Hidden gems in the library

February 1, 2018

There are many useful resources in the library that are available for students to be successful in their study habits. It is more than just a place to check out books or use a computer.

The library not only provides the expected resources, such as books and videos, but students can also check out equipment such as cameras, video cameras, calculators, Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots and headsets. Audio recording equipment and green screen equipment are also available. For students studying digital cinema or theater, they can use lighting, cameras, tripods and other supported equipment.

The library has three types of cameras available: digital SLR cameras to capture a better picture either for video or still images; digital still cameras to take a picture without it being necessary to edit; and video cameras to capture video only.

Before paying the fees or checking out the equipment, students need to make sure the  equipment works and then sign a use-agreement form.

The prices depend on what equipment students want to check out. For example, to check out a TI-84 calculator, which students normally use in Intro to Stats or other math classes, the fee is $15 for one quarter, which is cheaper than buying one online or at a store.

In addition to equipment, the library also provides online databases so that students can access academic journals.

Primo, a library discovery tool found on the library web page, searches for books, articles and databases. It can be thought of as the “search engine of the library” and has access to over 80 databases depending on the subjects. Google Scholar can connect to the Pierce database to assist students in searching for scholarly journals. When using library computers, students do not need to sign in to access Primo. But if they access outside Pierce or from home, they can sign in using their SID and last name.

Students in College 110 visit the library and are taught how to use Primo and how to find books based on their majors. This gives them the opportunity to get to know the library and to also meet a librarian.

“One of our hopes is that that people will be able to use the library more efficiently, but also that they’ll come see us because, you know, we’re real people who care about students, and we really want to help you succeed,” said faculty librarian Laurie Shuster.

According to Shuster, many students take advantage of these library resources and databases. However, the librarians have noticed that students are often hesitant to check out Chromebooks because they don’t have the Microsoft Office software installed on them; students have to go to the cloud.

Since all students have Office 365 as part of their Pierce College email, they can use Word, PowerPoint and Excel on their Office 365; still, some students are hesitant to learn how.

Fortunately, there’s a group, Student Technology Assistance Tutors team, and that’s one of the things that they do. They help students learn how to use their email and connect to their Office 365.

   “Learning how to use Chromebooks is also really good for students’ lives,” said Shuster. “A lot of Microsoft Office is going to move to the cloud. So it’s really a way of training for your future, too, as well for your present. Your present self and your future self will thank you for it.”

   The librarians are available to help at both the Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses, or students can go to this link: www.pierce.ctc.edu/library

If you need more help, you can visit the STAT team in OLY 301. They are ready to assist you.

Marina Chetverikov/ Staff Illustration

»this site gives students free access to a MASSIVE warehouse of movies to stream:


»Another huge database of movies: tinyurl.com/y8ars68w

»Library resources: libguides.pierce.ctc.edu/az


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