Libraries' Media Services grows into digital center

· 3 min read

Libraries’ Media Services grows into digital center

Hundreds of DVDs and Blu-Ray titles are available for checkout at Love Library.

Among the shelves of books and records at Love Library lies one of the best-kept secrets on campus.

Where many go to study and soak in the quiet, the libraries’ Media Services office offers a space where students, faculty and staff can check out more than books. On the second floor of Love Library South, rows and rows of board games, DVDs and digital equipment line the walls, available for use for up to three days.

Since 2007, with a bulk DVD purchase of films from the Criterion Collection – about 200 art-house DVDs – the staff in Media Services has built a digital repository for campus use, said Richard Graham, associate professor at University Libraries.

As staff, faculty and students made occasional requests, the collection continued to grow, Graham said.

“(The requests) built up to a PlayStation, video games, board games and Lego robots,” he said.

Now students, faculty and staff can check out Blu-Ray discs, lenses for smartphone cameras and anatomy models, DVDs, and other items. New additions to the DVD collection include the “Game of Thrones” TV series, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Pokemon movies.

“We’re really building up our media supply as people begin to leave the print collections behind,” Graham said.

Last year, Media Services moved to new location as part of the beginning stages of changes at Love Library to increase interactivity and learning. The new Library Commons project in Love Library North would include computer workstations, 22 new study rooms and other amenities. As plans begin take shape, Graham said, it’s his hope to keep most of the media collection in its present location.

“The movies may move into their own space, but right now we will wait and see,” he said.

A move from the former Inter-library loan space – now the Mezzanine Study Room – to Room 221 Love South has put Media Services in a higher traffic area, and Graham said he is excited to see more people take advantage of the office’s inventory.

The office hosts weekly meetings for groups that come to play board games or have tournaments for the multiplayer board game Settlers of Catan. Everything available for checkout is allowed to leave the library, Graham said, with the exception of anatomy models.

Games such as Monopoly and Scrabble are also available for play without checkout and can be found on a shelf in the study space right outside the office. The office also takes requests: Library users are invited to write on whiteboards that cover the walls in media services to ask for things they don’t see.

All rentals are free for UNL faculty, staff and students, he said.

“We want to be that place where you (people can) try things before buying them,” Graham said. “Or we want to buy them so they don’t have to.”

Richard Graham looks at the white board where library users make suggestions for new content.
Haley Dover | University Communications
Richard Graham looks at the white board where library users make suggestions for new content.

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