Have you seen the library’s first floor lately? The first thing you’ll notice is an entirely new look, but the improvements are not just cosmetic. Renovations performed over the summer added a substantial number of seats in students’ favorite study spots, lots of additional outlets for them to plug in their laptops, phones, and tablets, and an entirely new Digital Media Commons where students can design websites, produce videos, or create multimedia projects for their class assignments.
USF senior accounting major Daiana Torres finds the renovation of the first floor makes academic life better. “The renovation of the first floor has improved studying in every aspect. It is easier to find a place to plug in now, easier to find a place to sit — studying altogether on the first floor is just easier since the renovation!”
In addition to upgrading the essential study environment for USF students, the experiment-turned-wildly-popular-resource formerly called the Digital Learning Studio (DLS) has been reborn on the first floor as the Digital Media Commons. A thoughtful design has given students ‘pods’ of high end workstations where they have the software, processing power, and monitors to pursue multimedia projects for their class assignments and research projects. They have the space to work individually or in groups.
USF President Judy Genshaft has said that one in five USF students are the first ones from their families to go to college, so having access to this often-costly technology and expertise can make a significant difference. The Digital Media Commons (DMC) not only provides computer workstations for students, but also student employees, with a range of software skills, who are on hand to provide assistance to students.
Armeen Kazim and Evan Bednar are two of those highly skilled students that work in the DMC assisting their peers. Armeen, a junior mass communications and public relations major, was overjoyed to learn of the DMC’s expansion. “I would always pass by the DLS when it was on the second floor… I had many projects that involved making a poster or editing a video, so I was so excited to use the facility once I found out it was available to students. Now, with this new DMC, word of mouth is really hot among students, and even professors are asking for multimedia class projects. It’s a whole new way of learning — and we learn better this way.”
Junior mass communications major Nick Lovera says, “I think it’s awesome. We were working on our projects in class today and I was able to come over here and keep working. The DMC gives you space and resources to do your work. It’s a nice place; it really works out well.”
The Library touches the lives of all USF students. You, too, can make a difference. To discuss making a gift to the library, contact the USF Libraries Development office here or by calling (813) 974-4433.