Mission of the AV Department

To provide audio-visual media support for Calvin College classroom instruction and related activities and to Calvin College departments and organizations.


To provide reliable audio-visual equipment, high-quality services, and knowledgeable advice in support of the activities of Calvin College.

  • The AV Department's primary function is to support classroom instruction and those activities which are a direct result of it, and to develop and implement policies and procedures which provide maximum benefit of its resources.
  • The AV Department's secondary function is to support the programs and activities of Calvin College departments, committees, projects, events, etc. AV support will be relative to the magnitude of the event.

Employees may borrow equipment, at no charge, to support any activity of or responsibility to Calvin College.

Students may borrow equipment, at no charge, to support their Calvin College classes, clubs, organizations, events, etc. with permission of the course instructor, staff mentor, RD, or the head of the student organization. Residence Halls have PA systems, data projectors, and screens, so should use them if available. AV Department equipment is available to supplement those needs. 

AV does not restrict the use of its equipment to the college campus. You are welcome to take it to wherever your college-related event is happening.

Equipment is loaned for the length of time you really need it. Typically, that is a day or two but can be longer if your situation warrants it. This is for two reasons:

  • If the equipment is at AV, it is available for the next person who needs it.
  • Since you are financially responsible for loss and damage to the equipment, it is in your interest to return it to AV when you aren’t using it. The longer you have it, the greater chance of it being misplaced, stolen, or forgotten.

The person who borrows equipment is responsible for returning it on-time and undamaged:

  • Costs for damage and theft will be billed to the borrower. (The authorizing department may be held partially responsible if the equipment use was required.)
  • Late returns may result in fines or suspension of borrowing privileges.

  • $2.00 per day for Minor Equipment (replacement value less than $200).
  • $5.00 per day for Major Equipment (replacement value of $200 or more).

Equipment may be returned when AV is closed. Contact Campus Safety to request meeting an officer at the AV Department. Campus Safety is not authorized to let you pick up equipment after hours.

Equipment is not provided for personal use of employees, students, or the public.

The A-V Department does not rent equipment to the public. The only non-Calvin College events we support occur on the Calvin campus and are scheduled and billed by the Office of Conferences and Campus Events (OCCE).

Laptops are loaned for:

  • short-term, normally up to two weeks. Extensions are given for Interim travel, etc.
  • occasional use, such as several times per semester.
  • use which requires portability, such as travel.

Laptops are not loaned for:

  • sabbaticals, extended lengths of time, back-to-back renewals, or because you need an extra computer in your office, etc.

Because laptops are such an appealing theft-target, users are normally required to personally pick up a laptop when borrowing it. That is, AV will not just leave it in an office (unless you are there so we can hand it to you). When requested to deliver a laptop to an auditorium or classroom, we will secure it with the included security cable.

  • AV will deliver, setup, operate, and pick up equipment for instructional or departmental use, as can be arranged. There is no charge for this service.
  • The borrower must pick up and return AV equipment for student organization, club, residence hall non-instructional use. There is no charge for this service.
  • AV is not able to deliver, operate, or return equipment from off-campus events.
  • AV is not a substitute instructor. We support classroom instruction and activity, but do not lead it.

If you want a classroom event recorded with a single camera, we will deliver, setup, and return the equipment for you. We will show you how to operate it or start the camera for unattended recording. You will be charged for the videotape or DVD, but not for the service. You may also edit it in our video editing facilities. We will provide editing help if you request it.

If you need professional production quality, such as with more than one camera, the event should be recorded by Calvin Video Productions, and a charge may be incurred.

The Video Studio, Control Room, Editing Room and AV equipment are available for use by Calvin College classes, clubs, organizations, etc. Training may be required. Tech Support will be provided if requested and available. Students will be allowed to work after hours if previous arrangements are made and if a department employee is available to be present. After hours use of the Studio and Editing Room is scheduled by the Video Producer.

AV is also responsible to support Calvin's non-classroom educational events, such as a guest lectures at no charge. AV will deliver, setup, operate, and pickup equipment, or allow it to be taken off campus when this does not interfere with our support to classroom education. AV will make a good-faith effort to videotape record athletic events held on campus, if requested.

We eventually send audio and video master recordings to Heritage Hall for archiving.

The AV Department is able to record programs from cable TV, satellite, and the internet.

We also can transfer and duplicate nearly any audio, video, or film format. Rates for these services are available at the AV Department office.

We respect the Copyright Laws, as presented below.

The purpose of copyright is to encourage the creation of original work, such as music, movies, software, literature, visual arts, etc., by giving authors these exclusive rights:

  • to make copies
  • to make works derived from it
  • to distribute copies by sale, rental, lease, or lending
  • to show or perform the work publicly

Copyright laws are a compromise among owners (artists & studios) and consumers (the public & educators). Educators are given some specific exemptions, such as showing video for classroom instruction even though it is, technically, a 'public performance.' In addition, some uses are allowed under the Fair Use Guidelines.

The fair use of a copyrighted work, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit education purposes,
  • the nature of a copyrighted work [factual or creative],
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Fair Use assumes good faith and fair dealing.

It is intended to be supplementary to purchase or rental, not to replace purchase or rental.

Will you transfer my audio cassette to CD or my VHS to DVD?

It depends.

If it is for your personal use at home, it is probably OK. The industry seems to accept that you may listen to your LP on your CD player or mp3 player and watch your video on a DVD player, computer, or tablet.

Personal use for scholarship or research is part of Fair Use. The rules are different if it is for instructional use.

When you purchased it, you became the owner of the physical item and received the right to watch & listen to it for as long as it lasts. However, you did not receive the right to eternally retain the content. You do not have the right to convert it to another format for convenience or to prevent it from wearing out.

A video recording from cable/satellite/antenna may not be indefinitely re-used for classroom instruction. Because it was not purchased or licensed, it is supposed to be erased after 90 days. Here are some options:

  • Use small portions instead of the entire work. (Fair Use)
  • Determine if the copyright has expired or that it never was copyrighted.
  • Get permission to copy it from the copyright holder.
  • Locate a commercially available copy on CD or DVD.
  • (Hope that Congress passes Orphaned Works legislation.)
  • Ask AV for copies needed by your Calvin College department or organization.
  • Order personal copies from the Campus Store.
  • AV charges for materials which you use. Items for personal use must be purchased when taken. Items for college use may be charged to a department or organization and will be billed monthly. Please charge them to the correct account.
  • AV bills the departments for materials supplied to them. This is done monthly (usually) through Financial Services. Department Budget Officers may receive a notice and details.