Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Struggling Students

It’s Week 9 of the fall semester, and by this point most students have had at least one major test or assignment in each course.  Some of those students are shocked by the grades they receive on those assessments.  First time college students hear that “college is different from high school”, “college is HARDER than high school”, and “you really have to study all the time” but usually don’t make any changes to their previous behavior, assuming that what worked in high school will continue to work in college.  Maybe it won’t work QUITE as well, so students believe that will translate into one letter grade below their usual high school performance, and they’re okay with that.  But it usually translates into two letter grades worse, now it’s past mid-term, the “last date to withdraw” is rapidly approaching, and there are limited opportunities to raise those D’s and F’s up to the C’s and B’s that transfer to 4 year colleges and keep a LIFE scholarship.

I see the looks of panic on those student’s faces as they struggle to get back on track.  There are almost 2,000 students writing some kind of English research paper this semester, and by now many have realized how incredibly important their grade on that one assignment is going to be.  They approach the librarians warily, afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to ask for help locating sources for their papers, but they know they need assistance so they overcome their reluctance.  Other students, however, see that their grades are slipping but are spinning their wheels and trying to prove that they can do it all on their own and don’t ask for help from any services the college provides, like the Tutoring Center or Career Services.  Or even worse, they just put it in neutral and do…..nothing.  Faced with a setback, they give up and wait for the end of the semester.  Inevitably the D’s and F’s from midterms become final grades and these students’ belief that “I’m just not college material” is reinforced.

As an instructor in a Learning Community, I see how the skills and behaviors taught in the communities can help students overcome this common setback.  Students often do NOT see it, however, and tend to look at the content of the COL 105 class as something that can only be used in that class.  Or worse, they consider it “busywork” and don’t bother to do it, as if these instructors just loved grading their writing so much that they thought up dozens of different ways to annoy students just for the heck of it.  Because the writing assignments are not particularly challenging academically, students decide to perform a version of ER “triage” and attend to the most pressing issue first and cram for a Chemistry test.  However, if they had taken the “time management” portion of the Learning Community class and applied it, they’d be able to do all of their assigned work and still pass the Chemistry test.   The transfer of concepts between one class (COL 103, for example) to another (CHM 110 here) is often one of the hardest things for new students to understand.

--by Sue Andrus, Instruction Librarian

Monday, October 6, 2014

Down time reading at the TCTC libraries

At the TCTC libraries, you can find plenty of sources and information to help you with your studies.  You rely on the library for all things academic; whether it’s for homework help, sources for a big paper, or crunch-time during exams. But did you know you can also rely on the library for down-time?

We have many newspapers and popular magazines to read.  I usually work over at the Easley Campus library and, even though our library is small, we have plenty to read!  If you are interested in the local news, Easley has you covered!  We subscribe to both The Greenville News and The Easley Progress.  The same goes for the Anderson Campus library – they subscribe to USA Today and The Anderson Independent-Mail.  The main TCTC library in Pendleton has newspapers from all over the tri-county area, as well as USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

What about those magazines I mentioned?  Our Easley branch has favorites like Field & Stream, Garden & Gun, and Southern Living, to name a select few.  Anderson has Horse Illustrated, People, and Time.  And that’s just a sample.  The Pendleton library has so many I can’t even name them all… just take a look for yourself!

Maybe you don’t want to catch up on the news or gossip.  Do you prefer a lengthier read?  All three library locations have popular fiction and non-fiction titles to choose from.  You can catch up on the latest young adult series or read a book before you see it at the movies.  You can get help for your personal finances or find a fun recipe.  It’s up to you at the TCTC libraries!

--by Allison Read

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Veterans’ Resources LibGuides

The library has created a resource guide to provide information concerning services for veterans at Tri-County Technical College. The guide includes library resources and services, general services for veterans at the College, community services, and important contact information. The guide address is http://library.tctc.edu/veterans

Kultida Dunagin

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Walk to End Alzheimer's and Dementia

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, I participated in a Walk to end Alzheimer’s and Dementia that was held by the Alzheimer’s Association. After meeting at Anderson’s Carolina Wren Park for a brief ceremony and registration period, participants of all ages, sizes and race took a mile-long walk for a very worthy cause. Most all of us know someone who has been impacted by the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Here are a few facts about the illness:

·         Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

·         Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

·         Alzheimer's worsens over time. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years.

·         Alzheimer's has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer's treatments cannot stop Alzheimer's from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have these symptoms, please reach out to them and a physician as soon as possible.  The Library has database resources on Alzheimer’s.  Two links are listed below:


Alydia Sims

Friday, September 19, 2014

Besides books, why should I come to the library?

If you come to the library, you know the usual things we do:  show you where books and databases are; check books out to you; shelve books; tell you how to print something from your laptop; and tell you that “no, we don’t sell scantrons”.  But what you might not know are the other things associated with our job here at TCTC.

We are on a number of TCTC committees so that we are in touch with the Campus communities (Marla is President of Faculty Senate and on the Curriculum Committee).  Some of us teach (Sue and Alydia teach a COL 105 section each). Kultida goes to the Anderson campus weekly.  Jessica works the evening shift so she sees other people than the rest of us might.  Debby and Allison keep the branches running smoothly and make sure that the libraries there are friendly and inviting.  Claudia is the history keeper of the library. She has been here over 30 years so she can tell you anything about why something happens the way it does. This helps us know what is happening in the classrooms and in the offices.

Other things that we do because we care about you:
·         Glue sandals that broke so you can go to class.
·         Make sure there is tissue and hand sanitizer available.
·         Have candy!
·         Be available for student interviews.
·         Go to student graduations (no we don’t have to do that, we just like to do that because we support you).
·         Open our information literacy workshop computer lab to students that need to study in larger areas than the collaborative study rooms.
·         Have school supplies like staplers and paperclips available.
·         Have a supply of Band-Aids (currently I think it is Hello Kitty).
·         Maintain comfy seats.
·         Have a supply of pens.

The library cares about you even when you aren’t studying.  We strive to offer a responsive and open environment for not only your research projects but other kinds of social engagement.  We would love for you to come see us.  Remember the library is the heart of your research.
Blog by Marla Roberson

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

“I Didn’t Know We HAD THAT”!

 Today I spoke to our Veterinary Tech faculty.  They have several new instructors and a new department head as well, who asked if I could show all of them the resources in their discipline that the TCTC Library provides.  There is nothing I like better than speaking to a group of people who are amazed at what our library can do!  I only talked for 15 minutes and barely scratched the surface of what’s available, but during those 15 minutes at least five of these instructors said something like “I didn’t know we HAD THAT!”  I’m fairly certain that I will be working on integrating some kind of library use or research into their classes soon, and I’m happy to do it.
If you are an instructor, are you aware of all the resources the library purchases that can be part of your curriculum?  At the bottom of the library home page http://library.tctc.edu is a collection of “Subject Guides” that are very helpful:

We also have a “Specialized Subjects” page, http://library.tctc.edu/Subjects  which has links to things you might not think library would provide, such as our Auto Repair database.

And from our Databases page, http://library.tctc.edu/Databases did you know you can read popular magazines online?  It’s available from General OneFile, a database of popular magazines.

So take some time to poke around a bit on your library’s web page – you may see something and say, “I didn’t know we HAD THAT!”

---Sue Andrus, Instruction Librarian

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Psychology eBooks

Through PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries), the Library now has access to 336 eBooks in Psychology from Oxford University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO). The purchase was made possible with lottery funds and is a statewide one-time purchase including perpetual access. Some of these eBooks are Academic Motivation and the Culture of School in Childhood and Adolescence, Animal Innovation, The Cognitive Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson's Disease, Discovering the Musical Mind, Understanding Other Minds, and The Emotional Power of Music.

These titles can be accessed at http://library.tctc.edu/PsycheBooks.