Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Open Access Week

This is Open Access Week. Just what is open access and why is it important? Open Access (OA) is scholarly and scientific literature that is online, digital, free, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes this possible is the consent of the author or copyright holder and the internet. OA journals are peer reviewed and the major OA journals in the sciences and scholarly literature insist on peer review. Open access journals are not free to produce, even if it is less expensive than producing a traditional print journal. Authors pay an article processing charge, which some universities have a fund to pay the charge for their faculty members. OA removes restrictions placed on the use of the author’s own work. Authors can share their work on their own terms through the use of a Creative Commons license. There is no charge to the end user to access the article.
 Okay so the articles are available online free of charge and are peer reviewed, but what does this mean for students and faculty? First over the past few years, the prices that university libraries have to pay for subscriptions to electronic journals has steadily increased. Many of these journals are only sold in bundles with other journals and can cost several thousands of dollars for a single bundle. The higher prices have meant that some libraries have to make a decision as to which journals to keep subscribing too and which ones to drop. Open access means no subscription fees. Which in turn allows anyone to have access to the journal and its articles. For faculty it means a wider audience and more discoverability, which can lead to more collaboration with other researchers in their field. Students have access to articles that may not have previously been available. Did you know that any research that is federally funded has to have the research results made available to the public free of charge?
Tarleton currently produces four open access journals:
The Anthology
 Journal of Social Media in Society
Journal of Effective Schools Project

Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources
If you would like to know more about Open Access here is a short video.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tarleton Thursday: Historypin Tour of Campus

Just in time for Homecoming 2016, the Dick Smith Library is introducing a Historypin tour of the main campus in Stephenville!

What is Historypin?  It's a nonprofit organization with "a free website where anyone can upload and create collections of historical photos, videos and sounds."  You can also create a "tour," which is what we have done with some of the photographs from the University Photo Collection.

The Special Services and Archives Department of the Dick Smith Library (Coordinator Amanda Pape, Collections Archivist Gary Spurr, and former staff member Crystal Stanley) chose 18 photographs from this collection and uploaded them to Historypin.  In the process, you can actually "pin" the image on a Google Map.  If the location has a "Street View" available, there's a really neat "Dear Photograph"-like then-and-now feature you can activate.

Below is one example.  The very first John Tarleton College building was located at the northwest corner of what is now N. McIlhaney Street and W. Tarleton Street / Military Drive.  Below is a screen capture from our tour on Historypin, showing a 1900 photograph of the building superimposed over its approximate site.

Note the slider bar at the top of the photograph?  If you slide the red dot all the way over to the left, you get a more contemporary view of the same site (in this case, where the Hunewell Bandstand is now located):

Below is an outline of the "stops" on the Tarleton State University Campus History Tour.  The six spots with an orange figure in the upper right corner are along the campus perimeter and thus had Google Map Street Views available where we could use this feature.

Even better for the research and history geeks in our library department, there is lots of space to include a detailed history of each site, including links to other resources, such as the Cross Timber Historic Images Project photographs and narratives, and relevant pages and articles from the collection of Grassburr yearbooks and J-TAC student newspapers online at the Portal to Texas History.  The Grassburrs and J-TACs often provide descriptions and other details written in the same years the photographs were taken, resulting in more accuracy.

We invite all alumni, students, and current and previous faculty and staff to take the tour!  Let us know in the comments (here on the blog or on the Historypin site) what you think, and if you have any stories (or photos) to add! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: The Top Ten Horror Novels and Stories

Since Halloween is just a couple of weeks away, you might be in the mood to read something scary. According to The Top Tens (a website where Internet users can create and vote on top ten lists on a wide variety of topics) these are the top ten horror novels and stories:  

1. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

Poe in 1849.
This work is in the public domain.
2. Misery by Stephen King. Available in the library. 

3. Cujo by Stephen King. Available in the library. 

4. The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Ghostly Tales and Eerie Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

5. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Ghostly Tales and Eerie Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

6. They Thirst by Robert McCammon

7. The Cellar by Richard Laymon

8. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

9. It by Stephen King

10. Incarnate by Ramsey Campbell

The bottom five aren't currently available in the library. However, you can use our interlibrary loan service to request them. Or you could get a TexShare card from us and use it to borrow them from another library. Or you could use the suggest a purchase form if you think we should add these books to our collection.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dr. Baker's Book on Route 66 - and Curt Teich Postcards

Thursday, October 13, is the last day to purchase tickets for the fall Friends of the Dick Smith Library Dinner in the Stacks on Saturday, October 15th,  Appetizers are at 6:30 PM, and dinner and the program start at 7 PM.  Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members.  You can purchase tickets and get more information about the dinner on the Friends of the Dick Smith Library website.

Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, Director of the W. K. Gordon Center, will present his research on historic Route 66, the former U.S. highway that ran 2500 miles across eight states from Chicago to Los Angeles, and his use of the Curt Teich Postcard Archives.

Baker visited the Teich archives and researched in the production files for postcards along Route 66.  Many of the production files included the original black-and-white (mostly) photographs that were used to create these postcards between 1925 and 1954, an era before color photography was prevalent.  Some of the postcards had only a blue sky added; others had multiple colors added to the purchaser's specifications.

Curt Otto Teich (1877-1974) was a German immigrant who came to Chicago and was very successful.  From its opening in 1898 through 1978, his company produced postcards for businesses and attractions across the country.  The records of this postcard production company, once the largest in America, originally wound up at the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois.  Now the collection is about to be transferred to the Newberry Library in Chicago.  Some of the collection is available online in the Illinois Digital Archives.

The former archives had posted a great guide  (very useful for collectors) to dating Teich postcards based on their stock numbers that is no longer online on the original archives URL.  Fortunately, it's been preserved in a Flickr group.  The company is also known for its "big letter" postcards, featuring the words "Greetings from [some town]," where the letters in the town's name were made of images of attractions there.

Baker's book features 112 sites (organized geographically starting in Chicago) along Route 66, presented in double-page spreads.  One side of the spread includes the black-and-white photo (often with notations on cropping and colors to use) along with the finished postcard (except in one case, where apparently a postcard was never made).  The other side of each spread includes Baker's research about the business or attraction pictured and the production of the postcard.  Baker also includes a brief description of what (if anything) was at that location in July 2014, when he and his wife took a road trip along the entire Route 66 looking for these sites.

This outstanding book is a great addition to Route 66 (and postcard) history.

[This book can be found in the General Stacks (upper level) of the Dick Smith Library, call number F590.7 .B35 2016.]

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Student Success Tips

Student Success Week is October 10th-October 14th. Below are a few tips that you may find useful.

1. Make Connections & Get involved
The people you meet while in college can be a huge impact on your future. Get to know your professors, organization leaders, or any other influential people in your life on a professional level. That way, if they allow you to use them as a reference for a future career opportunity, they will know you on a deeper level than just another face and can give real life examples of how you are a hard worker.
Speaking of using your connections as references, always ask permission. Never assume they will be okay with getting an unexpected phone call about you. Giving them a heads up will allow them a chance to think back and write down things about you that stood out to them.

2. Go to Class & Participate
While this may seem like a given, you would be surprised how many people have to learn this one the hard way. Some professors may give tips or even answers to an upcoming test during class. Participating in class discussions gives you chance to practice material you are studying and helps you apply it better once you have had a conversation about that topic matter.

3. Get a Calendar/Planner & Use it
Time management in college is so important and done correctly it is setting you up for success for the rest of your life. Between taking 12 credit hours, being involved in organizations, going to tutoring sessions, and having a part time job, it is so easy to forget that the 10 page paper that you had all month to complete is due tomorrow. A calendar can help keep you organized and decrease stress by letting yourself have more control.

4.  Challenge yourself-- & Prepare to be Challenged.
College is no doubt an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming and come with a lot of changes. However, one of the ways we grow as an individual is by learning new information and accepting change as a process that helps you grow into a stronger person. Meeting and talking to new people, or joining new groups is scary. But, in the end you will be glad that you took that step out of your comfort zone
Also, you will be meeting many different people with many different view points. Remember to keep an open mind, it is completely normal to have opposing views on a subject matter, and hopefully someone will walk away thinking about a topic in a new light. Almost any topic can be discussed in a calm and educated manner, just remember to be respectful to the other person's opinions and beliefs.

Sources: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/top-10-tips-academic-success

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Learn More about Route 66!

For this year's annual Friends of the Dick Smith Library Dinner in the Stacks on October 15th, Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, Director of the W.K. Gordon Center, will present his newest research on historic Route 66. Tickets are on sale through October 13th, and you can purchase tickets and get more information about the dinner on the Friends of the Dick Smith Library website.

In honor of this event, I've rounded up some library resources related to Route 66. Hopefully these will give you some context about Route 66's place in U.S. cultural history and get you excited to see Dr. Baker's presentation on the 15th. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The State Fair of Texas has a Library

Visitors to the State Fair of Texas may anticipate eating a Fletcher's Corny Dog or snapping a selfie with Big Tex, but they probably never think of a library here.

Selfie with Big Tex

But there is one, right in the Hall of State!

Hall of State
Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0

The G.B. Dealey Library is an Historic Library run by the Dallas Historical Society focusing on the history of Dallas, Dallas County, and of the State of Texas.

Holdings of this library include documents, photographs, artifact, and books dealing with historical events of the city of Dallas and Dallas County as well as Texas history.  The economic, social, and political history is the focus of the collection.

Research help is available from librarians by email, telephone, or written correspondence, but is limited to 15 minutes.  Extensive research may be done for a fee.  Researchers may visit in person for free, but appointments are required.

You never know where you may find a hidden library, so keep a sharp look-out.  You may just find one at the State Fair of Texas!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Banning Attempt in Hood County in 2015

In the spring and summer of 2015, the Hood County Library (in nearby Granbury) was the focus of a challenge to two books.  Given that this (September 25 through October 1, 2016) is Banned Books Week, it's a relevant topic.

The two books, about acceptance and tolerance, were My Princess Boy and This Day in June.

My  Princess Boy, written by Cheryl Kilodavis, is subtitled "a mom's story about a young boy who loves to dress up" -- in this case, her four-year-old son.  The narrative is a bit pedantic, but there's an important message about compassion and tolerance. Suzanne DeSimone's illustrations are notable for the lack of features on the faces.  That might be so the reader or listener can imagine anyone's and everyone's faces on the characters - further promoting acceptance of others and one's own uniqueness.

This Day in June, written by Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology, won the 2015 Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award, given annually to "English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.'  This was the first time in the award's 44-year-history that a picture book won (or was even named an honor book).

The book portrays the sights, sounds, and emotions of a colorful gay pride parade with short rhyming text and intricate illustrations by Kristyna Litten.  Young children who look at this book will see a fun parade; older children and parents will see some of the subtler messages in the shirts and signs of parade participants and watchers (the latter generally rendered in simple outlines and pastels).

Pitman also included an interesting four-page reading guide that provides more background for the images in each of the double-page-spread illustrations, as well as a four-page "note to parents and caregivers" with ideas on using the book and talking to children of various ages about the issues it might bring up.

More than 50 people submitted challenges to the books to the Hood County Library in late May and early June, 2015.  The county's Library Advisory Board (whose members are appointed by the elected county judge and commissioners) held a public hearing to consider the book removal requests on June 8.

The board voted unanimously to recommend keeping the books. The library director, in an attempt to compromise with the complainants, moved This Day in June to the library’s adult collection, because of its reading guide.

Nevertheless, the complainants continued to voice their disapproval, so the Commissioners Court held a public hearing on July 15, 2015.  The meeting lasted nearly three hours and drew both supporters and opponents of the books, who were all allowed to speak for up to five minutes each.  About three fourths of those who spoke supported keeping the books.

Commissioners decided not to vote on the issue after the county attorney spoke.   She noted the courts would likely consider any attempts to remove, relocate, or restrict access to the books to be unlawful censorship, based on previous case law involving another Texas public library.

The decision not to vote meant the books will stay where they are.  Not surprisingly, this issue led to a review of all the library's policies (including collection development), but ultimately no major changes were made to those.

This is an example of a book challenge that did NOT result in a ban.  "Banned Books Week" is somewhat of a misnomer - but "Challenged Books Week" does not have quite the same ring to it.  Luckily, most books that are challenged in libraries and schools are not banned.

Libraries - especially public and academic libraries - should support the freedom to read.  Individuals (including parents for their young children) still have the right to choose what they read - just not to restrict the rights of others through censorship.

[My Princess Boy and This Day in June are available on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library in the Curriculum Collection, call numbers EDUC HQ1075 .K535 2010 and EDUC PZ8.3 .P5586836 TH 2014 respectively.]

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Friends of the Library - Dinner in the Stacks

The annual fall Friends of the Dick Smith Library - Dinner in the Stacks in less that a month away.  Time to get your Tickets!

Friends of the Dick Smith Library presents:
“Portrait of Route 66” Presented by Dr. T. Lindsay Baker

Dr. Baker, Director of the W.K. Gordon Center in Thurber, will present stories of his travels along Route 66 and his search for the locations of historic photographs and images on the Curt Teich postcard company.

When: October 15, 2016
6:30-Appetizers 7:00-Dinner & Program

Where: Dick Smith Library

Tickets must be purchased  by October 13th.
Go online: http://bit.ly/XLQfFK or drop by the library.

$20.00 for Members
$25.00 for Non-Members

For more information contact:
Tonya Dobson


Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Database: APA Style CENTRAL

Do you need assistance writing and citing your papers in correct APA style? If the answer is yes, then you must check out one of our newest databases: APA Style CENTRAL. You can find it on the A-Z Database List.

*Some of the tools within this database require an APA Style CENTRAL account to access. You can create an account for free.*

This database is divided into four areas: Learn, Research, Write, and Publish.

The Learn area has:
  • Quick Guides - 66 short videos  that cover topics such as: how to set up the title page, and how to properly cite a journal article. 
  • Tutorials - 18 longer videos that cover more in depth topics such as: avoiding plagiarism. 
  • Self-Quizzes - 10 quizzes to test your APA knowledge. 
  • Samples - 17 sample papers and 148 sample references that you can use as examples of how to format your own papers. 
The Research area has: 
  • eBooks - 2 APA dictionaries and 17 additional reference books. 
  • My References - allows you to create, import, and organize your references. *This tool requires an account with APA Style CENTRAL to access.* 
The Write area has:
  • My Papers - allows you to write, edit, and save working papers. *This tool requires an account with APA Style CENTRAL to access.* 
The Publish area has: 
  • Information on over 2000 journals to help you determine which ones to target for publishing your own work. 
Check it out and let use know what you think. If you need assistance with this database or any other resource contact us at (254) 968-9249 or reference@tarleton.edu

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Banned Books Week! *Sept 25th-Oct.1st

Banned books week is coming up. It is Sept. 25th-Oct. 1st. The purpose of banned books week is the celebration of the freedom to read. Each year a different category is chosen to highlight those books related to that topic. This years focus is on "Diversity". Topics of diversity include the following:

  • Non-White main and/or secondary characters
  • LGBT main and/or secondary characters
  • Disabled main and/or secondary characters
  • Issues about race or racism
  • LGBT issues
  • Issues about religion, which encompass in this situation the Holocaust and terrorism
  • Issues about disability and/or mental illness
  • Non-Western settings, in which the West is North America and Europe

  • One of the things the Dick Smith Library is doing this year to celebrate banned books week is by creating an interactive display. We will have carts of books located on each level that will be wrapped in brown paper, as the example below.

     Students will be able to read a brief description of the book and the reason why it was banned. If they are interested in the book, they will need to check out the book in order to unwrap it to find out the title.

                                               What would you guess is the title to this book?
                                                   Hint: "After all, tomorrow is another day."

    So, while are you are in here studying next week, take a break to check out some of the banned books we have to offer!
    "Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance."  -Laurie Halse Anderson

    Sources: http://www.diversityinya.com/2014/09/book-challenges-suppress-diversity/

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    Anatomical Models

    The Kinesiology Department used its library materials allotment last year to purchase anatomical models for the Dick Smith Library!  These can be checked out for one week.  They are located on the lower level of the library in the Audiovisual Collection.

    Science in Graphic Novels

    The library has several science-related graphic novels available for checkout:

    The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA written by Mark Schultz, art by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon -

    The Stuff of Life uses a fictional story about aliens trying to overcome a serious and deadly genetic disorder to convey real-life facts about genetics and DNA.

    Freud for Beginners by Richard Appignanesi & Oscar Zarate -

    Freud for Beginners is not quite a graphic novel - "collection of comic-style pages" might be more accurate. It discusses Freud's life, beliefs, and theories.

    Little Robot by Ben Hatke -

    This last selection is very much fiction - a story about a young girl who finds and accidentally activates a robot. However, the main character does create a few more robots of her own. Fans of the Maker Spot's Lego Mind Storm, LittleBits, and other kits may see a little of themselves in her.

    STEAM in the Archives

    Today is Power Up Your Library Day (#poweredlibraries), a day to promote science, technology, arts, and math (STEAM). Working in the archives, you are surrounded by all of these. One of the first duties of archivists is to protect the records we hold. One of the ways we do this is by monitoring the temperature and humidity to ensure there is a stable environment.

    Temperature should be between 68°F and 72°F with relative humidity between 40 and 50%. Materials found in archives such as paper, parchment, leather, and wood absorb and give off water has the relative humidity changes. If the humidity and temperature are constantly changing then the materials are continually expanding and contracting. This causes damage to the fibers in the paper. This 30-second video that shows what happens with drastic changes in humidity:

    In addition, keeping the relative humidity and temperate in the correct ranges prevents the formation of mold and helps keep pests away. Mold and bugs both like cool damp places.

    We use acid free folders and boxes because most modern paper is acidic. The acid in the paper contributes to the deterioration of the paper. We use a special pen to test items to see if they are acidic. We may even use folders buffered with alkaline to help absorb the acid, but not with blueprints, because they are an acidic process and you would end up with blank pieces of paper.

    We also use plastic that does not off gas and damage items. Off gassing, is the emission of gas from items that can cause damage to items in archives. This usually comes from “bad plastic” found in some older photo albums. The plastic emits fumes that can damage the photographs themselves. The best way to explain off gassing is, it you have ever noticed a filmy buildup of something on the inside of your car windows and no one smokes in your car, that is off gassing caused by the bad plastic in your car. Finished wood and paint can also cause off gassing.

    That is a lot of science and chemistry just dealing with traditional items in the archives. Then there is math, not just counting boxes. When you build an archive or library, you need to consider how much the stuff you are going to put in weighs and build floors that can support the weight. I know of at least one library where the weight of the books was not considered in the design of the library and some of the top floors are empty because of this.

    What about the digital collections and electronic files? They have to be preserved just like the paper items. Digitization does help preserve the original object by reducing wear on the object. However, then you have an electronic file that has to be preserved. You need to make sure the file is not corrupted, and that you have the software and hardware to access the file. Sometimes electronic files need to be migrated to different formats so that they can still be accessed, but still look like the original.

    Then there is the technology in the collections themselves. Collections can document the history of physics, math, chemistry, video games, art, music, or anything you can think of. By looking at archival collections, you can trace the advancement of various technologies and sciences.

    One of my favorite things are maps and the history of cartography. With today’s GPS and satellite technology it made be hard to realize that maps were once made using what we would consider primitive instruments or that navigation would be so difficult. It was not until a clock that could maintain accurate time while at sea on a sailing ship while at sea was invented that sailors could accurately determine their longitude. Early maps of North America often show what today is California as an island. Because of Baja California cartographers thought it was an island. The tip of Florida is often depicted on early maps as a series of small islands because cartographers were unsure about the swamps and marshes. While these maps may not be accurate by today’s standards, they show humanity’s quest for knowledge and the expansion of their horizons.