Friday, May 22, 2015

A 21st Century Library?

I recently saw this picture with the caption that this library contains 3 million books.

Photo attribute: John Strassfield, May 2015
Discussion about this photo and what appears to be lack of evidence of 3 million books centered around the value of browsing stacks to find books and disappointment with the disappearing circulation desk.

How do you feel about a library that looks like this?  Is this really the future library of the 21st Century?

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Resource - Britannica Online

The Library has a new resource - Britannica Online!

Not only does it give online access to the Encyclopedia Britannica, but it also includes Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, general and history reference resources, news, videos, vetted web sites, plus 700 full-text magazine and periodical articles.

We hope you find it useful!  

Remember help is available for this or any other resource by visiting the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, or email at

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thank You Library Student Workers!

I just wanted to thank the library student workers one last time.  We could not do what we do without you!

This video features the students workers that worked in the library during the 2015 spring semester.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Reading Video

Looking for something fun to read this summer? Need a good audio book for your next road trip? The library has you covered! Check out our newest video for staff suggested books and audio books for summer reading.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The coffee bar is open May 13-15

Although the library's coffee bar is usually closed during interim, Dining Services has graciously agreed to keep it open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Wednesday), Thursday, and Friday due to customer demand.

Photo credit: Dick Smith Library

Please stop by and get something, and let the staff know how glad you are to see them!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fun for the summer!

If you're ready to sit back and relax, you can find something for just about everyone at the library - we have books, graphic novels, DVDs, and more. The above picture shows just a few of the things in our collection. From left to right:

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel - A steampunk YA novel.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett, performed by Stephen Briggs - A fantasy audiobook featuring magically intelligent rats and a cat, set in the Discworld.

Angel by Erica Sakurazawa - A standalone Japanese manga.

Cadfael: The Complete Collection - A historical mystery series on DVD.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - A historical mystery novel.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - J.K. Rowling's first novel written for adults.

Cowboy Bebop - A Japanese anime TV series. It's a space western centered on a bunch of bounty hunters.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy - A humorous Middle Grade fantasy starring a bunch of princes from various fairy tales.

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich - Another installment in Evanovich's popular Stephanie Plum series.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - A popular thriller.

Avengers Forever - One of several Marvel graphic novels in the library's collection.

Spirited Away - An anime movie both kids and adults can enjoy. A girl works at a bathhouse for spirits in order to rescue her parents, who've been turned into pigs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

QUIET!! Thinking Fast and Slow

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on Copyright � 1998 Mark A. Hicks. Originally published by Mark A. Hicks. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Texan Hall Library in Fort Worth seems to be considerably quieter during finals week?  Why?

I think it might relate to this funny post going around on Facebook about turning down the radio when you are driving down the road looking for an address.  
taken from Jodideo. com

Yes, some people admit to doing this as some sort of fault or an ironic action that they have taken, but the truth is that the active thinking required to find an unfamiliar address has invoked the unconscious action of turning down the radio.  The result is that the auditory senses have given way to the visual senses to use more brainpower. 

Professor Steven Yantis of John Hopkins University uses this principle as it pertains to cell phone use and driving.  Yantis (2005) states, "Directing attention to listening effectively 'turns down the volume' on input to the visual parts of the brain. The evidence we have right now strongly suggests that attention is strictly limited -- a zero-sum game.”  

Image found at: <img src="
9780374533557.jpg" alt="Thinking, Fast and Slow">
 The book, Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, is available at the Dick Smith Library at BF441 .K238 2011. 

The book deals with the function of fast thinking and slow thinking.  Fast thinking is the thinking that allows us to accomplish daily tasks. Slow thinking is the deliberative thinking that it takes to concentrate, the type of thinking required to study for finals!  Check out this book to find out more about these thinking processes and how Kahneman applies these to the world of business executives.


Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Slow, New York, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.Yantis, S. (2005). Multitasking: You can't pay full attention to both sights and sounds:

Lab findings suggest reason cell phones and driving don't mix, EurekaAlert!: The Global Source for Science News. Retrieved from

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finals week! Finals week! OMG! It's finals week!

Yes, you will survive.

But, to help you out the Dick Smith Library has extended their hours for you learning pleasure!

Dick Smith Library Finals Hours

Also, once the coffee bar closes we will be offering free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Also, here are some study tips to help your survive your week.

7 tips for a productive finals week

Friday, May 1, 2015

Who is your favorite author?

The library is investigating adding some pleasure reading materials into our collection.   We need your help to identify which genres you like to read and which authors to collect.   Have a favorite?  Please share!

Here is just a FEW of the categories we need your opinion on:
  • Fiction  
  • Nonfiction
  • Biography & Autobiography
  • History
  • Mysteries
  • Mythology
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Self-Improvement
  • Suspense
  • Young Adult

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Too Thick to Staple? Use the Comb Binder!

The Special Services Department, on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library, has a comb binding machine you can use with documents that are too thick to staple.  It's very easy to use - our staff would be glad to show you how!  We even have some binding combs you can use, in four colors in a variety of sizes.

The binder is located in the Curriculum Workroom downstairs, which is always open any time the library is open.  Staff can help you between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

Step 1 - choose a comb of an appropriate size.
Step 2 - punch holes in your papers.

Step 1 (left):  The combs are located in boxes in the two cabinets just below the comb binding machine.  Please choose one appropriate to the size of your project.  You want to use a comb that is just slightly bigger than the size of your papers.

Step 2 (right):  Next, slide your papers into the lower half of the machine until they reach the back.  Press down on the handle to punch holes in the papers.  You may need to divide your papers into smaller stacks as the binder can't punch through too thick a stack.

Step 3 - Place comb on top rack and press handle away to open.

Step 3 (left):  Place the comb on the prongs of the top rack with the opening side towards the top.  Press the handle AWAY from you to open up the comb.

Step 4 - Place papers on comb and release handle to close comb.

Step 4 (right):  Place the holes of your papers on the combs, and pull the handle back towards you to close the comb up.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Library of Congress!

215 years ago today, President John Adams signed the first bill to establish the Library of Congress. He appropriated $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress." The first books arrived in 1801 and were originally housed in the capitol building. In 1802, the first library catalog listed 964 volumes and 9 maps. The library was originally administered by House clerks.
Postcard of the Library of Congress in 1902 from the New York Public Library Digital Collections

When the British burned the capitol building in 1814, during The War of 1812, the original library was destroyed. To "rcommence" the library after this disaster, Thomas Jefferson sold his personal collection of 6,487 volumes to Congress in 1815 and a professional librarian, George Watterson, was hired as the first Librarian of Congress. In 1870, copyright law began to require that all authors who wanted copyright protection send two copies of their work to the Library of Congress, and the library quickly outgrew its space in the Capitol Building.The building you see in the picture was completed in 1897, by which time the library had grown into a national institution.

Today, the Library of Congress is still an "unparalleled world resource" which houses over 158 million items in three buildings. They also provide services and resources for librarians and libraries around the country, including the Tarleton Libraries. We rely on the Library of Congress classification system to organize our collections, and obtain catalog records written by Library of Congress catalogers. The Library of Congress also houses the United States Copyright Office, which gives official guidance on copyright law. In short, it has grown a lot from the $5,000 worth of books originally appropriated by President Adams!

For more information see: 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tarleton Allies at the library

You may be familiar with the Ally Program from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
What you might not know is that the library staff has an impressive number of allies--ten total if you include our latest trainees.  Trained allies can be spotted by the stickers outside their offices. Sometimes they will also wear a pin like the one below.

Photo taken by the author. Please do not use without permission.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day was founded in 1970 to bring attention to the environment in the wake of oil spills, polluting factories, toxic waste dumps, and other environmental concerns.

So what can we do to do our part in helping the environment and to bring attention to the movement?
Here are 5 eco-activities that you can do:

  1. Throw a green party.
  2. Get involved in a Community Garden.
  3. Do a home energy audit.
  4. Plant a tree.
  5. Volunteer for an environmental charity.
Want more ideas on how to get involved? In honor of the movement, has come up with a list of "10 awesome eco-activities".

Monday, April 20, 2015

What to do if you don't know which database to use

If you need to find an article but aren't sure which library database to use, you have several options. Here are a few of them:
  • Ask for help. Librarians at the reference desk can help you find what you're looking for, or at least get you on the right path. You can also call (254-968-9249) or ask for help via our "Ask a Librarian" form.
  • Try Discovery. Discovery searches most of the library's databases and can be a big help if you're not sure where to start. 
  • Try one of the databases on the appropriate "Research Guides by subject" page. These pages include lists of the best databases for whichever subject you choose.