Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Government surveillance in the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently published a report on a study of government surveillance in the U.S.

The report is called "Policing Free Speech: Police Obstruction and Surveillance of First-Amendment Protected Activity."

An ACLU interactive map with a state-by-state compilation of government and police activity can be found here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - Wading through a Lotta Water Park Claims

Summer is here! It's time for vacations, camping, fishing, swimming and water parks. But who claims to have the largest indoor water park?
  1. Water Park of America, MN. The Claim: Biggest Indoor Water Park in America.

  2. Kalahari, Ohio. The Claim: Biggest Indoor Water Park in America.

  3. Fallsview, Niagra Falls. The Claim: N. America's Largest Water Park-Hotel Complex.

  4. Wilderness at Wisconsin Dells. The Claim: America's Largest Water Park Resort.

  5. Kalahari at Wisconsin Dells. The Claim: America's Largest Indoor Water Park.

  6. Las Vegas Wet, NV. The Claim: North America's Largest Indoor Water Park.
  7. The Bay at Mt. Olympus, WI. The Claim: America's Largest Indoor Water Park.

  8. World Waterpark, W. Edmonton. The Claim: N. America's Largest Indoor Water Park.

  9. Tropical Islands, Germany. The Claim: World's Largest Indoor Water Park.

  10. Watiki. The Claim: Largest Indoor Park in the Dakotas.

First place goes to Tropical Islands in Brand, Germany. It is the largest freestanding building in the world, with a span of 710,000 square feet. It is housed in a former zeppelin hangar. It can accommodate 7000 visitors.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Today in History - The Library of Congress American Memory

The staff member who was supposed to post in the Library Online Lounge is out today with an injury, and I did not remember this until a half-hour before I'm supposed to go home! Scrambling around for something to post, I Googled "today in history" and came up with this.

The Library of Congress' American Memory website
provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.
Poke around their collections sometime - there's everything from baseball cards to Coca-Cola TV advertisements to daguerreotype photos; panoramic maps to WPA posters to quilts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Protect Your Future Employment Today

I recently read an article online about a company asking a potential employee to sign a nondisclosure agreement stating that they would not mention their company's name on Twitter, Facebook, etc... I had never heard of this, but I have heard of companies searching their would be employess on those same social networking sites. Check out the following articles, and see if you need to change the settings on your Twitter or Facebook account while you are job searching.

Check these out:
Social Media Guidelines in Your Job Search and Workplace

Employers Look at Facebook, too

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Campus Improvement is Very Noticeable
J-TAC June 30, 1926

The 1908 postcard above shows Tarleton Street looking west toward the campus. The cupola of the original building can be seen in the far back just to the right of the street. It was located where the home economics building was in what is now Heritage Park. In 1915 a new administration building was constructed in its' place.

By 1926, according to the J-TAC headline above, the campus was getting many improvements! "The paving of the military driveway was completed before the opening of the fall term of '23-'24. The paving of Tarleton Avenue was begun in the spring of 1924 and completed during the next regular session." By that time another annex to the dorm was needed so the rose garden was destroyed and the annex was built there. In addition, a new dining hall was built, with future plans to build a new auditorium, fine arts building , and a mechanical arts building.

The paving of the streets of Stephenville would have certainly been a great improvement! The postcard above shows Tarleton Street before any paving was done! Just imagine traveling on Tarleton Street as it was in the postcard above! The June 30, 1926 article closed by saying:

"Here's to Tarleton and the principles she holds dear, may she never cease to improve!"

Guthrie, John Tarleton and His Legacy.
J-TAC, June 30, 1926.
Dick Smith Library, Cross Timbers Historic Images Project.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

YouTube Offers Online Video Editor

The post "Edit Video in the Cloud with the YouTube Video Editor" on Broadcasting Ourselves recently announced YouTube's launch of its online video editor, which lets users

  • Combine multiple uploaded video.
  • Trim the beginning and/or ending of videos.
  • Add soundtracks using YouTube's AudioSwap song library.
  • Create videos and easily publish them to YouTube.

Available in TestTube, the YouTube ideas incubator, the video editor is ready to use. No software downloads required. Yea!

The post also offers videos with tips for using the editor, examples of others' videos and feedback, and links to help center support, as well as asking for feedback. Check it out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Books of Summer 2010

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, yesterday was the summer solstice, the supposed first day of summer (although as far as I'm concerned, summer has been going on since the temperatures hit 100 degrees, so perhaps Midsummer is the more appropriate term). Anyway, here are ten HOT books from the latest New York Times bestseller lists that we have in the Dick Smith Library (although perhaps in a different format):

Hardcover Fiction
#4. THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. Well, we don't have it in hardcover, but we do have the audiobook on the lower level: PS3619 .T636 H45 2009B

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
#1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson - Audiobooks, lower level: PT9876.22 .A6933 M3613 2008B
#3. BLACK HILLS, by Nora Roberts - Audiobooks, lower level: PS3568 .O243 B536 2009B
#5. THE DOOMSDAY KEY, by James Rollins - Stacks, upper level: PS3568 .O5398 D66 2009

Paperback Nonfiction
#1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert - Stacks, upper level: G154.5 .G55 A3 2007
#2. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin - LC2330 .M67 2006 (we have it in both print, in Stacks on the upper level, and Audiobooks, on the lower level)
#3. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT'S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler - Stacks, upper level: HQ801 .H3193 2008
#5. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls - Stacks, upper level: HV5132 .W35 2005

Hardcover Advice
#3. THE LAST LECTURE, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow - QA76.2 .P38 A3 2008 (we have it in both Stacks, upper level, and Audiobooks, on the lower level)

Paperback Advice
#2. THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, by Gary Chapman - Audiobooks, lower level: HQ734 .C466 2005

And in case those are all checked out, here are five more:

Hardcover Business
#2. OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell - Stacks, upper level: BF637 .S8 G533 2008

Paperback Business
#1. THE BLIND SIDE, by Michael Lewis - Stacks, upper level: GV939 .O44 L49 2006
#2. THE TIPPING POINT, by Malcolm Gladwell - HM1033 .G53 2000 (we have it in both Stacks, upper level, and Audiobooks, on the lower level)
#3. FREAKONOMICS, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner - Stacks, upper level: HB74 .P8 L479 2005
#4. THE BLACK SWAN , by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Stacks, upper level: Q375 .T35 2007

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Bills Getting You Down?

Well there is help! You just have to know where to go to find it. I did a little research and found a couple of links that may be of interest to any who are in need. And that is everyone at some point or another.

Don't go without electricity this summer because you can't afford the bill. There are places that will help.

Stephenville area help includes:

Grace Place: 254-965-4022

H.O.P.E.: 254-965-2700

The Pantry and More: 254-968-5575

Department of Human Services: 254-965-6031

Stonehenge in Texas

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Crowds throng to Stonehenge in England on the Salisbury Plain in England to watch the sun rise over the heel stone. While not all of us can travel to England to see Stonehenge, you can see replica of Stonehenge in the Texas hill country. Stonehenge II as it is know is about sixty percent of the size of the original and is located on FM 1340 about two miles west of Hunt, Texas. Al Shepperd began building Stonehenge II in 1989. Later Easter Island heads appeared at the site. I can still remember the surprise my family and I had when we rounded the curve on FM1340 on our annual trip to Mo Ranch and say Stonehenge for the first time. There is a place to pull off the road safely and a gate in the fence, so you can explore Stonehenge. For more information on Stonehenge II and Al Shepperd see:

Friday, June 18, 2010

You Don't Text? Well, That May Change

Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. posted to the Texas Government Insider that the State of Texas has launched a new Web portal, The State of Texas is now communicating with taxpayers through Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube sites.


The state sent a "tweet " on Twitter after launching the new Web site to announce a "human translated" Spanish version of the site. And its first YouTube offering was a video demo of the new Web portal.


Governmental agencies are using social media and wireless communication because it is efficient and quick. This trend is not expected to diminish. So, "never say never" to tweeting and/or texting. Who knows, we all may be doing both in the near future.

For the complete article go to Texas Government Insider, June 11, 2010.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

U.S.S. Akron

The U.S.S. Akron, built in 1931 for the U.S. Navy by the Goodyear Plant in Akron, Ohio, was a 785 foot rigid helium filled dirigible. The Akron and her sister ship, the U.S.S. Macon, hold the record for being the largest helium filled airships. In 1932 and 1933 the Akron made 58 successful flights crossing the United States many times!

The June 18, 1932 J-TAC states:

Sunday evening, June 12, the huge Akron dirigible was seen gliding eastward near Stephenville. There was a bit of excitement displayed on the campus when two faculty members of the college discovered what it was. Upon first sight, they believed it to be a small dark cloud, moving at great speed - for a cloud - and neither of them had seen anything in the papers concerning its appearance.

Both faculty members hesitated in making known their discovery until they were sure of what it was. they did not wish to be accused of having wild imaginations. Just conscientious scruples or something similar!

What a sight that must have been for the Tarleton students in 1926! After making the many flights across the United States, the Akron's final flight was to take them to Philadelphia, the Delaware Capes, and up along the coast. The weather was great when she soared above the City of Brotherly Love, but by midnight they encountered a storm off the coast of Atlantic City, which would be its demise. The Akron crashed and sank April 4, 1933.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Top Ten Privacy Tweaks

Since there are so many privacy issues going around the internet lately, I thought I'd post something I found a couple weeks ago about the different ways to keep your browsing experience a little more private. Here is a list of the Top Ten Privacy Tweaks by

Friday, June 11, 2010

Read the books of the future today!

We're only halfway through 2010, and, amazingly enough, the Dick Smith Library already has 2 books with 2011 copyright dates! (By the way, just because the year hasn't happened yet doesn't mean you can legally plagiarize them.) The books are:
  • Media and criminal justice : the CSI effect by Dennis J. Stevens [General Stacks - P96 .C742 U67 2011]
  • Becoming a breast cancer nurse navigator by Lillie D. Shockney [So new it's not quite ready to be out on the shelves yet, but it'll end up in General Stacks - RC280 .B8 S4945 2011]

While looking for a good explanation for how something can have a copyright date that hasn't happened yet, I came across the U.S. Copyright Office's website, which has lots of interesting information, including a copyright FAQ page. I haven't yet found an answer to my question on the FAQ page, but it looks like it's got the answers to just about everything else. I mean, come on, "How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Welcome to Summer School!

"Summer school is well underway and everyone seems to be working hard" was reported in the June 30, 1926 J-TAC! The first summer session in 1926 had 417 students registered, 261 women and 156 men. Ten of them were graduate students taking extra classes. Most of them were teachers working toward certificates, regular college students making up credits, or high school students making up credits. Before the summer of 1926 was over Tarleton had a record enrollment of 511!

My Tarleton Thursdays blog on June 18, 2009 was about summer teacher institutes that were held so that rural teachers could work on certification and further their study. The 1926 summer J-TAC reported that additional staff was brought in for the education classes - some teachers from area high schools taught classes such as grammar, science, mathematics, and history. On the flip side, some of the Tarleton teachers spent their summer teaching or going to school elsewhere.

In the summer 1926 J-TAC, Dean J. Thomas Davis gave a special greeting to the students stating " Tarleton has been very fortunate in the character of people who have made up its faculty and its student body. The contribution you make this summer will help to maintain and carry forward the Purple and White under the same high ideals and standards of life, as have made Tarleton respected and honored in the past."

Good luck with all your classes this summer!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stephenie Meyer fans, unite!

Need your vampire fix before the next movie in the Twilight saga is released? Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, has made a novella available online. Although you can't download or print it, you can read it for free online until July 5, 2010. The novella is called, "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella." Entertainment Weekly states that "Bree figures prominently in the movie version of Eclipse, opening June 30."

One dollar from each print book sold will go to the American Red Cross. There is also a link on the novella's website,, where you can donate electronically.

More info
Take me to the book!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Laminating service

Did you know the Dick Smith Library offers a laminating service? Laminating is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. The laminator needs about 15 minutes to warm up, so plan accordingly. You can call Special Services Assistant Vickie Sowell at 254-968-9869 to let her know you are bringing something over to laminate, and she can turn the laminator on.

Due to an increase in the price of laminating film and yearly maintenance, and the need to save for a replacement machine, the cost for laminating increased from 75 cents per foot to $1 per foot effective June 1, 2010, with a minimum charge of $1.

The laminator can handle items up to 27 inches wide. This means that we can fit three 8.5” by 11” pieces of paper per foot of laminate. We are happy to give you an estimate of the cost before doing the laminating job. Posters and other items larger than 27 inches must be folded and go through the machine twice, and are charged accordingly, plus an extra $1 for the additional labor involved. Please allow one-day turnaround for these two-person jobs.

You can pay with cash, a check, or a Texan Card. Vickie will also process interdepartmental charge forms for laminating done for Tarleton. You’ll need to have the correct local account number from your department, and to sign the charge form. It’s a good idea to bring the name and phone number of the person who gives you the account number, so we can call them if we have any questions.

If you have any questions about the library’s laminating service, please call Vickie Sowell at 254-968-9869 or Special Services Librarian Amanda Pape at 254-968-9251.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome Summer Students!

The Dick Smith Library hours for this summer (through August 12) are as follows:
Monday - Thursday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm*

*Hours for July 4 will be posted later.

Service at the Circulation Desk stops 15 minutes before the library closes.