Friday, July 30, 2010

Sales Tax Holiday/Tax-Free Weekend - Aug. 20-22,2010

As in previous years, law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales taxes. Backpacks which are worn on back and under $100 and used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt.

The 81st Texas Legislature passed HB 1801 (2009) expanding the list of items qualifying for exemption. Effective this year, most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school are exempted.

For complete list of tax-free items Google "Sales Tax Holiday (98-490)."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Dean J. Thomas Davis
Teaching at Peabody!

As mentioned in an earlier blog post this summer, additional faculty was brought in to teach summer school and the teachers institute. In 1926 additional teachers included Mr. L.W. Hartsfield, Breckenridge High School, education; Mr. Ormand C. Corry, Stephenville High School, history; Miss Dora Rawlings, Stephenville Grammar School, elementary; Mr. A.L. Faubian, graduate of Howard Payne, mathematics; Mr. B.E. McGlomery, Hico High School, history and literature; and Miss Anne Palmer, Comanche Grammar School, grammar. (J-TAC, June 30, 1926)

In addition to bringing in faculty, some of the Tarleton faculty spent the summer at other colleges. Mrs. Woodward and Miss Vera Sams, English, John Oliver and Miss Grace Wickline, commercial arts, and Mr. Blanchard, industrial arts, were all at "state" (UT). Mrs. W.E. Moody, dorm matron, Mrs. Ertith Richardson, Miss Minn Ferguson, and Mr. Hunewell, studied music in Chicago. Miss Mary Marrs studied math in Denton, Miss Lillie V. Lilliard studied public speaking at S.M.U., Mrs. Frances Ramsey studied education at Peabody, and Mr. Garrett spent the summer teaching at the teachers' college in Commerce.

Dean J. Thomas Davis, shown in the 1926 photo above, spent that summer as an instructor at George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. He taught Extension work in Vocational Agriculture and the Administration of Junior Colleges. "He will spend some of his time attending lectures and doing work in the library!" Dean Davis was asked to teach at Peabody because of the unusual growth and development Tarleton had made under his leadership. After Davis became Dean, Tarleton gained recognition as the largest junior college in the South. Dean Davis had also been president of the Southern Association of Junior Colleges for many years and was well respected as a leader.

Peabody was one of the greatest teachers' colleges in the South and being invited to lecture was a great honor. The Tarleton students and faculty appreciated Dean Davis and wished him the best as he worked toward preparing himself to do even more at Tarleton the next year! (J-TAC, July 11, 1926)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Magazine Voting

Tired of looking at serious journals/magazines like Analytical Biochemistry or IEEE Transactions of Quantum Electronics? Well, if your brain needs a little vacation, try this on for size. The Periodicals department is considering replacing some of its magazines and would like to hear your opinion on the matter. Which magazine in each of the 2 categories listed below would you read the most?

Real Simple  vs.  Better Homes and Gardens

Real Simple is a magazine dedicated to making life easier. It contains information on how to improve your life either through health & fitness, food, clothing & beauty products, or home care and all focus on making the task as simple as possible.

Better Homes and Gardens is a magazine dedicated to making your home look the best. It contains information on indoor and outdoor decorating, fashion styles, and beauty tips, numerous recipes, and health and fitness plans for the home.

Lucky  vs.  Glamour

Lucky is a magazine that focuses solely on shopping and style. It contains information on numerous fashion trends and beauty tips as well as focusing on staying fit and healthy.

Glamour is also a magazine dedicated to fashion, beauty, and health. It contains information ranging from beauty tips and fashion to fitness and romance.

So, it's up to you now. The time has come to put in your vote. Which magazines would you prefer?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top 10 recent changes happening at the library

  1. New Databases - Contemporary World Music, 19th Century British Pamphlets, and PsycARTICLES
  2. Free Downloadable Digital Music - Access and download music to your MP3 via the new Contemporary World Music database.
  3. New Laptops - We replaced our old set of laptops for 25 new ones!!
  4. Skins - Check out the laptop skins with our logo.
  5. New Computers - 30 on the main level and 8 added to the upper level of the library.
  6. Upgraded Wireless - We've moved to N Class wireless access for improved connectabililty.
  7. Convenient Outlets - No more tripping over laptop cords on the upper level; we installed outlets down the middle aisle.
  8. New Staff - You might recognize our new Reference Assistant, Thomas Schilb, our former circulation student worker -- Yeah Thomas!!
  9. Reader's Choice Books - Check out the new book display and help spotlight your favorite book for others to enjoy.
  10. New Headsets - Just in this week, new brand of headsets available for purchase.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Americans with Disabilities Act

Yesterday, July 26, 2010, was the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, and more. You can find out more about the ADA by visiting the the FAQ at for links to regulations and guides. It even has a toll-free number so you can ask questions about ADA requirements. - Americans with Disabilities Act

Friday, July 23, 2010

An information mystery

Although I don't own an e-reader, I like to read about them and keep track of what's going on in the e-book world, just in case I ever decide to break down and buy one. Recently, I read about a report by Alloy Media + Marketing that found that 2 percent of college students currently own an e-reader and 50 percent say they plan to buy one in the next year.

I was going to write about college students and e-book readers, something along the lines of "What do you think about these statistics? Do you own an e-reader? Which one do you own or plan to get, and why did you choose that particular one?" However, I decided to try to track down Alloy Media + Marketing's original report and check it first, just in case, and that's when things got interesting.

The full report is available on Alloy Media + Marketing's New Releases page (choose the July 7, 2010 title). Although I found some of the other statistics the article I read had cited, I could not find anything in the report about college students and e-readers. The e-reader statistics have been mentioned in multiple blog posts and online news articles (for example, this, this, and this), all of which say they came from Alloy Media + Marketing's report. That doesn't necessarily mean that the additional findings scheduled for release later this month won't include the college students and e-readers statistics that so many have mentioned, but I don't see those numbers mentioned in this particular report. I haven't even been able to figure out exactly where these numbers really came from, because everything I've found that mentioned them refers to either a "recent report" from Alloy Media + Marketing or the exact report that I already found.

This, by the way, is a nice example of why it's a good idea to hunt down the original version of whatever it is you're citing, rather than just trusting that the information from a secondary source is correct and/or complete.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you before? Have you ever tried to confirm information that seemed to be quoted everywhere but couldn't find the original source of that information? Please comment and share - I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Cadets to Enjoy Ten Day Vacation! Training Camp! Vidette Camp to be held at Glen Rose for Training! "The summer training camp for the cadets of John Tarleton College is to be held at Glen Rose this year. This camp is for the purpose of training officers and getting boys into trim for military duty for the coming year. This system of training has been going on for some time and it has been very valuable in helping produce commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the following year."

"The Vidette camp is open to old students and new students. Everyone is welcome and a very efficient system of training is being worked out. The camp will be held under military discipline and in accordance with college regulations." Oooh sounds like fun!

Shown above are the Videttes from the 1930 Grassburr! Even though the Vidette camp was a training camp, there was also time for recreation, such as baseball, swimming, and fishing. Swimming and fishing.....doesn't sound all that bad.....probably at Oakdale Park and the Big Rocks on the Paluxy. Going on at the same time was the football training camp.

What a ten day vacation! The July 11, 1930 J-TAC further stated that "all men students planning on coming to Tarleton next year should be at the camp, get acquainted, and have a good time."....not sure, but I don't think the Vidette Camp was anything like today's Duck Camp!!

"Oh Boy! We'll be there!"

J-TAC, July 11, 1930.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Media Guide

Would you like more information on social media? Check out this list of links by Jane Hart that details everything from micro-blogging (à la Twitter) to social course management systems (such as Moodle).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top 10 Foods You Aren't Eating, But Should

  1. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphine, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
  2. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
  3. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
  4. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
  5. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
  6. Pupmpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
  7. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them "health food in a can." They are high in omega-3's, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
  8. Tumeric: The "superstar of spices," it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don't spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
  10. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.

Source: NY Times Blog

Monday, July 19, 2010

Checklist Heaven

How often do you forget to pick up something from the grocery store, because you did not take a list? I have a standard we-are-leaving-town checklist, and without it, I usually forget to adjust the temperature on the thermostat, and we heat/cool wastefully. Part of the list is what-we-should-take-with-us, and without it, we tend to forget swimsuits/handkerchiefs/etc.

Shockingly, even doctors need to be reminded of such routine things as washing their hands before they pick up a scalpel and cut into YOU. The idea came to the doctor-author after considering the rigorous adherence to checklists followed by airline pilots. Read The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande. The Dick Smith Library owns it; it is located at RA399 .A1 G39 2010. A doctor-relative always requires his residents to read The Checklist Manifesto.

Apparently I am not the only one who likes checklists.
You can find pre-made checklists to help you at Simply Checklists. Included are lists for college students and money, pet supplies, green living, tailgate parties, weddings, toolboxes and more.

A checklist is powerful! Add checklists to your toolbox.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July is National Ice Cream Month

Wow! I had no idea there was such a thing as a National Ice Cream month. What a great country we live in. The third Sunday of the month is National Ice Cream Day. Let's celebrate. Ronald Reagan designated both auspicious dates and said that they should be celebrated with "appropriate ceremonies and activities". I knew I liked him! I may have to have an ice cream party to celebrate! I imagine it will have streamers and party favors, a few gallons of ice cream, 2-3 speeches extolling the virtues of ice cream and a select few friends and family members. What? I can't have too many… I want to make sure I get all the ice cream I want!

Check out this site:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Girls' Physical Education Building & Swimming Pool

It's summer and time for swimming! The photos above show the "new" girls' gymnasium and swimming pool! Construction began in February 1951 at a cost of $118,368 for the building, and $35,342 for the pool. The new facility was ready for use in the Fall of 1951.

A "dream come true" for coed Coach Laura Fellman..."one lone basketball - that's the only equipment the college had for girls' organized play," the tall instructor, who came to Tarleton in 1921, recalled. "And 30 years was a long, long time to wait for something, but look what I have now!" The spacious 100' x 55' gymnasium with a solid maple floor and decorated in green and bright red brick, provided room for a basketball court, four badminton tables, two sets of deck tennis, table tennis, and a volleyball court. Other rooms included offices and an equipment room. Then...the "gateway to the pool really leads to something exceptional."

The girls and boys pool, with two diving boards, ranged in depth from 12 foot to 3 toot, providing adequate space for beginners and advanced swimmers. Dressing rooms included showers, dressing booths, and mirrors, and would accomodate 168 girls at a time, which the girls described as "out of this world." A smaller boys' dressing room was on the opposite side.

Students and employees and children of enployees, only, were permitted use of the pool. The pool was used for free by students in PE classes, but the recreational swimming cost was $.25 per person! Dorm students had to dress in their rooms in clean, free from dirt, bathing suits, and swim caps were required for all swimmers! Dean Paul A. Cunyus took the first dip in the new swimming pool in October 1951 and found the water rather cool and stayed in only a few minutes!

A few years later, swimming lessons were offered to the community at the Tarleton swimming pool! The building was used until the Wisdom Gym was expanded in 1977. It then housed the intramural offices and custodial offices. The pool was closed in 1977, and was covered with concrete in 1981 and used as a basketball court and recreational area. Today it is the new home of telecommunications and the computer help desk. The old swimming pool area is fenced and used as a parking area for the help desk utility vehicles.

Of the new 1951 facility, Coach Fellman remarked that "I have to pinch myself to believe it's really true! We're awfully proud of it!"

Dick Smith Library, Cross Timbers Historic Images Project.
Guthrie, Christopher E., John Tarleton and His Legacy, p.113-114.
J-TAC, Feb. 2, 1951, Oct. 23, 1951, Oct. 30, 1951, Feb. 5, 1952.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Want to go camping? Not sure where? can help!

If you love the outdoors, camping can be a dream vacation. However, figuring out where to camp can sometimes be an issue. may be just what you need because it lets you
  • search for campsites by location, type (tent, cabin, RV, etc.), and preferred dates,
  • identify recreation areas based on desired activities like boating, horseback riding, hiking, and climbing,
  • find nearby locations for activities like swimming, bicycling, fishing, or other favorites,
  • purchase passes for National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands,
  • make reservations (if needed), and
  • locate more useful information for planning your camping trip.
~ Before leaving on your trip, be sure to familiarize yourself with the fees and regulations of the campsite(s) you've chosen.
~ Learn more using Recreational Activities: Camping resources.

Happy camping!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 Health Numbers You Should Know

While the first five require a blood test, the rest are easy enough to track:

1. Total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/DL; above 240 doubles your risk.
2. LDL ("bad") cholesterol ideally should be below 100 mg/DL, it's considered high if it is 160 mg/DL or above.
3. HDL ("good") cholesterol should be above 40 mg/DL for men and above 50 mg/DL for women; above 60 is especially good.
4. Triglycerides should be below 150 mg/DL; a measure above 200 mg/DL is considered high.
5. Fasting blood sugar (glucose) should be less than 100 mg/dL .
6. Blood pressure reading should be less than 120/80.
7. Body mass index (BMI) should be less than 25.
8. Waist circumference should be under 35 inches for women and under 40 inches for men.
9. Resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
10. Exercise (moderate aerobic activity) at least 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.

Sources: American Heart Association; US News and World Report

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where Americans Are Moving

That Americans are on the move should not come as a surprise. We are a very mobile society today. Almost from the time of the first settlers, there has been a movement westward. Today we move because of jobs, education, or retirement as examples. The Internal Revenue Service compiled a map using data from 2008 that indicates the number of people that moved from one county to another and their average income. By clicking on a county, the map highlights those counties where there was an exchange of population. For example in 2008 16 people with an average income of $16,200 moved from Eastland County to Erath County and 52 people with an average income of $14,300 moved from Erath County to Eastland County. The map also has buttons for areas such as Seattle, Los Angles, Dallas, Chicago, and Detroit. There a few surprises and a few things that are not surprises. You can explore the map at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Social Media

Do you use social networks? Which applications or cites do you use? The Library is trying to be where our users are! The library has :
Where should we go next? Are they any other social sites you think the library should be on? Please post a comment and tell us!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Khaki and Blue Chambray - NOT!

"It gives the old Tarleton student a strange feeling to see the girls on our campus wearing red, yellow, green, pink and varicolored dresses and the boys in suits of black, blue, white and other colors. It is true that all these pretty colors are pleasing to the eye and we were always glad to get out of uniform but it doesn't look like Tarleton to see it every day!" (J-TAC, June 30, 1926) The photo above shows one of the summer teachers' institute classes in front of the Tarleton main auditorium, in all their colorful outfits - what a change from the regular semesters! Dean Davis can be seen in the middle of the top row! (Tarleton Dick Smith Library, Cross Timbers Historic Images Project, Baxley Collection)

The June 30, 1926 J-TAC elaborated further on the "summer attire" stating that it was not the same at chapel either. Usually there was khaki on one side and blue chambray on the other, but summer chapel brought out a mingling of colors! "Regular" Tarleton students missed the brotherhood and equality that the "uniformity" brought! "There is a lack of that friendly, brotherly air that prevails in Tarleton during the long session."

The same J-TAC posed some questions..."What do you think of having khaki and blue chambray day this summer? Wouldn't you like to see all of the old Tarletonites in uniform again? Some of us will never be back in Tarleton again for a long session, and I think we would enjoy being in uniform for just one day this summer!"

"Think it over students!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

GIMP Tutorials

I am new to GIMP and have not been able to play around with it long enough to figure everything out. So, I thought this might come in handy for those of you who are also new to GIMP. Here are some links to different types of photo editing tutorials. Enjoy!
Best GIMP Tutorials

Monday, July 5, 2010

Library Usage

Wow! The library has over 170 databases that are available for our students 24/7 from anyway in the world. Last year over 2 million searches were done on these databases and over 920,000 full text articles were downloaded! Over 681 pieces of digital music were listened to, and 4,735 maps were viewed.

The library has a lot of online resources. Do you know how to access them? (Find out here.) What is your favorite? Post a comment and let us know!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Library Closed for July 4th

The Library will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 4th of July Holiday. The library will reopen at 7:30 am Monday, July 5th. Regular hours are posted on the web at:

Hope you all have a happy 4th of July!

What's the next book in the series?

So, you just finished a book in a series and you desperately want to read the next one, but you don't know what it's called. You could look at the author's website and hope that it has a list of everything in the series in order. You could do a search in your favorite search engine and hope you don't have to do too much hunting (and hope that none of the sites you click on do something nasty to your computer). But why do all that when you can just use KDL What's Next?

Since I read a lot of series fiction, I use this site a lot. You can search by the author's name, series title, or book title (for instance, the book you just finished). You can also choose to narrow your search down by genre, or by whether or not the intended audience is adults or kids and young teens. Usually I just do a simple author or title search.

And, since I never want to miss an opportunity to say how awesome libraries are (I may be biased, but that doesn't mean it's not true), I'll add that this site is maintained by the Kent District Library in Kent County, Michigan. Nice work, KDL!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

How Will You Spend your July 4th Weekend?

One photo above shows a group of unidentified swimmers at Club Lake! Perhaps this is what a group of Tarleton students looked like - the July 15, 1927 J-TAC told of a Tarleton "Fourth of July Picnic." The Tarleton girls that did not go home for the 4th entertained friends and guests at Club Lake! "With a big straw hat in one hand and a bathing suit in the other they loaded up and went to the lake and were soon having a grand time!" Club Lake is mostly a privately owned development now, but still exists north of town off 281. Years ago it was "the" place to go and many young people spent lots of time there!

A few years later, according to the July 11, 1930 J-TAC, about 12 girls stayed on campus the 4th. On Friday night, after playing golf, going to the show, and playing bridge, they settled in to fight mosquitoes and sleep, when one of the girls called out "lets eat watermelon"! So they enjoyed ice cold watermelon at about 11 pm! On Saturday they could have watched the Stephenville 4th of July parade! The other photo above shows a Stephenville resident, Babe Jones and friends, riding in a July 4th parade float! That Saturday night in 1930 the girls feasted on cantaloupe ala mode! They then got a little noisy and giggly before calling it a night!

Sunday, the final day of the July 4th holiday, the girls' roommates started coming back and were given a "grand reception", even though it was the end of their little July 4th houseparty! The 1930 girls ended by saying that "this was just another day that goes down to be remembered among our good times!"

Happy July 4th whatever you do!
May it go down and be remembered among your good times!