All posts by Joe Terrana

Duel Enrollment in the New Year

Are you in high school? Are you a parent of a student who attends a high school in the Pinellas County area? You could earn a free 2 year college degree at SPC. How cool is that! Be sure to check out our workshop coming up on January 7th at 6pm. This wonderful opportunity allows qualified students to earn college credits while in high school and best of all it’s free. That’s right. There is no cost for application and tuition. And for Pinellas County public schools and home education students the textbooks are at no cost as well. (And since this is a Learning Resource and Library blog, face-to-face tutoring and on-line tutoring as well as articles and journals are free too.)

We are excited to present you with an opportunity to get a jump start on qualifying for the Dual Enrollment, Early College, and Early Admission programs for the next school year. This opportunity is made possible through a partnership between St. Petersburg College and Pinellas County Schools. You could earn high school and college credits simultaneously at no cost to you!

Click on the link below and get your future started.

SPC Band Books

Every year in libraries across the nation there is a week dedicated to banned books and we are no exception. But at the SPC Gibbs Library it’s always band book week in the Retro Joe’s study area. Nestled among record players, mixers, and even an old juke box resides a collection of books under the name 33 1/3. (The number 33 1/3 refers to the speed at which a full length vinyl record must be played at to sound correct.) Each book in this wonderful little collection spotlights a specific band, album, or musical style written by an author who researched and possibly interviewed the members of the band or the recording engineer.

One example is a 33 1/3 book written about the album Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys. This album was meant to be a big hit following their huge release License to Ill but after major set-backs, mishaps, and self sabotage they managed to release the album to a fairly tepid response. The story of how and why is covered in this particular volume and the album went on to define the use of sampling. (they used so many that it would be impossible today because of copy-right infringement and in fact this album helped to clarify how much of a song or beat you could use without payment compensation.) Now looking back the album is considered ground breaking in the hip-hop and pop arena and is still referenced to this day.

Another book written about the album ( ) and that is indeed the album’s name, by Sigur Ros describes how the band achieves it’s unique characteristic sound by recording in unusual locations such as an empty pool and using violin bows and e-bows on guitars. The resulting music is an ethereal soundscape with an almost movie-like quality that reflects the band’s Icelandic roots with a style that’s all their own.

But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself what 33 1/3 books we might have about your favorite record or CD. Drop in to the second floor and head for the fifties diner looking study room and have a look around.

SPC Workshop Madness

Now that we are well into the semester don’t forget that we here at SPC have a plethora of workshops, presentations, and on-line discussions that are available to students, faculty, alumni, and the general public. We are working hard to get the word out about every offering we have and there are two ways to see what we have in the oven. From A & P I and II to Math and Science, business, and even sewing and stitching, we have it all. How to recycle a plastic bag? Got it. Statistics and Spanish? Got it. Suicide awareness? Got it. Speed-dating with databases? What does that even mean? Well come on over and find out.

First we have our Learning Resources 2020 link for your one stop shop about all things tutoring as well as our easy to read calendar that lists all of the up coming workshop, events, and sessions with short descriptions of each. These listings are primarily centered around our Library and Learning Resources group however these dates are are also cross-posted on our main SPC page.

A second way to view all of our offerings including those outside the scope of Learning Resources is to visit our SPC Events page. This page includes a broader scope of happenings in other departments and locations. Emotional Intelligence workshops, Early Women’s rights presentations, and the Lunch Series workshops are just a few of the events offered. There are timely events as well such as a presentation on policing and minority communities with Delrish Moss, the former Chief of Police for the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department.

New workshop are added on a routine basis so come back often and check for added dates and events as we move forward.

Crafting in Quarantine

Take a quick scroll through almost any social media platform and you will see your network’s recent attempts at keeping their calm during a time of great uncertainty. One common activity that has been giving people comfort has been learning various needlecrafts, such as knitting, crochet, and cross-stitch.

As a knitter from before it was cool (I.e., the pre-quarantine days), I find some joy in seeing the same friends take up these crafts that used to tease me for being the “old lady” at our gatherings, as I always tend to bring a small knitting bag everywhere I go.

While working from home, SPC employees have been able to bond across campuses and thanks to those new and strengthening connections, we discovered that there are many crafters hiding in our ranks. Kassie Sherman, Heather Meyer, Nina Mulligan, and I pulled together to create Stitch, Please—an all-inclusive online crafting group. We welcome students, staff, and community members who are using fiber to create and keep our cool.

Our group has been meeting since June and has been a great way to interact with our SPC community. The group facilitators come from several campuses, so it has given us an opportunity to work together and to get to know faculty and students from elsewhere in the college. We have also been able to learn more about each other’s preferred fiber crafts. Kassie from Tarpon has been sewing adorable food items from felt, while Nina and Heather have preferred to crochet. I have alternated between knitting a pair of shorts and spinning wool into yarn. We have even learned a bit about spinning wheels, drop spindles, and nalbinding!

Stitch, Please will continue this Fall and we can be found every Friday at 10:00 a.m. Please visit our LibGuide to learn more about the group or register to attend.

Antonia Green is a Library Services Paraprofessional at St. Petersburg College.

Diversity is the Spice of Life

Imagine a world where everything was the same.

All the flowers are the same, all the trees. All the people are the same color, and everyone thinks the same thing.

It may sound ideal at first, but think about it. Deeply. Where would we be if this “utopia” existed? Would we have progressed so much as a society without challenges to the ‘norm’?

Tesla vs. Edison

For some reason, I am intrigued by the 1880’s debate between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. I really couldn’t tell you who ultimately won that debate. Tesla’s AC power, alternating current, reigned supreme for a while but considering that the very device you’re reading this blog from is Edison’s DC power, direct current, now we have a toss-up. Certainly, we all benefit from that “war” and can appreciate how they were both challenged to improve and learn everything they could about their new, opposing ideas!


Let’s consider the potato. You’ve likely eaten them in some fashion. Beyond being mashed, fried, or made into a salad, did you know that according to the International Potato Center: CIP, “there are over 4,000” edible “potato varieties”? This amazing veggie/starch is versatile enough to be used for everything from filling our bellies to removing rust to making alcohol to…you get my point. 

Electricity or potatoes, all of these varieties of thought and people willing to think outside of what has been established, propel us forward toward better, best, and great!

My challenge to you

Surround yourself with people from a wide range of thoughts, cultures, races, and even politics. We need to be challenged. If you’re on a team, have a rotating member (not the same person all the time) be the naysayer. This practice allows the quiet team member to begin to think and engage with the team rather than just go along. And your usual naysayer will learn how to accept thoughts not his/her own. You and your team will be better for it.

I just experienced this myself when I invited my husband to critique this post. I cringed at some of his edits for sure but I understand the end result. Inviting differing persons and ideas into your life may at first feel unnatural, cause you to recoil into a defensive posture, but be patient. Listen. Understand. Think deeply.  After all, diversity is the spice of life.

Rosie White is a Library Services Paraprofessional with the SPC Libraries & Learning Resources team at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus.

Spring Into Art showcases student art

The Learning Resources Center of St. Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs Campus, along with the Palm Harbor Library hosted its first annual student art show, Spring Into Art.

The heart design, which was used for the marketing of the art show, was a collaboration of 3D flowers made by staff members from both libraries. Each participant made a 3D flower, which was joined together into a structure of a heart.  The heart structure was chosen because libraries are the heart of our communities.

The scope of students from the local community included 9-12 grades and college students that either attend SPC or visit the Palm Harbor Library. The goal was to jury the submissions and then have the selected art on display at the Palm Harbor Library in March and then moved for display at St. Petersburg College in April. 

Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 outbreak and a stay-at-home order in place, the art show had to be delayed. Since the college is not reopening this semester, the art show was designed and shared virtually on the college’s Workplace platform and will be on display at the Palm Harbor Library for the entirety of June. Please be sure to check the Palm Harbor Library website for reopening hours and guidelines before your visit.

As you can see from the sampling in the header image, the fantastic artwork selected is very impressive. Our young artists with seasoned skills used several different mediums.

We hope you enjoy this inspirational art break.  Thank you to our talented artist.

Carol Coleman is a Senior Administrative Services Assistant with the St. Petersburg College Libraries & Learning Resources team.

Poems for Your Homes

The art of poetry has been around since the moment we began to write on stone tablets and cave walls. From the scrolls of the prophecy to ancient China the written verse has played an integral part in our human condition.

We learn about Shakespeare in school and many of us are required to memorize certain passages or sonnets. Followed closely by poetry the balladeers and troubadours of the past put many famous poems and sonnets to song and traveled around the countryside singing these verses of love, loss, war, and sometimes bawdy humor in taverns and pubs across the land.

Not to downplay the utility and permanence of stone, we now have the ability to read these poems for ourselves from the comfort of our own homes without the need to venture to a dreary pub filled with miscreants and ne’er-do-wells. But our modern era hasn’t diminished the poignancy and relevancy of these poems, so, without further ado, we present a small list of poems for your home available in the SPC online library.

And one student even has a playlist to go with it for your listening pleasure.

The Classics

  • A group of poems by Robert Frost
  • Poems by T.S. Eliot
  • Collected Poems by Emily Dickinson

Contemporary Poets

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Tennis Court Oath: A book of poems by John Ashbery
  • Loose Sugar by Bread Hillman

Storytelling Through Poems (narrative poetry)

  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Alighieri


  • The Poetry of Business Life: An Anthology by Ralph Windle
  • Israeli Poetry: A Contemporary Anthology; curated by Warren Bargad and Stanley F. Chyet
  • El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry curated by Martin Espada

Why do we write Poetry?

  • Why We Write – streaming through the library
  • Want to write your own?
  • Poetry: the basics by Jeffery Wainwright
  • Poetry by John Strachan and Richard Terry

Eat Your Words; exceptional food novels

By Rosie White

Eat your words. Really. It’s time to admit you may have been wrong about what those words mean. I mean, find a good book, and cook it. If you’re looking for something to do while limited to being indoors, I’d like to suggest some books and food novels with not just a good story, but also some good recipes that might be fun to try. Goodreads has a great list of them.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Access your library’s online resources. Plus, there are literally thousands of free books available to you all within reach of your smartphone, tablet or computer.  The following references will help get you started on setting up your own virtual library without spending a dime.

  1.  Download the “Kindle”, “Nook” and “Google Play Books” app.  These apps are all free to download and open the door to tons of free books.
  2. Go through the resources below and find what works for you and your student.


Embark on a Recipe Safari with SPC

By Heather Holtzman

Are you looking to spice up your virtual learning? Tour the world as we celebrate diversity through food and fun recipes in the new online series, Diversity and Databases. By participating in the activity, you’ll be entered to win prizes!  

Using our Global Road Warrior database, we will travel to different countries exploring the food and culture.  Every Friday, a new recipe will be revealed from the Global Road Warrior database. The posts will include a link to the database, which provides a list of ingredients and step-by-step directions. The posts will also feature cooking demos created by Student Life and the Learning Resources teams.

Try the recipes yourself and join the conversation by sharing your thoughts and experiences. You can share your creation by posting a picture in the comments section of the post. If you’re not ready to cook, you can still participate in the challenge by visiting the Global Road Warrior database to read about the country and post an interesting fact that you learned.  

Share your own attempt at the recipes to earn a passport stamp! We’ll keep track of your stamps for you. Students with the most stamps at end of the series will be entered to win a prize! 

First Stop, South Africa

Our food travels will begin in South Africa with Heather Holtzman, as she recreates her version of butternut squash soup from the Global Road Warrior database. The recipe is versatile, allowing students to choose from the cooking methods and ingredients available to them. Heather’s version is loaded with bacon, garlic, onions, coconut milk, and bone broth—yum! Videos, pictures, and helpful tips are included to make the cooking process simple! 

Don’t forget to check SPC Titans Central on Workplace every Friday for a new recipe reveal. Upcoming locations include China, Bangladesh, France, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and Morocco. What are you waiting for? Chop, chop!

Learn More

Watch the Series Promo Video (Must be signed into Workplace) 

Try the First Recipe (Must be signed into Workplace) 

Visit Global Road Warrior (Must be signed into student account) 

Five Unusual eBooks in SPC’s Giant Virtual Collection

There is a time for serious research and scholarly pursuits, and St. Petersburg College has over 70,000 digital ways for every student (and faculty and staff!) to dig deep into everything from particle physics to gene editing. But we shouldn’t forget other noble pursuits like Lady Gaga, UFOs, or an in-depth academic examination of cult cinema. Here are five eBook gems picked from many odd and unusual eBooks that you can peruse for a taste of the weird and unusual.

How could we have a post about the strange and unusual without diving right off the deep end into the paranormal? Jump into this eBook about paranormal investigations and find out more about your local ghosts and poltergeists. Just don’t read this before bed!

If you can think of a topic, you can bet there exists an encyclopedia or dictionary about it. The Prince of Darkness himself? Oh yes, here we have Satanism Today; the encyclopedia. Why is the food we all love so bad for us? Maybe he has something to do with it.

Many of us search for the best pizza or the finest coffee or other endeavors like the best performance of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  But not author Michael Adams. This intrepid soul ventures out into the wilds of the worst movies ever made and attempts to narrow it down to one. Let the impossible task begin.

Here is another encyclopedia filling a dire need for knowledge. Angels, fairies, hollow-earth inhabitants, and other fantastical creatures that dwell among inter-dimensional spaces are waiting for you to discover. Let’s see if they give the same vigorous research time into Florida’s own Skunk Ape or the St. Pete Mini Lights. Doubtful.

Here we have the first (and most likely only) in-depth academic examination into cult cinema. The audience that watches cult cinema looks to be as intriguing as the subject itself. The cover of the somber-looking fellow sporting the tall white hat surrounded by goats is a strong indication of the seriousness of the subject matter.

As a sixth-place runner up we have a book about the Coen brothers and their off-beat and quirky films. Many Zen practitioners cite the Dude’s journey in the Big Lebowski as an influential, albeit profanity-laced, movie about practicing Zen and being in the moment. But that’s just, like, their opinion, man.

Don’t forget that you can access the SPC Virtual Library by logging into your student account. From the single sign-on page go to our library link and you’re already logged in.