The availability of new spaces and services offered as part of Phase 3 of the John T. Richardson Library renovation continues. Earlier this year, we launched the 1581 Media Studios: sound-buffered rooms for 1-2 people to record and edit audio-visual projects for either class assignments or personal interest. With over 190 separate bookings created during the winter quarter alone, we hope our new spaces are just as popular: The Usability Studio and the Green Screen Suite.

The Usability Studio includes three iMac computers for people to conduct usability tests for websites, games, and other online services. The Silverback software uses the computers’ built-in video and microphone (via Apple’s FaceTime software) to record the users’ on-screen actions, the user’s face (to capture facial expressions made during the test), and comments made by the user. Once the test and recording are finished, the tester can add annotations to the project and export the entire video to an mp4 file, or save specific clips that highlight a particular problem or success. People working in the Usability Studio can be observed from Studio F via a one-way mirror. Both the Usability Studio and Studio F can be reserved online (not jointly, however) so that you have time to recruit participants for your usability test.

Our Green Screen Suite (also known as Studio G) can be used for photography, video shoots, and music production. The turnkey lighting grid can be adjusted for those who want to fine-tune their production setup, but it also has a number of presets for those who don’t have as much experience. Novice photographers and videographers can move a set of simple switches that will allow the user to easily determine the appropriate lighting for the project.  USB turntables, a microphone, an 88-key MIDI controller keyboard and a 25-key drum pad keyboard complete the room accessories. Additional items such as headphones, adapters, and cables can be checked out at the Access Services desk on the first floor. Accompanied by dual monitors, the Mac Pro computer in the room is loaded with the full Adobe Creative Suite software–with digital audio workstations such as ProTools coming soon.

Finally, The Library’s Digital Scholarship team can work with you to develop technology-enhanced research projects for your courses. We can provide assistance with project planning, data management, online publishing, or digitizing physical materials for your courses. Start the conversation by emailing us at digitalscholarship@depaul.edu.

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