The Latimer Family Library on campus has served students and faculty alike since 1958. It received its first renovation 40 years later, but since 1998, the library has maintained the same form.
In April 2018, Saint Vincent College Public Relations issued a statement confirming that the library would be expanded and revamped.
According to the announcement, the project is expected to be completed by August 2020 and the addition of many new features will take place. When construction is completed, the three-level library will hold classrooms, a barista café, a computer laboratory, and three art galleries, among other developments.
Soon after the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, a sign was placed on the fence that guarded the ongoing construction. The sign lists a web address that hosts a live stream of the renovation process.
Joshua Seevers, user services manager of the IT department, created the live stream at the request of the Institutional Advancement department.
Seevers stated that when setting up the live stream, he asked Institutional Advancement about their needs and gave them examples of different types of live streaming from local businesses and other colleges.
“[Institutional Advancement] wanted something that was from a decent angle in case people wanted to check it out or keep up on the progress,” Seevers said
Seevers was tasked with identifying the best spot for the live-streaming camera.
“I did a little scout of different locations, because one question was [related to] construction cameras, which are placed right in the construction yard and operate off of cell phones,” Seevers said. “They’re neat, but the cost is also high, so I looked at some other locations.”
The prime point for the camera turned out to be much simpler, according to Seevers.
“I found a faculty member’s office up in Headmaster’s Hall that actually had a great view,” Seevers said. “So, I took a few pictures from that angle and showed them to [Institutional Advancement] and asked them, ‘What do you think?’ They decided on [placing the camera in] the office.”
After deciding on the location of the camera, Seevers’ next question related to the camera itself and the technology needed for the job.
Seevers explained that since the camera was only needed to show people the construction if they wanted to watch, the fancy options weren’t necessary.
“I did a demo using a webcam,” he said. “It was just a store-bought Logitech webcam running on a local computer and sending the video to YouTube.”
Seevers also stated that the choice in hosting was no accident.
“YouTube does analytics so you can see how many people are watching the stream and their demographics,” Seevers said.
Though the technology used in the streaming process is simple, Seevers stated that all of the goals of the live stream were met.
“I asked, ‘what are [Institutional Advancement’s] needs? Can I meet their needs with this product?’ And we were able to inexpensively fulfill their requirements of a constant broadcast of the construction,” Seevers said.
Seevers stated that the YouTube broadcast has been streaming uninterrupted for 15 days with no interruption, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I proved through my testing that [the stream] can run with little to no monitoring needed,” he said.
Live streams have been created in the past for other Saint Vincent College campus construction projects.
“The Dupre Science Center expansion was broadcast, and so was the expansion of Dupre into the James F. Will Hall,” Seevers said.
Despite the ongoing construction on campus and the advertisement of the live streaming of the library work, many students were unaware of its existence.
Eileen Lynch, sophomore anthropology major, raised concerns regarding students’ privacy upon viewing the live stream.
“I think the stream is interesting, but you can see everyone walking down the pathway from Dupre,” Lynch said. “You can’t see actual faces, but it’s still a little weird to think that I walk that path almost every day, and you can watch me when I do."
Lynch said that she was able to identify a fellow student walking near the construction site while she watched the stream.
The live stream of the Library Expansion Project can be viewed at any time through www.stvincent.edu/forward.