Jay Sinnard and the STRC Video Editing Suites

Jay Sinnard sits with a student in the STRC Editing Suites

When you think of UC’s Langsam Library, what comes to mind? The convenient Starbucks perhaps, or the bustling first floor full of computers and students. What you might not realize, however, are the amazing technological resources the library has to offer.

The STRC Student Technology Resources Center is a “student-centered service area” that boasts some of the latest technology and editing equipment, and Jay Sinnard is the go-to guy for all things media. Jay, who has worked for UC Libraries for twenty years, is the library’s official videographer, and assists students with everything they need pertaining to production and editing.

I sit down with Jay in his office, located directly next to STRC’s Video Editing Suites (that sleek circular room on the main floor of Langsam, surrounded by floor to ceiling glass) and he tells me all about the amazing assets his department provides students.  

“One of the resources that I deal directly with, is the space you’re in right now,” says Jay. “Behind you are the editing suites for students. There are three stations you can sit down and edit—it’s the Adobe Creative Suite.” What’s more, the computers located in the Editing Suites are massive seven thousand dollar workstations, selected especially for their editing capabilities. Their super processors and large hard drive spaces are the perfect fit for editing huge files. The Editing Suites also house multiple videogame stations, because when video editing isn’t happening in the STRC suites, gaming is. The suites have Xbox consoles, PlayStations, and loads of board games.

“And behind me,” Jay continues, “Is our production studio.” He takes me into the all-green room, packed with tall lights, camera equipment, and echo-resistant sound barriers. The space is available for reservation—all you have to do is call the Library’s front desk (513-556-1424) and reserve a spot, or call Jay directly (513-556-1893). 

“If someone has to make a video and they have no idea where to start, they can come see me, and I’ll show them exactly what to do,” explains Jay. “Some people do bigger end stuff, and they just have to realize that they need to put the time and the effort into it. Other people just need to make smaller productions, and I show them how to begin.”

Basically, Jay’s job is to be your ultimate video production guide, and he’s there to teach you—whether you have zero production knowledge or you consider yourself a proficient videographer—the best ways to go about your project. Your first step is to have a consultation with Jay, so he can determine what you need and don’t need. The library offers many different kinds of equipment, and it's all up for rent for free with your bearcat card. You can rent anything from a calculator to a GoPro to a “portable sound booth.” Their newest item for rent is a professional grade telescope that’s almost as tall as me. In all honesty, renting this equipment (which is funded through student’s ITIE funds) is perfectly easy and simple. Perhaps the hardest part is actually walking to Langsam to grab your precious cargo.

It’s important to remember, however, that all items you rent are your totally and completely your responsibility. That means, if you rent a camera and your dog chews it up (true story), or if you accidentally drop it off the ledge of a building (also a true story), you have to pay for it. 

After you rent your equipment and finish filming, you can make a follow-up appointment with Jay and he will sit down at the Video Editing Suites with you and teach you how to edit your footage using the Adobe editing software, and even brief you on the legalities of the Fair Use guidelines to ensure your video isn’t violating copyright law. If that’s not enough, Jay creates video tutorials of every piece of equipment the library offers, so students have a secondary way of learning as much as they can about production. He posts this material to his YouTube channel which is approaching over half a million views.

“I’m always trying to get the library new and cool things, and a lot of that comes from what the students tell me,” says Jay. “The students are my priority. My number one job is to help you guys be successful, and make sure your projects are great.”

I end up leaving the library with a new and shiny GoPro, which I rented with my bearcat card and Jay’s guidance. He determined it my best option because of the usability (it’s small and easy to handle) and high quality (it can shoot up to 4k). And, no, I did not know what 4k meant until I met Jay. Hint—4k is very, very good video quality.

As long as I return the GoPro back to the library’s front desk when my reservation runs out—a typical reservation lasts about five days—and I take meticulous care of my rented equipment, all should be well. Let the video-making commence!



Written by Danniah Daher, graduate assistant to the graduate school office.