Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ten Top Tuesday – 10 most challenged books of 2008

September 26 - October 3, 2009

Its banned book week and it is Tuesday, time for a list. ALA lists these as the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2008. Many of these are in the Dick Smith Library! Take a look.
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories
    (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

Here is some good information about how the list of most challenged books is determined.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Visit our tent!

Come visit the Library's tent Saturday, September 26th as we help celebrate Family Weekend. We'll be serving our delicious and refreshing lemonade again this year. Stop by and say hello!
For more information visit the Family Weekend webpage.
See you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Fall!

You know what that means....BIRD MIGRATION!! The hummingbirds are wild in my yard. The ruby-throats are flashing their beauty spots! A hummingbird feeder beats television any day (1 part sugar, 4 parts water no red dye). The bandit-birds, aka Cedar Waxwings,should be showing up soon!

If you want to know more about birds, we have an awesome database in the library,
Birds of North America. It even provides bird calls for you to hear. This has been most useful! Books about Texas birds may be found in QL684 in the library stacks.

You also have access to Sibley Online Guide to Birds.

Now get off that couch and go enjoy one of the wonders of nature!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Improve your job-seeking skills ASAP

Career Services will be holding two workshops this week:

Resume Workshop

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Library, Multi-Purpose Room

This presentation will teach you how to build an impressive resume and how to personalize your resume to sell yourself.

Job Fair Prep

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Library, Multi-Purpose Room
This presentation will inform you on what to expect and how to present yourself at a job fair.

And don't forget...

Career resources @ http://www.tarleton.edu/library and in the Dick Smith Library:

1. Databases (under A-Z Database list)
Vocational and Career Collection

2. Online Journals & Magazines
Keep up with the latest developments in your field. To find journals in your area:

  • On the library home page, under Databases, click on Online Periodicals By Category
  • Select your category from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Go.
  • Select one of the linked titles to see what articles the library has available.
  • Use your st_username and password login.

3A. Books in the HF5381-5386 section on the upper level, or "stacks", is where the library keeps books on "vocational guidance" and "career development."


4. Print journals and magazines (periodicals)
  • Stop by the Periodicals area on the main level in the back to see what magazines or journals in your field are on the shelves.

5. The Internet:
  • Find out what the top associations in your field are. Often they have scholarships and/or student discounts on registration for conferences available. If you're not sure where to start, ask your professor for some suggestions or Google the word associations or conferences plus your subject area.
  • Use RSS feeds and/or Twitter to help your job search and/or keep up with the latest professional news. (Need headphones for the Twitter or RSS video tutorials? Stop by the library's circulation desk and pick up a set for $3.79).

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 (or more) things about to become extinct

I saw this blog post about 24 things about to become extinct and thought that would make a great Tuesday list! Some of these 24 things listed really mean the end of my childhood! I added a couple of library related things in my list.

  • Yellow Pages
  • Ashtrays in public places
  • Movie rental stores - (NetFlix or downloads here we come)
  • Dial-up Internet access
  • Floppy drives - (thumb or USB drives only please)
  • Telephone booths
  • Land line telephones and answering machines
  • VCRs
  • Cameras that use film
  • Incandescent bulbs – (Think green!)
  • Handwritten letters
  • Personal checks
  • Microforms – (digital here we come)
  • Print news and classified ads – (also print magazines)

Here is a link to what Ross Dawson, futurist and entrepreneur, is predicting will go extinct in the future.

Can you think of others thing to add to either list? Please post a comment and share!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Book Challenges

"Banned Books" week is coming up, September 26 through October 3. Many books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials. The American Library Association (ALA) tracks challenges that occur, recording 513 challenges in 2008. However, many challenges are not reported, and the ALA estimates that this reflects only 20-25% of actual challenges.

This Google Maps mashup of Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009, is drawn from cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Details are available in ALA's "Books Banned and Challenged 2007-2008," and "Books Banned and Challenged 2008-2009," and the "Kids' Right to Read Project Report." Click on a pinpoint for additional information on the location of the challenge and details on what happened.

View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009 in a larger map

Note that the map above doesn't include all the challenges that have occurred in Texas. For 13 years now, the ACLU of Texas has released an annual report, Free People Read Freely, during Banned Books Week that provides information about the books that have been removed, restricted, or retained in Texas school libraries and class reading lists during the previous school year. This information is obtained through an Open Records request by the ACLU under the Texas Public Information Act.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Congratulations Cathy W!

Cathy Wilterding, a Librarian III and Coordinator for Instruction/Outreach Services, was named 2008-2009 Employee of the Year at the Staff Council banquet last night. She was the July 2009 Staff Council Employee of the Month.

Cathy was nominated for Employee of the Month by Dr. Marilyn Duran, assistant professor of nursing. “Cathy cares about student learning and has a strong desire to help students be successful. It is impossible to teach a research course without the support of the library. Each semester I encounter nursing students who are eager to learn but intimidated by the word ‘research’,” Duran said. “Cathy has been very helpful in encouraging my students to believe that they can succeed in research. Each semester she teaches my students how to get the research information they need. She teaches in a simplified way that makes it fun and interesting.”

“This past fall I wanted to develop a research tutorial to help the students gain more experience in how to use the library. The information required was extensive,” Duran said. “Cathy was more than willing to help me develop this tutorial in addition to her regular workload in the library. This was above and beyond her job requirements. The support I have received from Cathy is truly remarkable. She exemplifies what is best about Tarleton.”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did you know...?

The Writing Center can help you with....

  • Studying for the Writing Proficiency Exam

  • Brainstorming your topic

  • Developing a thesis or main idea for your paper

  • Organizing your ideas

  • Editing and rewriting

  • Citing sources

The Writing Center can help you

  • in person
  • online
  • in all subject areas

    Rm 210 in O.A. Grant Humanities building.
    Also in Rm 106 of the Dick Smith library
    --near the coffee bar--during designated hours.

    Monday: 9:00--5:00
    Tuesday: 9:00--5:00 {5:00-8:00 @ the library}
    Wednesday: 9:00--5:00 {5:00-8:00 @ the library}
    Thursday: 9:00--5:00 {5:00-8:00 @ the library}
    Friday: 9:00--2:00 (After 2:00 by appointment)

    (254) 968-1814

Celebrate Constitution Day - September 17

Due to the rain today, outdoor activities will be held under the canopy in front of the Grant (Humanities) Building, next to the Library.

Reading of the Preamble and Bill of Rights
11:00 a.m.
Speaker’s Corner
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Free pizza while it lasts!
Banned Books Readings
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Special Forum
The 1st Amendment: How is it real for you?
Inside in the Library Multipurpose Room, at the back of the main floor
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Come in and see the Library's display of challenged books on the main floor. "Banned Books" week is September 26 through October 3 this year.

The US Code states that "September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" to "commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens."

Here are more resources for observing Constitution Day from the National Archives and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Its More Than Reading Someone Else’s Mail

For many the word archive conjures up images of dimly lit dusty places buried in the basement of a building or the image of a crate with the Ark of the Covenant inside moving to its final resting place in a vast sea of crates in a federal warehouse. A description of an archive that I like is that of a temple of knowledge and information. The temple becomes a prison as the patron is told to lock up all their belongings and issued paper and pencil. The prison then becomes a restaurant where your order is taken and the waiter instead of bringing you the dish ordered, brings you the ingredients of the meal, which the patrons cook themselves. The temple, prison, and restaurant represent the power of archives and the responsibilities of the archivist.

The temple represents the power the archivist has to shape the collective memory of society. The decisions made in determining what collections to accept affect the representation of groups in the historical record. Whether they are the personal papers of a family, records of a university, labor union, a Congressman, or the records of migrant workers, all have a place in history. It is the responsibility of the archivist to make objective decisions as to what collections merit preservation.

The prison represents the responsibility of the archivist to preserve the records and keep them secure for future generations. Records are preserved by housing them in special enclosures that are acid free to slow the aging of the materials and reduce the affects of handling the records. Records may be digitized to reduce wear and tear on fragile records. The temperature and humidity are kept at moderate levels to prevent aging and the growth of mold on records. The collections are kept secure behind locked doors and cabinets. Patrons are not allowed to roam the stacks as in a library, but must request items to be brought to them.

The restaurant represents the archivist's role as mediator and interpreter of the records. When a collection is received, it is the responsibility of the archivist to arrange the papers in a way that makes sense to researchers. The records are arranged into series, which can be correspondence, financial records, and photographs as an example. Next a finding aid is produced which describes the collection and provides a brief history of the creator of the records, the series and a container list describing the collection to the box or folder level. The finding aid is a surrogate of the collection, which the researcher consults to determine which box and folder contains the information they require. Some collections can have hundreds of boxes.

While some may think of archives as boring, they are far from boring. Archives preserve the history of people. They can be in any format including electronic. Archivists are on the cutting edge of technology as they confront preservation of electronic records and bring the technologies of Web 2.0 to the archives.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday – Getting the most out of the library

Blogger Alice Sneary, head of the community team at the Online Community Library Center library cooperative (known as OCLC), created this list of 10 tips. It is a really great list! I've summarized just the basics. I encourage you to read the entire post with full explanations and details here. Please - get the most out of the Library!

1. Ask a reference question – in person, by phone (254-968-9249), from the web, or email

2. Search like a pro – the library catalog, WorldCat, SFX e-ejournals

3. Don't miss the databases. – Tarleton Libraries has over 150 databases to search, most with full text articles

4. Search strategically – learn how to search both the catalog and databases, read the help files.

5. Pay attention to punctuation and foreign characters – I would add spelling to this list.

6. Take advantage of audiobooks – the library has audiobooks in our AV collection

7. Go ahead; use Facebook – cool tools are available, CiteMe for example and look for the Tarleton library to be joining Facebook soon

8. Borrow from anywhere – ILLiad, our inter-library loan service is free

9. Invest in a study carrel – we have study rooms available and you can use a locker to store your things

10. Ask for help – we have professional librarians here to help. Use them.

Alice's post is REALLY great! I hope you take a minute to read it. One of the best ways to get the most out of the library is to visit us. The library is open 101 hours per week offering access to the library's collections, reference assistance, circulation services, study rooms, computer workstations, and more. We hope to see you soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Suggest a purchase

Did you know that the library takes purchase suggestions from faculty, staff, and students?

If there is an item: book, dvd, cd, audio, etc. that you believe belongs in the Dick Smith Library's collection... let us know! You can submit your recommendations online via the Library's Suggest a Purchase link on our homepage. We will review your request and if it meets purchase guidelines, you may just see it on our shelves.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome to the Weird (and sometimes Sad) World of Human Behavior

Wow! I just found the strangest web site! It is Social Psychology Eye. They monitor journals on human behavior (and you may access many of the journals via the library, my friends), and share snippets of information here.

I just learned a few random, bizarre facts at this site:

People who think their health is better than most are more likely NOT to get a flu shot, making them more susceptible to the flu. (BTW, CDC recommends taking the flu shot now, and taking the H1N1 shot in October.)

When considering issues, people who carried a heavy clipboard were inclined to rate the issues as more important than people carrying a lightweight clipboard. (Maybe TSU should pass out heavy clipboards for students for class!!)

If you want to feel closer to someone (and vice versa), opt for a coffee shop rather than a bar, and have warm beverages, not 'a cold one'.

And sadly sadly sadly
A third of teenage girls in a relationship suffer unwanted sexual acts and a quarter suffer physical violence. OH!! Ladies! Are you and two buddies reading this together? Statistically, one of you is in a relationship like this! Run/Call/Email the
Main #9044.

I should end on a happier note, but this is too important.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

15 Essential Web Tools for Students

A recent Mashable post by Josh Catone offers a guide to 15 Essential Web Tools for Students, plus links to the tools and tips for using them. With all the tasks everyone manages every day, these tools are very handy.

  • Stay Organized: web applications to help you get and stay organized.
    • Evernote -- note taking tool that lets you sync notes between the web, your phone, and any computer
    • Notely -- solution for taking notes and staying organized
    • GradeMate -- organizer for creating to-do lists, managing due dates, and collaborating
    • Backpack -- tool for keeping research organized

  • Study Better: web tools to help you get the most out of your study time.
    • StudyRails -- for people who have trouble blocking out distractions when it comes time to study
    • Diggo -- web-based highlighter and sticky note system for annotating your web research and sharing work with classmates
    • Delicious -- tool for collecting web resources for a class, project, or paper under a single tag
    • Mindmeister -- organize your thoughts and research through mind maps

  • Work and Collaborate: web-based and social tools that help you get your work done and collaborate with others on group projects.
    • Google Docs -- online word processing and spreadsheets applications that let you work together on group assignments
    • EtherPad --collaboration tool that lets a group of people edit a document at the same time and see what everyone is writing as they write it
    • Sliderocket -- online presentation building tool for creating multimedia presentations that are accessible from anywhere
    • Wikidot -- a simple, wiki hosting solution for creating an unlimited number of wiki pages to organize projects and group research

  • Cite Right: tools to help you keep track of your sources and cite them properly.
    • CiteMe -- search the world’s largest library catalog by title, author, subject, or ISBN and get formatted citations in APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Turabian style
    • EasyBib -- automatically create citations in APA, Chicago/Turabian, and MLA styles
    • Zotero -- automatically collects your research sources and lets you create citations in any of one of over a thousand different styles

Check 'em out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A provocative video...

This wiki will give you a little more background on the video and "connect you with some resources to learn more about the shifts that are occurring in our world and their implications for K-12 and higher education."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 top news sources

The beetles sang – 'I read the news today oh boy'… We have all heard that print news and newspapers are slowly dying. That made me wonder, where are we getting our news from? I found this online from "editor and publisher". Below are the top 10 current events and global news online destinations for the month of June. So print may be ending, but online news seems to on an upswing.

  1. Yahoo! News – 45.638 million - Traffic rose 30% from May.
  2. CNN Digital Network – 38,792 million - Traffic rose 14%.
  3. MSNBC Digital Network – 36.262 million - Traffic fell 4%.
  4. AOL News – 24.716 million - Traffic rose 12%.
  5. NYTimes.com – 17.423 million - Down 1%.
  6. Tribune Newspapers – 17.044 million - Rose 13%.
  7. Fox News Digital Network – 16.808 million - Increased 61%.
  8. ABC News Digital Network – 13.408 million - Increased 16%.
  9. Google News – 12.831 million - Increased 22%.
  10. McClatchy Newspaper Network – 12.681 million - Increased 29%.

Remember that the library provides you access to newspapers and news organizations. You can search several news sources at once by using the Metalib: quick search for newspapers. We have a list of online newspapers and news website in our internet links. The online databases pages has links to many news databases, including Newsbank, Newspaper Sources, Access World News, InfoTrac Custom Newspapers, Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times

I hope you find these links helpful. Please remember, Dick Smith Library is here to help. We have lots of resources available for you. The reference desk of the Library is staffed with professional librarians who provide personalized service to assist with learning and research needs. You may get help and ask questions in person at the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, by email, or via the web at http://www.tarleton.edu/~library/askaref.html.

We hope to see you in the library soon!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Facebook Quizzes

Quizzes abound on Facebook. Here are a few samples:

Which Harry Potter character are you?
Which Transformer are you?
How evil are you?
Who were you in a past life?
What is your biggest fear?
What kind of Mom are you?
What famous movie star are you?

When a user clicks on an icon to take a quiz, he or she will usually get a screen like the one below:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, is concerned that quizzes and other Facebook applications may be accessing a whole lot more than users realize.

For example, a user can reject a quiz but if his/her friend takes it, the quiz can still access almost all of the first user's information, unless it is specifically restricted by privacy settings.1 They are also concerned by the fact that Facebook developers (the ones who create the quizzes) are not screened "for trustworthiness" or required to "comply with a privacy policy."2

The ACLU of Northern California has created their own Facebook privacy quiz to test users knowledge of Facebook privacy policies and created an online petition for better privacy on the social networking site.

Recently Facebook agreed to increase user privacy in response to complaints from the ACLU and the Canadian Privacy Commission.3

For more information, visit their Facebook page , take the quiz, or read one of the following related articles:

Harris, Scott Duke. "Facebook knows too much, ACLU says in warning of quizzes." San Jose Mercury News. August 26, 2009.

Hefflinger, Mark. "Facebook Increases Privacy Protections on Quiz Applications." digitalmediawire. August 27, 2009.

1 Perez, Sarah. "What Facebook Quizzes Know about You." ReadWriteWeb.com
August 27, 2009.
2 Ibid.

Hefflinger, Mark. "Facebook Increases Privacy Protections on Quiz Applications." digitalmediawire.com. August 27, 2009.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day in Thurber, Texas

The Texas Pacific Coal Company in 1888 bought out the Johnson Coal Company in northwestern Erath County at what was then the village of Johnson Mines. Robert Dickey Hunter, president of the Texas Pacific Coal Company, renamed the town Thurber in honor of H.K. Thurber, a New York investor in the company. At this time, Thurber was a company town, meaning that workers were paid in company script, which could only be redeemed at the company store and there were no unions.The majority of the miners were European from Italy and Poland as well as thirteen other countries. Relations between the workforce and management had always been strained. In 1903, the United Mine Workers successfully organized the miners and all other trades in Thurber. Other trades and crafts unionized included the Thurber Brick Plant, meat cutters, clerks, and bartenders. While still a company town Thurber was now 100% union. At its peak, Thurber boasted a population of 10,000 residents.

Pictured is the Queen’s float from the 1908 Labor Day Parade. The Woman seated on the left is Blanche Kessler, who delivered the Labor Day speech that year.

(Photo courtesy of the W. K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


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. Commuting students might like to use one to store your books so you don’t have to haul ALL of them 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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 types of library resources

Since the semester is still so new and many people are still learning about the library, I thought I would give you a list of 10 types/formats of resources the library has to offer you. Hopefully you will find this list helpful. If you need something you don't see listed, we encourage you to let us know! You can use our online suggest a purchase form or even post a comment to the blog.

  • Books – the library has over 388,000 items in our online catalog
  • E-journals – electronic access to full-text articles. Use to search by title or subject.
  • Databases – over 170 databases to help you with your research
  • Periodicals – print, bound, and microforms
  • Audiobooks – you can 'listen' to a good book
  • Government documents – information created by the federal and state government
  • Children's books – thousands of children's and young adult books, both fiction and nonfiction.
  • DVDs and other media – movies and research materials
  • Die Cuts – make posters of displays
  • Flip Cameras – need to make a class presentation? You could be a star!

Remember if the library does not have the information or materials you need, you may borrow them through interlibrary loan (ILLIad).

To find out more about the library please visit us! The library is open 101 hours per week offering access to the library's collections, reference assistance, circulation services, study rooms, computer workstations, and more. We hope to see you soon!