Multimedia Resource Center Supports Students Academic Journey
Now, more than ever, technology is quickly evolving. Technological advances continue to revolutionize the way students interact, research, and create. The Libraries provide information and resources to explore cutting-edge developments like Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which are shaping higher education and society more broadly. To support student achievement, the UCI Libraries have become trendsetters in digital use and implementation of emerging technologies. The Multimedia Resources Center, located on the first floor of the Science Library, offers flexible and technology-rich learning spaces combined with tools and services that support creativity and collaboration.
Lily Soleil Correa, a senior Film and Media Studies major and Digital Filmmaking minor, has worked in several UCI Libraries’ departments, including the Multimedia Resources Center. As both a UCI Libraries’ student employee and frequent Multimedia Resources Center patron, Correa has witnessed firsthand the importance of accessibility to technology resources, and she has become an avid promoter of Libraries’ resources.
LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD: LOANING TECH FOR FREE
Every student experience is different. At the Multimedia Resources Center, the UCI Libraries level the playing field by continuously looking for ways to support the student-athlete, the student-parent, and the first-generation college student that go beyond the traditional academic services.
Correa shared a time the Multimedia Resources Center mitigated the stress she underwent for not having working technology, “My laptop stopped functioning during the second quarter right before finals week and I didn’t know what to do. I took a $23 Uber ride to a laptop repair store just to be told that maybe I could get it fixed for $500! I couldn’t afford that at the time, so I was dependent on the Multimedia Resources Center’s borrowable technology to get me through the quarter.”
Without access to working technology, it would be difficult, or nearly impossible, for a student to get through a quarter. Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and laptops on college campuses, there is still a large “digital divide” amongst students in the reliability and quality of the technology they own.1 Technology available for loan at the Multimedia Resources Center ranges from audiovisual equipment like cameras to classroom computers as well as laptops and tablets.
PEER TO PEER WORKSHOPS
It is crucial to provide technology for students who are unable to replace their devices right away, but it is also extremely beneficial for students who are looking to learn a new skillset or test out new devices. At the Multimedia Resources Center, students have access to high performance computing and specialized applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud, sound recording, and 3D printing. Free workshops offered every quarter teach students how to use these technologies and more.
In addition to workshops led by Digital Scholarship Services librarians, students also have an opportunity to connect and learn from peers through student-led classes and workshops. At the Multimedia Resources Center, Correa assists students at the Check-Out Desk, and encourages academic and artistic exploration through hands-on workshops. Before graduating from UCI, Correa hosted workshops on Final Cut, Premiere Pro, iMovie, and photography – skills that can be applicable in students’ future careers and current hobbies. “In the workshops, I like to stress to students that equipment at the MRC is free and available to them,” which many students do not know.
Supporting student success is at the core of the UCI Libraries’ mission. By keeping track of technological trends and requests made by students, staff at the Multimedia Resources Center are better able to gauge what types of innovative services, technological devices and resources would be most beneficial for students in the upcoming school year.
Recent additions to the Multimedia Resources Center include the One Button Studio, a dynamic and efficient presentation studio that does not require users to have prior experience in video production. With a simple push of a button, users can produce high-quality, polished videos and save them to thumb-drives. Students can quickly and efficiently create research video projects, learn new technologies, and even create something for personal use like a podcast recording with Lily Soleil Correa, a senior Film and Media Studies major and this new technology.
Correa also worked in the Education and Outreach department, where she produced and edited Peter the Anteater’s Guide to the Library – an engaging and informative video series about Libraries resources. She used the Multimedia Resources Center to create and edit the series. Correa believes the Arts are a brilliant tool for education, youth development, and interpersonal growth. She channels her passion for education and community development through her photography community, Picture Partay, where she applies her videography talents and technical creative skills to plan and market community fundraisers. In the future, Lily hopes to reimagine and elevate the arts in career and educational spaces. Correa graduated from UCI in Spring 2021. To view work created using technology available at the Multimedia Resources Center, please visit UCI Libraries YouTube Page.