on the second floor of the Library and is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday,
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays.