Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ball State University Libraries' Emerging Media Technologies

The landscape of educational technology is constantly and quickly evolving, and the University Libraries are fully invested in adapting to the fast-paced emergence of new media in order to provide our students and faculty with state-of-the-art information channels into the rich resources and products provided and produced by the University Libraries.

As the information hub of the university, the Libraries are continually re-imagining our services and collections to discover new ways to serve as the integrated information nexus for teaching, learning, and research in a future that demands a robust, physical library with relevant collections, user-centered services, and cutting-edge technologies as well as a widely-accessible library without walls available 24/7/365 from virtual worlds, online classrooms, and computer desktops.

The University Libraries have maximized a number of emerging media formats and technologies designed to increase student and faculty opportunities for knowledge discovery, synthesis, and creation:

· Second Life — The Libraries are working in partnership with the Center for Middletown Studies to create virtual archives of text, photographs, audio, and video to be made available in Second Life. Ball State University is establishing a more substantive presence in Second Life, and the University Libraries continue to develop content and services for the expanded user population in the virtual world.
· Blogs/RSS Feeds — The Libraries currently maintain nine blogs/RSS feed publications designed to inform students and faculty about collections, services, and library programs.
· Intensive Multimedia Computing — The Libraries have installed a pod of high-performance PC and Mac stations that are equipped with specialized features and software applications for data analysis, gaming, video editing, and animation rendering. Software includes Adobe Production Premium Creative Suite 3, Adobe Design Premium Creative Suite 3, and Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8.0, and more.
· e-Books — The Libraries provide access to over 10,000 electronic books, including hundreds of reference titles.
· e-Journals — The Libraries provide access to over 13,258 full-text e-journals and their archives, and nearly 200 academic databases; almost all of these resources are accessible from off-campus, too.
· Mobile Library Project — The Libraries developed and support an icon-based Web site for mobile devices such as BlackBerry and other small screen smart devices that allow users to search the Libraries’ catalog and access electronic journal content.
· Online Communities/Social Networking — The Libraries maintain profiles in Facebook and MySpace, providing updated blogs as well as links to the Libraries’ services, online tutorials, subject guides, and more.
· Video Audio Streaming — The Libraries offer video and audio streaming of several collections in the Digital Media Repository (DMR), including World War II films and Middletown oral histories. An upcoming project with the University’s Teleplex Services will include the addition of thousands of streaming videos to the DMR.
· Wireless Internet Access — Building on the University’s extensive wireless infrastructure, the Libraries offer free wireless printing as a corollary service for students and faculty.
· Interactive Tutorials — The Libraries’ Informational Services unit offers a number of interactive tutorials on library collections, services, databases, and technologies.

The University Libraries’ mission is to serve as a destination for research, learning, and friends. An essential part of fulfilling this objective is for the Libraries to provide a range of technologies through the adaptation and integration of new and evolving forms of multimedia communication and information dissemination.

For more information, contact Matthew C. Shaw, Ball State University Libraries’ Electronic Resources Librarian,, 765-285-1302.

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