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Archive for the ‘Library’ Category

About 80 people witnessed the groundbreaking on Thursday, July 21, for the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus. Dr. Stan Vittetoe gave opening remarks and welcomed faculty, students and guests.

SPC-Clearwater-East-Community-Library (21)

“I’m so glad this day has come,” Senior VP Instruction and Academic Programs Dr. Anne Cooper said. “This library is a learning hub for our students and community.”

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos talked about the impact a library has in the community. “The college and the city have worked really hard for this day,” Cretekos said. “The library has always been important to the community and vital to students.”

Student SGA Representative Courtney Kent described the new facility as “a safe place for the imagination to grow.”

The state-of-the-art, two-story building will be an open-space concept and will replace the existing facility, which was built in 1964. The $15 million library will house more than 90,000 electronic and print books.

SPC operates two other joint-use libraries in Pinellas County with the cities of St. Petersburg and Seminole. Both are thriving facilities where students and community members share access to an expanded range of resources. A joint-use library is a place where patrons can discover new ideas and enjoy cultural enrichment opportunities while students can focus on their academic pursuits.

Dr. Shannon Ulrich, a representative of the Faculty Governance Organization at SPC, gave closing remarks. “We believe a vast amount of knowledge will be cultivated at this site.”

 

 

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St. Petersburg College Information Services Librarian Chad Mairn told the room full of children that when he was a kid, he was out making and jumping ramps on his bike. He went on to say that he wanted them to do that kind of thing, too, but with all the amazing new technology available to them, he also expected them to do greater things – anything they wanted – and no one should ever tell them that their ideas were bad ones. And so began the Maker Boot Camp, where 450 kids, ages 10-13, attended monthly sessions at the Seminole Community Library that sparked the students’ interest and creativity with topics including video game design, circuitry, robotics and video editing.

Maker Boot Camp 1

The Boot Camp came about when Mairn, with the help of Seminole’s Youth Services Supervisor Jill Storm and Library Director Mike Bryan, submitted a grant application to the Association for Library Service to Children for their Curiosity Creates grant, which supports creativity programming for libraries. Their application, one of 400, was one of the 77 nationwide selected to receive $7,500 for their Boot Camp.

The college’s Innovation Lab at the library was a strong candidate for the grant, since they already had some cool tech pieces there, such as 3D printer, a virtual reality headset called an Oculus Rift, and several robots.

“The grant allowed us to buy even more,” Mairn said. “Enough to continue the project for many years.”

Mairn said Storm handled the organization of the project, while he wrote the curriculum, ordered the technology, and did a lot of teaching – as well as learning.

“I had to learn everything,” he said. “And because I had to teach it, I had to learn it a couple of steps ahead of them.”

Maker Boot Camp 2 Maker Boot Camp 3

Some SPC staffers were enlisted to help out with the sessions. Paul Sutton, who teaches video game design, taught a session on that topic, and professional photographer and recent SPC graduate Chris Demmons filmed the sessions and taught the final workshop on video and sound editing, where they took some of his footage and made their own videos.

“My session went great,” Demmons said. “The kids were actually really sharp, and a lot of them already knew how to edit video, and the ones who didn’t picked it up really fast.”

In one session, the kids designed an invention, which they were allowed to print from the 3D printer.

“The kids came up with some great inventions,” Mairn said. “One student was invited to share her invention, a cup to catch the drips from an ice cream cone, at a competition in Washington D.C.”

The Boot Camp culminated with a fun day, Makerfest, where they invited everyone to come to the classroom and play with all the tech toys, have some snacks and watch a screening of the kids’ videos and a documentary put together from the footage and stills that Demmons shot. Demmons said he was inspired by the enthusiasm of the children.

“There were three kids who were always there early – sometimes before I was,” he said. “They were always just rearing to go and learn something new.”

Mairn says the program was so popular that it will be expanded, with intermediate sessions added in addition to the next introductory sessions.

“I don’t think I had one kid who was disappointed,” he said. “Many of them told us they’d never had access to this type of stuff before, like the Oculus Rift. They were able to experience it and get into it.”

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Regina Calcaterra, New York Times best-selling author of this year’s One Book, One College selection Etched in Sand, spoke to a packed room of more than 150 people at the Clearwater Campus on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

“It’s an honor for me to be here, as it would be for any author,” Calcaterra said.

Calcaterra appeared at four SPC campuses Jan. 28-29 to discuss her memoir, participate in Q&As and sign copies of her book.

SPC student Nan Jeong, 38, speaks with Calcaterra during her book signing.

SPC student Nan Jeong, 38, speaks with Calcaterra during her book signing.

Etched in Sand follows Calcaterra and her four siblings through their tumultuous childhood framed by an alcoholic, abusive, and often absentee mother. The inspiring coming-of-age story, with themes of tenacity, hope, resilience and unconditional love among siblings, spent many weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

An engaging speaker, Calcaterra elicited gasps, tears and applause as she discussed how she and her siblings “survived on the fringes of society” and “broke the cycle of abuse” in one generation.

Calcaterra spoke about the teachers and professors who helped her lift herself from a life of poverty, homelessness and abuse to become a strong, accomplished woman. Those mentors repeatedly told her, “The only way out of poverty is through education,” Calcaterra said.

Calcaterra, an attorney for the state of New York, served as Executive Director of two New York State commissions, and is a former Chief Deputy to the Suffolk County (N.Y.) Executive.

Through a survey, college employees chose Calcaterra’s book as the featured title of SPC’s common reading program. The goal of the program is to get everyone at the college reading and discussing the same selection. Past books on the reading list have included Water for Elephants, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Last Lecture.

See more photos on the college’s Facebook page.

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The future is now on St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus.

The recent opening of the Innovation Lab in the library at the campus drew more than 100 people, including a who’s who of college, community and tech leaders.

Creative learning environments like the lab, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity. In SPC’s lab, instructors, students and library card holders can use the latest technology tools, including a 3D printer, Cublets KT06 modular robots and the Korg littleBits circuits in seconds kit. With the Monolith 3D printer, made locally by Free Fab 3D, users can create virtually any object through a wide variety of computer programs. In fact, much of the printer itself was created on a 3D printer.

The Cubelets modular robotics kit lets users build surprisingly complex robots out of simple parts that fit together like building blocks. The Korg littleBits kit is a do-it-yourself synthesizer used to compose original electronic music in mere seconds.

The lab also includes an iMac and a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, giving users a taste of different operating systems and the programs they offer, such as Apple’s newly released Swift programming language.

One of the computers in the lab is dedicated to podcasting and audio experiments, and has a professional grade microphone and mixer. All of this was made possible by SPC librarian Chad Mairn’s vision, a $3,500 college innovation grant and help from Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver.

Guests at the morning and evening grand opening parties included SPC President Bill Law, Seminole Vice Mayor Thomas Barnhorn, Seminole City Council member Patricia Plantamura, and Lance Eppley and Fri Rider, the designers of the Monolith 3D printer. Mo Eppley of the St. Pete Makers, also attended. St. Pete Makers is a non-profit group seeking to bring a high-tech makerspace to St. Petersburg.

The innovators demonstrated what the lab’s 3D printer was capable of, showing off many complex designs that were created on the Monolith such as a bearing printed as a single piece. Most importantly, members of the community – young and old – filled the lab and spilled out into the hall during the grand opening parties.

One guest, a 12-year-old Android app developer, volunteered to teach a workshop on mobile development. Mairn was quick to accept and noted that the lab will host a wide variety of workshops and guest speakers. Among them will be the creator of a makerspace in Taiwan who will connect with guests via teleconference on the lab’s smart TV and webcam.

The lab will host its first workshop on June 12, 10 a.m. – noon, on how to create a LibraryBox, a palm-sized computer designed to serve files in areas with no Internet access. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The Innovation Lab is currently seeking volunteers to help run the lab. You can apply online or by contacting Chad Mairn at 394-6917.

Check out our Facebook gallery of the Innovation Lab opening. Read coverage of the Innovation Lab in, the Tampa TribuneTMCnet.com and 83degreesmedia.com.

SPC student Chris Demmons, who writes for SPC’s student newspaper, Sandbox News, provided this report. Read his story in Sandbox News.

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The number of students visiting an SPC Learning Center keeps climbing and so do the success rates for those who keep coming back. For the spring 2014 term, a total of 14,037 students made 108,544 visits to campus Learning Centers, up 29 percent from last spring when 13,157 students made 84,117 visits.

“Our greatest increase this spring was in the number of class visits and workshops we delivered to students,” said Heather Disler, associate director of Learning Resources at SPC Downtown and Midtown. “The number of classes that visited a library or Learning Center increased by 30 percent (from spring 2013). Additionally, the Learning Resources staff worked with faculty to design relevant, timely and student-focused workshops. We served more than 1,800 students with small group workshops where students received greater individual attention.”

At SPC’s seven campus Learning Centers, students can take advantage of individual tutoring, workshops, library instructions, small-group learning sessions and computer assistance.

Students who visited a Learning Center more than 10 times in the spring term were the most successful. Overall, 74 percent of students who visited a Learning Center once or twice received grades of A, B or C. Success rates grew to 82 percent when students visited ten or more times.

By the numbers, spring 2014

Total services given
110,216 total services given in spring 2014
33,729 selected services in math, science and writing

Student use
14,037 unduplicated students
108,544 total student visits

Faculty engagement
150 Full-time faculty have contributed 2,053 hours

Library instructions
334 library instructions served 6,899 students

Class visits
305 class visits served 6,023 students

Workshops
450 workshops served 1,793 students

students-tutored-chart
SS-GROUPS
 SSrates-campus
TSG-chart
Class Visits chart

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Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

To help alleviate the stress of final exams, the Learning Resources department at SPC launched the Chill Zone, a relaxation area at the entrance of the Tarpon Springs Campus library, during the spring semester finals week.

The event helped promote student engagement and success by giving students a place to relax during the stressful academic week.

Ethan Hart, associate director of Learning Resources at the Tarpon Springs Campus, wanted to offer a variety of tools to ease students’ stress.

“We wanted to appeal to our students’ different needs by offering art activities, relaxing music, snacks, games and visits by a licensed therapy dog,” Hart said.

The Chill Zone was a hit, thanks in part to funding by the Tarpon Springs Campus Provost Office as well as art materials from the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Students congregated in the comfy seating area daily, taking time to visit with friends, catch up on reading or hone their art skills with coloring books.

Bailey, the therapy dog from Suncoast Hospice, also was a fan favorite. Students in the middle of cramming for finals took a much needed break when the friendly Bichon Frise stopped by to say hello.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Students, staff and faculty have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Chill Zone in recent surveys. The Learning Resources department plans to offer this service every term during finals week.

The Chill Zone served as only one of many Spring 2014 initiatives aimed at increasing student engagement by the campus’ Learning Resources department. Other activities included:

  • “Ed App Wednesday” – Each week, Learning Resources staff members highlighted a free, new educational tool useful for students. Armed with cards, posters and QR codes, staff members walked around campus on Wednesdays, letting the campus community know about the resources that were available.
  • Educational outreach – Learning Resources staff set up a table at Student Life and Leadership events like the Earth Day celebration, Welcome Back Week and African-American History month. Staff members brought library books related to the event theme, workshop schedules and an iPad to answer any on-the-spot questions.

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Event

The Seminole Community Library will be the location of the grand opening of the SPC’s new Innovation Lab next week.

YOU’RE INVITED:
SPC employees and the public are invited to the grand opening
Tuesday, June 3
11 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m.
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St., Seminole, LI 201.

The lab serves as a creative environment, often called a makerspace, that will provide people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts a location to socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. Visitors to the SPC location will be able to learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

The lab offers:

  • 3-D printer
  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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