All posts by Joe Terrana

SPC Tutor Recycles Discarded Books by Turning Them into Art

Books displayed and created by Lauren, co-founder of Dilly Dally's Custom Book Folding

Lauren Dykes, tutor at SPC’s Downtown Learning Center, has a side talent: book folding! Book folding is a creative process which transforms old books into art through folding and cutting. Lauren is a professional and attributes her discovery of this craft to the LSC where old textbooks, having served their purpose, would be discarded.

A Little About Book Folding, from Lauren

“Besides being a math and writing tutor at the SPC Downtown Learning Center, I am also the artist behind Dilly Dally’s Custom Book Folding. This company is a partnership between my husband and me, created in September of 2016 when Daytime Channel 10 caught sight of one of my books and invited me to do a feature segment on the morning show.

I attribute my discovery of this art form to the LSC.  While cleaning out the cabinets, I came across many old, outdated textbooks. I suddenly felt bad about throwing these books away, yet I had no attachment to them. I wanted to find a way to give these books new life. With a good ole Google search, I discovered book folding. I have always been good with paper crafts in the past. (I have folded 1000 origami cranes. Legend says it brings good luck.) So I gave it a shot. 

Book folding is where each page in a book is altered by folding or cutting into the pages to create unique images, words, or logos. It takes patience, accuracy, precision and time to execute the intricacy of this art form. Needless to say, everyone in my family got a book fold for Christmas that year. I also gifted many books to local establishments like Haslam’s, Artpool, and Banyan.”

A display of books folded through Lauren's business, Dilly Dally's Custom Book Folding.
Lauren showcases her work under her business, Dilly Dally’s Custom Book Folding, inspired by St. Petersburg College.

Interested in Book Folding?

The Dilly Dally’s team participates in St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Markets and currently has an exhibit at Citrus Park Mall at the Pop-up Gallery in Tampa. Any student, staff, faculty, or family interested in learning more about the art of book folding is invited to reach out to Lauren at SPC’s Downtown Learning Center.

Additionally, learn a little more about our Learning Resources staff like Lauren through our libguides. They may have a unique passion or hobby to share

Make a Splash with the #PlasticFreeJuly Challenge & More

Join Learning Resources #NoPlasticJuly challenge and participate in the ocean themed, aquatic month!

                You probably remember being told as a kid to always “swim with a buddy.”  Now that you are a college student, that buddy is the Learning Resource Center.  As you swim through the semester, the LRC is here to help you stay afloat.  Not only do we offer lifesavers, like FREE tutoring, we also develop themes throughout the semester to help students manage stress and engage with their academic community.  This July, Learning Resources is making a splash by offering aquatic displays and programming across campuses:

Ocean Documentary, Tarpon Campus

The Tarpon Campus will be showing a FREE ocean documentary, with time and date still TBD.  As an SPC student, you also have access to free films through our databases.  Log in to your student account and click on the blue library tile.  Then, click on “Databases A-Z,” and select Films on Demand from the list of choices.  In the search bar, you can type key words like “ocean” or “shark” to find a film about marine life.

No Plastic July Challenge, Clearwater Campus

Join Learning Resources in a #PlasticFreeJuly in honor of July's ocean theme

This summer, the Clearwater Campus challenges you to go plastic free!  Share your ideas on our #PlasticFreeJuly board on the first floor of the LRC, or you can post to our Facebook. Ideas can be as simple as switching to re-usable shopping bags.

Bookmark Bar, Clearwater Campus

Take a minute to unwind and create your own shark bookmark – a sharkmark! The materials are located upstairs at the LRC reserve desk.

Mermazing Book Display, Tarpon Campus

If you need a break from your textbook, check out the curated collection of mermaid horror and aquatic mythology, recommended by Kassie Sherman, Library Services Paraprofessional. 

Research Shark… Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo, Clearwater Campus

I’m sorry, but we had to do it.  Librarians Heather Holtzman and Paul Vermeren usually help students hunt for research.  This month, they’ve also hunted for the very best aquatic-themed books, and now, you’re safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo.  Check out the display, and if you need help hunting for any more information, you’re welcome to schedule a research consultation with any of our librarians. Make sure to check out the libguides, too!

Aquatic Book Display, Clearwater Campus

Visit the first floor to see the Sharkey display, which features a paper mache shark, crafted by Library Services Technicians, Danery Pacheco and Maria Pantoja.  Pacheco and Pantoja are also responsible for creating the beautiful ocean mosaic displayed upstairs in the Clearwater LRC.   

Seems like students at Clearwater are taking #plasticfreejuly pretty seriously!

Posted by St. Petersburg College Libraries & Learning Centers on Friday, July 5, 2019

This article was written by SPC Library and Learning Resources staff Heather Holtzman on July 3rd, 2019.

Interested in Student Research & Lab Experience?

While involved in SPC‘s Biology Program, students are offered an amazing opportunity for student research and research lab experience at our SPC Bay Pines STEM Center

This fantastic opportunity offers burgeoning student real world experience in a working laboratory and in-the-field research experience. This translates into being a more desirable research assistant and graduate student.  The fluid nature of field work and the challenges faced like changing weather, equipment failure, successful teamwork, and on-the-fly solutions to problems that arise give each student working knowledge for future use in a working lab, research facility, or medical field.

Working in a Lab

The physical lab itself functions as a proper research facility which includes new chemical fume hoods, a dry lab, a wet lab, non-slip flooring, chemical safety such as emergency showers and eye wash stations, various marine research equipment for testing salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, and much more.  The facility resides in a beautiful Florida marine environment that transitions from a pine and palmetto hammock to a salt marsh seawall with fiddler crab, shore birds, and even bald eagles!

Additionally, the sea wall opens up on to a salt water basin that is visible from the back of the facility. There are serious discussions being held on how to repair (or replace) an on-site dock for student and professor use in the future.

The utilization of this facility gives our students a competitive advantage in an ever growing scientific and medical workforce.  The Bay Pines STEM Center is just one example of how SPC strives to enable every student to achieve success.

We’re Here to Help

Need some help? Explore other ways SPC helps students achieve success through our blog posts. Find your perfect Learning Resources Match, take a peek at the SPC Innovation Center, or look into at-home student resources.

Find Your Perfect Learning Resources Match

Learning Resources Banner inviting readers to meet the SPC Learning Resources team

I have been a part of the SPC Library and Learning Resources staff for the last six months and I’m constantly realizing how many people work here that I have yet to meet! As someone who works on two campuses, it can be hard to remember what campus everyone else is from and who tutors in what subject. To make it a little bit easier on everyone to get to know our librarians, tutors, and support staff, I’m happy to introduce our newest libguides:

Banner for Clearwater Learning Resources Staff
Banner for Downtown and Midtown Learning Resources Staff
Banner for St. Pete/Gibbs Learning Resources Staff

These libguides were created by Heather Holtzman of Clearwater Campus, Kari Morrel of the Downtown and Midtown Centers, and Antonia Green of the Clearwater and St.Pete/Gibbs Campuses. They showcase our extraordinary team members!

Nothing can be as intimidating as sitting down with a librarian or a tutor that you know nothing about and telling them what you need help with. The libguides give you a chance to get to know us before you come to us with questions. I invite you to check out these pages and get to know us – we’re here to help you succeed and we’re all nice, unique, and understanding.

Can’t find time to meet?

We understand! We’re here to help, and we’re happy to say St. Petersburg College’s Learning Resources offers online support. Tap into tutoring from the comfort of home or read up on resource assessment and proofing your work in Word during your lunch break.

This article was written by SPC Library and Learning Resources staff Antonia Green on June 11, 2019.

SPC Downtown’s Learning Center Moving to 1st Floor

SPC Downtown Center's new Learning Resources Center

We have moved!  Sort of.  At our St. Petersburg College Downtown Center, we have combined our computer lab, tutoring resources, and library services into one large room on the first floor for easy accessibility.  Laptops, headphones, and calculators are available for enrolled students to use as well as rows of computers, printers, books, and of course our amazing tutors are there as well.  Don’t forget, SPC has tutors and learning resource specialists at every campus, not just downtown.

Along the sides of the room there are a small number of study rooms that will be available for small group study and class review as well as a larger room with anatomy models ranging from ears and eyes to full torso models.  An interactive white board towards the back of the main tutoring space allows instructors to workout math problems or chemistry and with an app the students can see this happen in real time on their phone form anywhere.   The program will even convert these to a .pdf that they can save. 

The new downtown learning center is on the 1st floor, room DC 109.  See you there!

SPC Downtown Center announcing their move

Can’t Make it Out?

Whether you’re visiting the new Learning Center to study, meet with a specialist, or enjoy your time between classes, we aim to be accessible. That being said, if you can’t make it out, don’t forget SPC’s online resources! Read up on the top 100 Workplaces in Tampa Bay from home, or look into why dot-coms may not be the most dangerous resource for that essay you’re writing. As always – we’re here to help!

Enjoy a Recent Vinyl & Audio Donation to St. Pete/Gibbs Campus

Vinyl Collection can be enjoyed at Retro Joe's, St. Pete/Gibbs, Today

Sooner or later, everything old is new again. The 12th annual Record Store Day U.S. took place this past Saturday, April 13, where independent record stores all over the country celebrated with special release discs, live music, and more.  St. Pete local record store Daddy Kool Records had a line to get inside their building for most of the day. 

The hype surrounding this old school format isn’t just another fad.  According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl record sales rose to $419.2 million in 2018.  While streaming may be the future of music listening, it hasn’t stopped good, old-fashioned vinyl records from making a comeback. Thanks to a recent donation by Dr. Lewis and Family from Pasadena, Florida to the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Library, St. Petersburg College is now embracing this comeback with a vinyl collection housing nearly 1,000 LP’s and professional audio equipment.

Vinyl, Equipment, and History

Vinyl Collection Donated to Retro Joe's at St. Pete Gibbs/Campus

Vinyl from the late 1970’s, early 1980’s contemporary times, and even the 1969 SPC fine music ensemble The Madrigalians can now be enjoyed at St. Pete/Gibbs Retro Joe’s. An experimental music collection, as well as a collection of local bands, are forthcoming.

Housed inside Retro Joe’s which is located upstairs at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Library, students can now enjoy a growing collection. The donation contains almost 1,000 LP’s, as well as 2 Audio-Technica LP120USB Direct Drive Professional DJ Turntables, 2 M6 USB 4-Channel USB DJ Mixers, 2 Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones, and 2 Audio-Technica AT95E Dual Magnet 1/2″ Mount Phonograph Cartridges, a Denon DN-C630 and a Denon DN-C550R CD player/recorder.

The listening collection contains a wide variety of genres including a sizable assortment of Jazz, featuring classics by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis.  Students can experience vibes from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, with albums from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Seger.  Contemporary releases are also being added, including Panic at the Disco, Vampire Weekend, Portishead, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, Jawbreaker, and more. Students can even experience a little local history, with recordings from The Madrigalians, the SPC Clearwater fine music ensemble from 1969!
An experimental music collection, as well as a collection of local bands, are forthcoming.  Alongside the record bins, two turntables & mixers are available for listening inside Retro Joe’s.  Students can check out the headphones at the Information Desk with their student I.D.  Instructions on how to handle the albums, as well as on respecting the turntables, are visible for curious users who may be inexperienced with the format. 

For those interested in reading more about albums, the pocket-sized publications “33 1/3” are also available for perusing and check-out.  Each issue covers a single album, including detailed writings on Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland”, and many more.

Vision for the Future

Seminole Campus librarian, Chad Mairn, has spearheaded the record collection project in Retro Joe’s, cataloging the albums so they can be checked out.  Mairn, who plays in a local punk band Low Season, is an avid music collector and has donated CD’s from his personal collection to expand the listening lab even more.  Over 10 years ago he started an iTunes “listening station” in the library, so students could have easy access to much of the library’s CD collection.  Mairn envisioned it like a record store, where people could listen to music before they take it home.  As a student at USF, Mairn fell in love with the library as he spent countless hours flipping through bins of vinyl and discovering music.  He hopes the same thing will happen for SPC students at the new listening lab. 

Thank you to Dr. Lewis and Family for their generous donation and Chad Mairn for his efforts making vinyl accessible to theSt. Petersburg/Gibbs Library. Special thanks to Damon Dougherty and Corey Chambers who helped get the lab setup.

Can’t make it to St.Pete/Gibbs?

The St. Pete/Gibbs Campus is currently the only campus home to a vinyl collection like this. However, Tarpon Springs Campus is home to an untranslated manga collection available to students, while Seminole Campus is home to an innovation lab. Visit each Campus Library and see what they have to offer!

Make, Design, and Create the Space

Libraries.  The word itself conjures up visions of row upon row of old dusty books and yellowing newspapers hanging from wooden racks, but here at SPC our students and the public have a fantastic opportunity inside the Seminole Campus Library.  That’s because we have the ability to make, design, and create through the Innovation Lab, or “iLab“, run by our very own Chad Mairn.  “Maker spaces” have recently popped up in libraries all over, and we are no exception.

So what exactly is a “maker space”? 

Volunteer Hambric building an AIY Voice device to experiment with natural language processing. Photo by Chad Mairn and credited to the Innovation Lab. Make, design, and create!
Volunteer Hambric building an AIY Voice device to experiment with natural language processing. Photo credited to the Innovation Lab.

Put simply, a “maker space” is an accessible space with equipment or resources available for library patrons to create.  For example, one library has a recording studio complete with mixers, mics, amps, and a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).  In our case, we have a design computer station with 3-D printers; Arduino kits available for checkout; hackerboxes, highly involved electronic projects; and breadboards, blank boards with the capability to hold resistors, capacitors, integrated circuit boards, transistors etc. to build anything you want.  Virtual reality headsets are also in the space, and Chad has done an amazing job crossing entertainment with education by incorporating incredible programs that allow students to walk through virtual interfaces. In one, students can visit a historical event from hundreds of years ago. In another they can visit the inside of a human skeleton, walk around it, and even hold the skull as Hamlet did!

Creation Meeting Application

The Seminole Library iLab does more than just create; it can solve problems.  For example, a door on the campus wasn’t properly opening and closing because a small piece was worn out. Unfortunately, a new one was cost prohibitive and difficult to acquire.  Chad and a few of the facilities crew teamed up and created a replacement piece after rendering a scan and producing the piece with the printer.  Similarly, an actuator connector was designed and printed to replace faulty campus parts in January. This connector helps control many of SPC’s temperature water valves, and continues to save the college over $200 in replacement fees.

In another amazing example of creativity meets application, a patron used the 3-D design studio to mount the nurse “help/TV volume/bed adjustment button” found in hospitals on the side of the patient’s bed bar. By developing this specialized mount, the devices are now able to clip and hang, solving the problem of what to do with this box while keeping accessibility in mind.

Drop in to the second floor of the SPC Seminole Library to take a peek at what’s going on and imagine what you could design, create, and make!

Work From Home

Work from Home Using SPC Learning Resources

The title sounds like an infomercial or some sort of spam you might get in your email, right?  “Work from home and be successful!”  But when it comes to SPC and Learning Resources, we are serious.  That’s because you really can do research from the comfort of your own laptop anywhere you want. 

What work can you access?

As a student you have the power to search journals, read books, listen to audio-books, watch instructional videos, get your references together, and even get some on-line tutoring right from the comfort of your couch.  When you log into your student account, you’ll see a link for “Library Resources & Services” when you are in MyCourses.  Scroll down the right-hand side and you’ll see it a little way down.  There you can see links to everything from the Virtual Learning Commons to other extremely helpful links. When you are logged in through your account, there is no need to redo any login information, making it much easier to access materials you might need.

Databases A-Z & Refworks

Give yourself a quick tour through the Databases A-Z by clicking on the “Library Resources” link.  There you will see an abundance of easily accessible journals and videos such as Anatomy TV for your A&P classes or MEDLINE with full text.  And don’t forget to sign up for RefWorks for your reference list.  The college already has an account for you ready to go, all you need to do is enter in your information and save your lists. They can be specific for every paper you write and can help you with anything from APA and MLA to CSE.  Then you can export these lists directly into Word and proof them.  It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a great start.  That’s why we offer tutoring for references too!

Renting Ebooks

Once you feel comfortable with exploring the Databases A-Z, click the link that says “Books and eBooks.”  From there you can search for eBooks and research that chapter on DNA inheritance from your coffee table at home.  Need a book on Australia? How about Elon Musk?  Quarks, maybe?  SPC has resources for you ready to be used.  The best part is there are no late fees when you virtually check out a book. Your access lasts according to the allotted time and voila!  No more searching for nickels in your backpack to pay off a late fine from the forgotten copy of Harry Potter that you needed to return.

You can accomplish an incredible amount of work without ever having to step into one of our libraries, but we certainly hope you do.  Our SPC friends are ready to help you in any way we can.  Each library is unique and inviting, and we are waiting to meet you in person to help out if the need arises.  When you use our in-person and online resources together, you can accomplish anything.

Behind the Scenes

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Ebooks just show up, right?  Books in our library just fly in on drones from Amazon, right?  They all land perfectly in order so that they’re easily found, right?  Well, not quite.  Even with vast resources available, every day we add more and more. The materials that students need, from journals to DVDs, are purchased and cataloged in the hopes that they will not only be found again in a large collection, but used and studied.  Much like organizing the thousands of photos that inevitably end up on your phone, our collection at SPC contains thousands upon thousands of resources and the library staff must put them in the proper order.  This allows anyone to find that one, solitary book on the Australian Dreamtime in a collection of over fifty thousand books.  When you see our carts ambling up and down the aisles as we carefully replace each returned book, know that we are doing it for you, the student, in order for you to find what you need once again.

Thanks to our library website, you can browse these collections from almost anywhere.  Interested in space?  Type in “space” on our site and hundreds of entries for all manner of space-related materials will appear.  If you have a student ID, you can read one of our eBooks right from your computer without even going to the library.  Just sign in and read!  Need a peer-reviewed journal for a research paper?  We have you covered.  Just go to eJournals and hit the “peer-reviewed” button after your search and voila, the article appears complete with references that you can save in various ways.  Your home computer has become your library.

At every location we have dedicated employees working hard, diligently cross-checking call numbers, barcodes, re-shelving, finding wayward DVDs, tinkering with Arduino kits, and even checking out vinyl albums.  So whether you want to borrow a book on particle physics, listen to Vampire Weekend on vinyl, or both, we have you covered. Come on in!