Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Dick Smith Library will be open today, Wednesday, November 25, from 7 AM to 5 PM.  We will be closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, through Saturday, November 28, reopening at noon on Sunday, November 29.

Extended hours will continue at that point - you can find the schedule here:

The Study Grounds Cafe, although closed today through Sunday, will also have extended hours the rest of the semester.  Their schedule is here:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a safe trip if you are traveling!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

International Game Day Today!

Stop by the Dick Smith Library's Multi-Purpose Room today between 2pm and 6pm to join the Tarleton Game Club for International Game Day.  The Tarleton Game Club students will be giving short presentations on projects they have made and the process they go through to create games.  They will also be demoing the Oculus, a virtual reality device.  There will be a game tournament for Battleblock Theater starting at 4pm.  If you want to join, sign up between 2pm and 4pm.  You must be present to win the prizes for the tournament.  There will be free food while supplies last!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Library Extended Hours: Coming Soon!

Did you know the library extends its hours for you to prepare for finals? 

Check out our Extended Hours Schedule:

Let us know if you have any questions: 

Phone: (254)968-9249

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Eat a Sandwich Today

Today is National Sandwich Day.  I eat sandwiches for lunch almost every day.  They are fast, easy, and generally cheap.  And you can eat them with only one hand, which is just what John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich needed. 

Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (4 of 5) / Molly Elliott / CC BY-ND 2.0

In 1762, after having sat at a card table for hours gambling he asked for something he could eat without having to get up so he could continue his game.  The cook did what all of us do and slapped some meat between two pieces of bread and his meal was served.  They soon caught on and became very popular in England and were first served in restaurants and later became popular on picnics.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Birth of the Internet

Can you remember a time when something wasn't immediately accessible via the Internet? A time when you forced to do your shopping in brick and morter buildings? A time before Facebook?

History of the Internet

On October 29, 1969 a studend named Charley Kline transmitted "LOGIN" from a computer in UCLA to one in Stanford. He got as far as L O before it crashed.

He was able to send the complete message an hour later.

So why was this important? Because it initiated a spark in thinkers, dreamers, and those with the technological know-how to invent HTML and HTTP languages that would allows computers to talk to one another.

World Wide Web in 1989
Since 1989 the Internet has become one of the most influential inventions of our time. It has allowed us to become closer globally and has helped shape our world views. We can learn from one another at a tremendous rate and what happens at one corner of the globe can be viewed almost immediately in another nation.

So I ask again, can you remember a time when the world wasn't at your fingertips. What has it allowed you to do?

For more information:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October is (Also) Family History Month

Besides being #ArchivesMonth, October is also Family History Month, and we have a number of databases and other resources here at Tarleton that can help you research your own family history.  Check out our Genealogy Research Guide for suggestions as well as a link to a web page with other helpful resources.

If you need help using any of these databases or other resources, see our Coordinator for Archives and Special Services (and amateur genealogist) Amanda Pape, on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library, call her at 254-968-9251, or (best) e-mail her at

And don't forget that TODAY, Tuesday, October 27th, from 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the Library's Multipurpose Room, the Library will be hosting a Brown Bag presentation on "Preserving Your Family History and Treasures" by our archivist Gary Spurr.  Please feel free to bring your lunch!  We hope to see you there. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Highlight: The Addams Family

Growing up in the 90's during Halloween was ... AWESOME! So many of my traditions for Halloween today, go back to what was cool then. It was a time when you could still trick or treat in your own neighborhood. Homemade candy wasn't a scary thing if it was in a neighborhood you knew. Movie nights consisted of Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. But my favorite that I could watch any time of year was The Addams Family. Of course, my generation were familiar with the 1991 version that was followed by The Addams Family Values. I, however, watched the 1964 TV show almost every night before I went to bed. So as I have been preparing for the Halloween holiday this year, I of course pulled out my VHS tape of The Addams Family and prepared for an epic movie night full of nostalgia. This got me thinking what came before the TV show? Was it a book? Who came up with this idea of a family that was so scary yet normal in their own way? So I did some digging and thought I would share with you some facts I found interesting!

The Addams Family actually started out as a cartoon in the The New Yorker. American cartoonist, Charles Addams, was the creator of this eccentric family.  He created them as an inversion of the ideal American family. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single-panel cartoons. Only about half were originally published in The New Yorker between 1938 and 1988. They have since been adapted to other media, including the TV show (live and animated), films, video games and a musical. Addams' original cartoons, however, were not given names until the TV series, but well-known characters were often seen in his cartoons: Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Cousin Itt and Thing. Charles Addams was first inspired by his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, which was an area full of "ornate Victorian mansions and archaic graveyards." Charles Addams was approached by a television producer who wanted to create a TV show. All Charles had to do was given names to his characters and characteristics for the actors to use in their portrayals. The TV show first aired in 1964 and lasted two seasons with over 60 episodes. The Addams Family's first appearance in an animated show was on the third episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies that first aired in 1972. ( 

A few interesting things about Charles Addams himself:
Charles Addams was born in 1912 and passed away in 1988. He is distantly related to U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, despite the different spellings of their last names. He married his last and third wife in a pet cemetery. 

I've included a few links to other interesting facts and even a quiz on what you know about the 1991 movie! 

Happy Halloween! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's #ArchivesMonth

October is #ArchivesMonth. What does that mean? #ArchivesMonth is a chance for archivists to educate the public on what an archive is, what archives are, and what archivists do. We will be sending out tweets all month highlighting the Tarleton Archives. Please view the video below to see a brief overview of some items the Library's Special Collections & Archives have and services we offer.

If you're not certain what an archive is or what archives are, check out this article titled "What is an Archives?". Feel free to contact any of the Special Collections & Archives staff if you have any questions.

Amanda Pape, Coordinator for Archives and Special Services,, (254)968-9251
Gary Spurr, Collections Archivist,, (254)968-1808
Crystal Stanley, Archives & Reference Assistant,, (254)968-9496

On October 27th from 12:10pm-12:50pm in the Library's Multipurpose Room, the Library will be hosting a Brown Bag presentation on "How to preserve your family records" by Gary Spurr. Please feel free to bring your lunch! We hope to see you there. 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @tarletonlib to see all of the wonderful tweets about #ArchivesMonth. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Check Out Items Video

Last week, we released our second Welcome to the Library video! Have you ever wondered what those numbers on the spines of books are? What the Curriculum Collection is? Where you can find the movies? This video, How to Check Out Items, answers all these questions and more!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

How long will it take you to finish the books in your TBR pile?

Read It Forward has a calculator on their site that can tell you how long it will take you to finish the books in your TBR (To Be Read) pile. It's available here. All you need is the total number of books in your pile (or saved on your e-reader, or included in a Goodreads TBR list, or wherever else you keep lists of books you plan on reading) and the total number of books you finished last year. You don't have to add your age if you don't want to. The calculator then figures out how long it will take you to finish them all, assuming your TBR doesn't grow.

I added up the number of books I've marked as being ones I'd like to read, plus the number of e-books I own. According to the calculator, it would take me 6 years and 4 months to finish them all.

What about the rest of you? How many months, years, or decades (!) does the calculator think it will take you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Make Copies

This is our first video in our "Welcome to the Library" series, How to Make Copies.  Learn how to make copies as well as add money to your Texan Card.
Keep an eye out for more videos in our "Welcome to the Library" series and learn how to check out items, use the laptop vending machine, print, scan, request materials from offsite, and more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Hobbit Day


Hobbit Day was officially declared in 1978 in honor of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthdays, two beloved characters from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Before the official declaration there was much debate on when the observance should occur due to the differences between the Gregorian and Shire calendars. This is because Tolkien once said that the Shire calendar is ahead by about 10 days, depending on the month.


Some Tolkien fans celebrate with having parties and feasts emulating the hobbit’s parties. Feasts can include potato-cheddar pancakes, jam "sandwiches", and dill pickle spears. For more feasts ideas checkout Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's menu ideas.

Fun games to play include a scavenger huntpin the ring on Bilbo, and a Hobbit trivia night. Others celebrate by simply going barefooted in honour of the hobbits, who rarely wear shoes.

How will you celebrate Hobbit Day?

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Dump

Collections Archivist Gary Spurr received a package from a woman whose mother attended Tarleton in the twenties. In the package, there was a small Tarleton pennant, a leather covered graduation invitation, Yell Book, handbill to a Cherniavsky concert, and many more interesting things from her mother's year at Tarleton (1924-1925). In the letter, the woman states that her mother lived in "the dump". The question is....WHAT WAS "THE DUMP"? Upon further investigation using the JTAC Newspaper, Grassburr archive, and the Cross Timbers Historical Images Project, we discovered that the Dump was actually the Mary Corn-Wilkerson girls dormitory.

"The dump" was built in 1910 after Mary Corn-Wilkerson responded to a call of need for a women's dormitory and deeded 370 acres of land to the university. She asked that the real estate be sold and the money used to build the first women's dorm. It was a two story high red brick building with all the "modern conveniences" of the time. Over the years, several annexes were added. Sadly, in 1955 "the dump" was demolished and 8 years late Hunewell was constructed in its place (Guthrie, 1999).

Donated items in package.
Letter accompanying donated items.

Photo taken from 1920 Grassburr

 Guthrie, C. E. (1999). John Tarleton and his legacy : the history of Tarleton State University, 1899-1999. Acton, MA : Tapestry Press, [1999].

Note:  Guthrie's book is available in the Dick Smith Library on the 3rd floor in the General Stacks. It can be found with the following call number: LD5271 .T35 G88 1999.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Library Learning Commons - Still the place to be!

The Library Learning Commons (LLC) is still the place to be!  The Commons, which opened last year, is where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee, get tech help, set up a tutoring session, use a computer, or print. The space is comfortable and inviting, with some great technologies to help you get your work completed. There are collaboration stations, KIC scanners, charging stations, even laptop vending machines. The easiest way to find out more about the LLC is to view the website.

Need assistance? Call 254-968-9249 or email