'The Future is Now' exhibit now open at University Libraries

March 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the 21st century, Penn State University Libraries is so much more than collections of books. A new exhibit, "The Future is Now: Media Tech Services and Adaptive Technology," offers a glimpse of some of the remarkable Libraries resources available to Penn State students, faculty and staff, and highlights equipment and resources available through the Libraries’ Media and Technology Support Services and the Marion MacKinnon Adaptive Technology and Services departments.

The exhibit is on display through Sept. 16 in the Diversity Studies Room, located in 203 Pattee Library on the University Park campus, and is free and open to the public during Pattee Library’s operating hours.  

The Media Technology Support Services portion of the exhibit features state-of-the-art cameras and video camcorders. This equipment includes Nikon D7200 and D810 sensor cameras; a Canon Vixia HF-G20 camcorder; a Manfrotto three-section aluminum tripod; and various camera zoom lenses, such as the Nikon 105 mm FX micro lens. The Libraries’ Media and Technology Support Services Department, also known as MediaTech or MTSS, offers free equipment loans and technology services year-round. Penn State students who hold a valid Penn State ID are able to borrow equipment free of charge for course-related use.

In addition to cameras, camera lenses and video camcorders, Media Tech also lends lightning, USB-C and thunderbolt adapters; audio microphones and cables; Mac and PC laptop computers; LED, flash and tungsten lighting; portable storage devices; projectors; green screens and projector screens; and iOS tablets. The department is located in Wagner Annex, the small building extension to the rear of Wagner Building, between McCoy Natatorium and Shields Building. (Look for MediaTech’s blue awning over its exterior doors.)

Also featured in the exhibit are tools and equipment available through the Libraries’ Marion MacKinnon Adaptive Technology and Services Department. Located in W113 Pattee Library, Adaptive Technology and Services helps individuals with a disability or impairment work around their limitations and is in full support of Penn State’s commitment to providing a welcoming, encouraging and empowering environment for students with disabilities. Adaptive technology exhibit highlights include the Maltron one-handed keyboard, which allows for one-handed typing speeds of 85 words per minute, and tactile examples produced by the Libraries’ Phoenix Braille Printer/Embosser, a high-quality graphics embosser that is able to print documents in Braille format — a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers.

Finally, Sidewater Commons on the first floor of Pattee Library is hosting a companion exhibit about how libraries are changing and what to expect from the University Libraries in the future. In Sidewater, viewers can engage with a display of titles about libraries in the digital age, including future trends in space planning, accessibility and virtual reality. All book titles featured in the exhibit are part of the vast number of print volumes, online resources, films, maps and archival materials in the University Libraries collections.  

“The Future is Now: Media Tech Services and Adaptive Technology” is curated by Jamilyn Houser, alternative text specialist, Marion MacKinnon Adaptive Technology and Services, and David Bagley, head, Media Technology and Resources. A special note of thanks also is extended to Seth Wilson for his curatorial assistance and exhibit photographs and to Pembroke Childs for her invaluable assistance.  

Last Updated March 25, 2019