DMC Policies & Procedures

Please review these policies and procedures before checking out equipment or using the computer lab facilities.

General Lab Policies

So that the computing labs are comfortable and well-maintained, we ask that everyone abide by the following guidelines.

  1. The DMC primarily serves Rice faculty, staff, and students. Priority in access to equipment and training is given to members of the Rice community.

  2. The DMC supports web authoring, text and image scanning, audio and video editing, and the creation of interactive multimedia. If you would like read email, use word processing applications, or surf the web, please use the Owlnet machines on the first floor of the library.

  3. In the lab, please refrain from loud talking, and use headphones if you are working with audio content.

  4. Please do not eat or drink in the lab areas.

  5. Do not add, change, or remove hardware, and do not load commercial software or games onto the hard drives. DMC staff must approve plugging in peripheral devices prior to connection.

  6. If you run into a problem with an application or computer, please report it to a member of the DMC staff.

  7. The DMC will keep your Rice ID at the DMC service desk if you use the following DMC items: memory card readers, USB drives, and headphones.

  8. Please also see our equipment policy, which governs checking out digital cameras, camcorders and audio recorders.


  1. All the printing services at the DMC are only for Rice students, faculty and staff. 
  2. Because of the cost of consumable printing supplies, we must charge for printing. Since the DMC printers are not on the OIT printing network, we have to charge separately. Use the poster cost calculator to estimate the cost.
  3. We charge individual's Esther account, or an organization/department fund via Interdepartmental Transfer. 

DMC General Borrowing Policies

Borrowers must agree to the following guidelines:

1. Loan of Equipment

  • Only Rice students, faculty, and staff may borrow equipment.
  • You may not check out equipment if your library account is blocked due to fines or overdue items.
  • Borrowers must be trained in using the appropriate piece of equipment before being granted check-out privileges.
  • Borrowers are responsible for all equipment checked out to them after they sign the DMC equipment checkout form.
  • Equipment can be checked out earlier than time it has been reserved for if the equipment is already available, but there   
    are no guarantees that it will be available.
  • It is the borrower's responsibility to ensure that the equipment is in proper working order before checking it out.
  • It is the borrower's responsibility to check the parts and contents of the package against the DMC checkout form.
  • Should equipment become faulty for any reason while in the borrower's charge, return it immediately to the DMC and let 
    the DMC staff know about the problem.
  • Borrowers are responsible for returning all equipment received in the same condition as when received. Equipment must 
    be returned to the DMC and checked in by a staff member during our open hours.
  • Equipment sign-out privileges may be revoked at any time without warning due to careless handling of equipment or repeated lateness. For example: unattended equipment is considered careless handling.
  • The DMC doesn’t check out equipment over the winter break (i.e. from the Christmas to New Year when the DMC is closed). However, if you have a special academic project you need to work on, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

2. Terms of Equipment Loan and Renewal

  • Regular equipment can be checked out for a 7-day period. 
  • Equipment may not be renewed except in special cases and with the approval of the DMC professional staff.
  • Equipment may be returned and checked out again at the DMC service desk. 
  • Extended loans of any equipment will be allowed only with special permission from the DMC professional staff as availability permits.

3. Lost or Damaged Equipment

  • Accessories
    • For any accessories not returned, or accessories returned that are broken, the borrower will be responsible to pay the full cost of replacement (i.e. the cost of a new item to replace).
  • Equipment
    • For any equipment under $100.00 that is not returned, or returned which is broken, the borrower will be responsible to pay the full cost of replacement (i.e. the cost of a new item to replace).
    • For any equipment above $100.00 that is not returned, or returned which is damaged beyond repair, the borrower will be responsible to pay the true value of the equipment after regular wear and tear is taken into consideration based on three years (i.e. six semesters) life cycle. For instance, a $550.00 camera that has been used for two years (i.e. four semesters) would have a value of $183.34. The calculation is as follows: $550.00 - (($550.00/6)*4) = $183.34. If this deduction would reduce the replacement fee below $100.00, the borrower would instead pay $100.00.
    • Note: For any equipment not returned, if the borrower doesn't communicate with DMC staff(i.e. ignoring emails, voice messages, text messages, and phone calls from the DMC), the borrower will be responsible to pay the full cost of replacement (i.e. the cost of a new item to replace).
  • The borrower will be responsible to pay the repair cost (not to exceed the true value of the equipment) of equipment above $100.00 that merits repair. The borrower can keep the damaged equipment after he/she pays the true value of the equipment.
  • Costs assessed against borrower will be imposed on borrower's library account and should be paid at the circulation desk of the library.

DMC Equipment Reservation Procedure

Available Equipment

You may reserve the following: camcorder, digital still camera, tripod, audio recorder (for recording audio), microphone (including wireless), etc. For a complete list of equipment for checkout, please click here.

Please note 

  1. that an item is only available when it is not checked out and not reserved either.
  2. that if you are a temporary staff at Rice, you will not be able to reserve equipment although you can check out equipment. 
  3. DMC no longer checks out laptops. To borrow a laptop, refer to the Laptop Loaner Program at OIT.

Reservation Procedure

  1. Rice faculty, students, and staff may reserve equipment by
    • logging in to your library account and doing the self-reservation. Refer to this reservation guide for step-by-step instructions.
    • speaking with a DMC staff member at 713-348-3635, or in person (reservations by voice mail are not accepted).
  2. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis and may be made or requested up to one month in advance.
  3. Reservations are up to 7 days. 
  4. Reservations are valid for 24 hours. Equipment will be released if it is not picked up within 24 hours.
  5. Pre-approved/long term projects may be given special consideration by the DMC professional staff.

Equipment Pick Up and Return

  1.  You may pick up reserved equipment during DMC open hours. Equipment might be checked in and checked out back to back, we cannot guarantee that batteries will be fully re-charged. If you have reserved equipment and find that you do not need it, please cancel the reservation so that others may use it.
  2. The DMC will do its best to honor reservations. However, our equipment is used heavily, and occasionally patrons return items late. If this happens, we will do our best to find alternative equipment or to notify you when the equipment is returned. Please help us ensure the smooth operation of our check-out system by returning equipment on time.
  3. Because the DMC's equipment is expensive, we require more complex procedures than if you were merely checking out a book from Fondren in order to reduce liability and ensure that we can continue providing our equipment checkout program. It is therefore important to allow plenty of time when picking up and returning items, as the process cannot be completed instantly, especially if other patrons are in line to be helped.
  4. Equipment must be returned directly to a staff member at the front desk of the Digital Media Commons, Fondren Library basement B42,  during DMC open hours. Equipment cannot be dropped off to the book return box or left outside of the DMC. If you have difficulty meeting the due date, contact the Digital Media Commons at 713-348-3635 or

DMC Spaces

  • DMC multipurpose room:
    • 4 hour reserve.
    • Email to to request a reservation. 
  • DMC Video/Photography Studio, DMC Audio Studio
    • 4 hour reserve.
    • Unclaimed reservations will be released after 30 minutes.
    • Login to the library study room system, select AV studios tab, then make reservations. Reservations can be made 3 days in advance. 
    • For reservations more than 3 days in advance, use this advance reservation form.
  • DMC VR space

DMC Workstations

DMC workstations are not bookable. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis during our open hours

File Management in the DMC

  1. All users are responsible for their own files.  We cannot guarantee the integrity of user files. The Digital Media Commons does not perform back-up of user data; therefore, users should store their files on their own USB drive, external hard drive, CD/DVD disc, or their network space. 
  2. For Rice Storage, File Sharing and Backup Solutions provided by Rice IT, go to
  3. Users may not store any files on the drives of Digital Media Commons workstations, except in SaveWorkHere folder located on the desktop. Please save the files in the SaveWorkHere folder in a folder with your email handle as the folder name. Files will be cleaned off the hard disk on the first Monday of every month. 

Feel free to call the Digital Media Commons (713)348-3635, or email, or stop by in person at Fondren B42 if you have any questions.