Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Warehouse to Our House - Part 3

How items are added to the Dick Smith Library Collection
Part 3 - Acquisitions - Receiving Items

The receiving process for new books and other items at the library is rather complex, varying depending on the way the library acquires them: through the Blackwell approval plan, departmental budgets, the library’s budget for specialty items, and standing orders.

A standing order is one the library places to receive all parts of a multi-part work as volumes are published, such as multi-volume reference works, until a publisher or vendor is notified to cancel or the multi-part work is complete. When these items come in, the library’s Primary Standing Order list is updated with the received date and item cost from the invoice. A post-it note is placed in the front of each book with ‘SO’ and the vendor, the received date, and invoice cost. The invoices then go to Acquisitions Assistant Kay Wiley for payment in the university’s Financial Accounting Management Information System (FAMIS).

Acquisitions Librarian Jodee Tennyson, and Assistant Director for Monographs and Technical Services Glenda Stone handle the Blackwell approval plan books when they come in. They check the titles against the invoice included with the books. They write the invoice number and the date received on a card provided with each book, and then place the books with the cards on shelves sorted by academic department, where the library’s liaisons to those departments (and sometimes professors from those departments) review them and decide which to keep and which to send back. Again, the invoices go to Kay for posting in an Excel worksheet. Books that are sent back to Blackwell are credited back to our account with them so the money can be spent on other approval plan books.

Items that are ordered individually, whether from academic department or library funds, are given an “R number” by FAMIS, and this number is also entered into Workflows, our integrated library system (the software that drives our circulation and catalog systems), by Jodee. Kay posts the relevant information in the appropriate account worksheet and requests that the R number be changed to a P (purchase order) number in FAMIS. All the paperwork is labeled and filed, and then Kay and her student workers wait for the books to come in.

Orders come into the University’s Central Receiving department, and then to the library where the delivery form is dated and signed. Kay and her workers unpack shipments and place them on a book truck with the shipping forms. Items are matched against the invoices and/or packing list, and the item’s paperwork is pulled from the files and updated with the received date and the item’s cost, and Workflows is updated to show that the item has been received. When the invoice is received for the items Kay then will process the invoice for payment.

A library pocket is inserted or paper-clipped to the books or audiovisual items along with relevant paperwork. Audiobooks with more than four discs are put into a vinyl binder with cloth sleeves for the CDs, and the cardboard case the audiobook came in is cut apart and inserted in the outer cover sleeve of the binder. The date received, vendor, funding source, selector (if applicable), and item cost are also written in the book's gutter across from the copyright page (or, for audiovisual items, on the library pocket that was inserted). Then the items are moved to cataloging – this step will be discussed next week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday – Thanksgiving Movies

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Here is a list of Thanksgiving movies for top ten Tuesday. Take some time over the break to relax and enjoy one or two!

From Kaboose movie expert Jane Louise Boursaw, her picks for the top Thanksgiving-themed movies of all time:

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • Pieces of April
  • Mouse on the Mayflower
  • The New World
  • Holiday for Drumsticks
  • The Little Orphan
  • Dutch
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Pocahontas
  • Home For the Holidays

Again, Happy Thanksgiving! Remember many library materials are available from off-campus. The library will reopen at 12 noon on Sunday, November 30 with extended hours to get you ready for final exams.

Friday, November 21, 2008

National Stress Out Day

What do you get when you mix a national financial crisis, winter holidays and final exams? A heaping portion of S-T-R-E-S-S.

Active Minds, a national mental health organization on college campuses, created National Stress Out Day (Week of April 20-24, 2009). It "provides a pre-finals stress reliever and...[educates] students with information about stress management, anxiety and related disorders." Activities include a national Screamfest, recess for adults and other stress-relieving activities.

Can't wait till April? Find stress relief the library.

1. Music: Listen to one of our several hundred CDs and cassettes ranging from classical music to rock (lower floor) .

2. Movies: After your last exam, get a movie or catch up on your favorite TV shows (lower floor).

3. Get organized: Fight procrastination with time management books, available online or on the shelves (upper floor).

4. Reduce road rage: Stuck in traffic? Try an audio book (lower floor).

5. Brush up on your favorite hobby, from karate to photography to holiday baking (upper floor).

6. Free your Mind: Read something frivolous and stress-free. Grab a mystery novel from the student lounge (main floor) or general collection (upper floor: PS 3500). Browse through popular magazines like Sports Illustrated or Vogue on the main floor or online. Too tired to move?Try our e-books.

Don't forget that we have extended hours during Finals week.

by BrittneyBush; licensed by Creative Commons.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The November 12, 1957 J-TAC stated:

Rain of Rivets Presents Hazard To Parked Cars – Officials of Tarleton State today asked students and college employees not to park on Lillian Street near the water tower between 8 and 5 p.m. this week since falling rivets are likely to damage the cars. The tower is being torn down and rivets are falling in the area in front of the Dean of Men’s residence.

The 75,000 gallon tank, erected in 1937, is one of the few remaining vestiges of John Tarleton Agricultural College. That name is painted on the side of the tank. Standing 100 feet high, the tower served Tarleton until a larger tank was built.The tank was recently sold to the Mineral Wells Salvage Co. which in turn sold it to A.H. Fields of the Pioneer Contracting Co. in Gladewater. Fields, who is in charge of the salvage crew said the tank will probably be repaired and erected in some small town.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From Warehouse to Our House: Part 2

How items are added to the Dick Smith Library Collection
Part 2 - Acquisitions - Ordering Items

Last week’s post was about selection of items the library acquires through the Blackwell approval plan, CHOICE cards and departmental budgets, and other specialty materials through Baker and Taylor and other vendors. Purchase orders are issued to encumber the funds for these items and provide the state authority to purchase them. We receive discounts thanks to agreements the state, the Texas A&M University System, and Tarleton have negotiated with various vendors.

Approval plan books that we keep are charged against the approval plan budget. The budget is allocated with 40% spent in the fall semester, 40% in the spring, and 20% in the summer. Departments must spend the money in their budgets by Spring Break. That’s also the deadline for most specialty materials. Acquisitions Assistant Kay Wiley, along with Administrative Services Coordinator Linda Land, are responsible for this tracking.

In all cases (approval plan, departmental budget orders, or specialty materials), Acquisitions Librarian Jodee Tennyson creates an order record in Workflows, our integrated library system (the software that drives our circulation and catalog systems). This allows all staff to know that an item has been ordered, and creates a tracking mechanism for it, as well as simplifying cataloging (part 4!) down the line. The bibliographic information for the item is pulled from the Library of Congress and into Workflows.

Books and other materials are also obtained through donations. The library will accept donations of materials in good condition, with the understanding that we are not obligated to include them in our collections. Items that are not added to the collection are generally given to the Friends of the Dick Smith Library, a nonprofit organization that holds a book sale each summer. Profits from the sale are used to fund special programs and purchase items the library needs – including more books and other materials!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Thanksgiving Books

It is Top Ten Tuesday again…and almost turkey time. If you have all your class work caught up, you might want to take a moment to read about one of the greatest American holidays - Thanksgiving! Here are the Top Ten Thanksgiving books from

  1. An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by by Louisa May Alcott.

  2. Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme by by David W. Pao.

  3. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.

  4. Book of Thanksgiving by Jessica Faust

  5. The First Thanksgiving Feast by Joan Anderson.

  6. The Pilgrims and Pocahontas: Rival Myths of American Origin by Ann Uhry Abrams.

  7. William Bradford's Books: Of Plimmoth Plantation and the Printed Word by Douglas Anderson.

  8. Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims by Kenneth C. Davis.

  9. Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols by Edna Barth.

  10. 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine Grace

Read this article from ABOUT.COM to find out what makes these books special…and how they relate to Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tips for avoiding tricksters

In "5 'DISPOSABLE' Web Accounts to Keep Your Identity Safe", Aibek of explains several "throwaway" web tools that can help you deal with spam, eliminate telemarketing calls, and protect yourself against identity theft:

  • Disposable email accounts
  • Disposable phone numbers
  • Disposable login details
  • Disposable name and address generators
  • Disposable file sharing

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun With Firefox

Maybe you've heard of or used the internet browser Firefox. But are you maximizing its potential by using add-ons?

Add-ons for Students:

Delicious Bookmarks: Delicious is a social bookmarking site that lets you bookmark and organize websites of interest; the add-on speeds up the process.

Facebook Toolbar: Use Facebook without leaving your current page.

Internote: Post "sticky notes" on web pages.

MeeTimer: Track, time and group your online activity...and eliminate procrastination.

Reminder Fox: Never forget important dates or tasks again.

Zotero: Collect and manage citation information from your browser.


Adding Search Engines: IMDB, Flickr, Webster's and dozens of other search engines are available.

Google Preview: See thumbnails of your search results.

Hyperwords: Highlight any online text (linked or not) and search for news, images, definitions, translations, photos, videos, blog entries, maps or shopping links.


Cool Iris: Save and share photos and video using a gorgeous interface and cool "3D wall" effect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Stephenville Recreation Hall
The November 12, 1957 J-TAC stated:

"Almost anytime of the day the Rec Hall juke box will be playing the number one hit tune of the day, You Send Me by Sam Cooke. This song seems to be the favorite. Running a close second is My Special Angel by Bobby Day. But the rock and roll fans are not left out completely. Elvis Presley has two new hit records out from his new movie Jailhouse Rock, the title tune and Treat Me Nice. Little Bitty Pretty One by Thurston Harris seems to be right on top with Presley's records. A great follow up to Bye, Bye Love by the Everly Brothers is Wake Up Little Susie. The tune is all the rage around Tarleton these days."

Did you know that Elvis Presley performed at the Stephenville Recreation Hall with the Blackwood Brothers the morning of July 4, 1955! After the concert in Stephenville, they performed in the afternoon in De Leon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From Warehouse to Our House: Part 1

How items are added to the Dick Smith Library Collection
Part 1 - Acquisitions - Selecting Items

Books get selected for the library in a number of different ways. The library has an approval plan set up with one of our main vendors, Blackwell. Based on a carefully developed (and often tweaked) “profile” of the library’s needs, Blackwell sends us a number of books each week in a variety of disciplines. The librarians review the books for the departments for which they are liaisons, and sometimes faculty members from those departments review the books as well. Books that are rejected get sent back to Blackwell, those that are to be added move to the next step (next week!). In general, with a well-developed profile, the library will keep about 95% of the books sent through the approval plan and only reject about 5%.

Each department in the university also has a budget to purchase books (or other materials – Fine Arts purchases a lot of music CDs, for example). The budget is based on enrollment in its courses as well as a number of other factors. Acquisitions Librarian Jodee Tennyson sorts through a bundle of “CHOICE cards” sent to her each month. These cards include bibliographic information as well as a review of the book from CHOICE, a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association. Jodee sends the cards to the faculty representative to the University’s Library Committee for the applicable departments, so they are aware of newly published materials in their fields. Departments are also able to order other materials, which Jodee will search for with Blackwell or our other main vendor, Baker and Taylor (B&T), as well as Amazon or specialty vendors if needed.

The library also has budgets for some specialty materials, like children’s literature for the curriculum collection, audiovisual (AV) materials (particularly audiobooks), and state-adopted textbooks for use in public schools for prekindergarten though 12th grade. Amanda Pape, Special Services Librarian, gets to select these items! In the case of the state-adopted textbooks, she works off the Instructional Materials Bulletin, a list of state-approved textbooks provided by the Texas Education Agency. She has to contact the textbook publishers or their depositories in Texas and obtain prices (since we pay for one student edition and one teacher edition of most titles adopted in the state) Once she gets pricing, Jodee and Acquisitions Assistant Kay Wiley actually place the orders (step 2 – next week!).

The children’s literature and AV are more fun. Amanda selects a lot of award-winning children’s books as well as audiobooks for all ages. She searches for the items on , which requires a login to create a “cart.” The main limits are that the item be currently in stock, and preferably available in a hardbound edition (for books, since children’s paperback books don’t last long) or unabridged CDs (for audiobooks). She adds the items she wants to order to her cart, with tags in the notes field to remind her why she ordered them (the children’s literature class needs a lot of picture books in different genres, for example).
screenshot of item in a sample "cart"

Once she has completed a cart, Amanda e-mails it to Jodee, who adds the required information to actually place the order. Ordering books will be discussed next week!

[This is the first of a five-part series on how items are added to the Dick Smith Library collection. Check back next Wednesday for Part 2 - Ordering.]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Internet Search Engines and Directories

Do you use the internet? Do you know where to go to find information that is useful and easy to locate? It's Top Ten Tuesday again, so I thought I would share the "Top Internet Search Engines and Directories" from

Some of the others mentioned are Lycos, Netscape Search, and Open Directory. To read the entire article and find out why/how your favorite was ranked, go to

One of the metasearch engines I use most did not make the list at all –! Do you have a favorite Internet Search tool? Post a comment and share it with other library users. I bet they will appreciate the help!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mr. President-Elect, Thanks for asking...

Woohoo, the airwaves are no longer filled with campaign rhetoric. However, now that the election is over, it is time to put that revitalized civic interest to good use. There is work to be done, and Uncle Sam needs YOU, your views, your input, your elbow grease.

But what should be done first? asked "the smartest, most interesting people [they] know to answer the following question":

In 100 words or less, what should the next president do in his first 100 days to address the planet's most pressing problems?

Click here to see the fascinating answers--and you can comment there as well.

Wouldn't it be awesome for your phone to ring, and President-Elect Obama was on the line, asking YOU what you believe are the the most pressing issues and how do you suggest he handle them? So, I ask you, members of the Tarleton community: What do you suggest?

(Personally, I am going to hop over to and post an invitation to him to the UN Climate meetings.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

On November 9, 1956 the “new” library was dedicated with over 1000 in attendance. This “new” library was the first time the Tarleton library had its’ own building. The Dick Smith Library has had two additions, in 1968 and in 1985, and a complete renovation and addition in 2006. The original 1956 portion of the building still exists in the center of the building.

In November 2006 a rededication ceremony was held to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the original building and the completion of the renovation and addition. The 1956 time capsule and a new 2006 time capsule were set in the foyer to be opened in fifty years.

For more information about the history of the Dick Smith Library read Frank Chamberlain’s narrative The Many Homes of the Tarleton Library in the library Cross Timbers Historic Images Project database:
The entire Cross Timbers Historic Images Project is available from the library home page.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meet Our Staff: Nicole Young

Nicole Young
Non-Clerical Assistant I
Room 113, Bldg 102
Oveta Culp Hobby Memorial Library
Tarleton Central Texas Campus
Killeen, Texas

I started working for the Tarleton Central Texas library in the spring of 2006 as a student worker. However, this year I was promoted to Non-Clerical Assistant. My job duties have been pretty much the same over the past couple years – shelving, circulation desk duties, book processing – but I was recently given the job of sorting mail, which is a lot more responsibility than you’d think! I decided, since there’s paperwork involved, it’s an important job. ;)

As of this past summer, I am a graduate of Tarleton State University! It’s very exciting to be finished with school, but filling out job applications and submitting resumes – the infamous job hunt – is just about as fun as studying for tests and writing papers. My degree is in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Sociology. I have no clue what career I want to pursue, but I do know that I want to do something that makes a difference, whether big or small, to someone. I love making people laugh, preferably not at me. Photography is my passion. I quote movies in daily conversation. My life definitely has a soundtrack.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Top 10 Tuesday - Top 10 Reasons to Vote

This might be the best/most useful Top Ten Tuesday ever! Please go VOTE!
(taken from the Douglas County, Nevada election website)

10. It's your money. The county commissioners, governor, state officials, legislators, president and members of Congress you vote for will decide how much of our wealth to invest in public services and how to fairly share the tax burden.

9. It's your education. You elect local and state school board members who set public education policy and budgets that will affect how well prepared your children and grandchildren will be for the future. Decisions by our legislators, governor, members of Congress and president also affect the public schools-- and the quality and cost of higher education as well.

8. It's your job. Congress, the president, the governor and your legislators influence what job training is available, minimum wage, pay equity, fairness in hiring, health insurance through your employer, job and pension security, and workplace safety.

7. It's your health care. Actions by the governor, legislature and Congress as well as their decisions on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance laws determine your access to health care.

6. They're your highways. Population and traffic are growing rapidly. Your county commissioners, legislators, governor and members of Congress decide what highways are needed, what alternatives to highways such as public transit to support, and how to pay the bill.

5. It's your Social Security. The president and your members of Congress decide how much payroll tax you pay, cost of living increases and benefit schedules for your Social Security pension, and what Medicare services you receive and share payment for.

4. It's your country. Your county, state and national elected officials set standards, enforcement strategies and budgets. They plan and zone where roads and industries will be built and how public lands will be used --decisions that can determine how and where you live and work.

3. It's your neighborhood. The elected officials and judges you vote to retain make daily decisions about crime prevention, laws and law enforcement, safe and affordable homes, traffic patterns, where to put schools, parks and recreation.

2. They're our children. We do our best to keep them healthy, fed, safe, educated and cared for. The officials you elect can help or hinder all families in achieving their goals and dreams.

1. It's your democracy. Make it work. Register and Vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

You are OUT of TIME

Yep, the election is upon us. Where, oh, where to find quick, unbiased information on all these candidates? May I suggest the League of Women Voters. From their material, "The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote political responsibility through active, informed participation of all citizens in their government...The Voters Guide lists candidates for the Presidency of the United States as well as statewide races for U.S. Senator, Railroad Commissioner, Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Courts of Appeal districts, as well as the State Board of Education."

Questions on energy, healthcare, immigration and education were posed to all the candidates, and their very concise thumbnail answers are posted at League of Women Voters Voters Guide. Non-partisan. Really. Pick your state, and learn.

This is your opportunity to be heard. And, or course, if you do not exercise your privilege and responsibility of voting, IMHO, you lose your right to complain.