All posts by Donna Smith

Learning Resources Earns Accolades

woman works from computer in bed while drinking from a mug

St. Petersburg College’s Learning Resources Department is on fire with recent recognitions and achievements!

Exemplary Practice Award

Learning Resources was recognized at the Association of Florida Colleges’ 2020 Annual Meeting and Conference, which was held virtually this year. The team won an Exemplary Practice award for Speed Dating with Databases, a program developed by Matthew Bodie, Executive Director of Learning Resources, Heather Holtzman and Paula Knipp, Reference and Instruction Librarians, and Kassie Sherman, Library Services Paraprofessional.

Speed Dating offers a fun and entertaining way for students to learn what databases the college provides for their research needs and how to use them.

Bodie said it is important to help students stay connected virtually.

“This has been especially true during the pandemic,” Bodie said. “That’s why Learning Resources has made a concerted effort to help students toward virtual spaces to find specialized guidance and enhance academic success, as well as toward virtual connections that help students belong and feel part of a community, despite a pandemic that has left many of us feeling isolated, to some extent.”

Article Published

Some Learning Resources staff members were recently published an article in the fall 2020 edition of the Florida Libraries Journal that documents the extra efforts the staff has taken to keep connections going among students, faculty, and staff.

In their article, “Staying Connected to Students Virtually Through COVID-19,” Paula Knipp, Ethan Hart, Kassie Sherman, Kaitlin Crockett, and Heather Meyer highlight a number of virtual efforts, including therapy dogs, a crafting group, and cooking recipe sessions that happened over Zoom. Additionally, they share their work on a letter-writing campaign called SPC Writes, which encouraged SPC Titans to send letters to isolated seniors in the Tampa Bay area.

In the article, the authors state that, though the pandemic shifted Learning Resources’ services, it only enhanced their commitment to students.

“Librarians have always had a strong presence online,” they wrote, “but [the pandemic] prompted staff of all areas to work together as a cohesive unit…With the combination of online events and programs that were offered, students at SPC could still feel a bit of normalcy and maintain the important connections we have worked so hard to create.”

You can read the full article on page 11 of the Fall 2020 issue of Florida Libraries.

SPC Celebrates Learning Center Opening

Learning center

More than 100 students, faculty and staff enjoyed lunch and cake to celebrate the grand opening of the new St. Petersburg College Downtown Learning Center space on Thursday, September 5. Now located on the first floor of the Downtown Center, the center offers students the opportunity to use small and large group study rooms, in addition to a dedicated anatomy and physiology science tutoring room.  

Previously, Florida International Museum and, more recently, the TEC Garage occupied the space. The computer lab was on the second floor, the small learning center was on the third floor and the anatomy and physiology tutoring was in yet another classroom down the hall. Associate Director of Learning Resources Heather Disler wanted to make the out-of-class support learning space more accessible to students and connect all the resources in one location.  

“Our department was spread between six separate locations throughout the Downtown Center building,” Disler said. “This meant the director had to staff three locations and students had to walk between floors for different out-of-class support services.”

Disler said that with the new space, they can consolidate and keep all the staff together in one place and offer students a one-stop shop for out-of-class support.

“It is so nice now,” she said. “Our anatomy and physiology tutors and students are no longer isolated in a classroom down the hall, and all the science and math tutors are able to talk with one another, collaborate, team teach and tutor students all under one roof.”

Several instructors have brought classes in for tours and study sessions, getting students excited about the new, larger space made just for them. SPC Student Diego Martinez said he likes the new center a lot.

“There is a lot more room than before, and I use it every day to do my homework and get help when I need it,” he said.