By Tom Ballard
As students at the College, we all have relatively busy lives. In addition to academics, most of us also choose to pile on extracurricular activities, social lives and even jobs to the list of things that we find ourselves responsible for handling. As a result, it’s sometimes hard to look forward and plan ahead in order to avoid the chaos of completing an assignment last-minute. For that reason, Media Services’s policy of only allowing movies to be rented out for three hours ignores the needs of students while robbing them of the opportunity to take advantage of what is meant to be a valuable resource.
Recently, one of my professors assigned my class to watch a movie that was relevant to what we were learning. He assured the class that Media Services in the College’s library had the video, so I had very little worry about being able to get my hands on a copy of the movie. About a week before we were expected to have the movie completed, I decided to go to Media Services in order to rent out the movie. As the student-worker took my student ID and checked out the movie, she informed me that the movie was due back in three hours.
But it was impossible for me to have the movie completed and returned within three hours. I had classes and other work that I had to do, and there was no way that I could sit down and focus solely on the film for my class in the petty three hours that I was alloted.
Prior to going to the library, I just expected that the rental time for movies would be longer. Although Media Services has it clearly written on its Website that the rental period for movies is three hours, my local library, which serves a community of about 60,000 people, has a rental period on movies for at least 48 hours. I just expected that the College would allow students at least a day in order to watch a movie, which is meant to be used for academic purposes, in order to take the time needed in order to completely digest the information.
Instead, I returned the movie right away and later found out that students who rent a movie within the last three hours that Media Services is opened are able to keep the movie overnight and return it first thing in the morning.
By the time 6 p.m. had arrived, I found myself sprinting to the library in order to make sure that I would be able to take out the movie that I needed for academic purposes and was told that I would be able to keep it until 8:30 the next morning.
Although this 14-hour time period was greatly maximized from the original three hours, I found myself having to cram the over two-hour long movie in at 1 a.m. in a classroom in Forcina Hall.
Even though Media Services in the library affords students the ability to take out media to be used for academic purposes, the time that they allow for movies to be rented for is so minute that it seems to be a disservice for students who have more than watching a movie on their plate.
While I understand why Media Services has the three-hour policy that it does — so that most students who need to use the material can have access to it in a reasonable amount of time — it seems to make it difficult for students to be able to use that material effectively in the time that Media Services allows in the chaotic world of college.
It might be beneficial for Media Services, if possible, to create an online library of movies and media available to students and faculty at the College so that anyone who needs to access these kinds of material could simply sign in with their College username and password and be able to use them whenever it works best for them.
Ultimately, Media Services — and the library in general — exists in order to benefit members of the College’s community. Without giving students ample amount of time to use media for classes, Media Services continues to fail students at the College and forces them to abide by their schedule instead of working around ours.
Students share opinions around campus
Is Media Services’s policy OK?
“I think so… Most movies aren’t three hours, but (I can see how) that could be frustrating.”
“I feel that if you really need a movie, (the process) should be better… The fact that you can only take a movie out for three hours seems (to be) inconvenient.”