Thanks to the generosity of Penn Libraries Overseer Jeff Seltzer (W'78) and his wife Annie, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries are able to offer digital media project awards to five students each year. Each award provides a Penn undergraduate with up to $1,000 for the purchase of equipment (both hardware and software) and supplies to support a new media project for up to one year. These awards include special consideration for students enrolled in the Huntsman Program. After one year, equipment purchased through the award is returned to the Weigle Information Commons for general use. Some examples of technology items that could support new media projects include: digital videocameras, audio recorders, virtual reality camera peripherals, microphones, scanners, mobile devices, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) devices. The awards are administrated and managed through the Penn Libraries in partnership with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF).
Partially funded by a generous gift from Board Member Jim Hoesley and his wife Sandra Drews, and conducted in collaboration with Career Services, the School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF), the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows program demystifies technology, provides hands-on training and a website building project, and fosters career connections A cohort of up to15 students in 2010 meet with library staff in September to plan personalized programs. The technology expertise of the Weigle Information Commons and Vitale Digital Media Lab staff provide the opportunity to delve deeper into technologies particularly relevant to careers of interest to the students, while workshops with hands-on instruction and guest speakers on career-related planning address a wide range of technology topics.
Made possible by a gift from David B. Weigle, W '69, the WIC is a joint undertaking of the School of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost and the Penn Libraries. It supports study groups and collaborative learning and offers training, equipment and support for digital media. Several support services are provided for students as they work to improve their effectiveness in writing, speaking and original inquiry. This flexible, technology-rich space occupies 6,600 square feet on the first floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Centers.
The Lab offers training and equipment for working with digital media - including video, audio, imaging, and web publishing. The Lab has extended operating hours, and is attended by staff who know the equipment and the craft. It is the first facility of its kind available to Penn's general population.
In 1996, the Penn Libraries launched SCETI with financial support from Larry Schoenberg (C'53, WG'56) and his wife Barbara Brizdle, both members of the Libraries' Board of Overseers. Today SCETI provides a wealth of digital editions, from Shakespeare's First Folio to an annotated version of Theodore Dreiser's Russian Diary. There are 13th-century Arabic manuscripts on anatomy, historical papers from the Civil War, sound clips of Marian Anderson, recordings of Yiddish folk singers, online tutorials, multimedia exhibits - some 79,000 graphical and sound files in all that document 1,500 years of human culture. Each day, academic specialists and amateur scholars around the globe view more than 10,000 scanned pages using the SCETI websource.