Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Pearl Wylie Cage, of the Stephenville banking and railroad Cage family, was instrumental in raising the money needed for John Tarleton College to join the A & M System. She discovered that the funds raised did not meet the goal and while in New York she persuasively presented the dilemma to her friend Edgar L. Marston and his family. He was the owner of the Texas Pacific Coal and Mining Company in Thurber. The Marston family provided the rest of the money, and on February 20, 1917, the bill passed in the Texas Legislature to make John Tarleton College a branch of A & M. and was to be called John Tarleton Agricultural College. (Guthrie, John Tarleton and His Legacy, p.39)

Find out more about Pearl Wylie Cage, and other “spirits” in the history of Stephenville and Erath County this Sunday, November 2, 2008 across the street at the West End Cemetery. The 2nd Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk begins at 2 P.M., so be on time! In addition to Pearl, the walk will feature more Stephenville and Erath County notables portrayed by local actors and actresses dressed in period attire. The spirit walk is a joint fundraiser for the Friends of the Tarleton Dick Smith Library and the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library. Admission is $5.00 per person!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meet Our Staff: David Davis

David H. Davis
Graduate Assistant
Reference & Information Desk
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor

Hi! I often get comments of looking like Robin Williams. (I'm sure they meant Robert Redford, right?) In actuality, I'm the new Graduate Assistant working at the Reference & Information Desk on the main floor of the Dick Smith Library. I’m there Sundays from 8 PM to midnight, Mondays through Thursdays from 9:30 PM to midnight, Fridays from 4 to 8 PM, and Wednesdays from 10 AM to noon.

A majority of the questions at the Reference & Information Desk are of a technical nature. However, it's always fun to help (even more rewarding to find) answers to reference questions. In general, I enjoy assisting students, working with the student workers, and the great staff here at Dick Smith Library.

My full-time job is as a graduate biology student combining coursework in biology and wildlife sciences. For the past couple of years, I have researched an endangered bird species, the black-capped vireo, that makes Texas its spring and summer home.

After living in 14 states, I am now making Texas my home. When I have free time, I enjoy not reading, catching up on my sleep, bicycling, and exploring the places and people of Texas. So far, I've enjoyed: fishing the clear waters near Port Aransas, spotting new 'Life' birds, 'winged-flowers' (aka butterflies), and dragonflies of the Rio Grande Valley, snow in the Davis Mountains, and the exposed geological history and beautiful sunsets at Caprock.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday - Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat!
I's Top Ten Tuesday again! I thought we would celebrate the upcoming Holiday. If you want your house to be a hit this Halloween, you might stock up on what Lycos found to be the most searched for Halloween Candy last year:
  1. Tootsie Roll
  2. Hershey's Milk Chocolate
  3. Nestle Crunch
  4. Nerds
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Candy Corn
  7. Snickers Bar
  8. Baby Ruth
  9. Reese's Pieces
  10. Almond Joy

I like anything chocolate – Reese's Cups are my favorite. What is yours? Post a comment and let us know…who knows you might find a sample around here on Thursday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

American Archives month

October 2008 is American Archives month. Don't miss out!


Cross Timbers Historic Images Project
A “collection of 19th and 20th century historic images from the Cross Timbers area of Central Texas.”

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (lower floor): An extensive collection of Tarleton and Texas historical, including archives of the J-TAC dating from 1919.

LIBRARY DATABASES (partial list):

Archive of Americana
“Tens of millions of pages of primary documents” such as “historical newspapers, books, broadsides, ephemera, government publications.”

In the First Person
“Index to English language personal narratives...letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories."

Texas Digital Sanborn maps
"(The maps) chart the growth and development of more than 12,000 American towns and cities.”

Digital National Security Archives
"Declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.”

W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas
Contains local information about the history of Thurber as well as a life-sized stage coach and oil derrick.


Library of Congress American memory
Collections can be browsed by time period, region and format.

National Public Radio’s Story Core Project
To date, tens of thousands of interviews have been archived and a book has been created.

September 11 Digital Archive
“More than 150,000 digital items.”

Texas Archive of the Moving Image
Dedicated to the preservation of Texas film heritage. Contains a searchable video library.

Social Networking - Do you twitter?

According to a recent
Nielsen report
,, and Ning are the fastest growing U.S. social networking sites. The analysis ranks social networks by year-over-year unique audience growth. Between September 2007 and September 2008, Twitter showed a 343% growth rate, 330%, and Ning 251%.

Which Social Networking sites do you use? Do you u
se them only for fun or for work and school? Post a comment and let us know your favorite and how you use it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Going Green?

Trying to go green but don't know how?
Check out Wikia Green - here you learn about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, get information about hybrid cars, get tips on eating green, or find out where to purchase green clothing and accessories. There is also a link to other green blogs for more information.

Want to get more involved? Help out with stubs - Stubs are short articles that can use more content. Take a look at the stubs on Green Wikia and share your knowledge wherever you are inspired!

The content is written from a green point of view, focusing on things you can do. So if your thinking of going green -- check it out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton athletics was in the beginning stages of development in the early 1900s! "Begun in 1901, these football, baseball, and track meets were held on an intramural basis. It was not until 1904 when Tarleton joined the West Texas College League that the school’s organized athletic tradition officially began."

"These early teams did not possess an official name. A campus legend contends that in 1925, Athletic Director W.J. Wisdom offered a five-dollar prize to the person who thought of the best mascot for the teams. However, Wisdom himself came up with the title of Plowboys.” (Chamberlain, The Early Years of Tarleton Athletics, Dick Smith Library Cross Timbers Historic Images Project)

In October 1908, one hundred years ago this month, Tarleton held a track meet. Our library website has a photograph of this track meet which shows how the people, the area, and our campus looked 100 years ago! To view this photograph, and to read the narrative The Early Years of Tarleton Athletics, by Frank Chamberlain in its' entirety, go to the Dick Smith Library homepage and under Special Collections, click on Cross Timbers Historic Images Project. Search by: John Tarleton College Track Meet 1908. ( )

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet Our Staff: Melissa Cookson

Melissa Cookson
Catalog Librarian
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor – Rm109J

I began working at the library on October 1, 2008. As the Catalog Librarian, my job primarily involves cataloging library materials (books, DVDs, audio books, etc.) and maintaining records that are already in the catalog. In addition, I’m the liaison to the Biological Sciences Department.

As a student at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, I majored in Anthropology and minored in German, but I also took courses in a wide variety of other subjects, such as psychology, Chinese art history, and Japanese culture. I received my Master’s in Library Science at Indiana University in Bloomington. My cataloging courses were always some of my favorites, so I’m happy to be here, doing what I love best. Prior to coming to the Dick Smith Library, I worked as a Cataloging Assistant at Colorado College’s Tutt Library and volunteered as a computer class assistant for the Pikes Peak Library District.

When I’m not working, I enjoy reading. My favorite genres are romance, fantasy, mystery, and science fiction. I’m a huge fan of Japanese animation and manga – if I haven’t already seen or read something, I’ve probably at least heard about it or know where to find information about it. I also love rats and have had pet rats off and on for several years. Currently, I have two boys named Bear and Yuki.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday – Items checked out

Today's Top Ten is in reverse order.

Here is a list of the items that have circulated the most since 2002. Find your favorite item in the library, check it out and raise its ranking! I bet you can guess the number one item(s)…

9. Are you there God? It's me, Margaret - 162
8. The very busy spider - 168
7. The legend of the bluebonnet - 170
6. State Board of Education rules for curriculum - 243
5. The Mental measurements yearbook - 577
4. Graph theory - 288
3. Essays in law and politics - 661
2. Dictionary of occupational titles - 719
1. Laptops - 13,237

Over 4,457 items have been checked out already this semester! (not counting laptops) You guys are really getting after your assignments.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Learn a new language online

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language?

Check out Livemocha is a free interactive online community that includes lessons, a diverse community, chat and motivational tools to keep you on track in learning a new language. You can connect with native speakers to guide to through the process.

You can also be a guide to others by rating and correcting other members that are learning your native language.

Espero que te diviertas!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

One of the Tarleton former J-TAC staff members being honored at Homecoming this year is Jerry Flemmons. He attended Tarleton from 1954-56, and went on to have a long career in journalism. He worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for thirty years in several different capacities. Jerry was a police reporter, features, writer, columnist, and retired in 1997 as the travel editor. He also authored several books including Amon, the life of Amon Carter, Sr. of Texas, Plowboys, Cowboys, and Slanted Pigs, and Texas Siftings.

While on the Fort Worth Star Telegram staff, Jerry Flemmons covered the Kennedy assassination, served as one of Lee Harvey Oswald’s pall bearers, and was the first reporter to climb to the top of the University of Texas tower following Charles Whitman’s 1966 shooting rampage.

Born and raised in Erath County, Flemmons was quarterback for Tarleton’s 1954 winning football team. At the time of his death, in September 1999, he was a writer in residence for Tarleton State University!

Come to the Dick Smith Library and take a look at some of his books and articles in the Fort Worth Star Telegram! There was also a nice article in this past Monday's Stephenville Empire Tribune about the former Grassburr and JTAC staff who are being honored at Homecoming, including a photo of Jerry Flemmons when he attended Tarleton!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Meet Our Staff: Yvonne Mulhern

Yvonne Mulhern
Instruction Librarian
Dick Smith Library – Main Level – room 110B

I am the new Outreach/Reference Librarian. Some of my duties include promoting the library, providing research assistance and teaching information-seeking skills. I’m also the English and Foreign Languages faculty liaison. I recently moved here from San Antonio.

My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I taught secondary English and theater arts for several years. I was also a library supervisor at a technical college and a volunteer at the San Antonio Central Library where I created web pages, assisted patrons and organized archival collections. I have a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas at Denton. Some of my interests include improvisational theater, detective novels, Web 2.0 and old movies. I also love animals.

Everyone at Tarleton — staff, students, faculty — has been so supportive and welcoming. I’m really glad to be here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 useful moves in MS Office

It's top ten Tuesday again!

From Philip Su, principal software engineer at Microsoft. Here are his "10 most useful secret ninja moves to increase your productivity and win friends and lovers." - Be sure and go to . They have text and pictures to help you learn about these features and tips! There are even more helpful hints in the comments!

I really love numbers 6 and 8!!!

1: Format painter (Office)
2: Paragraph in/out/up/down (Office)
3: Increase or decrease font size (Office)
4: Quick Access Toolbar (Office)
5: Fill handle (Excel)
6: Moving and copying cells by dragging selection borders (Excel)
7: Status bar statistics (Excel)
8: Clear formatting (Word and PowerPoint)
9: Advanced field search (Outlook)
10: Presenter view (PowerPoint)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Information Overload: How to Cope

Instant messages, text messages, phone calls, voice mail, work/school/personal emails, listserv messages, social network messages and status updates, RSS feeds, letters, junk mail, periodical articles, reports, books, book chapters, and the list goes on and on. All contribute to information overload, which is not a new concept. People have been feeling the effects of information overload since the 16th and 17th centuries "as books and written information became more widely produced and disseminated."

With the digital revolution of the 20th century "the amount of information flowing into our lives has increased exponentially." And, we're all feeling the effects, which are sometimes significant:

  • stress,
  • reduced analytical skills,
  • difficulty getting organised, setting priorities, and managing time,
  • decreased productivity, and
  • diminished performance.

In "Being Wired or Being Tired: 10 Ways to Cope with Information Overload" (Ariadne, July 30, 2008), Sarah Houghton-Jan examines the evolution of information overload, presents studies discussing the effects of information overload, and offers ten strategies for managing and coping with various types of informational overload:

  1. General Organisational Techniques
  2. Filtering Information Received
  3. RSS Overload Techniques
  4. Interruptive Technology Overload Techniques
  5. Phone Overload Techniques
  6. Email Overload Techniques
  7. Print Media Overload Techniques
  8. Multimedia Overload Techniques
  9. Social Network Overload Techniques
  10. Time and Stress Management

The strategies in this article (yes, another piece of information to deal with) may be just what's needed as we all try to stay caught up in the Information Age.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The first Grassburr was published in 1916. It included a listing of all the John Tarleton College alums from the first graduating class in 1903 through the 1915 graduates. The editor, F. Paul Williams, stated that “Time has added another year to the history of John Tarleton College. We have endeavored to make this volume of The Grassburr a representative of the year for every student to remember his pleasures and friends by. We have worked faithfully to publish a book that we will be justly proud of. To what extent we have accomplished this, let time and posterity decide.”

In 1901 the male and female literary societies worked together to produce the John Tarleton, a monthly campus literary journal. In 1904 it became a 2 page weekly news sheet called The Tarletonite. The October 12, 1905 issue stated that John Tarleton President “Edgar Bramlette spent Saturday morning on the Bosque looking for snails, craw fish, et cetera.” It also stated that "Tarleton College will open the season in a game with Howard Payne College next Saturday." In 1919 The Tarletonite’ name was changed to the JTAC.

Homecoming 2008 will feature a reunion of the Grassburr and JTAC staff from 1953-1958. Stuart Chilton has located many of the former staff members and this will be a great homecoming for them. The Dick Smith Library staff organized a display in their honor in the Thompson Student Center lobby next to the post office. Stop by and take a look!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet Our Staff: Cindy Roberts

Cindy Roberts
Access Services Assistant
Dick Smith Library - Circulation Desk

I began working at the library on September 3, 2008. My duties include making meeting room reservations and other clerical stuff that helps Access Services
run smoothly. I also help with interlibrary loan, and I am training at the circulation desk. Rashelle, Kim and the students who work at the circulation desk have been great about showing me how to do things.

I am a graduate of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. My last paid position was at the Fort Worth Public Library, where I was a Library Assistant in the Social Science department and then at the main Reference Desk for almost four years. I also have a background in the travel industry. I was a reservation agent for Braniff Airlines and Budget Car Rentals.

I live here in Stephenville with, my mom, Charlotte, who works for Tarleton in the Residential Living and Learning Department; my daughter, Summer, who is a junior at Stephenville High School and is a member of the Stingerettes; my two cats, Pumpkin and Ellie Mae; and I have a great boyfriend who lives in Hurst, Texas.

I really enjoy the Fall season. It is my favorite. I am looking forward to cooler weather, football games, the State Fair, Oktoberfest and Halloween.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday - Newspapers!

Did you read the newspapers that were available around campus? I know we sure had a lot of papers scattered around the library, so lots of folks were enjoying them.

If you miss seeing the news…the Library can help. Our top ten list for today:

Top 10 USA Newspapers by Circulation (

  1. USA Today – 2,281,831
  2. Wall Street Journal – 2,070,498
  3. New York Times – 1,121,623
  4. Los Angeles Times – 907,997
  5. Washington Post – 740,947
  6. New York Daily News – 708,773
  7. Chicago Tribune – 643,086
  8. New York Post – 565,679
  9. Long Island Newsday – 527,744
  10. Houston Chronicle - 477,493

The Library can help you read and enjoy all of these newspapers!

Our database, Access World News from Newsbank, provides access to all of these titles as well as 1,748 others from all over the world! It also includes 45 Texas newspapers – Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, etc.

If you have a question about newspapers and how to access them, please call the library's reference desk @ 254-968-9249.

Monday, October 6, 2008

If it sounds too good to be true...

Rebates! Extended Warranties! Free Gas! Peanut butter!

The large print giveth and the small print taketh away. Be good consumers! Read to be an educated consumer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The September 17, 1957 J-TAC reported that the "Tarleton students spend the majority of their study time in the library. We have one of the most complete libraries in the state. The Tarleton Library offers periodical, government, reference, and novel material. This air conditioned "land of study" was completed and dedicated early last year."

VOTE! or Not...Monday October 6th

To be able to vote in the Election in November, you must be REGISTERED to vote by MONDAY October 6th!!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Meet Our Staff: Tina Klein

Tina Klein
Evening Circulation Supervisor
Dick Smith Library – Circulation Desk

In this new position beginning September 2008, Tina oversees the running of the circulation desk and library student workers, plus helps the interlibrary loan department from 3:00pm until closing at midnight, Sunday through Thursday. Tina commented, “Our student workers are so good at what they do there really isn’t much ‘overseeing’ to be done!”

In 2005, Tina received her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Lone Star College-Montgomery in Conroe, Texas, and then worked three years for the Lone Star College System Offices in The Woodlands, Texas, before moving to Stephenville.

At one time Tina was the librarian for an elementary school with the Alvarado (Texas) Independent School District. “I have always been an avid reader but once hired as the librarian, I discovered my joy for library work and was thrilled after my move to Stephenville to be hired to work at the Dick Smith Library!”

With a love for the arts, Tina plans to obtain a bachelor's degree in fine arts here at Tarleton State University, with a focus in painting and drawing. “As an artist the hardest thing with my move here was giving up my personal studio and the painting classes I taught.”

Her hobbies (besides art) include gardening, reading, visiting wineries and listening to music, with some of her favorites being jazz, Celtic, Spanish guitar, and dances of the Renaissance.

Tina lives with her daughter, a senior at Tarleton, her two dachshunds, Mooney and Milo, plus Bella...“the stray kitten we had to keep because Mooney fell in love with her, but now Milo and I are crazy about her also.”