Library renovations mostly complete by start of semester

The USF library undergone renovations expand its services ranging from STEM-related studies to job-seeking activities.

Nancy Cunningham, director of academic services at the USF library, said USF Provost Ralph Wilcox and a few other administrators wanted to bring certain USF Career Center ser- vices to the Library because it had such a high volume of student traffic.

Most of the renovations were done during the summer and will be completed by the start of this school year.


The second floor was remod- eled for a 330-computer lab and a lot of open study space tailored especially for student study groups.

Tom Cetwinski, director of administrative services at theUSF library, said the $3.3 million project was built to streamline education for the several thousand students taking beginning math classes atUSF.

The SMART lab will cater to students taking certain calculus and algebra classes this fall, and USF faculty will phase other math classes into the SMART lab over the next year and a half, said SMART lab Associate Director Patricia Maher. Eventually, other scienceclasses will become a part of the SMART lab, though not in the near future.

Maher added that the lab is based on the Emporium course model.

The Emporium style course is a course where students go to lecture way less time than they used to, she said. Instead of going to multiple lectures a week and breakout sessions with TAs, they go to the lab for a minimum of three hours a week. In the lab, theyre using a software package that has lots and lots of practice activities for all the things theyre learning in that course.

Maher said the SMART lab will be open only to math students Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. During those times, math students may come in at any point to work on their lab exercises, and at least one to two TAs will be roaming the area to help with any questions.

The lab, however, will be open for general use outside of the above hours without the TAs.

The lab is on one side as you come in, said Eileen Thornton, assistant director of communications at the USF library. The other side is just open study space (that has) high technology for students to collaborate.

The other space will house computers, tables and chairs arranged mainly for groupprojects and study sessions. Students will be able to plug in their laptops to the monitors so the same interface appears on both screens.

In order to clear the second floor, the bound periodicals went into compact shelving in the basement, and the media and sheet music were moved to the sixth floor.


The Job Shop, built in the lobby between the student entrance and exit, houses nine computers that provide quick access to websites that inform students about various industries, employers and job postings, including part- and full-time jobs, internships and cooperative education.

Drema Howard, director of the Career Center, said there are many jobs available for USF students and graduates, but they dont always realize it or know what their options are.

I dont think student realize employers are coming back to recruit, she said. We just need to have students understand: Dont wait, dont think you wont be the one to getajob.Youhavetobean active job seeker.

Howard said the Job Shop, which cost $106,000, is one of several career resources that the Career Center will be offering students through its newpartnership with the library. To the right of the Job Shop, the Career Corner in Starbucks offers a collection of printed and e-books, DVDs and other materials on resume writing, interview skills, employment trends and professional brand- ing. This is the spot for Careers & Coffee, where different employers such as JP Morgan, CIA and Motorola send their representatives for informal interviews and networkingwith students. Career Peers, studentstrained to help with job place- ment, will be in the lobby near the Job Shop at certain hours of the day to assist students with their research, applications and any questions.


The plot of land between the library and the parking lot next to the Communications and Information Sciences Building was made into Collins Park to make the area more attractive, Cetwinski said.

It will be a nice, pleasant space, he said.

Collins Park will have a small fountain, flowers, palm trees and new cement sidewalks leading into an open area covered by an angular, white awning. Under the awning, light grey benches and tables outline an oval shaped space.

The park will not be completed until September.