Media Center and Equipment Loans

About SAIC's Media Centers

The media centers provide the entire School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) community with audiovisual equipment and services to accommodate documentation, creation, instructional, and exhibition needs.

Faculty, staff, and students with valid ARTICards may borrow a variety of equipment that includes video camcorders, projectors, players, and monitors; film cameras, projectors, splicers, and film-to-video transfer units; sound recording and manipulation devices; slide projectors, still-image cameras, and assorted lighting, sound, and display reinforcement equipment; and laptop computers and peripherals. Please refer to the Media Center Menu and Media Center Fact Sheet‌ [PDF] for a listing of types of equipment available with access times, authorization requirements, and fine information.

There are three media centers operating on the SAIC campus:

MacLean Media Center
112 S. Michigan Ave., room 801

The main media center supports classes and activities in the MacLean Center, at 112 S. Michigan Ave., by providing access to much of SAIC's most advanced portable production and recording equipment, including nonlinear video editing facilities. Tyrell Cannon is the manager, and he also schedules equipment needed for exhibitions on campus.

Sharp Media Center
37 S. Wabash Ave., room 307

The media center on the 3rd floor of the Sharp Building at 37 S. Wabash Ave. supports classes and departments at in the building by providing access to equipment for Contemporary Practices classes and other academic and administrative uses. Paul Richter is the Manager of the media center and also schedules Figure Models.

Columbus Drive Media Center
280 S. Wabash, room 201

The media center at 280 S. Columbus Dr. supports departments such as Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Photography, and Performance.

Operating Hours:

All media centers are open when classes are in session and closed between semesters and on holidays. Below are the typical Fall & Spring semester hours of operation.

8:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Sunday (Columbus Drive Media Center only)
9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Access Rules and Care and Safety

Equipment Access

All students, faculty, and staff with a valid ARTICard have access to the media centers. To assure that equipment will be available when you need it, we recommend making reservations. Please be prompt when picking up your equipment because we will make it available to other users if it has not been picked up by 30 minute past your scheduled pickup time. Allow at least 15 minutes to check out equipment. When returning equipment, wait until your checkout is cleared from the computer, or you many incur a fine.

Care and Safety of User and Equipment

The media center provides access to equipment that is often costly. The following guidelines have been developed to help ensure the safety of both the user and the equipment. Please take the following precautions.

  • Keep a good grip on your equipment. Keep a watchful eye on the equipment. Don't leave equipment unattended—EVEN AT SCHOOL. If you aren't using the equipment, lock it away in a secure place, like a locker.
  • Don't take equipment out alone, especially after dark. Go with someone. There's safety in numbers.
  • Don't take equipment into unfamiliar or isolated areas.
  • Do not leave equipment lying on the seat or in plain sight in your car. If you must leave the equipment, make sure that it is locked securely out of sight in the trunk.
  • Avoid isolated bus or train stops.
  • Avoid falling asleep on the bus or train or in public with the equipment. The unconscious are the easiest targets.
  • Be observant of people around you when in public. If you notice anyone suspiciously eyeing your equipment, avoid them.

See also: Media Center Fact Sheet‌ [PDF]

Special Requests for Media Center Equipment

Normal reservations for media center circulating equipment resources (according to published access rules) may be made in person at the media center. Faculty may make reservations by telephone. Reservations for equipment use beyond normal access may be made online as follows:

Special Request Form

If you want equipment for longer checkout times than normal (e.g., a week), or in larger quantities than normal (e.g., three video cameras); please fill out a Special Request Form via the Greenlight Request System.

Note that you may need to enter your email credentials to access the system. Use your email login and password if prompted.

Exhibition Request Form

If you need audiovisual equipment for installation in SAIC gallery exhibitions, please fill out an Exhibition Request Form via the Greenlight Request System. See also: Exhibition Equipment Specifications‌ [PDF]. Note that you may need to enter your email credentials to access the system. Use your email login and password if prompted.

Instructional Service Request

If you are teaching a class at SAIC and you need circulating equipment available for use in or by your class, please fill out an Instructional Service Request Form via the Greenlight Request System. Note that you may need to enter your email credentials to access the system. Use your email login and password if prompted.

SAIC Circulating Resource Usage Policy

Please be aware of your responsibilities when you borrow resources from SAIC facilities such as the Film Cage, Flaxman Library, Media Centers, Photo Cage, Wood and Metal Shops, and Labs.

  • You are financially responsible for the safe return of all borrowed resources.
  • Don’t loan resources that are checked out to you to anyone else.
  • If anything is missing or damaged, you will be charged for the cost of repair or replacement.
  • You are liable for replacement of lost resources—EVEN IF LOST ON SAIC PROPERTY and EVEN IF STOLEN FROM YOU.
  • You must return borrowed resources to the correct department by the due date and time to avoid late fines and other penalties.

Be safe:

Double check your record (the WebCheckout record, “Agreement Form”, the “My Account” feature in the library online catalog, etc.) to confirm that the resources listed as checked out to you are correct. Report errors immediately.

Be very careful with borrowed resources. Consider your personal safety when using expensive equipment in public. Be alert to your surroundings. Avoid dangerous situations. Avoid non-recommended usage.

While every step should be taken to safeguard SAIC borrowed resources, you should never prioritize equipment value over your own personal safety. Do NOT fight a robber or attacker for SAIC property. Equipment can be replaced; you cannot.

Reporting a Crime:

On Campus:

  • Notify SAIC Security. A desk or patrol officer will help you file a report with SAIC and the Chicago Police Department.
  • Notify the manager of the facility from which you borrowed the resources. She or he will request a copy of the police report.

Off Campus:

  • Notify the Chicago Police Department. Obtain a copy of the police report.
  • File a report with SAIC Security. They will want to keep track of police activity.
  • Notify the manager of the facility from which you borrowed the resources. Provide a copy of the police report

You may still be charged for replacement of lost or damaged resources. The police report will be taken into account in determining liability.

Loss and Damage Appeals

Patrons who are fined for loss or damage to SAIC resources may appeal a fine that they feels was unjustly applied. The patrons should notify the manager of the circulating facility from which they received their fines. Intent to appeal should be given in writing (preferably by email). Patrons should be prepared to present evidence demonstrating the reason why they should not be accountable for the loss or damage. A committee consisting of representatives of SAIC’s administration, division chairs, SAIC security, and student affairs will make a final determination of financial responsibility. Exceptionally large fines may be transferred to Student Accounts.

Personal Responsibility

SAIC maintains resources for the benefit of the entire campus community, for now and for the future. When a borrower returns resources late or damaged, or fails to return them, other students and faculty are robbed of opportunities. Some resources are not easily replaced. You may contribute to the benefit of the SAIC community by being responsible with your use of valuable communal resources.

Further information

School equipment and resources are not insured against loss or damage by borrowers.

Check with individual departments for more information on lending policies.

See also: SAIC Circulating Resource Policy‌ [PDF]


WebCheckout is a browser-based scheduling and inventory management system used by the media centers to track reservations, checkouts, late checkouts, and fines. Reservations for equipment going off line are automatically switched to like resources, if available. WebCheckout emails users regarding upcoming reservations, due times/dates for current checkouts, and reservations affected by resources going off line.

WebCheckout imposes fines automatically when a user returns their resources late. A fine in one media center blocks users from using all media centers. Photography and CRIT also use WebCheckout to checkout their resources, as do other schools in the United States and Canada.

WebCheckout was developed for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by onShore Development, Inc.