Poynter Library’s Jim Schnur honored by Society of Florida Archivists

Jim Schnur, associate librarian for Special Collections at the USF St. Petersburg Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, received the 2013 Award of Excellence from the Society of Florida Archivists  May 9 at the organization’s 30th annual meeting in Tallahassee.

Schnur was recognized “for years of dedication to the archival profession in Florida and outstanding contribution to the preservation of Florida’s documentary heritage.”

Schnur, an association member since 1992 and a USFSP faculty member since February 2002, was recognized for his work as a librarian at USFSP, his teaching and mentoring as an adjunct member of the faculty in the School of Information at USF Tampa, and his efforts to promote and preserve local and Florida history. Often, these categories overlapped.

Schnur manages Special Collections and University Archives at the Poynter Library, including signature collections in local history, rare books and the print and digital archives of USFSP. Since the fall 2003 semester, Schnur has supervised more than 25 fieldwork and independent student experiences for graduate students in the USF School of Information as well as USFSP’s Florida Studies Program. He appreciates Dean Carol Hixson’s support for his initiatives and her leadership in establishing the USFSP Digital Archive.

Schnur has taught a graduate-level course in Archival Management in the School of Information since the fall 2008 semester. The course teaches practical methods for preserving and managing archival collections in cultural heritage institutions. Four students have co-presented with him at regional conferences since early 2012, and three of the six poster sessions offered at the Society of Florida Archivists conferences in 2012 and 2013 were presented by students based on projects completed in Schnur’s class.

The official historian for Pinellas County’s centennial (1912-2012), Schnur is actively involved in many local and state cultural organizations, including the Pinellas County Historical Society.  One of his former students, Sandra Varry, is vice president of the Society of Florida Archivists.

New Dali Museum series, The Genius Next Door, to feature USF St. Petersburg professors

The Dalí Museum is hosting a new monthly series of stimulating conversations with USF St. Petersburg professors.

Called The Genius Next Door, the series will give audiences a chance to ask questions, exchange ideas and discuss cutting-edge research with intellectual leaders from USF St. Petersburg. Frank Biafora, dean of the USFSP College of Arts and Sciences, will act as the emcee and facilitator for the monthly series.

The Genius Next Door will be a five-part conversation series featuring three different professors every month. Activities and topics will vary each event based on the speakers.

The next event will be Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Museum Theater, with overflow next door seating in the Raymond James Community Room.

The speakers for Thursday’s event are Daniel James Scott, MS, MBA; Dr. Jill McCracken, College of Arts and Sciences; and Carol Hixson, MS, Dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library.

Scott, an instructor in entrepreneurship, is the Associate Director for the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance. McCracken, an assistant professor in the English Department, teaches writing and composition. Hixson, writes a blog on her thoughts and experiences in technology and running a library.

The event is open to the public and admission is free for Dalí members and $5 for non-members. The museum is at One Dalí Blvd. in St. Petersburg.


Therapy dogs ease stress of exam week at Poynter Memorial Library

Therapy dogs like this one will be at the Poynter Library Wednesday.

Therapy dogs like this one will be at the Poynter Library Wednesday.

Therapy dogs will be at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12, to help students with the stress of exam week.

Seven to 10 dogs from the Pinellas County chapter of Therapy Dogs International will be in the café area of the library Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth waived the normal restrictions regarding dogs on campus for this event.

“We’re always looking for ways to help students be successful and we saw this as a new way to reach out to them,’’ said Carol Hixson, Dean of the Poynter Library. “Judging by the response we’ve gotten, there seems to be a lot of interest.”

There will be a variety of dogs — German shepherd, border jack, Samoyed, two Labrador retrievers, a curly-coated retriever — Joann Rechtine of Therapy Dogs International Chapter 256 told

“It’s uplifting for the handlers and the dogs, rewarding for all of us,” Rechtine told tbo. “It’s pure fun.”

Providing therapy dogs is one of several ways USFSP is helping students during exam week, including extended hours at the library and the University Student Center, free late-night breakfast served by USFSP administrators Tuesday night and late-night coffee and cookies Wednesday and Thursday.