The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) have named Penn State’s Information Technology Service’s One Button Studio a 2014 Cutting Edge Service. The selection designated the One Button Studio as an example of a creative use of technology that can and should be replicated by libraries across the country.

The One Button Studio is a simplified video recording setup that can be used without any previous video production experience, including lights and cameras. The design of the studio allows users to create high-quality and polished video projects. Users simply insert a flash drive into a studio computer and push a single button to start recording, and push the button again to end recording and save the video file to the flash drive. The award was given to the One Button Studio project team and the University Libraries based on the use of the One Button Studio in the Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons in Pattee Library at Penn State University Park. “Students really appreciate how easily they can record their presentation or practice an interview. Fall 2013 semester, they made over 4,000 videos, and we anticipate that the demand will continue to grow. It is not only popular and easy to use but it helps students become better speakers,” said Joe Fennewald, head of the Knowledge Commons.

“This was a very competitive year for cutting-edge applicants. This year’s honorees stood out in the way they creatively solved problems, engaged library patrons and strengthened library services and visibility,” said Marc Gartler, of Madison Public Library in Wisconsin,, who chaired the selection committee. “We are excited to recognize four projects, several of which already have proven their potential to be successfully replicated by libraries around the globe.”

On June 28, Ryan Wetzel, manager of the Media Commons, was part of a panel of 2014 Cutting Edge Service winners at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Wetzel and Joe Fennewald were co-authors on the award. Wetzel was part of the team that developed the One Button Studio. This included Chris Millet, assistant director of Education Technology Services (ETS), and ETS’s Advanced Learning Project (ALP) group, which is managed by Ben Brautigam and includes Justin Miller, ALP consultant, and Sherwyn Saul, ALP developer.

“Winning was very exciting and I got to sit on a panel of award winners and talk about the success that we’ve seen embedding the One Button Studio in the Media Commons that are located within Penn State Libraries,” Wetzel said. “The crowd at ALA, including librarians and staff that support these institutions from around the world, had some great questions, and we had a great discussion.”

For more information on the One Button Studio, visit

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