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AU Library's New Media Center has something for everyone

First-year grad student Andre Johnson expected to spend a lot of time in the computer lab when he entered the Film and Electronic Media program at AU. What the future animator didn't realize is the library's New Media Center would be much more than just a place to work.

This past summer, the New Media Center moved from Hurst Hall to the lower level of the library and merged with Media Services' Digital Media Studio. The New Media Center now boasts 22 Macintosh workstations, at which patrons can find a variety of multimedia production software such as Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Flash and iMovie.

The New Media Center also brought its collection of media production equipment to the library. Digital Media Studio die-hards can continue to make advance reservations for video cameras, tripods, audio recorders and still cameras from a selection of more than 100 pieces of gear. Workstations can also be reserved in advance and the studios are still available for overnight use.

Johnson originally came to the New Media Center for software training. "I saw a brochure and I was like, 'wow, Adobe Photoshop, I can study this for free.'" Johnson found himself returning to the New Media Center, not just to sample the 80+ free training sessions offered this fall but also for the quality of the instruction."We had an exercise in class and I used a technique I learned in the New Media Center and people asked me how I did it, where I learned it," Johnson says. The Center offers patrons a chance to explore topics like basic software usage, video techniques, animation, and graphic design six days a week.

The New Media Center provides dedicated service by a high-quality staff. This year the lab added a professional editor and a graphic designer to its already talented ranks to better assist patrons with projects and technology issues. But according to Johnson, the staff provides more than just how-to advice. "When you see what creative people can do with the software, it's inspiring," Johnson explained, recalling how one staff member demonstrated matte painting in Photoshop.

But the New Media Center is not just a haven for filmmakers and media jockeys. Lab staff can also assist patrons with podcasts, slideshows, web development and other multimedia assignments from the humanities to the sciences. Johnson is optimistic about the lab's potential across university curricula, saying "I don't think people realize how the software in the New Media Center can impact your career—you don't have to be a film student to benefit from it."  

Learn more about how the New Media Center can benefit you.