Trial and 404 Error: PBPF EBSCO Fellow Shandi Burrows’ Experience Digitizing at the University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio

What do you do when your studio does not work? What are the behind the scenes of troubleshooting technology? How do you pack and ship heavy audiovisual equipment? I learned all this and more during my internship!

As an on-campus graduate student obtaining my Master’s in Library and Information Studies, I was placed at the Center for Public Television and Radio located in Bryant Denny Stadium for my internship. The Digital Media Center became my home and quickly became my enemy.

Going in, my studio was half working, but some pieces such as my Time-Based Synchronizer and my Betacam Playback deck did not want to cooperate. Other interns were also having issues at their stations located in different states, so has the home intern in Tuscaloosa, I took on the responsibility of Packing and shipping our extra equipment to send to them. This ended up being very challenging and rewarding! While I was not able to digitize for the entire first semester, it was interesting to now have advanced skills in equipment handling as well as project management skills. These came in handy for an interview I had recently, and helped get my new position at the Minnesota Public Radio Archive because they found these skills so unique! And by the very end of the first semester, I now had all my equipment up and running.

After last semester of running into problems constantly and being miscommunicated with by the EBSCO SLIS lead, my internship became an issue mentally. It took a lot of energy to get to the studio and go in because more “loses” of facing problems became unbearable for me to think about and I didn’t want to face that. While I eventually got my hours done, it was in the last couple months of March and April before I had to buckle down and just face the challenges as they came up so I could finish in time.

Finally going into the studio, I was starting my second semester of the internship with all my equipment finally setup and working. What could go wrong now? Well, my work laptop that UA SLIS gave me started to give me issues. The programs I needed to do all the digitization work, vRecord and my Blackmagic Capture card software, decided it was time to quit and I had to go to the Library Studies IT person, Blair, for help. Luckily, after a day of work he got the terminal and the code to cooperate, and I had vRecord up and running. When plugged into my studio, issues arose again with my capture card (the main component for digitizing) saying it was not updated. After meetings to fix it, hours of updates, and much more troubleshooting, I finally got it to work… only to run out of time in my internship for digitizing.

While I learned some tough lessons, I am glad I had the experience of this internship, and the behind-the-scenes skills of audiovisual work I acquired. Now with being a seasoned troubleshooter and expert equipment shipper, I now feel confident digitizing as well as setting up a studio from scratch.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s