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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Something old, something new

The Library / Learning Crossroads provides students with resources, such as access to computers, books, and a quiet environment. This semester, it will open an area long closed off to students and expand the study space outdoors.

Open space and resources to the library will allow students to explore different avenues of education.

Since the Library / Learning Crossroads opened in April 2013, the patio space located behind Computer Lab B was supposed to be allocated to students to give them an opportunity to study outdoors.

Library Department Chair Paula Paggi said that the patio attached to the library will allow for some extra space.

“Students could sit outside in the fresh air and read, take their tablets and be a little louder compared to being in the library,” Paggi said. “It’s self-contained. It’s not really an entrance or an exit – they still have to go through the courtyard and front yard entrances.”

Paggi said the project was delayed due to adding security gates and ensuring that the doors work properly with ADA clearance and access.

The new patio space is expected to open after spring break.

In addition to more space, the library has other resources available to students.

One of the newer resources is the ability to rent Microsoft Surface Pros. These tablets are available to be checked out by students for the entire semester. The process of renting a tablet includes providing a valid Pierce student ID and signing a contract taking full responsibility for the tablet. 

Pierce Technology Librarian Clay Gediman said the library has 105 tablets available for check out.

“Fifteen of those only check out for two days and that’s because we have some instructors that use this online test program called Proctorio, an online proctoring program,” Gediman said.

Proctorio is designed to reduce students cheating on online exams and determine how engaged students are in their online studies.

An annual program that the library does is the One Book, One Campus program.

It is in its third year and has opened the conversation about numerous social and political topics. Each year, one book highlighting a specific theme is chosen and is used as a tool to help better understand the subject matter.

“I started the first one and I got the “Operation Homecoming” going,” Paggi said. “We just started small and we grew it, and I think it’s a way for us to open understanding.”

Paggi said the program initially started with highlighting veterans, then moved to women’s issue with “I Am Malala,” and are now opening the conversation about immigration with “Enrique’s Journey.

One Book, One Campus brings awareness to matters that are relevant on campus.

Reference Librarian Mario Macias said choosing a book relevant to today’s social conscientiousness is the intended purpose.

“Usually we pick a book that’s related or highlights a marginalized identity group,” Macias said. “That brings up a lot of issues of social justice, which is always good to talk about and cultivate that activist mentality of what can we do to make our society a better place to live.”

 

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