The new expanded location of the Digital Media Lab boasts six scanners and 14 iMacs for students to utilize. Photos courtesy of Digital Media Lab.

This semester, students may have noticed a change in the main floor of Carmichael Library. The digital media lab (DML) now has a new and improved space that offers UM students and faculty an array of opportunities to use advanced technology for media projects.

“A lot of students that know me and have seen me working in the old DML have said ‘It finally happened’,” said Michael Price, the Digital Media and 3D Print Lab Manager. “And I say ‘Yeah, it happened.’”

The original digital media lab was in a storage closet, which was later converted into the smaller space that has served as the digital media lab for the past three years. The renovations were funded by UM’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Through QEP’s donation, the DML was able to install new furniture and build the new walls that divide the new, larger space from the rest of the main floor.

“We were running out of space for students to come in and work in a collaborative effort,” Price said. “We would have students from all kinds of departments waiting to go in there. There’s way more square footage in this environment so that’s less of an issue now.”

The old Lab was located in a converted storage closet for three years.

The old Lab was located in a converted storage closet for three years.

In addition to the expansion of space, the lab now has six scanners, a Makerbot 3D printer, a Bamboo drawing tablet and 14 iMacs that are equipped with iMovie, Garage Band, Camstasia web cameras and the latest in Adobe software.

“We have software updates now that essentially match what you’re learning in your classes,” Price said. “So you’re in a graphic design or mass communication class and you’re using a particular Adobe product, we have it here for you to create content.”

These renovations took place over a course of three weeks during winter break. Setting up the walls and installing desks only took two days. The rest of the time was spent on finishing touches and tweaking small things. They are still in the process of networking all the new computers.

Price also plans to convert another small room within the lab into an office space where students can practice speeches, mock interviews, and presentations. He plans for the room to have a computer for editing purposes as well as a green screen.

“In the past couple years, we’ve seen a lot of social work students and education students needing to have a place where they can pretend to have an interview,” Price said. “With the green screen they could superimpose themselves in a classroom, in front of a bunch of people.”

The DML is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
“The wall is up and it looks a little weird on the outside, but it’s the same place.” Price said. “So please, come utilize it.”