All posts by Joe Terrana

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.

The Virtual Library is Open!

Stuck at home and need a book? Do you have to read a specific paper for class? Are there articles and research papers you need access to? St. Petersburg College has vast amounts of resources available from the comfort of your own couch. Our enormous list of online resources is available for every enrolled student and they are waiting for you right now in the virtual library. It’s easy!

Log in to your student account and from the single sign-on page go to our library link and you’re already logged in. You can easily access any of our databases A–Z or search for specific ones.

If you need a book but only want eBook results, simply search for the book you want, let’s say Biology books.  When the results appear just click on the amount available online number and voila, a listing of every eBook we have on almost any subject you can think of. We even have an eBook on Justin Timberlake!

Journal articles and research papers work much the same way.  Search for whatever you need by clicking on the articles tab. Then when the results display, look to the left side and you’ll see an option for “Articles from scholarly publications including peer-reviewed” which, when clicked, will list all the peer-reviewed articles for your particular search.

Many of these results will even have a way to save the references directly to a file or folder of your choice allowing you to collate your reference a bit easier when you begin writing your paper.

Lastly, our databases have a plethora of subjects that SPC subscribes to which will enable you to view everything from art and science to business and nursing. Again, as long as you are logged in through your SPC account, you can click on any database listed and it’ll open right up.

If you aren’t logged in, don’t worry! Our library and learning resource page will ask you for credentials upon viewing the links.  It’s just a tad easier through your account. Either way, we are virtually here to help you with that amazing paper on Justin Timberlake.

Vinyl Fever at the SPC Gibbs Library

Neon Cover of a vinyl record in front of a red lava lamp.;

The return of the vinyl record.  Is it a reaction to our digital dependency?  Does it stem from hipsters touting the bouquet of IPAs and fixed gear bikes?  Is it plain old nostalgia?  You should come find out for yourself at our SPC Gibbs Library location where the is an ever growing collection of new and old albums which are being cataloged and displayed in Retro Joe’s café located on the second floor.

One of our librarians, Chad Mairn is assembling a collection of vinyl records ranging from classic Jazz and Big band to Avant guard, Punk, and New Pop.  Each album that is cataloged can be checked out for a period of seven days and brought home to listen to and maybe even make a mix cassette tape for your tape deck.  However, you don’t need to check out the records to enjoy them since there are new turn tables with high quality stereo mixers and headphones right in the café.  Just pick an album and enjoy dropping the needle on a record and listening to analog music in all its uncompressed glory.  Quick fact; calculated growth of new vinyl is poised to outsell compact discs for the first time since 1986 at some point this year.  That speaks volumes.  (oh yes, I punned it up.)

A key component to enjoying an album in our library or your own home is the fact that albums aren’t portable and allows the listener to slow down and pay attention to the music as an active participant.  They can’t be placed on your arm while running or played as background music for the train ride into work.  Not that digital music is bad per se.  In fact, digital music has revolutionized how we listen to and store our music.  But the rise of vinyl record sales and new turn tables points to a different type of listening; active listening.  The listener has to take the time to place the record on the table, choose the time to listen, and turn it over when the albums reaches the end of a side.  And there is a certain magic about knowing that tiny valley on a flat piece of plastic can create such beautiful music. 

So stop by the SPC Gibbs Library and see what all the hub-bub is about.

SPC Learning Centers offer tutoring, assistance to students

It’s a new year, a new semester, and a chance for a fresh start. Why not make visits to the SPC libraries and learning centers part of your new routine? Each library and learning center offers a wide variety of ways and opportunities to hone your knowledge and skills, including tutoring.

Math giving you problems? Stroll over to the Clearwater Campus and give the math tutors a visit to help you with your first Algebra II assignment. Pre-Calc giving you fits? Tarpon Springs has a beautiful open library and learning center to get you going in the right direction. Geometry has you spinning in circles? The Seminole Campus can set you straight with a little slice of pi. And the Downton Center has a new smartboard that gives you the ability to download real-time tutoring directions as the problem is being solved on the smartboard.

So your research paper has some grammar problems? The SP/Gibbs Library Writing Center can assist you with spelling and the organization of the paper. SPC even has Spanish tutors at certain times for instruction as well as other specialty workshops. The Seminole Campus has workshops ranging from Algebra II to A & P.

Many opportunities are available to allow you, the enrolled student, to achieve a high level of success that is well within your grasp. Each tutor is knowledgeable in their area of expertise and they are willing and able to explain how to understand and ultimately teach yourself the material needed for your particular degree or certificate.

To learn more about SPC’s libraries and learning centers, visit www.spcollege.edu/libraries.

Join SPC for Tutoring, Workshops and more

When our students need help, we’re here to get it done. St. Petersburg College has a robust and effective tutoring program that all of our enrolled students are free to utilize.  From biology and chemistry to writing and math, each campus has a knowledgeable tutor that can assist in a wide variety of areas.

Two St. Petersburg College students attending tutoring with a specialist. They are surrounded by various health education tools, such as anatomical models, fake skulls, and organ replicas.

What do we offer?

Highlighted during their recent grand-opening, the Downtown Campus offers a collaborative area with modern study tools. It has a smart-board with the ability to turn normal whiteboard demonstrations into a real time video that students can save on their smart devises.  Now, learning resource tutors can work-out long equations and chemical derivations in real time and the students can re-watch this for studying purposes at any time.

Additionally, we also host workshops on various campuses for specific areas of learning, such as:

  • ‘Online Spanish Language’ workshops
  • ‘APA Citation’ workshops
  • ‘Finding the Right Database’ workshops
  • ‘Google Scholar’ workshops
  • …and the list goes on and on!

Dedication and hard work, with focused study and instruction, result in the power to succeed.

If you are a student, please visit our Learning Centers to meet our instruction specialists for tutoring! If you’re unable to make it out, our website offers research guides, a virtual learning commons, “Ask A Librarian,” and more. We’ll help you capture the utmost of your ability here at St Petersburg College.

SPC True Crime Investigation Event at SPC Gibbs

Are you obsessed with true crime?  Love a good whodunit mystery?  Ready to get into the spooky spirit?  The SPG Library is hosting an evening of True Crime Investigation presented by the St. Petersburg College Crime Scene Technology program faculty and students on Wednesday, October 16th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in LI-101.  The event will highlight the areas of crime scene investigation, including forensics, technology, and law enforcement, while participants explore a reenactment and attempt to solve the crime.  

A photo of a tape strip being used to record prints from crime.

Attendees will meet the SPC CST faculty, including Professor Lynn Ernst, and fellow students at stations throughout the event.  For those who may be interested in the Crime Scene Technology program, this event is a perfect opportunity to explore the program and see if it’s right for them. 

This event is free and open to SPC students and the public.  Enjoy light refreshments sponsored by the Friends of the West Community Library at St. Petersburg College-Gibbs Campus.

A photo of three individuals, two students around a centered professor. The students are looking over the professor's clothing with blue lights to detect any indication of crime.

Details about the event can be found on the Facebook event page. Remember, you can visit the library at the St. Petersburg College St.Pete/Gibbs Campus (6700 8th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710) anytime from:

  • Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information regarding future events, check out the Learning Resources blog community at http://bit.ly/35k6Kzv.

Written by Learning Resources Staff and Faculty Kaitlin Crockett.

Come Down to Downtown for Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month

In celebration of Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month, Sylvia Marsters, a librarian and writing tutor, selected just a few of the many relevant books and e-books that are available in the St. Petersburg College Library system. These are now on display in the Downtown Campus Learning Resources:

  • Cuban-American Art in Miami, Cumbia (a genre of Latin American music) Daughters of the Fifth Sun
  • Documenting the Undocumented
  • Harvest of Empire
  • My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
  • Salsa World
  • Soul Sacrifice (the musician Santana) Tampa Cigar Workers
A photo of specially curated books for Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month at the St. Petersburg College Downtown Center.  Featured books are aligned, face-up, in a row with blocks in front of them spelling out "Hispanic." There is a cute llama plush to the left.

Afro-Cuban Religious Arts, including Santaria, are also displayed. Visit our Downtown Learning Resources Center and check out a book in celebration of Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month today! And if you can’t make it out, read more on events being held by participating St. Petersburg College locations at http://bit.ly/2mdykfZ.


Author Sylvia Marsters is a Librarian and Writing Tutor at St. Petersburg College’s Downtown Center.

Celebrating “Banned Books” at St. Petersburg College Libraries

Banned Books Week (September 22 – 28, 2019) is an annual week-long celebration of the freedom to read.  It started in 1982 in response to a rise in the number of book challenges in schools, bookstores, and libraries. 

According to the American Libraries Association, books are usually challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, usually children, from difficult ideas and information. These challenges often label books “controversial” or “offensive” based on topics of religion, politics, violence, and sexuality. Prohibiting access to information and stories is a dangerous practice, one that libraries all over the world fight against.

The List of Banned Books may Surprise you…

A photo of a book case displaying banned books.

Do you read banned books? Many of our most beloved classics have been banned or challenged.  Check out the video from librarians, Heather Holtzman and Kaitlin Crockett, highlighting some of the banned books in the St. Petersburg College Libraries. You might be surprised by some of the titles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imOPC5DAWxQ&feature=youtu.be

The Tarpon Springs Campus library has a special collection of these books. In an effort to preserve the freedom of information, SPC librarians are committed to providing students with access to books that face censorship. Books are available to be checked out for a period of 28 days with a Student or Staff ID card. 

Read-A-Long “George

Students can participate in a Banned Books Read-A-Long and Discussion at the St. Pete/Gibbs Campus library on Wednesday, September 25th at 2 p.m. They will discuss “George” by Alex Gino, a children’s novel about a young, transgender girl, which is the #1 banned or challenged book in the past year. 

A flyer highlighting "George" by Alex Gino, a children's book featuring a transgender lead. The flyer reads "SPC Gibbs Library and GLOW Present BANNED BOOKS WEEK READ-A-LONG and Discussion, Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 at 2-4 p.m. in LI 223. Copies of the book (George) are available for students at the SPC Gibbs Library."

Library paraprofessional Antonia Green, who will be co-hosting the Read-A-Long, hopes that cisgender readers will gain a better understanding of and empathy for their fellow transgender students from the book. 

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Search for banned books via the SPC Online Libraries here, or visit your campus library. You can even read them at our new Learning Center at the Downtown Center, which you can read more about at http://bit.ly/2mMITqk.

This blog was written by Learning Resources staff Kaitlin Crockett.

“Tailgating @ the Library” was a HUGE Success!

The inaugural Tailgating event at the St. Pete-Gibbs Campus Library on Thursday, September 5 was a HUGE success! More than 240 students were in attendance between 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

A photo of a library flyer at the St. Pete/Gibbs "Tailgating @ the Library" Library event.

Students made their way to four stations marked by pop-up tents located throughout the library, where they could play games and win prizes. They were also able to meet the LRC staff and get more information about the resources available to them, including research help, math, science, technology tutoring, the Writing Center, and the St. Petersburg Public Library.

A photo of a student playing the "Titan Toss" game at the St. Pete/Gibbs "Tailgating @ the Library" Library event.

Games included Fake News Jeopardy, the “Titan Toss”, tabletop bowling, corn hole, and more. Food and drink was sponsored by Student Life & Leadership, and prizes were donated by the St. Pete Gibbs Campus Book Store.

A photo of students gathered at the Fake News Jeopardy table at the St. Pete/Gibbs "Tailgating @ the Library" Library event.

It was an awesome event where our department could work together to help students succeed,” said Russell Oriol, Sr. Instructional Support Specialist.

Librarian, Kaitlin Crockett, who conceived of the event, was thrilled with the turn out and energy of the day. Staff wore t-shirts designed by Rosie White that read “Keep Calm & Ask A Librarian” and “Keep Calm & Get a Tutor”.

According to Russell Oril, Sr. Instructional Support Specialist, the Tailgating event was a great opportunity for faculty to support St. Petersburg College students. “It was an awesome event where our department could work together to help students succeed,” he said. Thank you to the staff and faculty that worked hard to make this event such a success.

A photo of the Learning Resources Department Library team at the St. Pete/Gibbs "Tailgating @ the Library" Library event.

Our grand prize – a 3-day, 2-night stay at the Sirata Beach Resort – was won by lucky student Chikara Parks! Thank you to the Sirata Beach Resort for their generous donation, and congratulations Chikara. The Learning Resources Department hopes you enjoy a relaxing beach vacation!

Interested in other events?

More information about future events at the St. Pete-Gibbs Library can be found on the Facebook page, as well as Workplace. The SPC Tarpon Springs Library is currently home to a Hispanic & Latinx Heritage month display, with corresponding events being held at other campuses. Remember, you can visit the library anytime on:

  • Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


This article was written by LRC staff Kaitlin Crockett.

Celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month with St. Petersburg College

Join the Tarpon Springs Library in celebrating Hispanic & Latinx month!

The Tarpon Springs Campus Library is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with a spotlight on notable figures of Hispanic and Latinx heritage, such as

  • Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter whose art explores questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race among other topics. 
  • Pope Francis, the 266th Pope and first Jesuit, as well as the first Pope to come from the Americas
  • Ellen Ochoa, JSC’s first Hispanic director and the first Hispanic woman to travel to space
  • José Ferrer, the first Hispanic Actor to win an Academy award among other accomplishments, and many others.

Our display highlights Hispanic and Latinx literature, such a poetry, short stories, personal narratives, cookbooks, and autobiographies among others. These titles are available for check-out and inter-library loans!

Interested in other celebrations?

In addition to the display held by Tarpon Springs Library, other SPC Campus events will be held in celebration throughout September 2019. Mark the following dates on your calendar and join us!

  • Clearwater Campus will be holding their celebration on September 19 from 12:00PM to 2:00PM on the Quad.
  • Downtown Center will be holding their celebration on September 26, 12:15PM – 1:00 PM on the 2nd floor student lounge.

Display created by Tarpon Campus student Kat Deschamps with blog post by student Alex Stewart.