Our Library, Media Center and Makerspace

The Carleen Vinal Haskell Library was opened on September 4, 2002. It is accessible to all students in Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Students are free to check out books and use the computers for research. The Library has over 37,500 books, over 50 instructional DVDs, 30 computers with Internet access for both students and teachers, and daily newspapers. The Library also has a Makerspace, an open and isolated conference area, offices, and a children's area where Lower School students participate in story time with Mrs. Smay.

Hours: Monday - Thursday, the library is open before school each morning at 7:30am and closes at 4:30pm. On Fridays, the library is open from 7:30am to 3:30pm. When the school is closed for holidays, the library is also closed.

Our MakerSpace - First of its Kind!

In 2014, our media center expanded to include a Makerspace. The idea of learning through hands-on production has had libraries nationwide constructing Makerspaces, and Shorecrest was the first local independent school to add one. Trend analysts, business writers, and educational leaders are discussing the need for educational institutions to foster ingenuity with strong technological skills to succeed in our rapidly changing world. This dynamic learning environment encourages innovation, process, effort, strategy, progress and problem solving skills.

Lower School students have designed 3D logos and tinkered with electronics through electronic littlebits toys. Middle School students have integrated art, math, and technology by printing 3D tessellations. Upper School students have designed conceptual models of calculus theories and chemical bonds, and one student created a roving cell phone drone. 

Our Makerspace includes:
  • Two 3D printers
  • Building and technology materials (including lots of LEGOs!)
  • Craft supplies
  • Computers
  • Books
  • A dry-erase community table
  • and much more!
Why is “Making” and the Makerspace crucial in helping students learn? We want your child to have 21st Century skills, be a problem solver and an independent thinker, as well as practice using the skills they learn to cement what is presented in the classroom!

Brain research shows that children who do first, and then watch a video or read a textbook, do better on tests and remember what they learn better than students who do it in the reverse learning order. Plus kids who “Make” are proven to be quicker to apply knowledge gained by making real things than students who just learn about something passively. Our Makerspace is not only cutting edge, it is going to give our students an edge in the 21st century job market!

Meet the Media Center Specialists

Dottie Smay
dsmay@shorecrest.org

Mrs. Smay has been the Lower School Media Specialist for over 25 years at Shorecrest. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Library Science from Rowan (Glassboro) University. She was a Language Arts teacher for grades 5-8 and a media specialist for 6 years for Hillsborough county prior to coming to Shorecrest. Mrs. Smay is responsible for the children's area and helps students find enjoyable books. She supervises story time, where children learn a variety of important lessons.  

Dottie has presented about Makerspaces and making-to-learn with project based learning at the Florida Council of Independent Schools 21st Century Learning Academy (FCIS) and at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GAETC).
Courtney Walker
cwalker@shorecrest.org

Ms. Walker is the Upper and Middle School librarian. She graduated with a B.S. in English Education from the University of South Florida and a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington’s iSchool. Ms. Walker has an extensive teaching background. She grew up in Tampa and taught high school English at Plant High School for six years. She has also taught middle school art in Guatemala and was a librarian at the Carol Morgan School in the Dominican Republic. Most recently, Ms. Walker worked as a technology integrationist and media specialist at the Davidson Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Courtney has presented about Makerspaces at the International Society for Technology in Education Convention (ISTE) and Florida Council of Independent Schools 21st Century Learning Academy (FCIS) this summer, and at a St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Green Bench Conversation.

Our Makerspace in the News

News from the Media Center

School Information

Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students Age 3 through Grade 12, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.