Monday, June 30, 2008

Which Search Engine Should I Use?

If you do not have time to wade through 1,640,287 hits, perhaps you should try a niche search engine. Here is a handy list of 100 niche search engines that may help you focus on specific information, unlike the large net often cast by more general search engines.

100 Useful Niche Search Engines

Included are engines for research, job-searching, video clips, various subjects such as medical/business/law information, finding people, shopping, city guides and more. There! A new tool to save you time!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Die Cuts!

Did you know the Dick Smith Library has a number of die cuts you can use? If you need to make a poster or display for a class, a bulletin board for your dorm, need cut-outs for a math or other lesson plan, or just want some embellishments for a scrapbook page, come to the Curriculum Workroom on the lower level of the library!

You will find:
- a complete set of 2" and 4" capital and lower-case block letters (including symbols such as ?, @, &, and $),
- an 8" block capital T (combine with 4" letters to spell "Tarleton" or "sTu"),
- the Greek alphabet in 4" letters for your fraternity/sorority/honorary projects,
- various seasonal designs (for example, firecrackers and flags for July 4),
- Texas-themed die cuts (such as a cowboy boot and hat, state outline, and an 11' x 2" word "Texas"), and
- numerous shapes (triangles, rhombus, circles, some divided into fractional parts) and other cut-outs (such as pentominoes and tangrams) for math and other lessons.

The Curriculum Workroom is next to the Special Services office on the lower level and is open whenever the library is open, so you can use these die cuts at any time in one of two press cutters. Remember to place the die cuts in with the rubber side DOWN, and don't cut through more than four layers of regular paper (or two layers of card stock) at a time. Any of the library staff will be happy to show you how to use the die cutters.

Usually you need to bring your own paper. HOWEVER, for a limited time, starting July 1, there will be some free paper in various colors available in the Curriculum Workroom - while supplies last only!

We generally purchase 6-8 new die cuts a year, so suggestions are welcome!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Read online -- anytime

Want to read a bit, but don’t have anything handy? Tarleton Libraries may have what you want.
We offer many online books (fiction and nonfiction), which you can read at your leisure:

Search for them in the library's catalog:-- Go to the library’s home page
-- Click "Library Catalog" (in left column).
-- Click "Advanced Search Options.
-- Choose "E-book" from the "Type" menu.

Use search terms that match what you want.For example,
-- author name (ex. Mark Twain, Stephen King, or Edgar Allan Poe),
-- title (ex. Wizard and Glass or Short Stories and Tall Tales),
-- subject (ex. humorous stories or adventure or mystery or juvenile fiction), and
-- keywords (ex. detective stories or mystery stories)

To open the e-books from off-campus:-- Use your NTNET login to open a book.
-- Read to your heart’s content.

Need help? Email or call 254-968-9249.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tech-free for a week?

Could you live a week without your IPOD? What about your cell phone?

Get an F or live unplugged for a week …Could you do it? A class of college students was given an assignment to live a tech-free lifestyle. No computers, no cell phones, iPods, TV’s or video games. Some said it could not be done. (I’m not sure ‘millennials’ can walk without a cell phone). Turns out, only 2 in the class of 26 did not cheat!

Could you do ? What device you you use the most? Read about one girls life as she unpluggs for a week:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Meebo Me!

Have you ever wanted to IM (instant message) a librarian here at the Dick Smith Library? Well, now you can!

We are testing Meebo to see if and how an IM service would be used with the library. In one click, wirh no registration or download required (unless the computer you are using does not already have Flash 7.0 or later installed), you can start typing in the chat window below to talk with me, the librarian!

1. If you need help, you can check to see if I am online here, and send me an instant message with this widgit.

2. Click on "edit nickname" near the bottom and type in your first name (if you like).

3. In the box where it says "Type here and hit enter to send a private message," type your question and hit the Enter key. No one but me will see your message, it will not show up here on the blog!

If I am online, I’ll try to reply right away. Give me a couple moments, as I usually have lots of windows open! If I’m not available (offline, away, sleeping, etc.), you can leave me a message with your e-mail address, and I will reply. Don’t refresh the window or navigate away or the session is lost.

Give this trial service a try, and let us know what you think of it in the comments!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Father's Day and other manly musings

Wow! Here is a site that offers a list, the 100 Must Read books for men (or for women who want to understand them). It is a combination of summer reading, reading you should do before you die, ideas for Father's Day, etc.. Titles run from children's books to heavy heavy reading and include Into the Wild, several from Doestoevsky, The Hobbit, Hatchet, Leviathan, and 95 or so MORE.

At that site is also a link to 'Manly Skills' which includes 'How to Give an Impressive Handshake' and 'Every Man Should Carry a Pocketknife' and more.

As a bonus, the comments are entertaining, and offer other book ideas as well. Check it out! And then, check out some books!
The Essential Man's Library

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Fax Service @ the Library

Need to fax a document? We can help!

The Dick Smith Library is proud to announce our new fax service. Bring your items to the Circulation Desk and we'll fax them where they need to go.

$1.00/up to 5 pages
$.25/each additional page

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tips for Fuel Economy

My car dealership sent a flyer with 5 tips for Fuel Economy - I came up with a SIXTH!
  • Leave the heavy lifting to someone else - Empty out your trunk and backseat of unnecessary items. According to, an extra 100 pounds in the trunk will reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2%
  • Don't be in a rush - Increased starting and stopping, constantly changing lanes and fast acceleration all decrease fuel economy. Driving the speed limit also helps. The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that for every 5 mph you drive over 65, you suffer a 7% decrease in fuel economy.
  • Don't sit idly by - Even if your's not hitting the gas, your engine needs fuel to keep running, Waiting for someone? Park the care and sit with the engine off if it's going to be longer than 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Take a cruise, carefully - If you drive mostly on flat terrain, use cruise control to maintain a safe speed that's fuel efficient. But don't use cruise control on a hilly terrain. The engine will rev ascending hills to try to maintain your selected speed which could cost you a lot of money at the pump.
  • Make one trip - Do you need to go to the grocery store and the dry cleaner? Do it in one trip. Going home between errands may not seem like a big deal, but if it's a habit, it could cost you hundreds of dollars in fuel costs.
  • Use the Library from HOME! - our databases are available off-campus 24/7. We have over 60,000 electronic books also available. You can phone or email if we can be of any help!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gas prices send college students

Gas prices send college students back to dorms, carpools
From the Houston Chronicle - Students are carpooling, staying in town on weekends, moving back into dorms - all trying to beat the high cost of gas.

Read more online!