Friday, July 25, 2008

Choosing Sources

  • Know you need to locate articles for a project or paper?
  • Not sure which types of periodicals would be the best to use?
  • Not quite sure how to tell the difference between the different types of periodicals?
  • Not sure why you should care about the difference between different types of periodicals?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that you’re not alone.

Because the types of sources used in projects and papers often (if not always) influence how well your finished product will be received (what grade it will receive or what your supervisor will think about your abilities), it’s important to learn how to tell the difference between the types and how to use them appropriately.

A brief overview of periodical types -- their characteristics and uses -- is provided by the YouTube video Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals, which was created by Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University.

Need more assistance figuring out what type of article to use, where to find the articles, and how to cite them? Tarleton Libraries are here to help!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Textbook prices falling?

New laws, access to e-books, and rental options may drop the cost of your next textbook purchase.

U.S. News and World Report - "Textbook prices, which have nearly tripled in the past 20 years, may finally start to decline thanks to some new laws, technology, and upstart companies. Undergraduates who take advantage of the new alternatives could easily slash their textbook costs in half this coming academic year. " Read more...

Monday, July 21, 2008


Did you know there are 45 public lockers located on the third floor of the library? They are across from the restrooms nearest the elevator and stairwell. Each locker is approximately one foot wide, one foot tall, and 18 inches deep. You can check one out for an entire semester; maybe use it to store your books so you don’t have to haul them all from class to class. Keys are available at the circulation desk for checkout and renewal. There is no charge for using the lockers; however, the charge for a lost locker key is $7.50.

Friday, July 18, 2008

21 Incredibly Practical Tips To Survive the Real World

[From the source]So here it is. The practical financial advice (plus a few general tips) that very few people will share with you. The 21 tips you really need to survive the "Real World"...

Although this is addressed to the recently graduated, the sooner one learns these, the better! And follow the linked stories--they are informative as well.

Take a look!

21 Practical Tips

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tips for searching the Internet

Which internet browser do you use? I use both IE (internet explorer) and Firefox. There are lots of others out there. Whichever browser you use, here are some good tips on searching the interest.

Tips for searching the Internet:

In this article

* Use the Instant Search box
* Use the Address bar
* Use more than one search provider
* Search more efficiently"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gas Prices Cause Rise in Online Courses

We're all suffering from the high cost of gas. With prices hovering around the $4.00 mark, it's no wonder students are looking for relief.

Check out this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
$4-a-Gallon Gas Drives More Students to Online Courses

Here at Tarleton, if you are enrolled in off-campus courses you might want to check out the library’s Distance Services

The library has a courier service available to deliver materials between the Stephenville, Killeen, Waco, Fort Worth, and Weatherford campuses each Tuesday and Thursday.

If you do not live, work, or attend classes near any of the listed courier delivery locations, you may be eligible for Home/Office delivery of library materials. You will need to register with the library at Users are required to register each semester with the library as a Distance Learner to continue home/office delivery service.

Requests for materials can be placed through your ILLiad account Depending on your location, items will be sent via the campus courier or mailed directly to your home/office. Most article requests are sent electronically as PDF documents when possible.

If you receive home/office delivery, you will be responsible for mailing borrowed materials like books, videos, etc. back to the Dick Smith Library. A “Postage Paid” label will be provided.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Quest for Sustainable Balance

"One can only call that youth healthful which refuses to be reconciled to old ways and which, foolishly or shrewdly, combats the old. This is nature’s charge and all progress hinges upon it."

The truth in Anton Chekhov's words is played out daily by young people world-wide as they take action individually, in groups, and with communities to help restore balance in nature.

This committment to action is easy to spot in the submissions to the
2008 P3 Award Competition, which "is a national student design contest administered by EPA's National Center for Environmental Research." This competition fosters "projects to benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect the planet (P3)."

Student project titles for 2008 include

  • A Novel Reactor Design for Efficient Production of Biodiesel from High Free-Fatty-Acid Oils
  • Catching the Wind: A Low Cost Method for Wind Power Site Assessment
  • Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation in Rural Bangladesh
  • Production of Natural Plastics in Wastewater Treatment
  • The Boone Bicycle Initiative: A Community Based Project to Promote Bicycles as an Alternative Mode of Transportation

Want to learn more? Just go to P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability and you can.

Who knows, maybe Tarleton students could be the next winners. Think Green!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Five ways to beat the summer heat

Five ways to beat the summer heat from BNET - Click on the link to read more about it!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


My favorite part of the Fourth of July is the aerial fireworks show. Have you ever wondered how the colors and shapes of the fireworks are produced?

Colors are created using different chemicals that burn or glow with various wavelengths. Here are some examples:
Red: strontium salts, lithium salts
Orange: calcium salts
Yellow: sodium compounds
Green: barium compounds
Blue: copper compounds
Silver: burning aluminum, titanium, or magnesium

Pure colors call for clean ingredients. Even tiny quantities of sodium impurities will create yellow or orange and mask or change other colors. If too much smoke is produced, that can also hide the colors. The cost and age of the chemicals as well as the manufacturer’s expertise greatly influence the quality of the show.

Chemistry buffs might enjoy this interactive Periodic Table of Fireworks Elements.

The different shapes in aerial fireworks are created by the arrangement of pellets (called “stars”) of explosive and color chemicals in the shells fired into the air. For example, if the pellets are equally spaced in a circle, with explosive black powder inside the circle, you will see an aerial display of small explosions equally spaced in a circle.

More complex shells explode in multiple stages and are called multibreak shells. Sometimes they contain explosives designed to create sound effects such as crackles or whistles. The sections of a multibreak shell are lit by different fuses, with the explosion of one section igniting the next. The shells are assembled so that each section bursts in sequence to produce different shapes.

To see how some common multibreak shells look in the sky, try this interactive "How Stuff Works Field Guide to Aerial Fireworks". You can click on a name (such as “willow” or “palm”) and see the fireworks display that goes with it.

Here are some other links with explanations about fireworks:
-from Drexel University
-from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Have a fun but SAFE Fourth of July!

[photo copyright Amanda (the librarian) - all rights reserved]

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Free Software -- Yea!

10 Free Alternatives to Popular, Pricey Programs

This article provides an interesting overview of free programs that have been created to perform a variety of desired tasks:

  • create documents and spreadsheets
  • download email
  • manage appointments with a calendar
  • desktop publishing
  • edit photos
  • illustrate
  • create graphics
  • edit digital videos
  • design web page
  • create PDF files
  • money management