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A reach for student resources as campus remains shuttered

As the fourth week of spring quarter begins for SCC students, accessing tutoring and library resources will become increasingly important for student success. Keeping up with the behind-the-scenes work being done to keep resources available is a cross-department effort that continues to adjust and evolve as both students and faculty learn to learn remotely. Here are some basics for students to access remote library and tutoring services.

The Library: Circulation Desk

Although the library has no access to physical materials like actual books yet, online access is going strong. 

Physical materials currently checked out from the circulation desk will not be due until the Stay Home order is lifted. One of the biggest concerns for the circulation desk is reserve textbooks, which Julie Shepard, circulation librarian, says is the thing that students come to the library for most frequently, especially at the beginning of the quarter. “We’ve looked for all the alternatives we can. We’ve started scanning some textbooks, which we expect to wrap up when the Stay Home order is lifted. We do have to look at copyright issues, so are working with teachers to determine what chapters and sections of textbooks and other physical materials are needed for courses.” 

The circulation desk is also looking to digitize some key items as well as discussing alternatives with publishers on open and free resources. Student leadership has also contributed to seeking open source materials.

The library, in connection with the Information Technology Department (IT) is loaning out equipment and still has some headsets and Chromebooks available. WiFi hotspots were depleted quickly, but another shipment of all of the materials available on loan is expected. A form is available on the Covid update link on the main website. 

Research help via  24/7 chat has always been available, however in the past you were more likely to reach a librarian who is part of a larger network. Now, it’s very likely you’ll reach a Seattle Central librarian, as they are spending more time on chat from home. Although email questions suggest a 24-business-hour turnaround, librarians are checking both email and voicemail during all business hours, and sometimes outside of those hours. 

Research appointments are available via the library website for more complex queries. 

The library moved to a remote format very quickly, in part because libraries have been increasingly shifting to online. , Administrative Assistant Lynn Canne said, “There was so much new information that we wanted to organize it so it would be findable.” Despite the sudden closure at the end of winter quarter, the library was able to continue operations online through that quarter.

Library staff hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bruce McKenna Writing Center: 

The BMWC will continue to assist students with essays and papers for English and Humanities classes as well as personal statements, focusing on outlining, research and revision. Students can send their papers, with instructions attached, to MiSun at

Depending on traffic, tutors will respond within 1-3 days with feedback, and students can follow up with the tutor or MiSun with any questions. MiSun has noted that spring is usually their slowest quarter, so assistance should be readily available. The best way to receive focused feedback is for the student to state their goals for the paper. The Writing Center can assist with any part of the writing process, such as brainstorming, organization, clarity, grammar questions, and citations, with the exception of exams.

Learning Services Network:

Julia Buchan, the Director of the Learning Services Network, says that “the LSN is really just a network of various tutoring spaces on campus. A lot of the work has been happening backstage over the years and that helped us move quickly to remote learning.” She also emphasized that a lot of work has gone into streaminling both the LSN website and the Covid response website. The Learning Service Network includes BE tutoring, SAM tutoring, and other on-campus learning hubs.

Students can make appointments with the BE Learning Center via Starfish, a district wide tool for scheduling and tracking academic advising appointments, for one-on-one tutoring. As a districtwide tool; it’s been used previously in some departments but is now being utilized by nearly all. In addition to streamlining appointments and networks, it also helps Seattle Central College collect necessary data to help keep tutoring funded and help the college make resources available 

David Alvarez, LSN Assistant, Science and Math, said that going remote is a huge difference for his department; “SAM has traditionally been all drop-in. In some ways, this is more organized.”

Hanaan Hassan, the BE Learning Center Program Assistant, says that having the ability to make one-on-one appointments is extremely important to keeping tutoring accessible.

Students can upload files prior to their appointments within the LSN. Phone calls and emails will also be responded to as soon as possible Monday-Thursday 9-7,  Friday 9-5, and  Saturday 9-3. For SAM tutoring, either the website or Starfish can be used to login during open hours. Students will be put into a waiting room where a staff member will determine what subject they need help with and pair them with a tutor. SAM tutoring hours are 9-6 Monday-Thursday, 9-5 Friday. Emails still have a 1-3 day response time, so it is recommended that students utilize Starfish.


The SCC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement(MESA) department will continue to offer resources to students, who can contact MESA to join. MESA is also hosting a virtual lounge from 1-4 pm every tuesday, where students can learn more about MESA and talk about shared interests. Students can visit the MESA website to learn more. 


Morgan Wigmore

Morgan is a Seattle Central alumni currently attending Oregon State University where she is majoring in Anthropology. In addition to writing, she enjoys painting and linguistics. She lives in a very small house with a very fat cat.

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