Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Service Desks in the Learning Commons

Those of you who are returning students, faculty, and staff know that the main floor of the library looks completely different!  Here is a (modified) color-coded map we prepared for Transition Week activities with the incoming freshman, with icons indicating the various services:

The Library Learning Commons has four main service desks. Here is some detail about the hours, services provided, and contact information for each:

Keep in mind:  the Reference desk can assist you with most services, especially when other service desks are closed.

Here are what some of the other icons on the map mean:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

College Success!

The campus is live with students making their way to classes, dorms, meals, and of course the library!   We hope everyone has a great semester!   The library wants to help.  Did you know the library has books about how to be successful in college?  That we have an entire Pinterest board devoted to links that will help make the most of your college experience?   Take a look!

 If we can can help let us know. You can Ask A Librarian or call (254) 968-9249 to talk to a Librarian.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall 2014: Welcome Back Students

Welcome back students! 

Need a place to print schedules, pick up a coffee, catch your breath, change your password, or ask questions? Stop by the library! We're open until midnight to meet your needs.

Fall Hours

Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 12:00 am 
Friday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm 
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Friday, August 22, 2014


On August 23, 1984, I was born. I can't believe that I'll be thirty soon. I'll be celebrating in truly age appropriate style: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza party at Cici's. I began to wonder what was going on at Tarleton 30 years ago. We have so many traditions. I wanted to see what has and hasn't stuck around and if any neat things happened.

The '84 Grassburr has activities from the '83-'84 school year. Looks like homecoming week had a lot of the same activities: bonfire, parade, football, queen and plenty of Poo antics. The '85 Grassburr has activities from the '84-'85 school year. A lot of cool things happened in the Fall of 1984. The GoGo's gave a concert. It would be awesome to have a big named talent on campus to give a concert! Tarleton beat Sul Ross 37-14 at the homecoming game. 

I'm looking forward to another thirty years and can't wait to see what Tarleton will be doing then, too. #TarletonRocks #Purple Pride #Turning30

If you need assistance, email or call 254-968-9249

Friday, August 15, 2014

Word Games: Rules I Learnt

The...set of rules was written by Frank L. Visco and originally published in the June 1986 issue of Writers' digest.

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
8. Contractions aren't necessary.
9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10. One should never generalize.
11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
13. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
14. Be more or less specific.
15. Understatement is always best.
16. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement
17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
19. The passive voice is to be avoided.
20. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
21. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
22. Who needs rhetorical questions?

One rule removed for profanity by Lisa Blackwell (July 2014)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Audiobooks

Here, in no particular order, are some new audiobooks recently acquired by the Dick Smith Library. Many of these won Audies or other prestigious awards. You can find them on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library in the Audiovisual Collection.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, call number AV-Audio PR6063 .A438 W65 2009, was the 2009 winner of the Man Booker Prize for "the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland." It also won the 2010 Audie Award for Literary Fiction. It's a novelization of the life of Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.

Wolf Hall is first in a trilogy and was followed by Bring Up The Bodies, call number AV-Audio PR6063 .A438 B75 2012. Mantel tells the well-known story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn from Cromwell's viewpoint. This book also won the Man Booker Prize, in 2012.  The third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is expected to be published in 2015.

Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, call number AV-Audio PZ7 .S53822 CLE 2011, is a well-written young adult novel (that will also appeal to adults who like historical fiction) about the only daughter of the famous queen Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, Cleopatra Selene II.

The Round House, call number AV-Audio PS3555 .R42 R68 2012, won the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction. It highlights a major issue in Native American tribal law - the "difficulty of prosecuting crimes of sexual violence on reservations," according to author Louise Erdrich, who is Native American herself.

A Good American, call number AV-Audio PR6107 .E53 G66 2012, is historical fiction written in memoir style. The fictional memoir is by James Meisenheimer, and he's telling his family's story. His grandparents, Frederick and Jette, immigrated from Hanover, Germany, in 1904, and due to a series of mishaps, wound up in (fictional) Beatrice, Missouri, on the Missouri River. They settle down there, have a family, run a bar. But life - and historical events - intervene.  This debut novel is by Alex George, himself an immigrant from England.

Set in Texas in late 1899, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, call number AV-Audio PZ7 .K296184 EVO 2009B, was a Newbery (for the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children") Honor Book in 2010. This historical fiction about a young girl interested in science was written by another debut author, Jacqueline Kelly.  The audiobook was also a 2011 finalist for the Children Ages 8-12 Audie.

The One and Only Ivan, call number AV-Audio PZ7 .A6483 ON 2013, is based on a real animal - the infamous "Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla," who spent 27 years alone in a small cage in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington. This fantasy won the 2013 Newbery Medal and was written by Katherine Applegate.

Another fantasy, The Graveyard Book, written and read by Neil Gaiman, call number AV-Audio PZ7 .G1273 GR 2008B, was the Newbery Medalist in 2009. That year it also won the Audie Award for Children Ages 8-12 and was named the Audiobook of the Year.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, call number AV-Audio D805 .J3 Z364 2010B, is the inspiring true story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic athlete and World War II hero, who spent 47 days on a raft in the Pacific and over two years in a Japanese prison after his plane crashed.

Check out our Pinterest board on audiobooks for more ideas!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July New Books

Each month the Dick Smith Library adds new books to its shelves. The books range from several topics which typically align with Tarleton State University's curriculum. 

Here's a look at a few new books that hit our shelves last month, July:

Book Cover from

Latinos and American Popular Culture  Patricia M. Montilla, editor.

General Stacks: E184.S75 L3674 2013

Book Cover from

A Will to Believe : 
Shakespeare and Religion 

David Scott Kastan

General Stacks: PR3011 .K37 2014

Book Cover from

Open Standards and the Digital Age : History, Ideology, and Networks

Andrew L. Russell

General Stacks: T59.2.U6 R87 2014

Book Cover from

Masterpieces : Early Medieval Art 

Sonja Marzinzik

General Stacks:

 N5964.G7 M37 2013

If you're interested in these books and would like to know about other books/e-books/audio books/etc.  that we've recently added, check out our New Books and Resources page. 

Also, if you need assistance in finding these books on the shelf and checking them out contact 
the Reference Desk located in the Library Learning Commons:

Monday, August 4, 2014


I grew up with the Ninja Turtles. Every Saturday morning, I would be glued to the television in anticipation of watching the TMNT and Captain Planet. I have all of the Jim Henson movies from the 90s and I can never pass up the opportunity to include the Ninja Turtles at an event or special occasion. This year, I'll be having a TMNT themed 30th birthday party. Why not? You only live once and you might as well enjoy it. I'm a huge Donatello fan. He's the nerdy one, of course. So what do the TMNT have to do with the library you may be asking yourself?

Well, a new TMNT movie will be coming out soon. I'm kind of on the fence about it because it doesn't follow the original story line from the comics/movies. I will go watch the movie just to see what it is all about. I found that using the library's Discovery@Tarleton, you can find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles on the TMNT. Most of the articles are from the mid to late 90s, but there are a few recent ones that critique the new film or give insight to the new film and its characters. It is interesting to see how the Ninja Turtles from the 90s were used to discuss war and character portrayals. I'd love to know what you all think about the Ninja Turtles, new and old. The new movie releases on Friday, August 8th.

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Time for Thinking?.... or Just More Cat Videos?

What could a memory machine do?  
This was the question that Vannevar Bush asked when he proposed the memex.

Vannervar Bush wearing
head-mounted infovore machine
from Atlantic Monthly (1945), vol. 176
Bush proposed a new system for organizing information in his article, ”As We May Think” which was first published 69 years ago this July. This system is linked to the beginning of hypertext and the Internet.
Bush stated, “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified…a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications…it is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory” (Bush, 2006). Does this remind you of the Internet in a primitive way?

Bush described this information organization devise, the memex as:
From Life magazine, (1945) vol. 19, no. 11, p. 123
“…a desk, [that] can…be operated from a distance…the top [is]…slanting translucent screens, on which material can be projected for convenient reading.  There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers….” (Bush,1945).
Does that sound like a desk-top computer, your personal laptop, or even, perhaps, your smart phone?!

The part of Bush’s article that often gets overlooked is Bush’s underlying reason for creating the memex.  Bush hoped to use the memex to cut down on the time it took to do good research which, in turn, would leave more time for deep thinking which Bush called “mature thought” (Levy, 2007).  Do we really have more time for thinking through the use of our “mechanical indexes” or do we just choose to skip the “deep thought” part in order to watch another cat video?  What do you think?

Bush, V. (1945). As we may think. The Atlantic Monthly, 176, 101-108.
Bush, V. (2006). As we may think. The Atlantic Monthly, 298(2), 55-58.
Levy, D. M. (2007). No time to think: Reflections on information technology and contemplative scholarship,  Ethics and Information Technology, 9, 237-249. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Collaboration Tables!

The collaboration tables in the library have multiplied! We now have four collaboration table booths, and two collaboration table rooms in the new library learning commons, as well as our original collaboration table on the lower level. These tables and rooms are great for working on group papers or projects, researching together or group exam review. Everyone can share their own screens, and see the large screen monitor. No more huddling around a lab computer or someone's laptop!

All the collaboration tables are equipped with a large screen TV monitor, an on board computer, wireless keyboard and mouse and connectors for four other devices. Just push the button on the cord to display that device. Pro tip: If you are using the on board computer along with other connected devices, disconnect the other devices to return to viewing the on board computer. The connectors are all HDMI or VGA, but if you need a different kind of connector, ask at the circulation desk. We have connectors for iPads, tablets, and many other devices available for check out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Computing in the Library

Need a place to get your assignments done?  The library is here to help!  We have over 200 computers with all kinds of applications and programs needed to complete a project. Here is a list of the software installed on our computers. 

Adobe Creative Cloud
•    Photoshop
•    Illustrator
•    Acrobat Professional
•    InDesign
•    Dreamweaver
•    FireWorks
Multimedia Tools
•    iTunes
•    Quicktime
•    RealPlayer
•    VideoLan
•    Windows Media Player
Microsoft Office 2013
•   Word
•    Excel
•    Access
•    PowerPoint
•    Publisher
•    Project
•    VisioSkype
Web Browers
•    IE
•    Firefox
•    Chrome
Windows Movie Maker

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tarleton pride on Pinterest

If you're on Pinterest and you follow the library, you may have noticed our Purple Pen--Writing & Art board, which spotlights contributions from Tarleton students, staff, and faculty.

We're only getting started and we'd love to have more pins to show off.  Help us celebrate Tarleton authors and artists on Pinterest.  If you know of a Tarleton author, artist or work that should be part of the board, let us know in the comments below. 

Thank you.

A screenshot of the library's board for Tarleton authors and artists.
We hope to add many more pins.

Friday, July 18, 2014

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 Image Search made finding such images much easier.
  • Enter your search term.
  • Click on Search tools.
  • Click on Usage rights.
  • Select the appropriate license (“Not filtered by license” is the default). 

Google image 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.

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 their (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 are some additional resources on proper attribution: (has a great infographic), and

[A slight variation on 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, July 17, 2014

Citing Sources--Help and More

Citing your sources for a research paper can be a daunting prospect. 
There are so many questions.
  • Is your book an e-book or a print book?
  • Is that internet source an article, a blog post, a web page, or an online newsletter?
  • Is it possible  (or even desirable) to cite a tweet?

Perhaps you've felt something like this:

Gif obtained at

Don't worry. We're here to help.

Our Citing Sources page is an excellent resource.

It has the following:
A screenshot of our Citing Sources page.

You can also get citation help...
  • in person at the Information Desk on any floor.
  • by phone at (254) 968-9249 during library hours.
  • by using our online Ask A Librarian form.