Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tarleton Thursdays - Stephenville Historic Resources Survey

In the spring semester of 2015, Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, W.K. Gordon endowed chair in history, and his students in HIST 5309 (Historic Preservation) and HIST 4350 (Special Topics) partnered with the City of Stephenville to identify and document historic, mostly commercial structures within a 25 block area surrounding the Erath County Courthouse and the square, as well as additional sites outside of this area selected by the city.  The students used recording forms approved by the Texas Historical Commission, adding photographs and other research documents.

The result was called the Stephenville Historic Resources Survey.  Dr. Baker recently donated a copy of this survey, as well as the accompanying research files for the 147 sites and other supporting material, to the Dick Smith Library, along with digital copies of the photographs from the project.

A nearly-21-block area downtown was initially identified, with over half of the buildings surveyed in it considered to be contributing to a historic district designation on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  Further work by the expert consultant hired by the city, Mary Saltarelli, has expanded the district to include a total of 120 buildings, with 77 of those (63%) contributing.  The minimum requirement is 51 percent to be considered for placement on the registry.  Being listed on the registry can bring tax incentives and other benefits to the downtown area and property owners.

While the original research files will be preserved, the library hopes to make copies of the files available in the Local History Room in the Special Collections Suite on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library, where users can access them to learn the history of their homes or buildings.

Here are just a few examples of buildings that are part of the proposed district.  The first building pictured, the First National Bank building on the square, built in 1889, has been a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark since 1994.  On July 21, 2015, it was added to the NRHP as an individual building, and in February 2017, it received a Preservation Texas Honor Award for its restoration and rehabilitation.

Above:  198 S Belknap Ave., First National Bank Building.  Photo by T. Lindsay Baker, 4 May 2015.
Below:  160 E Washington St., W.W. Rutherford Building.   Photo by T. Lindsay Baker, 3 May 2015.

Below:  154 E Washington St., Tatum and Sons Building.  Photo by T. Lindsay Baker, 3 May 2015.
Research by the library's Special Services and Archives staff using old Sanborn insurance maps shows that the first floor of the Tatum building was actually constructed between September 1902 and November 1907, which corresponds with a large increase in the property's value in 1905, the estimated construction year for the first floor.  The second floor was added in 1920.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Ways to Motivate Yourself

Welcome to the home stretch!

The semester is winding down and projects are wrapping up. Finals and graduation ceremonies are right around the corner. Some of you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For others the goal may seem far away. Some are feeling accomplished. Others are feeling stretched and overwhelmed. How do you stay motivated when this happens to you? 

 Here are 10 ways to keep yourself motivated when things become overwhelming:
  1. Make yourself a deal
  2. Do something small
  3. Do the toughest tasks first
  4. Compare yourself with yourself, not with others
  5. Remember to have fun
  6. Don't fear failure
  7. Write your goals down and work towards them
  8. Break it down
  9. Do what makes you happy
  10. Think outside the box
Visit the Positivity Blog to learn more motivational tips.

 Looking for even more ideas? Here is a selection of books that are available in the library:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Racial Dot Map

Demographers at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service have created an interactive map that allows users to examine population groupings throughout the United States.

The map's creators used data gathered from the 2010 census to place 308,745,538 dots on a map of the United States. Each dot represents one person counted in that census. The dots are color-coded by race/ethnicity: whites are represented with blue dots, African Americans with green dots, Hispanics with orange dots, and Asians with red dots. People who don't fall under any of the above categories are represented with brown dots.

A view of the lower 48 states.
The map allows users to zoom in to see the demographics of local areas.

A close up view of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 

Each dot is smaller than a pixel. That makes viewing individual dots in rural areas challenging. The map allows users to turn off the racial color-coding, and every person is then represented with a black dot. This helps to better see people in rural areas.

A close up view of Stephenville, TX with color-coding removed. 
Take some time to explore this fascinating map.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, (SAAM). The purpose is to raise awareness about sexual assault and to help clear up the many misconceptions that go along with sexual assault.

The Dick Smith Library is helping be apart of this by being a location that students can sign a pledge to be part of the solution. The form to sign the pledge is located at the circulation desk. After students sign the pledge, they can tape it to the glass windows by the lounge area.

Another way to be involved is by wearing the color teal on Tuesdays and posting and talking about Sexual Assault awareness to others. There will also be other ways to get involved, so be sure to check the calendar daily.

It is important to remember that "Rape is about power and control in which sex is the weapon". If consent is not given, then it is sexual assault. When alcohol is involved the attacker tries to use this as an excuse. However, this is NOT true. "Just because a person is intoxicated does not mean that a person gives up their right to physical safety".

Prevention is possible by education, encouraging safe behaviors, thoughtful polices and healthy relationships.

If you have been a victim of Sexual Assault, you do not have to work through this alone. Mental healing is important. If you wish to talk to someone the Tarleton Student Counseling Center is a safe and confidential place where you can talk. The Cross Timbers Trails Family Services is also available for counseling

Tarleton Student Counseling Center:
(254) 968-9044 Office Hours are M-F 8 AM - 5 PM.
Phone Calls outside of these hours will automatically be redirected to ProtoCall, staffed by counselors who can help you in a crisis.
Barry B. Thompson Student Center, Suite 212

Cross Timbers Trails Family Services
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
24 hour hotline 254-965-4357
Toll-free line 866-934-4357
Alt Phone
866-934-4357 (business number)


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 READ Poster Reveal

Staff members at the Dick Smith Library are excited about our upcoming National Library Week (April 9-15) celebration and our 2017 READ poster unveiling

Can you guess who will be featured this year?

You don't have to wait long for the answer. On Wednesday, April 12  at 3:00 p.m. we will unveil our 2017 READ posters.

Join us.  You'll be among the first to see the new posters. Plus, after the unveiling, you can enjoy refreshments, visit with friends, and get you own souvenir postcard of this years READ posters.

Introduced in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate every year. National Library Week is a time to celebrate and promote the contributions of the nation's libraries and library workers. From free access to books and online resources, research support, technology help and more -- libraries offer opportunity to all. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tarleton Thursdays: From Our Day at the State Capitol, March 21, 2017

Senate Resolution 426, issued at Tarleton State University Day at the State Capitol on March 21, 2017, in honor of Tarleton's centennial as a member of the Texas A&M University System (click on the image to enlarge it).  This proclamation will be added to the University Archives.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Creative Commons and Attribution: It's the Right Thing to Do

What do you do when you need an image for an assignment - a presentation or a paper?  If the image is one you created yourself, you’re good to go. But what about those times you can’t create your own images? Is it OK to just use that great picture you found on the internet?

It’s safest to assume that all images on the web are copyrighted with all rights reserved, unless otherwise stated. That means you need to get permission for use from the image creator, or possibly face penalties ranging from a take-down notice, to a bill requesting payment for use of the image, to legal action against you. Not to mention – asking permission is moral and ethical.

A number of artists and photographers, sometimes in an effort to generate notice for their work, have made their images available for use under Creative Commons (CC) licenses. The creator can put the image into the public domain (waiving all copyright), or retain some rights and choose from six licenses, ranging from simple attribution (permitting derivatives and commercial reuse, CC-BY), to allowing reuse as long as it is noncommercial and the work is not modified (CC-BY-NC-ND).

This work, "CC Chart", is a derivative of slide 88 of “The OER 101 Workshop at USM II” by Zaid Alsagoff used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5. ”CC Chart” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 by Amanda Pape

There are a number of tools available to help you find copyright-friendly images, such as Creative Commons Search and flickrCC. Recently, Google Images Search made finding such images much easier.
  • Enter your search term.
  • When results appear, click on Tools.
  • Click on Usage rights.
  • Select the appropriate license (“Not filtered by license” is the default). 

Google Images search screen shot taken and further modified by Amanda Pape, CC-BY

Images (if any) that fit the license restrictions will appear. Depending on your search terms and the license you choose, images may come from Flickr, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, or the Open Clip Art library.  Be sure to click through to the image and double-check the licensing terms, as Google Images Search doesn't always get them right. 

It’s important to note that ALL Creative Commons licenses require users to provide attribution to the creator.

What is attribution? It’s the journalistic practice of crediting information to its source (so you know where something came from), and a concept in copyright law requiring acknowledgement of the creator of a work (such as an image) which is used or appears in another work (such as your blog or Facebook post).

Why should you provide attributions? Using other's images without giving credit is plagiarism. Also, think about how you might feel if someone “borrowed” one of your images to use on a website and did not give you credit, thereby implying that the image was his/her (or another’s) creation. This has happened to me (more than once), and I wasn’t too happy about it. (Luckily, in both cases, the borrowers added or corrected the attribution when I commented on the mistake.)

When using Creative Commons images, you must credit the photographers/artists in the manner they specify (if they do so). Sometimes you can find the preferred attribution with the image, or on a profile page from the website where you found the image.

Just as there are tools to help you find copyright-friendly images to use, there are tools available to generate attributions when no specific one is provided. Unfortunately, none of the tools I’ve tried (such as flickrCC, OpenAttribute, and ImageCodr) fully and consistently meet the Creative Commons guidelines for attribution, which require that you:

  • Cite the work’s title or name (and link it directly to source of the original work). 
  • Cite the author’s name, screen or real (and link to the author’s profile page when available). 
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under (and link to the license deed on the CC website). 
  • Keep intact any copyright notices for the work. 
  • Indicate if the image has been modified or adapted by you in any way.

If you use one of the citation tools mentioned above, take what it generates and fill in the missing pieces, as much as you can. Make some effort, just as you would in citing text sources in a paper written for an assignment in school. The two images used in this blog post provide examples of proper attribution.

Here is an additional resource on proper attribution:

And here is my presentation on Slideshare on Creative Commons licenses and proper attribution:

[An earlier version of this post appeared originally on the Texas Social Media Research Institute blog on July 9, 2014, and is used with their permission and that of me, the author.]

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stress Management

You have survived Midterms and suddenly realize that finals are a little over five weeks away. How do you cope with stress? According to WebMD you could:

Relax your mind by:
  • Write in a journal for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Let your feelings out by laughing or crying. Talk to others who care about you
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Volunteer your time

Relax your body by:
  • Practicing meditation
  • Practicing yoga
  • Go for a walk
  • Play a game with friends

If all else fails you could try some of my personal favorites:
  • Read a book
  • Checkout one of our cookbooks and bake something for a friend
  • Watch a video on Films on Demand
  • Checkout a CD or Audiobook

However you choose to prepare for the final academic push, please remember that the Reference staff is available to assist you with your research needs. You may get help either in person, over the phone, by email, or via the web at

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Global Road Warrior

Are you planning any international travel in the near future or would you like to learn more about the world? If so, then the library has a great resource for you: Global Road Warrior. It is a database that contains a wealth of information about every country on Earth. You can find it on the library's A to Z Databases List.

There are two ways to find information about a country thorough Global Road Warrior. Either select the name of the country on the alphabetical list, or select it on the interactive map.

Select a country from the list on the left or the map on the right. 
After you choose a country you will then be provided with a wide range of information about it: geography, history, culture, demographics, maps, etc.

If you are planning to travel to the country, then you must check out the Travel Essentials section. It provides valuable information such as: visa requirements, products you are allowed or not allowed to bring into the country, recommended immunizations, etc.

Visa and Passport requirements for travel to India. 

The library has other databases that are also helpful resources for travel such as:
  • A to Z Maps - provides detailed maps of every US state and most countries of the world. 
  • Mango Languages - provides interactive tutorials for 72 languages. 

If you have any questions about Global Road Warrior then email or call 254-968-9249. 

Click here to find information about study abroad opportunities provided by Tarleton State University. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Land to Water--Spring Break Safety Tips

Although you want to have a fun spring break, it is also important to keep safety in mind, so that you can come back to finish off the semester strong! 

  • On Land

1. Always rotate drivers so that one person isn't exhausted and accidently falls asleep at the wheel. Make it fun by letting the driver be in charge of music.

2. If more than 2 people are traveling make it a rule that that the person also sitting shotgun has to stay awake to keep the driver company. Perhaps they can take turns choosing the music.
Two awake people is better than just one!

3. Do your research and go old school by printing off directions. Even though most people rely on their smartphone to give them directions, it is always smart to be double prepared just in case your phone dies or the location you are driving doesn't have good cell reception.

4. When stopping to eat or take a rest break always make sure your valuables (wallet, GPS, expensive jewelry, etc.) that you leave behind in your car is hidden from plain view. This will reduce the risk of your vehicle getting broke into.

5. Never drive intoxicated or ride with someone you suspect is intoxicated. ( Even if they say they are ok to drive!). There are always a safer alternative. Call an Uber or taxi. In fact, if you do not have the money to call a cab, you can call for a police escort ( DO NOT call 911 for this, call the local police station). They would rather you call them than to be a danger to others!

6. Set limits, and instructions for yourself before going out and stick to them. For example: I am only going to have 3 drinks tonight, afterwards I will just drink soda or water. I won't go anywhere alone or go to an after party at a strangers house.

7. Never take a drink from a stranger or open container sources such as punch bowls. For one, there is no clear way of knowing the alcohol content and there could be a risk that it is drugged. If you or your friend feel dizzy, have slurred speech, is blacking/passing out--go to a safe place to help calm the person down. If symptoms are extreme, take them to the emergency room.

8. Don't make drinking alcohol a competition or try to keep up with your friends. Everyone's tolerance of alcohol will be different depending on how frequent they drink, their weight, and how much they have eaten. With saying that, always eat before you drink!

9. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you at a time. This way you will not be more at risk for getting robbed, and if you are it won't be as bad.

10. Know the local equivalent to 911 to the country you are visiting.
For example:
Central America and Caribbean:
Guatemala – 120*
Barbados – 511*
Jamaica – 110*
Nicaragua – 118*
Honduras – 199*

For more emergency numbers visit:

  • In the Water

1. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind when you party poolside or at the beach. If you start to feel bad, find a shade or cool place to lay down.

2. While out in the sun swimming or playing sports, it is easy to forget to drink water. However, this is the fastest way to become dehydrated. Make sure you take plenty rest breaks to stay hydrated.

3. It's a cloudy day, and you are thinking this is the perfect time to spend all day at the beach. Keep in mind that you can still burn when it is cloudy. Always use sun lotion!

4. Know the flag system for water safety:
  • Red Flag: Stay out of the water because of strong undertow and riptides.
  • Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water. There are some undertow and riptides possible.
  • Blue Flag: Calm water. Swim safely.
5. Always swim with a buddy. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught in an undertow. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t bother swimming against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until the rip passes.

6. It is advised not to drink while in a hot tub. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

7. In any natural body of water, be aware that you can’t always tell how deep the water is. Don’t dive if you don’t know for sure how deep the water is. Diving in too shallow of waters can lead to serious accidents.

For additional safety tips check out this website:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Made in the Maker Spot: Sculpting 1 Class Project Edition

Over the last month or so, we've been working with students in Professor Molly Dierk's Sculpting 1 class to design and print 3-D objects for their assignment. The assignment was to remix or repurpose existing objects found on sites like and use Tinkercad or another 3-D design software to make them into something new.

They rocked this assignment! I'm so impressed with their creativity and the things they came up with, some of which are pictured below.

Group shot of the students' projects

Chicken Foot Vase by Annalea Nelson

Lighhouses by Rachel Nunez

Faceless by Alex Huerta

Fingerfoot by Taylor Martin

Place Setting by David Baack

Busts by Rebecca Cox

Defying Gravity by Destany Seymore

Fight Like a Girl by Taylor Maerz

Ear Vase by Robbi Elliot

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tarleton Thursday: Alum Donates Ancestor's 1870s Texas Emigrant Journey Memoir to Library

Above:  Alan Easterling '90 with his ancestor's memoir

It's very appropriate that we get to announce an exciting donation to our archival collections on Texas Independence Day!  Yesterday, Tarleton alumnus Alan Easterling, Class of 1990, donated the original handwritten account of the mid-1870s journey from southern Illinois to northern Texas made by his great-grandfather, Nelson Fleming Rudolph (1861-1937), and his great-great uncle and Nelson's brother, Charles Francis Rudolph (1859-1929).

As can be seen in the photograph, the approximately 139-year-old document has been a little torn and taped on its first (and last) few leaves, but the remaining leaves (there are 100 pages) are in remarkably good condition.  Charles, who later became a newspaper editor, wrote the account of the journey and gave it as a Christmas gift to two of his sisters, Serena Estella "Stella" Rudolph Dort (1855-1932), who also moved to Texas, and Louisa Catherine "Lou" Rudolph Lee (1857-1930).

Easterling also donated three family photographs (two are originals from the late 1880s).  Watch for future posts featuring these images, as well as excerpts from the memoir.

Alan Easterling's nephew, Grayson Easterling, is a student at our Stephenville campus.  We also discovered another family connection here in the Dick Smith Library.  Jennifer Barrera, Assistant Director for User Services, is also a descendant of Nelson Fleming Rudolph.  He is Jennifer's great-great-grandfather, which makes Jennifer and Grayson third cousins, and Alan and Jennifer are second cousins once removed. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dark Side of the Archives

Archives sustain civilization. Civilization is the total of human experience. Archival repositories hold the records of that experience, good or bad, gained over time. Archives orient people in society, and create a foundation for profiting by historical context. Archives touch peoples’ lives when individuals are introduced or connected to the documents we hold in our collections. Sometimes it is finding information about an ancestor that brings joy. Other times the documents bring up memories of a darker time in our past. 

As we come to the end of Black History Month, the document featured is one of those records that document a darker time in the history of America. It is a receipt from 1847 for the purchase of a female slave named Silvy. The receipt states that on April 3, 1847, in Union County, North Carolina, John S. Leany paid $213 ($6,000 in 2015 dollars) for a “Negro girl Silvy” who was lately sold as the property of another individual. It further states that she is healthy and in sound condition. In addition, it transfers the title to Silvy to John S. Leany and his heirs and offspring.

In this one document, the whole issue of an individual owned by another is summed up. It is clear that slaves had no rights and were thought of as nothing more than a piece of property to be bought and sold as one would do with land.

For more information about slavery from those in bondage, the Dick Smith Library has The Slave Narratives of Texas by Ron Tyler, and from the Federal Writers Project, Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States, From Interviews with Former Slaves. This 17-volume set is also available online from the Library of Congress at

The Texas Slavery Project,, explores slavery in Texas in the years between 1820 and 1850.

The Texas State Historical Association has a free eBook on the trials and triumphs of African Americans in Texas at

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Meet Our Staff: Ally Warren

Ally Warren
Periodicals Associate
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor

I recently joined the Tarleton family as the Periodicals Associate. This is my first position with a library – a dream come true! My job is to supervise our student workers, and assist in claims, binding, and various additional projects surrounding the periodicals area. I have a background in health information management, HIPAA, and electronic medical records software. My husband and I have three children: Justin, attending the University of Wyoming, Jenny, a freshman at Texas Tech, and Jack, a senior in high school.

My hobbies are reading, traveling, cooking, and calligraphy. I have a large collection of inks and fountain pens, and one of my favorite activities is cleaning, repairing, and re-inking all…of…those…pens. My favorite book is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt. I love Key Lime pie, and I’m a former swimmer looking to get back into the pool. My rescue cat’s name is Hemingway, who has his own kitten named Fitzgerald. Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author – I checked off my top bucket list item when I toured the Hemingway House in Key West. If I could have pulled it off, I would have brought a six-toed cat back with me.