Friday, February 26, 2010


You may not realize that the library has a large selection of audio books downstairs. To search for them online, go to our home page and under the "Library Catalog" heading, click on the "Books, periodicals...etc" link.

On the next screen, click on "Advanced Search Options."

Change the Type menu to "Audiobook."

If you click on "Search", over 500 audiobook titles will be pulled up. You can also modify your search by title, author, subject, general keyword and more.

Away from the library? Check out LibriVox, "an extensive collection of audiobooks read by volunteers." All books are in the public domain. You can download an audiobook, lend them your voice or leave a donation to help keep them running.

Happy reading...and listening!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vigilantes to Verdicts!

Our Friends of the Library spring Dinner in the Stacks, Vigilantes to Verdicts, will be held Saturday March 6, 2010 with appetizers at 6:30 and dinner at 7 followed by a program by author Sherri Knight. Sherri grew up in Stephenville, attended Stephenville Public Schools, and Tarleton. After teaching all over Texas she returned to Stephenville and has written two books. Vigilantes to Verdicts is a history of the area District Court, which includes Erath County.

Hear about the incidents that turned the wheels of justice! From the quick dispatch of horse thieves, an overturned stagecoach driven by a drunken teamster, and the trial of John Wesley Hardin to the hanging of Tom Wright, the stories from Vigilantes to Verdicts will keep you riveted to the events of the nineteenth century in north central Texas!

The Friends of the Tarleton Dick Smith Library held the first Dinner in the Stacks in the Fall of 1993, with a program on the Civil War presented by Major William Brown. It was a great success with 96 in attendance. The Friends' Dinner has been held in the fall and spring semesters since then, with a variety of programs including programs by other authors, historical re-enactments, and even Elvis!

We hope you will call and make reservations today for Vigilantes to Verdicts, March 6, 2010!

Friends members $15

Non-members $17.50.

254/968-9871 or 254/968-9474

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome back to Historical Events in February!

There are many well known people born in February, other than presidents, and several exciting events that occurred in the month as well.

Hatti Caraway (Feb. 1, 1878) -- First woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. Upon the death of her husband, she stepped in to finish his term. She was later elected on her own merit and served a total of 14 years.

James Joyce (Feb. 2, 1882) -- Irish novelist and poet. Known for such works as Ulysses, and Finnegan's Wake.

Elizabeth Blackwell (Feb. 3, 1821) -- First female physician. She started a hospital in New York City that had an all female staff. She also trained nurses who worked in the Civil War.

Norman Rockwell (Feb. 3, 1894) -- American artist and illustrator. Many of his works were depicted on the front cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

Thomas Edison (Feb. 11, 1847) -- Really? Do I need to say what he his famous for inventing? Socks!! No, seriously... he is best known for inventing the incandescent bulb, but he also invented the phonograph and the movie camera. Throughout his lifetime he acquired over 1200 patents. He was a busy man! His famous quote is, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration."

Charles Darwin (Feb. 12, 1809) -- Darwin is best known for his work Origin of Species.

Galileo Galilei (Feb. 15, 1564) -- First astronomer to use a telescope.

Nicolaus Copernicus (Feb. 19, 1473) -- Copernicus is considered the founder of modern astronomy. He believed that the sun was the center of the universe, not the earth.

W.E.B. Du Bois (Feb. 23, 1863) -- African American educator and leader. He was one of the founders of the NAACP and was a member of the board of directors from 1910-1934. He received his master of arts (1891) and doctorate of history (1896) from Harvard. Information obtained from

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Feb. 27, 1807) -- American poet who wrote Paul Revere's Ride, Ulysses, and The Wreck of Hesperus.

February 1, 1960 -- Four African American students enter Woolworths and stage a sit-in. The waited all day, but never received service.

February 8, 1857 -- Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was beheaded after being imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I for 19 years.

February 12, 1635 -- The first public school in America was established in Boston, Massachusetts. it was the Boston Latin School.

Some of the information for this post was obtained from

February Trivia Question
The world lost 10 days in the year 1582. How is that possible?

The first person to comment with the correct information will win a prize. May the best Texan win! Please leave a good email address with your comment, so you can be contacted if you win.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 things to do in the library when it's snowing…

All the snow this year has really been something. It makes you want to stay indoors. The Library is nice and warm so I thought I would post 10 things to do at the Dick Smith Library while it is snowing outside!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Free Social Media Icon Sets

Want to liven up your web presence? Need icons?

Ellyssa Kroski at iLibrarian has compiled an extensive list of sites offering free, downloadable icons for social websites like

  • Design Float,
  • Facebook,
  • Flickr,
  • Gamespot,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Smashing Magazine,
  • Trip Advisor,
  • Twitter,
  • YouTube, and
  • many, many more.

The icon designers use a wide array of design styles. Choose what fits your style and personalize to your heart's content. Check 'em out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

A "Topping Out" Ceremony

We all received the e-mail invitation to the new Nursing building's "topping out" ceremony from Dr. James Pierce this week. He explained that a "topping out" ceremony signifies that the last beam has been placed on the top of a building. The ceremony usually includes attaching an evergreen tree and an American flag to the last piece of metal.

The photo above shows the November 14, 1993 "topping out" ceremony for the Thompson Student Center. Shown are employees of H.A. Lott, Inc., the builders of the new building. The ironworkers are the first workers to reach the top of a building. Although no two topping out ceremonies are the same, there is usually the tree, the flag, a ceremonial signing of the final beam, and a party! I think the sign above shows that the Lott construction folks enjoyed celebrating, so I feel sure they had a party!

The "topping out" ceremony has old Northern European roots. There are variations as to what the evergreen tree symbolizes. Some say it symbolizes that the job went up without a loss of life, others say it is a good luck charm for the future occupants, and for some it signifies "we did it." All three are worth celebrating! This practice is still carried out in Europe. I saw a "topped out" building on a trip to Switzerland in 1995, complete with the evergreen Christmas tree!

In keeping with such an old tradition, be sure to attend the "topping out" ceremony for our new Nursing building Friday February 26, 2010 at 11 am!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Upcoming Brown Bag Presentations

Two upcoming Brown Bag presentations in the Library Multipurpose Room will celebrate African American History Month.

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 18, from 12:05 to 12:50 PM, students in English 341, Cultural Studies – African American Literature, are going to read excerpts from writings by African American authors. Their instructor, Dr. Marcy Tanter, will also read a few poems by Lucille Clifton, who died this past weekend. Refreshments and student attendance slips will be available.

A week later, on Thursday, February 25, from 12:10 to 12:50 PM, Minority Student Leadership will present a program on African American Heritage. Pizza and drinks will be provided, and student attendance slips will be available.

On your way to and from the Multipurpose Room, check out the displays on African American History Month, including books, videos, and music by African American authors and artists, in the library's lobbies (done by Tarleton's Office of Diversity and Inclusion), and on the main level near the computers (done by library staff).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Top Ten Most Popular Books to Read While in College (Located in the Dick Smith Library)

Top Ten Most Popular Books to Read While in College (Located in the Dick Smith Library) according to

10. The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Call Number: PZ7.L9673 GI 1993
Located: Curriculum Collection section on Lower Level
“Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.”

9. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Call Number: PR4034.P7 1945 
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level
“Elizabeth Bennet is young, clever and attractive, but her mother is a nightmare and she and her four sisters are in dire need of financial security and escape in the shape husbands. The arrival of nice Mr Bingley and arrogant Mr Darcy in the neighbourhood turns all their lives upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, enmity and love.”

8. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Call Number: PS3569.P363 N68 1996
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level – currently missing 
“Noah Calhoun reads aloud from a well worn notebook. His audience is Allie, his much loved but now ailing wife. The story he is telling is their story. After teir first fateful meeting as teenagers, Noah and Allie spend a wonderful summer falling in love. Allie’s parents look on horrified. They have great ambitions for their daughter, which don’t include a poor rural southerner. Forced to seperate, Noah and Allie lose contact. Then, years later, on the eve of a marraige to a successful lawyer Allie finds herself drawn irresistibly to Noah’s home town. What follows is an unforgettable meeting and a wonderful tribute to the power of love.”

7. Lord of the Rings (trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkien
Call Number: PR6039.O32 L61 1993
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level
"The title of the book refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power, as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, most notably the hobbits, Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) and Peregrin Took (Pippin)."

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Call Number: PS3562.E353 T6 1993
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level
“Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel--a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.”

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Call Number: PS3511.I9G7 1991
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level
“Generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest novel, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the ‘roaring twenties’ and a devastating expose of the ‘Jazz Age’. Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the readers is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore of the American seaboard in the 1920s, to encounter Nick’s cousin Daisy, Jay Gatsby and the dark mystery which surrounds him.”

4. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Call Number: PS3537.A426 
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level
“A sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield (the son of wealthy parents) runs away from school to his home in New York. Wandering the city alone, he is disillusioned by the superficiality of it and its citizens. However, it is through witnessing his young sister Phoebe going round and round on a merry-go-round after a trip to the zoo that he receives any sort of answer or joy, not from the advices of the school teachers, girlfriend and other acquaintances he meets along the way. (Camille Scaysbrook)”

3. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Call Number: PS3552.R685434 A64 2004
Located: Audio-Visual section on Lower Level – currently checked-out 
"When a world renowned scientist is found brutally murdered, a Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, is summoned to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the dead man's chest. His conclusion: it is the work of the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years - now reborn to continue their bitter vendetta against their sworn enemy, the Catholic Church. In Rome, the college of cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Langdon joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten Illuminati lair - a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican. But, with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in the plot, which leaves Langdon and Vetra reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invincible enemy."

2. 1984 by George Orwell
Call Number: PN6120.A52 O934
Located: General Stacks section on Upper Level 
“Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101...”

1. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
Call Number: PZ7.R79835 HAR 1998
Located: Curriculum Collection section on Lower Level 
“The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The central story arc concerns Harry's struggle against the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents in his quest to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people (Muggles). Several successful derivative films, video games and other themed merchandise have been based upon the series.”

For more background information on these books, visit Wikipedia.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's Day

Today is President's Day, or more officially Washington's Birthday. It's one of the eleven permanent holidays established by Congress.

But how much do you know about President George Washington?

If you're curious to learn a little about our first President, check out Rare Facts and Curious Truths about or First President from George Washington's Mount Vernon Estates and Gardens.

Or peek inside the mind of Washington by reading his diary and papers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day in the library's catalog

With Valentine's Day coming up in just a couple days, I thought I'd list a selection of good subjects you can try searching in DSL's catalog if you'd like books on love, relationships, romance, and more.
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Mate selection
  • Courtship
  • Intimacy (Psychology)
  • Love
  • Love-letters
  • Love poetry
  • Love songs
  • Love stories
  • Marriage
Subjects like these will point you to everything from Pamela C. Regan's The Mating Game: a Primer on Love, Sex, and Marriage to Elizabeth Lowell's Outlaw. I hope you find something you like!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowball fight February 2010

Check out this video of a snowball fight at the Dick Smith Library.

February is American Heart Month

Click on the following link to learn the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. Pass it on to someone you love.

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Gutenberg Bible Facsimile

Visitors to the lower level of the Dick Smith Library will notice the beautiful facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible in the display case on the wall by Special Collections. The Bible was a gift to the library from former faculty member, Miss Roberta Clay, in February 1962. She was director of public information, and taught journalism, sociology, and economics at Tarleton from 1931-1936.

The beautifully bound two volume Bible was given in memory of Miss Clay's parents, Mr. & Mrs. William James Clay, former residents of Stephenville and Dublin. They were prominent in educational and religious activities in Erath County. Her mother, the former Lucy Ann Higginbotham, taught elocution in the Dublin public schools. Mr. Clay was superintendent of Stephenville public schools and served on the first textbook committee. He was also well known for his work in the Methodist Church.

The original Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed by moveable type. Johannes Gutenberg was responsible for the rapid growth of printing in the 15th century. Printing of the original Gutenberg Bible was begun in 1450 and finished in 1455, and is a classic example of printing with finely colored initials and handpainted illuminations. Miss Clay felt that the gift was appropriate because Tarleton meant so much to Erath County, and the Bible represented both the goodness and intellectual curiosity which characterized her parents so well.

Grassburr, 1935.
J-TAC, February 6, 1962.
J-TAC, February 18, 1964.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

50 Banned Books that Everyone Should Read

It is cold and miserable, and I am tired of winter (a daring thing for a Texan to say). But, on the bright side, this is a great opportunity to read.

Yes, we discuss banned books quite a bit in this blog, but I discovered a new site to share with you, Online College Degree, which offers an interesting list of banned books.

If you feel like being really wild, and raising eyebrows, read Little Women! or Dr. Seuss! out where folks can see you! Really? Many of my favorites are listed. Wow! I never realized my reading choices have been this controversial! And worse (??) yet, I have given several of these books to my daughter to read.

Are your favorites included?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 African American Inventors

In honor of African American History Month and inspired by The Top Ten African-American Inventors at, here are 11 (in ten different books in the Dick Smith Library collection; click on the names for links) African-American inventors:

Elijah McCoy (1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains and is the source for the expression "the real McCoy."

Lewis Latimer (1848–1928) invented the carbon filament in the light bulb.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852–1889) invented a shoemaking machine that increased processing speed.

Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) invented a train-to-station communication system.

George Washington Carver (1860–1943) invented peanut butter and 400 plant products.

Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) invented a hair-growing lotion and became the first female African-American millionaire.

Garrett Morgan (1877–1963) invented the gas mask AND the first traffic signal.

Dr. Patricia E. Bath (1949–) invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people see.

Lonnie G. Johnson (1949–) invented the well-known Supersoaker watergun.

Otis Boykin (1920–1982) invented 28 different electronic devices, including control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker.

John Dove (1924-2003) originated concepts used in making compact discs.

While you're in the library looking for these and other resources, check out the display in the library's lobbies for African American History Month, put together by Tarleton's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twitter Search

Results for tweets within 15 miles of Stephenville.

Use Twitter Search to find out what people are "tweeting", or saying, about your favorite topics. What are people saying about Tarleton, for example? What do people in Stephenville tweet about?

Use Twitter Search to find out: go to Type in Tarleton and click search to get immediate (and very broad) results.

You can also fine tune your searches by clicking on Advanced Search. This will allow you to filter search terms by words, people, places, and more.

Note: Twitter Search only works on Twitter accounts that are public.

Historical Events in February

February has historically been a very busy month. I personally did not realize how many interesting, notable, historical events had happened in this month best known for President’s day and Valentine’s Day. Civil protest, amendment ratification, presidential births, impeachments, a nation is born, several inventors are born, several authors as well… whew!

Who knew?

Abraham Lincoln (12th) and George Washington (22nd) are not the only American presidents who were born in February. We can’t forget about William Henry Harrison (9th); he only served 32 days in office. He died of pneumonia; which he contracted during his inaugural address. Ronald Reagan (6th) won the presidency in 1980 beating out Democratic rival Jimmy Carter.

The US Congress and Senate must really come back from their winter holidays ready to work because 5 amendments have been ratified in the month of February.

Feb. 3, 1870 – 15th Amendment: guaranteed every citizen the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It is appropriate that February is Black History Month.

Feb. 3, 1913 – 16th Amendment: grants congress the authority to collect income taxes.

Feb. 6, 1933 – 20th Amendment: set the date for the Presidential Inauguration as Jan. 20 and Jan. 3 as the official opening date of Congress.

Feb. 7, 1795 – 11th Amendment: prohibits Federal lawsuits against individual states.

Feb. 27, 1950 – 22nd Amendment: limits the president to two terms or to a maximum of ten years.

Maybe it is because my birthday falls in February, I don’t know, but reading about this really fascinated me. Tune in to the LOL Blog on February 24 to find out more interesting facts about the month of February.

Information was obtained from:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The New Tarleton Student Center

On February 2, 1964 the new Tarleton Student Center officially opened! Hailed as the greatest improvement on the Tarleton campus in many years, the $500,000 building housed the post office, college store, lounge area, snack bar and eating area, ballroom, conference rooms, and a downstairs game area. "The Cave" , where dances were held, was also downstairs.

The game room originally included five pool tables, three table tennis tables, card tables, and provisions for adding a bowling alley. When the student center first opened the third level was unfinished but later became offices and meeting rooms.

Students were very pleased with their new center, as evidenced by a poll taken by the J-TAC. Most felt it gave the students a place to go at night and on weekends, not only ones living on campus but especially those living off campus and at home. They felt that it was one of the best things that ever happened to Tarleton and would attract new students. One student did comment that more people seemed to be using the student center, but it would look much better for the guys to remove their hats while on the inside!

Joe E. Davis became the new director of the student center. He commented that he had been tremendously impressed with the conduct of the students attending the social functions in the new student center!

The student center was the center of activity on campus from its' opening in February 1964 until the present student center was completed in 1994. Currently the Tarleton Center houses several university offices.

J-TAC, February 11, 1964.
J-TAC, February 16, 1964.
Tarleton Traditions, p.43-44.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Days to Celebrate

Today is February 2 – Groundhog Day! Check out this really great information by National Geographic about Groundhog Day & Punxsutawney. Here is a Top Ten List of strange and unusual days that we might celebrate this year. You can find even more holidays on the Holiday Insights website.

  • Groundhog Day – February 2
  • Ides of March – March 15th
  • April Fool's Day – April 1
  • Earth Day – April 22
  • Cinco de Mayo – May 5
  • Flag Day – June 14
  • Grandparents Day – September 12
  • Boss's Day – October 16
  • Great American Smokeout – November 18
  • National Fruitcake Day – December 27

Do you have a special day? Post a comment and share.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Facebook & Privacy: Are You Exposed?

  • Do you have a Facebook account?
  • Did you choose the default privacy settings instead of setting your own?
  • Are you wondering what others can learn about you?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, take a few minutes to read the article 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now by Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb.

Perez's article discusses Facebook's December privacy policy changes, explains ways the changes may increase exposure of private information, and gives tips for checking and setting your Facebook privacy settings to control:

  • who can see the things you share (status updates, photos, videos, etc.),
  • who can see your personal information, and
  • what Google can see (i.e. keeping your data off the search engines).

The article also links to additional articles discussing Facebook's recent changes and privacy concerns.