TMCC College News

Twenty New Computer Stations Facilitate Student Research

Posted: Apr 25, 2014

Picture of Francisco Villacorta and Students in Library

Francisco Villacorta, Maintenance Repair Specialist I, in the Elizabeth Sturm Library on Monday, April 28.

Students will soon gain a significant increase in their ability to launch academic research work at 20 new computer workstations in the Elizabeth Sturm Library, along with a networked printer to output scholastic papers.

“This will be an 83% increase in computer access for TMCC students in the library,” said Neil Siegel, Acting Director of the Elizabeth Sturm Library. “The added stations will make the center of the library more of a commons area.”

The need for additional information retrieval points was clear. Staff at the library found that many students do not have a printer at home, and come in with a flash drive to print out their work.

“TMCC is going paperless to a great extent, with syllabi, hand-outs and quizzes front-loaded on WebCollege, so access to the Canvas platform is essential,” Siegel said. “If a student has an hour between classes, they need access. Addressing this integration is crucial.”

Facilities services acted as a dynamic resource for the project

The Facilities Operations and Capital Planning department was an instrumental force in helping move and consolidate the VHS stacks to make room for the 20 new student computer kiosks.

Francisco Villacorta reduced the total dollar amount needed for the project by retrieving furniture that was in storage from a computer lab facility realignment at another campus, Siegel said.

Francisco also relocated from storage tables and chairs that are now being used for the Tutoring Center Library Annex. For his money saving recommendations, Villacorta was awarded the TMCC Classified Employee of the Month for April, Siegel said.

In addition, Villacorta coordinated the repurposing of shelving units.

“In two days Francisco orchestrated the clearing of 75 feet of shelving units and then organized the disassembled units in the library storage room so they could be assembled at the new library facility at the Redfield campus come Fall 2015,” Siegel wrote in an email to the Classified Council. “He ensured that the library budget would now be freed up to purchase additional materials to ensure student success. Here is the story of one man making a significant difference for many.”

Timeline for the set up of new computer stations begins in May

William “Todd” Walbridge is scheduled to begin the wiring for the PCs on May 22 or 23. Computers are to arrive about the third week of May. During the summer, any glitches or bugs in the hardware or software will be worked out, and the additional lab space will be in full operation well before the Fall semester, Siegel said.

A systematic student survey will be conducted about the third or fourth week of Fall, and again at the end of the semester, to see if the objective of student success was successfully addressed by increasing access to computers.

TMCC applied for a grant to the Nevada State Library and Archives (NSLA)

Federal grant money is awarded annually under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to the Nevada State Library and Archives (NSLA). The NSLA then can allocate portions of the grant for projects requested by sub-grantees. Siegel applied to the NSLA for about $28,700 that was needed to establish 20 additional computer access points in TMCC’s library.

“We were ranked number five of 15 request submissions,” Siegel said. “Our application was under $30,000, and our rationale was strong that student completion would be furthered by student success that comes from greater computer access.”

“Every little bit that makes it easier for a student makes it more likely for them to graduate,” Siegel said.

A panel of fifteen decided the outcome of the Library Science Technology Award. Siegel testified in January at the Legislative Building in Carson City to the full panel, the state librarian and her staff. In mid-March, TMCC was notified that the Elizabeth Sturm Library had made a successful bid for the funding.

The Tutoring Center Library Annex connects research to the written paper

A new, dedicated area this semester is the Tutoring Center Library Annex. It’s a space that hosts tutoring staff who meet with students seeking assistance with written assignments.

“If a student is here working on research, they have someone right here to help them with the architecture of the paper, to infuse the research, and to make it a high-quality paper,” Siegel said. “Then the writing center personnel located in the library can assist with the rough draft and final crafting of the paper.”

The space currently hosts about 12-15 hours of scheduled student tutoring staff available to give drop-in help from 12:30-2 p.m. on Monday through Thursday each week.

More information about Tutoring and Learning Center services may be found on the TLC Web page. Elizabeth Sturm Library hours are posted on the library’s website.

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TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087

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