Friday, April 30, 2010

Neil Gaiman, feral child raised by...

The American Library Association chose Neil Gaiman to be the Honorary Chair of the 2010 National Library Week, celebrated this month. Although I have dear friends that I suspect were raised by wolves, it is intriguing that he himself says he was a feral child raised by...librarians. His interview with Kate Pritchard Neil Gaiman Talks About His Love of Libraries is interesting reading, and prompted me to wonder what a library means to you, Dear Reader. Let us know!

In case you are interested, we have several of his titles, some juvenile literature, in PZ7.G1273 (downstairs), and PR6057.A319 (upstairs). I promise not to check them out for a few days. Maybe.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton's Manual Arts Class

The April 29, 1926 J-TAC showed a photo of the first house built by the Tarleton carpentry class. It was located north of the campus and constructed from start to finish by the boys under the direction of Professor E.A. Funkhouser. It had five rooms, a large sleeping porch, bath closets, built-in book cases, kitchen cabinets, and the best system of water and lights. Members of the class were Roy Hudspeth, R.V. Montgomery, C.J. Thompson, Doyle Graves, Riley Yarbrough, Vernon Head, Cecil Albritton, Rankin Stockton, and Earl Garret.

That first house might have also been the first house constructed by students in the state of Texas and probably in the United States according to the April 29, 1926 J-TAC! A number of similar projects were started in other states about that time. Shortly after the first house was completed a northern magazine published a story about the house, along with a photo, bringing favorable attention to the program.

After the first house was completed in 1920/21, the carpentry class constructed a house each year, including the college hospital shown above as well as Mr. Howell's home, the auto mechanics building and several others on campus. The 1923 Grassburr stated that "this little house was built by the boys of our College to protect us in illness." The first nurse was Mabeth Hanna.

Professor E.A. Funkhouser, shown above, and his class also constructed the rock wall in front of the Howell building and Heritage Park, as well as a rock wall at his residence on Jones Street. While working at his home on McIlhaney on July 22, 1926, Professor Funkhouser was accidently electrocuted when he took hold of a defective light cord. His coming to Tarleton in 1918 marked the beginning of Tarleton's Industrial Arts division, initially having just a woodworking shop. By 1926 mechanical drawing, blacksmithing, auto mechanics, and vocational carpentry classes had been added. He authored Farm Projects in Mechanics, which was requested by the departments of education of all forty-eight states as well as recommended by the National Industrial Magazine which led to international recognition.

Professor E.A. Funkhouser's daughter Madeline Sullenburger was a long time staff member of the Tarleton library!

Grassburr, 1920, p.68, 1922, p.18, 1923, p.20.
Guthrie, Christopher E., John Tarleton and his Legacy, p. 53, 60, 63, 386.
J-TAC, February 24, 1920, August 4, 1926.
King, C. Richard, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.150.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Does This Say?

Archivists that deal with manuscript collections from the 19th Century can have trouble reading handwritten documents from the 1800s and earlier. The reason for this is that writing styles and the grammar used then were much different than today. The letters were so "loopy" it is hard at times to tell if the loop in the letter goes with the line above or below the letter. Archivists have developed tips and methods to help them decipher the writing. Some of these include comparing letters in the same document or reading over the document several times, and setting it aside over a period of days. An archives blog from New South Wales, Australia posted some tips to reading handwritten documents. These tips also apply to trying to read handwriting from the 20th and 21st century as well. Here is the link and good luck in your deciphering.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: "To Go Green, or Not to Go Green" Week

Ten things you can do during Tarleton's "To Go Green, or Not to Go Green" Week, sponsored by the Communication Studies Department, April 26-30, 2010:

1. Check out the website:

2-5. View the four entries for this year's speech competition -

6. View the 27 PostSecret cards on the TarletonGreenWeek webpage OR in the Dick Smith Library outer lobby display case (near the coffee bar).

7-9. Go to this Google Doc survey and vote:
  • Which of the four speakers you feel was the BEST speaker for the "To Go Green, or to Not Go Green" speech contest
  • Which PostSecret card is the MOST CREATIVE
  • Which PostSecret card has the MOST IMPACT
10. Follow the Twitter account @TarletonSpeech ( to participate in daily discussions (and contests) focused on the green movement.

Live Green, Breathe Purple!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Financial Success after College Graduation

If you have managed to stay ahead of the game and not accumulate debt during college, that is wonderful. But, many college graduates leave college with more than a diploma. Many graduates leave with a mountain of debt... you know, because they actually had to eat or maybe take a trip to the doctor's office.

I found some tips online that will guide you on the next leg of your journey. And, remember if you are in debt already, it isn't too late to gain control of it -- just follow these guidelines, and eat at your parent's house 5 out 0f 7 nights!
  • Choose your job carefully. Sometimes the highest paying job isn't the best one to take. Do some research and see which one will be the best in the long run. Do you really want to teach preschoolers for the next 25 years?

  • Don't buy a new car after starting that new job. Aim to buy one that is 1-3 years old and save money.

  • Put the savings from buying the older car into an emergency fund, or

  • Buy health insurance. One really bad illness or accident can affect you for years to come.

  • Create a budget, stick to it, and make it a habit. When you are ready to retire at 50 because you've made such good financial decisions you will look back and think what a good idea it was to stick to that budget.

  • Avoid a credit card if at all possible.

  • Refrain from impulse buys, if you really want that brand new TV, walk away and come back in 24-48 hours. Do you really want it? Are the prices better at another store?

  • Avoid expensive rent.

  • Look for a roommate.

It is incredible how bad credit can affect your life. Even renting or health care becomes an issue when your credit is bad. But, it can be avoided. Make good choices, refrain from impulse buys, and stick to a budget you will be much happier and wealthier!

Information was obtained from the following websites:

Here is a link to a budgeting worksheet as well:

Happy Budgeting!

Congratulations to all of our Spring 2010 graduates!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

John Tarleton 's Grave Moved!

Memorial services for our benefactor John Tarleton were held during the April 30, 1928 Parent's Day program. According to the April 20, 1928 J-TAC, John Tarleton's body "is being moved to his new resting place this week." The granite monument had already been moved. "This new and final resting place of his body is the triangular park across the highway from the southwest corner of the campus".

John Tarleton was originally buried in the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery at Patillo, near his ranch in northern Erath County. It is interesting that he gave land to the Patillo Methodist Church for a cemetery, the Tarleton Cemetery, which is still there today, but he was buried nearby at Mt. Pisgah. The first removal of his body, from Mt. Pisgah to the Tarleton campus near the area of the current Hunewell Bandstand in Heritage Park, ca. 1898. The southwest corner of the old auditorium is about where the grave was. Joe Lockhart, who ran the dray service seen above, was hired to remove the body from Mt. Pisgah to campus. The first Founder's Day celebration was held at that site in the fall of 1902.

In April 1928 as preparations began for the removal, so many people crowded around that the men couldn't work. Mr. Doyle, the man in charge, told his workers to come back that night so that they could move it without an audience! The coffin looked intact, but as soon as they touched it, it started to fall apart. They made a false bottom to put under it. It was rumored that his body really wasn't there, but Mr. Doyle said it was.

John Tarleton's grave remains in the triangular park across from campus. The site received a Texas State Historical Marker in October 1987.

Tarleton State University, Dick Smith Library, Cross Timbers Historic Images Project (Stephenville Museum photo).

J-TAC, April 20, 1928.

J-TAC, March 9, 1948.

King, Golden Days of Purple & White, p.17-19.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

San Jacinto Day, April 21st

San Jacinto Day is Wednesday, April 21st. View a slideshow of archival photos about San Jacinto Day at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) home page. Go to

Online exhibits include: Texas Treasures, The McArdle Notebooks, Hard Road to Texas: Texas Annexation 1836-45; "Fear, Force, and Leather: The Texas Prison System's irst Hundred Years, 1848-1948"

Visit this great website and learn more about Texas.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learn More, Get Involved, Take Action -- Useful Top Tens

It's Top Ten Tuesday, plus April is Keep America Beautiful month, Thursday is Earth Day, and April 30th is Arbor Day. What a great time to check out ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as embrace going green.

10 Top Tens: Ideas, Tips, Resources, and News

Live Green, Breathe Purple -- Check it Out

Monday, April 19, 2010

New audiobooks!

For you commuters or anyone about to take a long road trip, the Dick Smith Library has a growing collection of audiobooks in CD format, with many audiobooks still available in cassette format. They are located on the lower level of the library, just to the right in the Audiovisual Collection area as you exit the elevator or the stairs. You can check them out for four weeks; plenty of time to take them on a vacation (just be sure you don't lose any of the pieces!).

Here are some of our newest acquisitions. Many of these are donations from faculty and staff:

HF5438.25 .G58 2008 - The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer - winner of a 2009 Audie Award for best Business/Educational title

PR6057 .R386 C66 2005C - The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - historical fiction about Catherine of Aragon, the first of Henry VIII's six wives

PS3552 .U723 S93 2008B - Swan Peak by James Lee Burke - another adventure of Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux.

PS3553 .L287 J87 2009B - Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark

PS3553 .L287 T96 2006D - Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

PS3557 .R5355 F67 2009B - Ford County by John Grisham - a collection of short stories set in fictional Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill

PS3563 .A3535 W5 2005 - Wicked by Gregory Maguire - the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderfiul Wizard of Oz, and the inspiration for the musical of the same name

PS3568 .O243 B536 2009B - Black Hills by Nora Roberts

PS3568 .O243 R45 2003B - Remember When by Nora Roberts

PS3569 .T3655 A88 2008B - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - a heartwarming dog story

PS3571 .P4 W48 2008AB - The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike - a sequel to The Witches of Eastwick

PS3608 .A876 A79 2010B - Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin - a fictionalized account of the life of the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

PT9876.22 .A6933 M3613 2008B - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson - a modern thriller/mystery set in Sweden

PZ7 .S80857 WH 2009B - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead - a time travel story set in 1970s New York City, and this year's Newbery Medal winner

Suggestions for CD format audiobook purchases are always welcome; use the comments for this post!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Emancipation Day

According to Wikipedia:

"The municipality of Washington, D.C., celebrates April 16 as Emancipation Day. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. The Act freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act represents the only example of compensation by the federal government to former owners of emancipated slaves.

On January 4, 2005, Mayor Anthony Williams signed legislation making Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District. Each year, a series of activities will be held during the public holiday including the traditional Emancipation Day parade celebrating the freedom of enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The Emancipation Day celebration was held yearly from 1866 to 1901, and was resumed as a tradition and historic celebration in 2002 as a direct result of years of research, lobbying and leadership done by Ms. Loretta Carter-Hanes.

In 2007, the observance of this holiday in Washington, D.C. had the effect of nationally extending the 2006 income tax filing deadline from April 16 to April 17, a delay that will recur in April 2012. The 2007 date change was not discovered until after many forms went to print."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Texan Stars
Washington D.C. April 1985

Last Saturday, April 10, 2010, one of Washington D.C.'s most exciting traditions was held - the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade! The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the City of Washington, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees from Japan! In 1915 the United States government gave flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1965 Texas' own First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, accepted 3,000 more trees, and in 1981 the cycle of giving came full circle when Japanese horticulturists were given cuttings from our trees to replace some cherry trees in Japan that had been destroyed in a flood!

On April 13, 1985 our own Texan Stars dance team represented the state of Texas and Tarleton and marched in the Cherry Blossom Parade! Fourteen members of the Texan Stars marched the one-mile stretch down Pennsylavnia Avenue in front of several hundred thousand spectators! The parade included almost 400 entries and was led by Grand Marshall Ed McMahon!

The Stars' first day in Washington was spent sightseeing and shopping! Their Purple Pride stood out in the crowd - they were wearing purple blazers! They even caught the attention of Arlene Francis, who was on location at the Jefferson Memorial for a taping of "Life and Times"! She was also dressed in "Tarleton" purple and visited with the girls and had her picture made with them!

The trip to Washington and marching in the Cherry Blossom Parade was the fulfillment of a dream and the culmination of years of hard work! Their sponsor, and former Texan Star, Penny Wright, is currently instructor of kinesology here.

This national annual event is symbolic of April events held all over the United States! April is Keep America Beautiful Month and National Garden Month! Earth Day is April 22, 2010, and Arbor Day is April 30, 2010! April is truly the month for promoting "America the Beautiful"! Check out the library displays in celebration of April!

Grassburr, 1985.
J-TAC, April 18, 1985.
National Cherry Blossom Festival website: .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: National Library Week!

This week is National Library Week, so I thought I'd celebrate with a library-related Top Ten list. Here's a list of the top ten books at Dick Smith Library owned by the greatest number of other libraries in WorldCat. WorldCat, by the way, allows you to search the collections of thousands of libraries at once - if we don't have something you've found in WorldCat, try getting it through interlibrary loan!
  1. The higher power of Lucky by Susan Patron with illustrations by Matt Phelan (5,847 total libraries)
  2. Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (5,280 total libraries)
  3. The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (5,089 total libraries)
  4. The invention of Hugo Cabret : a novel in words and pictures by Brian Selznick (4,941 total libraries)
  5. The graveyard book by Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by Dave McKean (4,909 total libraries)
  6. Good masters! Sweet Ladies! : voices from a medieval village by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd (4,818 total libraries)
  7. Gossamer by Lois Lowry (4,618 total libraries)
  8. The Penderwicks : a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy by Jeanne Birdsall (4,606 total libraries)
  9. The Polar Express written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg (4,577 total libraries)
  10. In search of excellence : lessons from America's best-run companies by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. (4,543 total libraries)

I thought it was pretty interesting that the only book on this list that isn't a children's/young adult book is #10.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Home to Garden!

It was finally pretty this weekend, so, yay! To the out of doors! Out with the old leaves! In with the new plants! Out with the old soil! In with the new compost (which is made in part of the old leaves you have carefully gathered, of course!)! And I found some gardening websites that you may want to consult. A general one is Back Yard Gardener. And of course, The Dirt Doctor, because where else do you get information on Howard Garrett's Basic Organic Program? Once specific to Central Texas is Central Texas Gardening. Now that is getting pretty specific! And how about Aggie Horticulture, the source of Knock-Out Roses!

Put that sunscreen on, and get some dirt under those nails!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton Band 1925

"The Band Struts Stuff at Strawn" is one of the headlines in the April 8, 1925 J-TAC! The forty members of John's Military Band left for Strawn at nine-thirty! The Chamber of Commerce and other citizens of Stephenville provided their cars and drove the band members over and back.

Arriving at 11:30, the band members were given about half an hour free time. Some admired the high school girls in their snow white dresses, some admired the Easter eggs in the show windows, while others smelled the aroma coming from the bakery!

After the free time, the band marched from the City Hall to the Texas and Pacific station, and then to the First Baptist church for a banquet and concert. Guest speakers included "Homer D. Wade, Adjutant General McGee, George Waverly Briggs of Dallas, and representatives from many towns of this district."

On the way home the band performed at Thurber in honor of Miss Elsie Cox, who was the only woman who had ever been a member of Tarleton's band! She was Tarleton's first cornetist when the band was organized in 1919!

The band toured and performed around the area each spring! At the conclusion of their performance in Thurber in 1925, the band played "On Ye Tarleton", our fight song that is a long standing tradition and is still played at most band performances!

On Ye Tarleton - forever!

J-TAC, April 8, 1925.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 is a website that bills itself as "the student gateway to the U.S. govt." Topics include college preparation, study abroad, internships, online study and the military.

Check it out at:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

10 Reasons to Become a Teacher

Today is the Teacher Job Fair in the Thompson Student Center. Did you go by and drop off your applications? Click on the link below for 10 reasons why to become a teacher.

What are your reasons for becoming a teacher? Make a comment and let us hear your opinion.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Today is April Fool's Day! Here are a few excerpts from the April 1, 1927 ALL FOOL'S J-TAC!

DANCE TONIGHT IN THE NEW DINING HALL: Tonight at the new dining hall all Tarleton students are invited to attend the first big dance since the rule against dancing has been abolished!

MR. EAVES IS TO FURNISH COTS TO ALL STUDENTS: Mr. Eaves, professor of history and government, plans to place folding cots in his classroom for the accommodation of students who do not care to listen to his lectures!

REGISTRAR SELLS HIS CHEVROLET - HAS NO USE FOR IT: He said that because the students were never out after hours, never got off Tarleton Avenue, never wore civies or some manner of disguise to fool the officers and faculty members, never loitered between here and town, and lived up to the rules and regulations, he found very little use for the car except to ride to church and he thought it cheaper to ride the bus!

LIBRARY TO BE REMODELED FOR AMUSEMENTS: Our library will now have a magnificent soda fountain and lunch counter, smaller tables will be put in for domino and card games, and a comfortable lounge will be prepared along the west wall!

Hope you have a great April Fool's Day and don't get too many jokes played on you!