Front Desk Fiction Non-Fiction Reference Professional Collection Audio / Visual Checkout Desk

Welcome to the Audio / Visual section!

The Audio / Visual section of the traditional library was where all the videos, audio resources, pictures and other obsolete media was kept. Patrons could come into their local library and borrow new movies, or audio books on tape, or check out various forms of media to take home, without paying rental fees! This service is still very popular today, with many Library users accessing their local public library to take out movies instead of going to their local video rental store.

These services were provided to patrons so that the entire community could share the expensive resources available, without having to pay. Typically, the most accessed resources were VHS tapes, and now DVD copies of movies. Many patrons also check out audio books, to listen to in their cars while driving. With the proliferation of streaming video, online resources, MP3 players and other ways to find and consume Audio / Visual resources, this section of the traditional Library will change drasticly. Digital Libraries will be able to provide these multimedia resources at a distance, for streaming, or for download and consumption later. The demand for video and audio will only grow with our increasing number of fully featured electronic devices that will allow us to consume our media when and where we want.

Artificial Inteligence = "20 Q"

One digital artifact I produced during my Masters was a Media Production, focused on the concept of artificial intelligence. I had recently been exposed to what I thought was a simple toy, but turned out to be a very sophisticated piece of artifical intelligence. This "20 Q" is a fantastic device that seemingly reads your mind! It has a massive database that learns from previous attempts and gathers as much data and information as it can to become smarter. This is a great example of Information Literacy!

ARTIFACT: Artificial Intelligence


DATE: July 2009



Producing this media production was a great opportunity to stretch my skills and knowledge in video production. I learned many new information literacy skills in researching, learning new software, producing a quality video, publishing it on the net, and sharing it with collegues, peers and friends. This opportunity reinforced my feelings that we, as citizens in this community, city, province and country and world can become media publishers. We can publish high-quality artifacts, art and media to share with everyone, or just a select few. It is no longer a restrictive and challenging task to produce and publish different forms of media.

Digital Libraries of the future will have a very important role in collecting, storing and publishing these cultural artifacts and media resources, produced by their patrons, for their patrons. The Digital Library can catalogue, organize and provide the neccessary resources to store, safeguard and publish these resources for all their patrons. They can organize them using meta-data, collecting similiar productions into topics, available to all, 24/7.

Another important role of Digital Libraries in regards to Media resources is the new developments in immersive technologies. Sometimes called a "CAVE" or Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, these immersive rooms try to replicate the real-world as much as possible, a 'holo-deck' of sorts. Research Libraries across the US and Canada have been working on creating these immersive environments to share virtual experiences with their patrons. Instead of reading about the ancient Roman Forums, patrons can virtually explore a digital recreation, imagining the sights, sounds, and even smells of this ancient environment. CAVEs are popping up in Libraries already as Cybrarians are anticipating a need for these types of media consumption environments. With all the hype about 3-D and immersion, this seems to be a very logical step in our digital development. To read more about this technology and follow links to examples, please see this Wikipedia article.

Because this technology is prohibitably expensive, it cannot be mass produced. This is where the shared common resource model of the Library fits in nicely. Libraries can create these CAVE environments to share amongst all our patrons, offering reservation services to schedule times. These types of emmersive media environments can be used for school trips, personal interest, professional research, or even for fun! This will be one use that will neccessitate physical Library spaces that patrons can use and visit. The Digital Library of the future will have a mix of both online and physical resources that will require a central and accessible physical space, without all the stacks!

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Aaron Mueller - 2010 Masters of Educational Technology @ UBC