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

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


    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.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    Made in the Maker Spot: August 2016

    We are so excited to have all of the students back now! Y'all are starting to make some really cool stuff in the Maker Spot, and we can't wait to see what all you come up with this semester. In the meantime, here are some of the things that students 3-D printed in August. If any of these inspire you, come visit us at the Maker Spot in room 250 of the Dick Smith Library, or visit our website at


    RaspberryPi Case


    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Meet Our Staff: Kortney Cox

    Kortney Cox
    User Services Assistant (User Services)
    Dick Smith Library – Main Floor

    My name is Kortney Cox. I started working at the library in August 2016 as the evening User Services Assistant. I am here Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  I am at the main level reference desk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. I genuinely enjoy everything that I do here, and my favorite part of my work is interacting with students. When I am not assisting students, you can find me checking shelving flags on the lower and upper levels, running reports for paid fines, and maintaining inventory for the reference section and general stacks. I also assist with scheduling our meeting and group study rooms.

    When I am not at work, I am usually at home. I always have my face in a new book regarding a hobby or interest, and I love to cook! I live in Stephenville with my fiancé and our furry children. We have three cats, Pixel, Althea, and Phoebe, and right before I started working at the library, we adopted a puppy named Poppin. My favorite fiction authors are Neil Gaiman, Oscar Wilde, and Janet Fitch. My interests include music of all varieties, aromatherapy, knitting, crocheting, gardening, dying fabric, and geology.

    I am so happy to be here! Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and kind. I am looking forward to growing in my career here and getting to know our staff and students.

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    Meet Our Staff: Yeidi Rios

    Yeidi Rios
    User Services Assistant (Reference)
    Dick Smith Library – Lower Level – room B05

    Hi! My name is Yeidi (pronounced jay-dee) and I am one of the new User Services Assistants at the Dick Smith Library.  I am responsible for opening the library Mondays through Fridays.  If you need help finding a book, article, or any other resource, or simply need assistance with library equipment, I’m here to help. I will also be helping with Library promotion and many other fun library tasks.

    So a little bit about me. I majored in Humanities at the University Of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and after that I studied Elementary Education, which led me to work as a teacher for four years. Through college, I worked in a library and I realized I have always remembered those years with much love and nostalgia. When life changed its course and traced a new journey for me to follow, I decided to work in a place I just loved, the library, and here I am.

    On the weekends, I like to start my mornings by making a breakfast feast (breakfast is my favorite meal of the day), family time with my preschooler, photography, running, and pretty much being outdoors. Now, regarding a favorite book, it’s tough because I have many. I’m really into biographies, so right now my favorite book is Bossypants by Tina Fey. I really like this book because it’s written by a truly inspiring female writer/comedian, who, by the way, starred in and produced "30 Rock," one of my favorite TV comedies of all time!!!! Her book has many anecdotes I can relate to. 

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Win Your Very Own Oscar P!

    Win your very own Oscar P! Come by the Dick Smith Library during our Howdy! Open House today, Wednesday, August 31, between 1 PM and 3 PM.  Have some cookies and enter a drawing to win an Oscar P plush, USB wristband, and a key chain created in the library's Maker Spot. You also win a $5-off coupon for your very own Maker Spot creation. The winner will be announced Thursday, September 1.

    (photo by Kym Schow)

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    Meet Our Staff: Joshua Wallace

    Joshua Wallace
    Instruction Librarian
    Dick Smith Library – Main Floor – room 110A

    I began working at the library on June 6, 2016, as an Instruction Librarian. My primary duty is to teach students how to effectively locate, identify, and evaluate information. I also work at the reference desk, and serve as the library liaison to the Criminal Justice and Kinesiology departments.

    I grew up in Ider, Alabama (population 723) and I attended The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. There I earned a BA and MA in History and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree. I started my librarian career in 2007 at South Texas College in McAllen. My wife, Yi-Chia Wu, was offered a position teaching Marketing at Tarleton in 2014, and we moved to Stephenville as a result. I then began working as a librarian at Ranger College.

    I have been an adjunct history instructor since 2004. I have taught at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, South Texas College, and Ranger College. Starting this fall, I am teaching one section of HIST 1301 (United States History - I) at Tarleton.

    In my free time I enjoy traveling, reading history books, cheering for the Crimson Tide football team, and watching science fiction movies. Eating is a real passion of mine. I love trying new restaurants and new cuisine. I also enjoy cooking, but only because I get to eat it afterwards.

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Welcome (Back)!

    Welcome (back) to the Fall 2016 semester, and to the Dick Smith and Texan Hall Libraries!  Here are our hours for the Fall semester:

    Dick Smith Library (Stephenville campus)

    Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 2:00 am
    Friday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Sunday 12:00 pm - 2:00 am
    (Service at the Circulation Desk stops 15 minutes before the library closes.)

    Texan Hall Library (Fort Worth Hickman Building campus)

    Library Open:
    Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 9:30 pm
    Friday - Saturday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    Service Hours:
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Wednesday 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

    (photo by Tracy Holtman)

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Made in the Maker Spot: July 2016

    It's been quieter in the Maker Spot this month, so we can't wait for all the students to come back next week! We are so excited to see what everyone makes this semester. We did have some really cool projects last month, though. The campus has been going crazy for Pokemon this summer, and several of our staff have gotten creative this summer. As always, if you see anything that inspires you and you want to try out the Maker Spot for yourself, come visit us in room 250, or go to

    If you are looking to get started with 3D design, is a free, browser-based application that you can access from home. They have great tutorials, and we are always happy to help out with designs as well. Happy Making!

    Purple Rose

    Lego Mindstorm Sorter
    Pikachu and Pokeball

    Pikachu and Open Pokeball

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    New Resources!

    The library purchased several new electronic resources and the Texas State Library added additional titles this summer, so we are ready for the new semester!  Here is a list of the NEW electronic databases available to the students, faculty and staff of Tarleton State University for research and assignments.

    • APA Style CENTRAL - 
    • Cambridge Journals
    • Chicago Manual of Style Online
    • Emerald Insight
    • LegalForms
    • Legal Information Reference Center
    • Science in Context
    • SciTech Collection
    • Social Work Reference Center
    This bring the total number of electronic resources, available both on and off campus, to over 250!  To access all these resources, click on Databases A-Z on the library's website.  

    The library is here to help--if you have questions or need assistance, call the Reference desk at (254) 968-9249 or email   

    Wednesday, August 3, 2016

    Adventures in the Archives: Dr. Richard Lee Thompson

    Adventures in the Archives continues....

    Here's a little more information about Dr. Richard Lee Thompson, whose papers are part of the archives at the library, pulled together by Crystal Stanley, our former Archives and Reference Assistant (now the Director of Library Services at Ranger College):

    Richard Lee Thompson was born in Stephenville on November 4, 1925.  He was the youngest son of Robert Lee Thompson and Corinne Barkley.  They had married in 1920 and purchased a home located at 343 North McIlhaney Street in Stephenville, on the east side of the present-day Tarleton State University campus.

    A photo posted by Tarleton State University (@tarletonstate) on

    The Thompson house had belonged to James Cox, who became President of John Tarleton College in 1913.  Cox had the house built in 1915, and lived and worked in the house until the Thompsons purchased it from him in 1920.  The original price for the house and surrounding acre of property was $4,800.  The house has a second front door because it was the door to Cox’s Presidential office.  Most of the house itself is still the original construction, minus three fireplaces, which were taken out in 1937 and replaced with a natural gas heating unit.
    Richard’s parents are credited with providing John Tarleton College a soda shop, called Campus Corner. His mother Corinne operated the establishment for 20 years. However, the Campus Corner did not make enough profits to keep open, and it was closed.

    Richard Thompson graduated from Stephenville High School in 1943.  That same year, he enlisted into the U.S. Navy on his eighteenth birthday.  Six weeks later, he was drafted.  He served as a medic with the Marine Corps for three and a half years, from 1944 until 1946.  He participated in the invasion of Okinawa, Japan, where he spent one year of his service.

    Upon returning home, he enrolled in John Tarleton College.  He then attended Southern Methodist University, where he worked as a student instructor in Biology.  After graduating, Dr. Thompson was accepted into the Baylor University Dental School.

    Dr. Thompson practiced for ten years at the State Hospital in San Antonio and was working in the VA Hospital in Chicago when his father Robert died in 1969. He returned to Erath County and took over the family real estate business. Over the years, the Thompson family acquired the full block of property adjacent to Tarleton on McIlhaney and at times had as many as 22 renters living in the houses once there.

    Dr. Thompson's mother Corrine Barkley Thompson passed away in 1984.  Thompson continued to live in the family home.  In 1998, Dr. Thompson donated six land parcels on McIlhaney to the university for use as parking for nearby dorms. He also donated a 20-foot magnolia tree moved from one of his rental properties to a location near Davis Hall. When renovations on the Trogdon House (then called the Hall of Presidents) were completed and a request was made for donations of authentic period furnishings, Dr. Thompson contributed items with  unique historical ties the furniture has to the University.  The Tarleton Alumni Association named him a Distinguished Friend at Homecoming in October 2002.

    Dr. Richard L. Thompson passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2004.  In his will, he created a trust fund of $100,000, where the interest alone would pay for the upkeep of his family home.  His will further stipulated that the house and all the furnishings remain as is.  The house currently functions as the Tarleton State University Alumni Association building.

    A photo posted by Tarleton State University (@tarletonstate) on