Gelardin New Media Center at Georgetown University

Georgetown University’s Gelardin New Media Center, can be found on the first floor of the Lauinger Library, and it specializes in providing the assistance and equipment necessary to meet a wide range of their students’ multimedia needs. The New Media Center boasts a production studio for student videos, a Maker Hub with an Idea Lab for teaching students to create new products and for groups to collaborate, several Virtual Reality (VR) stations, a Multimedia CoLaboratory room which offers editing services for student productions, and all of this comes with the ability to sign up for instruction and training courses to assist with the innovative technology that the Gelardin New Media Center provides.

Beth Marhanka, Director of the Gelardin New Media Center, states, “Our New Media Center, located in the main campus library, is open to every program, department and school at Georgetown. Our users come from every department and program, from history and music to biology and business. I’m truly proud that the library is able to provide these amazing technologies to everyone on this campus.” Faculty, staff, and students have the ability to come in and use the media center for classes, collaboration, and experimentation.

Production and Editing

The Gelardin New Media Center has all of the technology required to edit and produce full-length documentaries as well as short interviews. Students may reserve the studio and its equipment for up to two hours at a time. The production studio includes a green screen, proper lighting, and all essential equipment for shooting in-studio interviews. If necessary, students may check out equipment to complete a project or assignment.

When asked about what usually gets students excited about the New Media Center, Mrs. Marhanka mentioned that there are over 600 video equipment kits, including GoPros, dSLR cameras, flash kits, and lavalier microphones. She says the media center has everything students could possibly need to create a podcast, documentary, or other type of digital media product.

Marhanka also mentions that the variety of equipment that the New Media Center offers is what makes it such a unique place for student engagement. The center has been used many times by faculty, staff, and students to promote ideas that have a social impact. “Several faculty have produced podcasts, including one by history professor Marcia Chatelain about the killing of Freddie Gray. Students have created documentaries about issues like mass incarceration, homelessness and slavery. It’s a wonderful thing to see how they are taking the important topics they’re learning about in their courses and turning them into impactful stories that people outside of academia will find compelling.”

The Maker Hub

The Gelardin New Media Center’s Maker Hub opened in October of 2016 and offers classes for students to learn how to make new products using different technology and tools. They sponsor events and “Skill Share” sessions for students to learn new things together. Students are able to get help on projects, learn new skills, and work with other students to see their ideas take shape.

There are classes on 3D printing, laser cutting, vinyl printing, digital embroidery, and many other ideas that students wish to share with one another. Students are encouraged to come to the Maker Hub to use the advanced tools needed for the fabrication and creation of new, inventive products.

They are encouraged to experiment so that they can develop and test new ideas. These rapid prototyping tools are important to the students at Georgetown because, according to Marhanka, “You never know what kind of problem they are hoping to solve and which new technology could spark a solution.” The Maker Hub also has an Idea Lab where students can work with manipulatives, whiteboard tables, PC projectors, and other equipment for working with real-world problems while trying to find innovative solutions.

The Virtual Reality stations are located in the Idea Lab, and they allow students to try new things without leaving the library. Students must set up a consultation about VR before they are able to use the various devices and technology. From military simulations to video games, the VR stations can assist students with navigating difficult situations. They are able to ride virtual roller coasters, travel to museums around the world, and practice medicine through this innovative technology.

The software to build virtual worlds and create their own 360° images for the VR headsets can also be found in the New Media Center. Students are encouraged to schedule time with the VR technology through the media center’s website.

CoLaboratory, Multimedia Training, and Classes

A Multimedia CoLaboratory classroom is available for independent computer use and for groups to meet and edit their work. There are four stations for students in the CoLab that feature large monitors and tables for groups. An instructor’s station has projectors and screens for classes to use. This room is great for editing audio and video content, teaching classes, and teleconferencing with others.

The Gelardin New Media Center offers classes, consultations, and training for all of the software, tools, and stations they offer. Students must learn to use the technology effectively before checking an item out of the library or before they are allowed to use certain technology in certain multimedia rooms within the media center. Students are required to preview a series of slides and take a quiz about using the spaces and technology provided.

An Innovative Place to Learn

Throughout Georgetown University’s Gelardin New Media Center, students are encouraged to learn, produce, and grow as they create new ideas that may promote social justice or develop new techniques for practicing medicine. The center’s Maker Hub with Idea Lab make it a one-of-a-kind media center that motivates students to try new things and provides the equipment and support to be great innovators, communicators, and to, “Discover, Design, Share, and Inspire.”

Please visit to learn more about Georgetown University’s Gelardin New Media Center.

About the Author
Krista Lazarus Gilliland, Ed.D., is a twelve-year veteran educator in Leeds, AL. She can be reached at