Monday, November 30, 2009

More Computers Available Monday-Wednesday This Week

The Library Instruction Classroom on the main floor of the library is open for student use Monday through Wednesday this week (November 30 through December 2) from 7AM until 10PM. This gives you 33 additional computers to work on your papers and projects, and 172 available throughout the entire library, including the laptops.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Extended Hours Start Today!

It's noon on Sunday, November 29, and that means the library has reopened from the Thanksgiving Break. We will be open until 2 AM Monday. Beginning tomorrow, we open at 7 AM Monday through Thursday and close at 2 AM Tuesday through Friday. The coffee bar will be open 2-10 PM today, Sunday, and 7 AM to midnight Monday through Thursday. Check here for our schedule for the rest of the semester.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Video Lectures from Top Colleges

As final exams hurry toward us, everyone is going to be busy reviewing the semester's work, looking over their class notes, locating study partners, participating in help/review sessions, and trying to remember it all. To help prepare for finals, you can also listen to lecture notes from other universities.

Guy McDowell at MakeUseOf lists 5 Great Sites with Free Video Lectures from Top Colleges where learners can listen to lectures from universities such as MIT, McGill, Oxford, and more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 things to do while on Thanksgiving break

Yeah! It is almost break time. I'm very excited for the time off. I thought I would post a list of ten things that I consider a must "to do" over the Thanksgiving break. Please post a comment and share your feedback and ideas on how you plan to enjoy the holiday!

  • People – visit your friends and family
  • Food – indulge in both cooking and eating
  • Give – Share the holidays with those who need it, donate to a homeless shelter, serve in a food line, etc.
  • Shop – get a head start on the Christmas season
  • Research and homework – remember library resources are available 24/7 from anywhere!
  • Decorate – time to deck the halls
  • Football – it is a Thanksgiving tradition
  • Desserts – more pies and cakes please
  • Travel – be careful on the roads; there is lots of traffic
  • RELAX - get ready for the hectic end of the semester

Post a comment and share your ideas on how to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where Does Thanksgiving Dinner Grow?

Agriculture census data (from was used to create maps (like the one above for pecans) and this poster for each food item usually served at Thanksgiving by Linda Zellmer, Government Information & Data Services Librarian at Western Illinois University. Not surprisingly, Texas was tops in acres harvested (in 1997, 2002, and 2007) for those pecans that might be in your pie and other holiday recipes.

If you are traveling this holiday, have a safe trip! The library will be open until 5 PM on Wednesday, November 25, then closed Thursday through Saturday for the holidays. We reopen at noon on Sunday, November 29, when we begin extended hours for the end of the semester and finals week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Staff Changes

There have been a few changes in the Tarleton Libraries staff since the last school year. The Web Services staff is now part of the Information Technology Services department, although they are still housed on the second floor of the Dick Smith Library. The Killeen staff is now officially part of Texas A&M University - Central Texas.

Dick Smith Library staff promoted effective October 1st were:
Jodie Baker: to Librarian II
Sandy Dennis: to Library Specialist II
Sharon Alexander: to Library Specialist I

Tina Klein left the position of Evening Circulation Supervisor, and will be replaced effective December 1 by Peggy Smith, currently a postal clerk in the campus post office at the Thompson Center.

Congratulations to all!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Professor C.H. Hale

"A grand old man of Erath County education", Charles Haynes Hale was born November 14, 1869 in Corinth, Arkansas. He was the son of James Thomas Hale and Elizabeth Watson Hale. After coming to Texas in 1883 with his parents in a covered wagon and living in Bell County two years, the family settled in Flatwoods, now Huckabay, in 1885. He attended rural schools, Add Ran College (now TCU), and earned three degrees, BS, BA, and MA. He was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by TCU in 1953.

C.H.Hale watched the growth of Tarleton College from one wood building to a fine institution! In 1920, after the barracks had been built to house male students, the beds failed to arrive. Students slept on the floor without complaint. Dean Davis sent a bed to the faculty adviser, Charley Hale, but he declined it, stating that "if the boys can sleep on the floor, so can I."

Another incident Professor Hale was involved in was perhaps the first hazing incident in the dormitory. Upon hearing a noise outside his room, he went to see what it was and found two football players at each door. Other seniors had marched freshmen barefooted to the cemetery. He convinced the students to confess to Dean Davis. The students fully expected to be punished, but Dean Davis just insisted that each student sign a pledge that he would not participate in such hazing practices again.

Professor C.H. Hale taught in a classroom for 55 years and lectured an hour a day for several years after retirement. He stated that Tarleton is the finest college in Texas, with the greatest faculty he had ever had the fortune to meet and that the people of Stephenville and of Tarleton made his every day a full and happy one.

Charley Hale died February 3, 1969, just 9 months shy of his 100th birthday! If you went to Tarleton in the 1960's you will remember seeing Professor Hale walk to the campus post office every morning. In the winter he always wore a long dark overcoat and was very distinguishable on campus!

The J-TAC article above tells about the large birthday celebration that was held in honor of Professor Hale's 90th birthday....50 years ago this month!

(Stephenville Empire Tribune, February 7, 1969)
(J-TAC, November 24, 1959)
(King, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.134)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Looking for my Grandfather

In my last entry, I talked about how to arrange and preserve your family archives. This time I will give you some sources for finding out more about your family. These are by no means all of the resources available to those researching their family. For information about ancestors who fought in the Civil War a good starting place is the National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System . Here you can find information about what unit they were in and information on the unit. The Texas General Land Office Searchable Texas Land Grant Database allows you to see if family members have received a Texas land grant. The grants in the database go back to the Texas Republic.

The Texas State Archives and Library Commission genealogy page at: offers links to several searchable databases. One of those that are helpful to genealogists is the County Records on Microfilm The majority of the counties in Texas have had their records microfilmed. The microfilm is held at various depositories throughout the state and can be borrowed through Inter Library Loan (ILL), if you cannot visit the repository. Just click on the link above for a list of counties, and then click on the county you are interested in for a list of the records and where the microfilm is held. When requesting microfilm through ILL you need to provide the name of the county, the roll number, and the title of the roll.

Other databases at the Texas State archives site are listed below:

There are too many links to list in this brief blog, but I will mention a few. In the most requested box on the home page listed above are links to military records where a person can request a copy of the DD Form 214 report of Separation and other records electronically, by fax, or mail. Clicking on the genealogy/getting started link takes you to a wealth sources at the National Archives many of which are searchable online including the Dawes Rolls Index and Final Roll for those researching their Native American ancestry.

Hope these tips will help you and if you have any questions contact me at:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Library Extended Hours

OK, this really isn't a Top Ten list, but we've had a few questions about the library's extended hours for the end of the Fall semester and finals week, so here are your Top Twelve days for study:

Su. 11/29:Regular Library Services Noon-2am
Mo. 11/30:Regular Library Services 7am-2am
Tu. 12/1: Regular Library Services 7am-2am
We. 12/2:Regular Library Services 7am-2am
Th. 12/3:Regular Library Services 7am-2am
Fr. 12/4:Regular Library Services 7am-midnight
Sa. 12/5:ALL NIGHT STUDY (Limited Access*) midnight-8am;

Regular Library Services 8am-7pm
Su. 12/6:Regular Library Services noon-midnight
Mo. 12/7ALL NIGHT STUDY (Limited Access*) midnight-7am;

Regular Library Services 7am-midnight
Tu. 12/8ALL NIGHT STUDY (Limited Access*) midnight-7am;

Regular Library Services 7am-midnight
We. 12/9ALL NIGHT STUDY (Limited Access*) midnight-7am;

Regular Library Services 7am-midnight
Th. 12/8ALL NIGHT STUDY (Limited Access*) midnight-7am;

Regular Library Services 7am-7pm

*What does "Limited Access" mean?
• After midnight, library services will end, except for laptop checkout.
• Students will have access only to the 3rd floor and student lounge.
• Campus security will be in the building.
• Tarleton ID will be required during limited access hours.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Five Ideas on Social Media and Advocacy

Max Macias posted an interesting slideshow with ideas about advocacy and social media on Lowrider Librarian. He also includes a list of resources.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton's Old Auditorium

Yesterday Veteran's Day was celebrated on campus. One event, a musical tribute to the men and women of service, was presented by the Tarleton Faculty Brass Quintet in the Hunewell Bandstand.

Another event occurred 80 years ago on the same spot as yesterday's concert! On Armistice Day (now called Veteran's Day), November 11, 1929, Tarleton's new Auditorium was dedicated!

In 1928 Dean J. Thomas Davis obtained $125,000 from the state to build the new Auditorium. Before construction could begin however, John Tarleton's remains had to be reinterred in the current location at the southeast corner of Washington and Lillian! (Guthrie, p.59-60)

The new Tarleton conservatory's ground floor contained an auditorium that would seat 1600, a large concert stage, dressing rooms, and a projection booth for showing motion pictures. (King, p.153-154) "It immediately became the most notable architectural landmark on campus and a center of social and cultural life for the next fifty years!" (Guthrie, p. 60)

The music department (and later the speech and theater departments) had offices, studios, practice rooms, and classrooms in the lower level. Graduation was also held in the Auditorium for many years! (Guthrie, p. 60) In fact, I had classes in and graduated in the old Main Auditorium!

However, the Auditorium was increasingly plagued with flooding and other safety issues and was finally closed in 1980 when the new Clyde Wells Fine Arts Center opened. The building was demolished in 1982. All that remains of the Auditorium today are the concrete stairs at the corner of McIlhaney and Military Drive, which once led up to the front of the building. (Guthrie, p.60) They now lead up to the Hunewell Bandstand!

Guthrie, Christopher E., John Tarleton and his Legacy, p.59-60.
King, C. Richard, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.153-154.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, major hostilities of World War I ended. This is referred to as Armistice Day.

In 1954, the celebration was modified to honor all veterans, and became known as Veterans Day.

Since we are many years away from the beginnings of this day honoring our soldiers, it can seem unreal. Here, to make it more real, are links and reminders of celebrations:

Live! From Tarleton!
Veterans Day
Wednesday, 2:30 pm
November 11, 2009
Hydrology Rm 115

Hear firsthand true tales of World War II from men who lived them.

This one from NPR:
WWII Vet: Happy To Leave 'Worst Place You Can Be'.

This from YouTube:
WWII: The Lost Color Archives

In a complete aside, if you want to be more aware of the passage of time, consider that Sesame Street turned 40 yesterday! Read
40 Years of Lessons on 'Sesame Street'.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Myths about Thanksgiving

I'm not keen on turkey and dressing, but I do love a good holiday! I found this really interesting website about Thanksgiving. From the History News Network, take a look at 10 Myths about Thanksgiving.

  • Myth 1 - The Pilgrims Held the First Thanksgiving – (it was TEXAS?)
  • Myth 2 - Thanksgiving Was About Family – (It is all about diversity)
  • Myth 3 - Thanksgiving Was About Religion – (party time!)
  • Myth 4 - The Pilgrims Ate Turkey – (Venison anyone?)
  • Myth 5 - The Pilgrims Landed on Plymouth Rock – (Cape Cod)
  • Myth 6 - Pilgrims Lived in Log Cabins
  • Myth 7 - Pilgrims Dressed in Black – (no funny buckles or weird shoes either)
  • Myth 8 - Pilgrims, Puritans – (NOT the Same Thing)
  • Myth 9 - Puritans Hated Sex
  • Myth 10 - Puritans Hated Fun - (good times for all)

Follow the link above and find out about all the myths! If you have an idea or something to say about Thanksgiving, please post a comment and share!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Re-Issue of APA Publication Manual 6th ed.

If you bought the first printing of the 2009 Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association (6th edition), you need this information.

The first printing of APA's 2009 Publication Manual (6th ed.) contained
many errors. APA has agreed to replace the error-ridden first printing with a corrected edition -- at no charge to the purchaser.

To determine if your copy is the first or second printing, look at the copyright page and note the publication date.
  • July 2009 means you have the first printing. Send it back for a replacement.
  • Second Printing: August 2009 means you have the corrected hardback or spiral version. Do not send it back
  • Second Printing: October 2009 means you have the correct paperback version. Do not send it back.

Use these steps to obtain a corrected printing of the APA Publication Manual 6th edition:

  • Before you call the APA Service Center, have the following information available
    • Number of copies purchased.
    • Date copies were purchased.
    • Vendor or bookstore each copy was purchased from.
    • Cost of each copy.
  • Call the APA Service Center at 1-800-374-2721 (9 am - 6 pm Eastern time).
    • Select option 4.
    • Be prepared to be on hold for a while due to high call volume.
  • Give APA the above information, your full name, phone number, e-mail address and complete mailing address.
    • If you use a campus building T-Box number, give your building's name and your T-Box number (Example: Dick Smith Library, T-0450). Otherwise, UPS may not deliver your package.
  • After your phone request, you should receive an e-mail with two PDF attachments:
    • A UPS shipping label to use when sending the manual back.
      • Print out the label and save the tracking number.
    • A sheet labeled “Replacement Copy Information.”
      • Include a copy of this second form with your package.

NOTE: The free APA Publication Manual replacement offer

  • is only good between November 2 and December 16, 2009
  • does not apply to desk/complementary copies
  • applies only to the first printing of the 6th edition of the publication manual
  • does not apply to related materials such as Concise Rules of APA Style or the Mastering APA Style: Instructor's Resource Guide.
For more information, check out this Chronicle of Higher Education article and the Boycott the APA Manual blog.

Linked In and Twitter For Your Job Search

On Monday, November 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 Career Services and the Dick Smith Library will hold a joint presentation on using LinkedIn and Twitter to aid your job search. The presentation will be held in the Library Instruction Classroom # 139, which is on the main floor next to the Student Lounge.

LinkedIn is an online service that allows you to post your work history, connect with current and former co-workers, and to advertise your job experience to potential employers. You can recommend and be recommended by others, and build a network of contacts.

Twitter is a popular micro-blogging service where you can instantly post and receive brief updates, links, pictures and videos. You can also follow and be followed by other Twitter users, as well as building a network of online contacts.

Both services are free.

Find out more about how to wield these powerful tools in your job search by coming to the presentation on November 16. Questions? Call Career Services at (254) 968-9078.

More information:

Youtube tutorial: "What is LinkedIn?"
Youtube tutorial: "Twitter in Plain English"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Cannon

One of our long standing landmarks, the cannon, was given to Tarleton by the Army after World War I. Everyone has probably heard about our football rival NTAC and their stealing of the cannon in 1928, followed in 1929 by the NTAC airplane incident. NTAC, on their way out of town, ditched the cannon in the Bosque River. Professor E.A. "Doc" Blanchard and Tarleton maintenance foreman, Ed Emmett, pulled the cannon out of the river with a tractor. After being restored by Blanchard, it was cemented into the current location, never to be stolen again!

In years past the cannon was fired every Thursday after the ROTC drill. First the flag was lowered, then taps was played, followed by the firing of the cannon. However, this weekly practice was stopped "for a rather interesting and funny reason" according to the November 9, 1954 J-TAC!

The Tarleton Egg-laying Contest was featured in the blog last week, stating that the contests were internationally known and that Tarleton was the only official contest location in the Southwest. The poultry farm was originally located in the vicinity of Bender Hall and the egg-laying hen houses were located nearby. "The firing of the cannon had a bad effect on the daily egg production!" One can imagine that because Tarleton wanted the contest to be a national and international success something would have to be done about the weekly firing of the cannon! And something was done - the cannon was silenced! (J-TAC, November 9, 1954, p.3)

Evidently silencing the cannon helped! "By 1942 the Tarleton Egg-laying contest was the largest in the world, drawing 12 breeds from 17 states. Five months later, the contests drew 1,456 hens from 19 states." (King, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.218)

The poultry farm was moved from the main campus to just west of the West End Cemetery across the street around 1930. Even after the poultry farm was moved, firing of the cannon was not resumed. It has remained a quiet landmark ever since! "The cannon now stands as a symbol of peace gained through sacrifice." (Traditions, 1999, p.24)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Money & The Holidays

Worried about what the holidays might do to your wallet (and credit card balance)?

Here are some ideas to make the season a little less painful financially:


1. Declare a moratorium on gift-giving if you're in dire financial straits, OR

2. Consider inexpensive gifts, such as:
  • Homemade baked goods in a festive tin (try the Dollar Tree or Dollar Store for tins)
  • Handmade gifts if you're of an artistic or crafty bent
  • A creative collage of photos that include your family and/or friends
  • A heartfelt letter to someone describing how much they mean to you.
3.For next year, consider opening a holiday club account. A small sum of money (you designate the amount) is transferred from your checking account each month so that by November, you have enough money for your needs.

4a. Use after-Christmas sales to stock up on wrapping paper, cards, etc.

4b. Consider a certificate. They sometimes have 60-90% off sales, which means you can score a $20 certificate for $2. Caveat: These certificates often require a minimum purchase amount from the diner--they may have to spend $30 or more dollars before applying the certificate. For more information, go to

5. If you're having gifts shipped straight from a company warehouse to a loved one's home, order early to avoid paying for priority or overnight shipping.

For other gift-giving tips, see this entry on the "Get Rich Slowly" blog.


5a. Before running out to buy the latest gadget, consider selling your outdated items (cameras, cell phones, etc.) on eBay first. Don't have an eBay account? Ask a friend or loved one who does to help you out--and give them part of the profit. Put the proceeds towards your new item.

5b. Better yet, calculate the cost of buying the gadget for the first two years and consider down-sizing. Example: an iPhone can cost between $2,000-2,500 in the first two years (depending on the phone model and your calling/data plan). By contrast, an iPod Touch (which has many of the same apps) costs only a few hundred dollars....or less, if you get a refurbished model.


6. Before buying any new clothes, prune your wardrobe. Check for duplicates. How many pairs of black pants do you really need?

7. Don't buy retail: Have a clothing swap with a good friend who is your size, or try thrift stores and eBay.

Food and drink

8. Love Starbucks holiday drinks? Consider making your own gingerbread syrup.

9. Carry water and small, inexpensive snacks with you (fruit, granola bar, etc.) to avoid making fast-food stops.

10. Avoid the grocery store for a week and eat the canned items in the back of your cupboard instead.


11. Pack lightly to avoid fees.

12. Pack small snacks to avoid expensive airport food.

13. Use sites such as and to save on airfare, hotels and rental cars.

14. Traveling by car? Stay under the speed limit and keep tires properly inflated to maximize your gas mileage.

15. If at all possible, have relatives or loved ones come visit you instead.

16. Combine errands to cut down on trips. Consider carpooling with a co-worker or classmate if you're not doing so already.

Credit cards

15a. Ask for a lower interest rate if you haven't missed a payment in a long time. With the recession, many creditors are, unfortunately, raising interest rates--but it can't hurt to ask.

15b. Automate your bill-paying to avoid late fees. Watch out for the 28-day cycle--one month your bill is due the 13th, the next month on the 11th, etc.

16. Ask family and friends to help you save money towards a long-term goal. combines social networking and savings (note: this is not an endorsement of the site).

Beauty & Household

17. Baking soda can be used as a facial scrub.

18. Crushed-up aspirin and a facial toner can be a good mask for acne-prone skin.

19. Baking soda and vinegar can clean most household areas.

20. Use washcloths instead of paper towels.

21. Time your showers to use less hot water.

22. Downgrade to basic cable.

23. Use NetFlix or your library card instead of going to the movies.

24. Read library books or--if you *must* have the latest bestseller, try Amazon--you can often get 30% off.

25. Sell old (but clean and non-damaged) clothing on eBay, or donate the items for a tax deduction.

What are some of your favorite money-saving tips? Share them in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 reasons why we read

It is Tuesday - that means a list. I saw this article from Library Journal, The Future of Reading, 11/1/2009, and that got me asking why do I read? Are my reasons the same as your reasons? Take a look at the article and check out this list of 10 reasons, then post a comment and share your thoughts on reading and reasons why you read!
  • To be informed - kept up to date
  • To escape from everyday lives
  • To do research
  • For entertainment
  • To hear other people's views and opinions
  • To learn - how to
  • To join the conversation - know what people are talking about
  • To understand others
  • To connect with other people like you
  • To be inspired and stimulate the imagination
What is the future of reading? Why do you read? Does format of reading materials matter to you?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Something to do this Winter

As the days start getting shorter and the nights are longer we turn from outside activities to inside ones. One of the things you can do during the winter months is to organize your family archives. Holiday gatherings provide an opportunity to identify unidentified photographs and learn more of your family's history.

Most collections of family papers contain letters, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, and ephemera. You can begin by sorting the material into these basic groups or what archivists call series. As you sort through the material you will find that everything may be worth keeping. Everything old is not necessarily of value, and many recent items will become precious. Things usually discarded include: bills, receipts, cancelled checks, check stubs, and check registers. Letters should be arranged by the recipient first, then by either the sender or date. Scrapbooks and diaries should be organized by the creator. Newspaper clippings, ephemera, and official documents should be organized by the family member named in them. Photographs can be sorted into identified and unidentified photos.

After you have organized the papers, the next step is to properly house them. The two most important things to preserve documents are to limit the exposure to light and provide a stable environment. Exposure to light can be limited by storing items in a box. Framed items that are on display should be placed where exposure to direct light is limited. Papers should be stored in the same environmental conditions as your normal living quarters. This means temperature and humidity should be moderate and there should be protection from mice and bugs. The worst places to store items are attics, garages, basements, barns, and sheds.

The best way to store papers are in archival–quality folders and boxes. Archival-quality folders are acid and lignin free with alkaline buffering. Archival folders and metal file cabinets are an acceptable alternative. Folders should not be overfilled. The folders should be labeled with the person's actual name, such as John Smith correspondence, 1939. If nicknames or family relationships are used such as grandmother, Buba, Uncle Joe their given names should also be listed on the folder. Not all future generations will know who grandmother or Uncle Joe was. Scrapbooks should not be taken apart. Any loose photos should be reattached using photo corners. Do not try to repair damaged items. Most tapes and adhesives will eventually damage documents. Fragile documents can be stored individually in their own folder. You should never laminate an item. The heat from the lamination process will damage the document and the process is not reversible. Newspaper clippings should never be stored next to other items. Clippings are highly acidic and the acid will migrate to anything they are touching. Clippings also become brittle and deteriorate. The best way to preserve newspaper clippings is to photocopy them on acid free paper.

Photographs should be organized the same as documents. As I mentioned at the start holiday gatherings are an excellent time to get unidentified photographs identified and to learn more of your family's history. Instead of taking your actual photographs photocopy them and take the photocopies. This way the identification of individuals can be written on the photocopies, and you do not run the risk of damaging your original photographs.

If you have any questions about the preservation or organization of your family's archives contact Gary Spurr Collections Archivist at: