Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Owl Lab

Welcome to the Owl Lab at the School of Communication!

Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm Monday - Friday
312-915-8830 // SOC 004

To make a reservation:

Technology Coordinator: Jillian Musielak

The Owl Lab serves as a media resource center for students who are enrolled in production courses in the School of Communication. We have a comprehensive supply of audio and video production equipment as well as eight Mac computers with Adobe Suite installed for editing projects.

During open hours, the Lab is staffed with a knowledgeable and friendly student worker who can assist you with troubleshooting equipment or editing issues on a drop-in basis. The Lab's Technology Coordinator, Jillian Musielak, has an extensive editing and production background and is always willing to help you out with or lend an aesthetic eye for your projects. You can email her to set up an appointment. 

You can download the release form here.

Owl Lab FAQs

Only students enrolled in a production course in the School of Communication have access to the Lab. You may use the computers at any time during open hours. Second year graduate students have access to all equipment in the Lab in order to complete their Capstone projects and develop their professional portfolios. 

Your instructor will let you know what equipmet you will be using for the class and they will ask you to sign a release form. Only students who have signed a release form will be allowed to check out equipment. You can download the release form here. Email it to the Lab or you can drop it off in person.

We strongly encourage you to make a reservation well in advance for the use of equipment. Your instructor will make you aware of the specific equipment needs for your class. To make a reservation, go to https://equipmentloan.luc.edu  and enter your Loyola ID and password. You can find detailed instructions for how to use the reservation system here.

You can also check out equipment as a "walk-in," but equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. That camera you need for your project due on Monday might be checked out! This is why it's best to make a reservation in advance.

You must have your Loyola ID in order to check out equipment or pick up a reservation.

You don't need your ID to return equipment - you can even have a trusted classmate return equipment for you if you won't be able to.

If you can't make it to pick up your reservation, no problem! There is a one-hour window to pick up the reservation. After an hour, the system automatically cancels the reservation.

You can always edit your reservation - add or delete equipment or change the pick up or return time - through the reservation website. Click on "My Reservations" to find the "Edit Reservation" button. It's always nice to cancel your reservation as soon as know you won't need the equipment. Canceling the reservation frees up the equipment in the system and makes it available for other students to use.

Equipment is checked out for two days at a time. Since the Owl Lab is closed on the weekends, equipment that's checked out on Thursday or Friday will be due back on Monday. 

You can always renew your equipment by calling the Lab at 312-915-8830. You are allowed 2 renewals per checkout. Likewise, if you're going to be late returning equipment, you should call and ask for a renewal - even if it's just for an extra hour - to avoid late fees. However, this is not a reliable method as the equipment may be reserved for someone else. If that's the case, you won't be allowed to make a renewal and the equipment will be late.

Please don't send an email asking for a renewal - it's possible the email won't be read in time. Also important to note, you don't need to bring the equipment in for a renewal, just call.

If you return your equipment past the due date and time, you will incur late fees on your account. You should make yourself aware of the late fees for any items you check out. Each item in the Owl Lab has it's own fee and the fee is charged for each day the item is late. These can really pile up so cover your bases to assure you don't get charged. Your account will become inactive for reservations or checkouts until the fees are paid which could affect your ability to complete projects for your class. To avoid late fees, try renewing the equipment or ask a trusted classmate to return the equipment for you.

First of all - call us! It's important that we know as soon as the item is lost. Unfortunately, you'll be responsible for the purchase of a replacement item. Cables, lens caps, SD cards, or a pricey camera - you'll have to buy a new one. Some of the items can be very expensive so always keep an eagle eye on any gear checked out to you. 

If any item checked out to you is stolen, first, file a police report. Notify the lab immediately via email or by calling us. The School's insurance policy does cover stolen items but you'll have to provide us with a police report to keep on file.

When you check out equipment, the student worker will examine it in front of you. They will make sure that all of the components - including applicable SD cards - are there and that there is no visible damage to the item. If you notice that the student worker doesn't check the equipment, speak up! Ask them to check it for you or check it yourself before you leave with it. If there's damage or a missing item, alert the student worker and ask them to check out a different item to you. Otherwise, when you return the equipment, we will have to assume that you were the one who lost the component or damaged the equipment and you will be made responsible for any repairs or replacements.

If, after you've brought it home, a camera malfunctions or a microphone crackles, call us right away to let us know. We will work with you to troubleshoot or ask you to return the item for a replacement. 

Well, you're not in trouble, but you might be responsible for paying for a replacement or repair. If you damage something, call us immediately during open hours or come in to the Lab with the damaged item. It might be a simple in-house fix, which means you won't have to replace it or pay for a repair. Honesty is always the best policy! Remember that the equipment belongs to everyone - it is for use by all of your cohort - so treat it with the same respect you might treat something you borrowed from a friend.

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