International TV

Right: New Mexico Tech student James Goldberger checks out the new international television reception in Skeen Library.

by Valerie Kimble

SOCORRO, N.M., Feb. 15, 2008 – The New Mexico Tech Joseph R. Skeen Library is offering a new service – international TV programming from seven countries for students, faculty and community members with library cards.

“We had an international satellite dish installed on the library roof this week,” said Owen Ellard, library director, adding that DIRECTV is the service provider.

Television programming from Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela comprises the current lineup, Ellard said. “We’ll be adding other languages in time; already there’s been some interest in Russian and Korean.”

Ellard said the service is a cooperative effort between the library and the Graduate Student Association. He also credited employees with the New Mexico Tech Facilities Management department for their expertise in installing the satellite dish, a larger model than one would find in residential homes.

Ellard listed three goals for the service – to provide international students with programming from their native countries; to expose Tech students to news and cultural items from other countries; and to assist students with their foreign language studies.

“The GSA is very happy to support this international experience, and we hope that students will take advantage of this opportunity,” said Shasta Marrero, CEO for the GSA.

Library users can watch international programming in three locations – the coffee shop, a study room and in the Tripp Room, where a projector allows viewing on a large, pull-down screen, suitable for large groups, he said.

Users must have a library card to check out the remote control, Ellard added.

On Thursday afternoon in the library’s coffee shop, James Goldberger, a junior majoring in mathematics, watched a few minutes of a cricket match before he switched the channel to a Chinese entertainment show.

Another student marveled at the availability of MTV India.

“We have eight channels in Hindi and six Chinese channels,” said Ellard, adding that some of the latter subtitles are in Cantonese and others in the Mandarin dialect.

The service is available during regular library hours.

-- NMT --