History of CCUMCIn 1971, Sony introduced the ¾” U-matic VCR, James Fergason invented the liquid crystal display, and e-mail was invented by Ray Tomlinson. That fall, when the University of Illinois hosted a small group of university film library directors, no one could have known they were creating the seed from which CCUMC would grow and flourish.
The group got together at Allerton House and shared their stories, quickly realizing that by learning from each other, they could become even more successful at their respective institutions. Keep in mind that most film libraries back then sustained themselves by charging rental fees, so in a way they were competitors becoming unlikely allies.
Over the next few years, they worked to change the things they could, sharing success stories on everything from packaging types to transportation methods, from cataloging to technical standards to public relations and marketing. Along the way, they realized the benefits of working alongside representatives from commercial organizations, so we could all understand each other’s perspectives and become aware of our overlapping goals.
By the mid-1970s, the small group had solidified. They had come to the table as colleagues and become friends. Word spread that this group knew how to work hard and to have fun while they worked. At about the same time, Microsoft was formed (1975). The next year, JVC introduced the VHS VCR and Cray Research introduced the first supercomputer. CUFC was changing too, and started to evaluate new technology and to dream of a day when a single database could include information about the media materials available from all of its members. A small and dedicated group of members worked on the project, eventually publishing four editions of the Educational Film/Video Locator followed by the Precision One MediaSource CD-ROM.
In 1981, MS-DOS was invented and BITNET was founded. The CD-ROM was invented in 1984, and the compact disc was released in 1985. CUFC membership was growing and by the mid-1980s, video materials were entering film collections. Many of our members were now part of media centers, and in 1988, CUFC became the Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC). Our membership continued to grow as more institutions joined the organization and we restructured to accommodate wider interests while maintaining our “small group” feel. New members continued to be struck by the collective wisdom of the membership, and then amazed by the easy comradery.
In 1990, WWW and HTTP and HTML arrived. By 1993, members were talking at meetings about the copyright challenges associated with the increased use of multimedia components. CCUMC members worked with users and rights holders in the development of Educational Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines that were adopted on September 27, 1996, by the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. CCUMC also produced two videoconferences with PBS/ALSS on the guidelines and distributed copies of the programs from the CCUMC Executive Office. 1996 is also known for being the year when “Twister” became the first movie to be released on DVD. The move from analog to digital had begun and our CCUMC members were taking the ride together.
As the 21st century arrived, classrooms were becoming “smart” and CCUMC members were being asked to design or install or maintain them. In April of 2000, CCUMC produced a videoconference with PBS/ALS entitled “Designing Classrooms for Technology: Integration and Accessibility”, and then sponsored a series of one-day workshops around the country to follow up on the information provided. We wanted our members to share their experiences with architects and mechanical drawings, with electricians and interior designers, to be comfortable as a member of a team that creates learning spaces.
Meanwhile, in 2001, the iPod was created. Moodle was released in 2002 and Friendster was launched that same year. MySpace arrived in 2003, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006. IT, AV, ET, and a host of other things were merging and converging as media centers, technology centers, computing centers, support centers, and libraries all kept changing with the times.
Learning management systems were making their mark on courses, and we were learning about “clickers” and lecture capture. Out annual conferences and publications continued to help members anticipate the changes ahead and embrace those that seemed to have just arrived.
YouTube was invented in 2005, the iPhone was created in 2007, and the iPad came along in 2010.
By 2009, CCUMC had begun to offer webinars focused on specific interests of our members. The first two compared lecture capture systems; the next two were on classroom design, with one focused on the faculty and design team perspective and the other on standards and budgeting for learning spaces. In 2012, as most members were beginning to wonder how many formats, connectors, and converters they could keep up with, CCUMC’s webinar highlighted what it means to convert a room from analog to digital.
It’s possible the organization’s founders might not recognize what the organization has become, but only because the topics have changed as much as the technology in more than forty years. The members themselves, their commitment to technology in higher education and to supporting the learning process, as well as their spirit, their friendship, and their enthusiasm, remains unchanged. CCUMC continues to evolve, sometimes running as fast as it can to keep up, but always welcoming new technology, new ideas, and new people!