Just over a year ago, the UT Libraries opened a pilot Media Lab in a small section of the entry level floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library. Under the purview of Teaching and Learning Services and equipped with 15 dual-monitor iMacs loaded with a long list of creative software, we hoped it would be a place for students to work individually or in groups to create and share digital media projects. According to our preliminary assessment data and statistics, our hopes were realized and students took to our little lab like free pizza at a campus event.
Our Media Lab pilot was an opportunity to achieve two goals at once: First, provide an unrestricted space and high quality resources for students to create digital media projects regardless of their major or departmental affiliation and, second, to test out this service before a larger 44-seat Media Lab opens in Fall 2015 as part of the Learning Commons project.
So why a Media Lab in the library and why now?