August 28, 2009

AEMAC calls for student and faculty support

Late last month we reported on the looming closure of AEMAC, the Advanced Educational Media Acquisition Centre. AEMAC is funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development to provide efficient and cost-effective purchasing of media and other instructional resources, as well as coordinate educational software and public performance licensing, on behalf of the post-secondary institutions in BC, including TWU.
AEMAC negotiates the Maple license for mathematics and computer science departments and supplies programs to BC Apprenticeship programs for a variety of trades.

A review of Alloway Library's transactions with AEMAC reveals that the closure will have a big impact on TWU students and faculty and the growth of our media collection.

In the past 3 years Alloway Library has purchased 55 of the 66 programs made available through AEMAC. (Some were not purchased due to a spending freeze; only 3 out of the 11 not-purchased titles pertained to topics outside TWU curricula.)

It would have cost TWU over $24,000 to obtain those programs from distributors. Through the work of AEMAC, we paid just over $4,000 for those programs in DVD format (and, for some titles, also as streaming video.)

AEMAC has also negotiated public performance licences for feature films which permit TWU instructors and student groups to use media in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. Without AEMAC’s advocacy we might expect to pay about $1.20 per full-time student (FTE) to legally show a feature film on campus. If AEMAC is closed, TWU would need to earmark some $10,000 in its annual budget in order to maintain our current levels of acquisitions and performance licencing.

Few of the 26 BC post secondary institutions served by AEMAC have “extra money” to add to their budgets. The closure of AEMAC means fewer resources for advanced education in BC.

AEMAC staff are lobbying the government to rescind the closure. Assured that citizen input has a big impact, they are calling on faculty and students to raise their voices in support of this cost-saving resource for BC's higher learning institutions.

Here are some key people to you can contact in support of AEMAC:
  • The Premier, Honourable Gordon Campbell
  • Dr. Moira Stillwell, The Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development,
  • Robin Ciceri, Deputy Minister of ALMD,
  • Susan B. Brown, Director, Policy Branch of Ministry of Advanced Education,
  • Dr. David Ross, President, Langara College,

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