piping up library feedback blog

Your feedback and our replies.

Access to Media Technologies

Published by Dipa Barua

Q. I am really happy to have the library services at SFU, but I feel that one area that could desperately be improved is getting better access to media technologies for students. For myself, I'm an Educational Technology and Learning Design MA student. Being an education student, I only have the same access as other Ed Department students which means the cam corders available to me are quite archaic, with very poor sound quality and which require DVDs and tapes to record. I once rented one of these cameras just to find that my digital point-and-shoot camera from 2009 performed far better and was far more convenient (as it didn't require tapes).

As for the nicer cameras which we can sometimes rent, it is such a hassle and potentially bank breaking. First, I need to be at the Surrey campus, then I need to be renewing the camera every single day I have it. And there is no promise that I can continue to check it out for more than a day. Everyday I have to call, and if I can't check it out, I need to be ready to make it down to Surrey to return it or face massive fines. Currently I need a decent camera to record for a conference, where the video will be uploaded and used to promote a school journal. Being a presenter myself and also working as a teacher and taking classes, I don't have a lot of time in my week. I had one day I could pick it up (Tuesday) and one day the following week I'd be able to return it (Tuesday). My second day of having the tape I got trapped into teaching night courses for work and had a 13 hour work day, during which I didn't find the time to make a renewal. Calling the library as soon as my class ended the morning of the following day left me with a $36 fine, which I then had to pay in person at a campus library to be able to have the camera for the following day. All this just to have a cam corder for one week to record and create community resources from a SFU sponsored conference. But even if it were a class project or an independent project, I still think the fines are far too steep and the hassle of accessing the corders far to big.

Teachers are constantly complaining about how much classroom technology lags behind. If we don't support the educational students who are designing the technologies by providing access to the digital media technologies they need to do their work, I don't see much change for the future.

A. Many thanks for your thoughtful comments. Your feedback is invaluable in helping us understand the collection needs of our students and faculty. The DVD & VHS camcorders we make available to Education students at Fraser Library are purchased and provided to us by the Faculty of Education for your use. In this case, we are simply the happy service providers! I understand more equipment is available to current Faculty of Education students through Education Central in Burnaby. Please contact them at 778-782-4129 for further information.

Fraser Library owns two digital camcorders which we make available to all current SFU students. The short term loan periods and other restrictions you mention are placed to provide access for as many library users as possible. We hope to increase the number of camcorders in this category.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 778-782-7417 if you have any further questions or comments.

Baharak Yousefi
Head, Fraser Library