Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome to Tarleton!

Wow, it's a new semester already! I want to help you start the academic year off by giving you ways you can set yourself up to have a great semester. Most of these are applications or usernames and passwords that give you access to some of the many resources Tarleton has to offer its students. This information is provided as a guide to get you started.

  • NTNET account - this is an important account! Not only does it get you access to campus computers, but also library databases, and ILLiad. Claim your NTNET account at This is commonly referred to as your "ST_ account".
  • UID - this is a unique nine-digit number provided to you upon your admission to Tarleton. This number is used frequently to confirm your identity - so it is a good idea to have it memorized. If you don't know your UID, you may look it up at
  • TARLETON Email - your "" account is your official university issued email address. Please check it frequently at for important university information. This account is yours to keep for life. For detailed information on email options and configurations, see
  • myGateway - this is Tarleton's web portal where many resources have been assembled for your convenience. Login at or click the myGateway link at the top of the Tarleton homepage.
  • Library Catalog – My Account – Not only can you use the library catalog to locate materials available from the Tarleton Libraries, our online catalog provides access to your library account. You can view a list of items currently borrowed, extend loan periods, update your contact information, change your PIN number, and place holds on needed materials. Go to Catalog: My Account -
  • Ducktrax - you can access your personal course schedules, grades, unofficial transcripts, and other information. You can also use it to manage personal information and user preferences. Log on to Ducktrax with your UID and PIN at
  • ILLiad – The library's interlibrary Loan system lets you request items not available to you locally
  • Blackboard – the web-based course-management system used to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities used to complement face-to-face teaching. If you're enrolled in a course that uses Blackboard, be sure to ask your instructor how Blackboard will be used in that course. Login at with the same UID and PIN used for Ducktrax.
  • ITS - - This website has information about from the Information Technology Services department, including accounts, acceptable use, network storage, etc.
  • Library Usernames and Passwords - - This webpage provides information about library applications that require usernames. It gives you information about who to call to get help from the library.

I hope you find these links helpful. If you get all your access set up early, then you are already ahead of the game once assignments start stacking up! And remember, Dick Smith Library is here to help. We have lots of resources available for you. The reference desk of the Library is staffed with professional librarians who provide personalized service to assist with learning and research needs. You may get help and ask questions in person at the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, by email, or via the web at We hope to see you in the library soon!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome Back! We're Open This Weekend!

The library is open today from 8 AM to 5 PM. We're also open tomorrow and Sunday, 1-5 PM. Regular fall hours resume with the start of classes on Monday, August 30!

Fall & Spring Semesters:
Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 12:00 am
Friday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Journal Citation Reports

Students: Have you been directed by your professor to learn about the journals that are important in your field?
Faculty: Would you like a method to identify the most appropriate, influential journals in which to publish?

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) can help you with these concerns, and the Dick Smith Library is pleased to provide access to this valuable resource. JCR allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from over 11,000 scholarly journals. JCR can show you the:

• Most frequently cited journals in a field
• Highest impact journals in a field
• Largest journals in a field

Also, Journal Citation Reports now includes EigenfactorTM Metrics, which are designed to reflect the prestige and influence of scholarly journals. You may find more information regarding these measures at

How do you find important journals in a field?

Go to Journal Citation Reports--or, from the Dick Smith Library homepage, under Databases, click A-Z database list. Click Journal Citation Reports.

TADA! (I copied only enough 'results' for you to get the idea.):

Complete instructions (37 pages) and explanations may be found at JCR website.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Library Hours This Week

The library is open Monday through Friday this week, August 23-27, from 8 AM to 5 PM. We will also be open this weekend, 1-5 PM, Saturday and Sunday, August 28 and 29. Regular fall hours resume with the start of classes on Monday, August 30!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Beloit College Mindset List

The Beloit College Mindset List provides a look at the "cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college each fall." It was originally created in August 1998 as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, but soon became a "catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation." Most students entering college for the first time this fall were born in 1992. Here are ten items from this year's list of 75 that seem particularly relevant.
  • Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
  • Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
  • “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.
  • With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • Entering college this fall in a country where a quarter of young people under 18 have at least one immigrant parent, they aren't afraid of immigration...unless it involves "real" aliens from another planet.
  • DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
  • Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.
  • Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
  • They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.
  • One way or another, “It’s the economy, stupid” and always has been.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet Our Staff: Thomas Schilb

Thomas Schilb
Reference Assistant
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor – room 110

I began working for the Dick Smith Library on October 26, 2006, as a part-time student worker in the Circulation Department. That was my freshman year. After working for the library throughout my college career, I applied for the position of Reference Assistant and have been working full-time since July 1, 2010. Now, I file legal inserts as well as answer questions about databases and help people find books and periodicals. I work at the main floor reference desk from when the library opens until 9 AM Monday through Friday. You can also find me at the upper level reference desk during the long semesters.

I graduated from Tarleton State University in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater. I find myself using the skills I learned as a Tarleton student every day, particularly regarding designing the New Books display on the main level.

I also plan to attend graduate school online to earn a Master’s degree in Library Science in order to become a librarian and apply the experience from my time here in the Dick Smith Library to that end.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Staff Changes

There have been a few changes in the Tarleton Libraries staff since the beginning of 2010. In January, Jennifer Brewster took over as the new Graduate Assistant working at the main floor reference desk, Sunday through Thursday evenings. Cathy Hare retired at the end of March, and was replaced by Thomas Schilb, who began as a Reference Assistant on July 1. Cindy Roberts left on August 13 to take a position with the City of Fort Worth public libraries.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Contemporary World Music

A while back, I wrote a post on Classical Music Library. The library now has access to another database that allows you to listen to lots of music, Contemporary World Music. It doesn't have as many playlists as Classical Music Library (yet?), so I tend to prefer browsing by places or instruments.

My current favorite places:
  • Japan
  • China

My current favorite instruments:
  • koto
  • erhu
Got any browsing, album, or track recommendations of your own? Please share!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"J-TAC Named"

"In 1917 a five dollar prize was offered to the student who submitted the best and cleverest name for the Tarleton newspaper. Jimmie Winters, a local girl whose mother still resides in this city, suggested the unique and appropriate name of J-TAC!" (J-TAC, August 13, 1932)

Jimmie Winters, shown above in the 1924 Grassburr, was a student of Tarleton from 1919-1924. Our J-TAC files begin in 1919, so I believe that is the correct date of the title change from Tarletonite to J-TAC, not 1917. First mention of the J-TAC is in the 1920 Grassburr. Other sources state that the name was suggested by Tarleton student John Winters, also shown above. Both Jimmie and John were enrolled in 1919-20, with Jimmie as a freshman, and John as a senior. The 1920 Grassburr states "Shall we have a college paper: We shall. Read the J.TAC and get educated!"

The first J-TACs were by subscription. "Are you willing to pay the price? Everything that is worthwhile has a price attached to it. If you would have a good live college paper, you must pay the price. This college could and should have an interesting, newsy paper every week, but the student body will have to stand behind it if it is ever such. It is hard work getting up material, and finances enough to pay for the printing." (J-TAC, April 6, 1920)

Since finding the article in the August 13, 1932 J-TAC mentioned above, I believe that it was the local girl, Jimmie Winters who had the winning name! But, whether it was John or Jimmie, the name has endured almost 100 years! And, you don't have to have a subscription to get a copy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Mystery Novels

1 Brooks, Kevin Kissing the Rain

2. Caletti, Deb The Queen of Everything

3. Donnelly, Jennifer A Northern Light

4. Flinn, Alex Nothing to Lose

5. Minter, Alex Little Sister's Last Dose

6. Kyi, Tanya Truth

7. Nixon, Joan Lowery Nightmare

8. Oates, Joyce Carol Freaky Green Eyes

9. Soto, Gary The Afterlife

10. Wittlinger, Ellen The Long Night of Leo and Bree

More Murder/Mystery recommendations:

Clark, Mary Higgins Daddy's Little Girl

Lester, Julius When Dad Killed Mom

Myers, Walter Dean Monster

Stevenson, James Unprotected Witness

Werlin, Nancy The Killer's Cousin

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feed me! signed, Your Car

Want to know how to take care of the greedy beast in the parking lot, AKA your CAR? Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, offer an unending source of information and entertainment. Show this site to your folks, and they will not fret as much about sending you off to college with a car to maintain. And, they will think you got immediately smarter, just being at college! (It's the rarefied air!)

Car Talk.

Where else can you find the Top Ten Car Songs, and the Top Ten Worst Car Names, and more?

There are also rumors that KTRL (90.5) may start offering Car Talk, as well. Give it a listen! In the meantime, enjoy the music.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"History of TTP's is Told by One of Original Members!"

"Club was organized in 1924 to foster college spirit." After losing a football game it was determined that there was a need for an organization to instill more school spirit! Spurgeon Jones was one of the first "Ten Tarleton Peppers". (J-TAC, August 13, 1932)

According to Spurgeon Jones, the first meeting was in the wee hours of the morning just before dawn, following the loss of the football game. "It is our aim to further every ideal for which Tarleton stands. Just before the next game, banners bearing inscriptions as "Fight, Tarleton, Fight", "Beat Grubbs", etc., appeared about the campus during the night. and...Tarleton won the game!"

"For the remainder of the year the club functioned without a faculty adviser but with the approval of the administration. In 1925 the club elected its officers and Mr. Westcourt as faculty adviser." The first members, shown above, were Hugh Killin, president; Leonard Behrns, Abbie Joe Downing, Jim Durham, Jake Hamon, Irvin Hollinger, Spurgeon Jones, Wayne Rider, Root Story, and Joe Worthy." They pledged to keep their identities unknown so that any good the club should do would be credited to the student body and athletic teams. No freshmen were eligible for the limited membership of ten, and only those approved by the administration were admitted. No dates were set for meetings, but they should occur after midnight.

A few years later the sister organization, Ten Tarleton Sisters (TTS), emerged. Members shown above were Merle Blackstock, president, Lucile Kyle, Eunice Florence, Dora Toepperwein, Erline Winfield, Nevelyn Williamson, and 4 unknowns! The TTP and TTS, the oldest organizations on campus, evolved into what is now the Purple Poo!

Several publications state that the TTP began in 1921, and the TTS began in 1923. Because the members were kept secret, those years could be correct. The first photo of the TTP to appear, shown above, was in the 1925 Grassburr, and corresponds to the August 13, 1932 J-TAC article by original member Jones. The first TTS photo shown above appeared in the 1928 Grassburr.

The October "A Co-Ed's Diary" section of the 1925 Grassburr states "that old Tarleton spirit is once more reigning in full sway over the campus. The student body awoke this morning to find staring them in the face, huge signs with "On Ye Tarleton" and "Fight, Plowboys, Fight" on them. On every tree there are nailed small placards with insipring words printed on them. I never have known such an intense feeling to exist in this school before. Everyone seems wrought up to the highest pitch. I already have a premonition that Tarleton will have the State Title in Football this year."

Well, that did come to pass, maybe not in the Fall of 1924, but the January 14, 1926 J-TAC states that Tarleton was awarded the 1925 Junior College Championship Football trophy!
"On Ye Tarleton Spirit"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dick Smith Library Reader’s Choice Book Display

“What are a friend’s books for, if not to be borrowed?” – Lady Croom in Arcadia: A Play in Two Acts by Tom Stoppard

You can now recommend books to the Tarleton community with the Dick Smith Library Reader’s Choice book display!

It’s easy:
• Browse the New Books display & our collections.
• Find a book you'd like to recommend.
• Put it on the spotlighted Reader's Choice shelf.
• Drop the previous display book off at the Circulation desk.

Others will see your recommended book and check it out.

Can’t make it to the library?
• Post a suggestion below for a book in our collections.
• Library staff will make the book swap for you.

Keep checking the display. You never know. Someone might recommend a book that's just what you'd like to read next!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Beat the Heat

With temperatures reaching the triple digits all week, an article in Real Simple magazine on "23 Ways to Beat the Heat" is timely reading. Here are my top ten (a few modified and added to) of those ideas:

1. Stay hydated. To replace the moisture that you lose as you perspire, be sure to drink. As you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. "Also opt for hydrating foods," says Deena Kastor, a marathon runner and an Olympic bronze medalist. "Try a smoothie for lunch, and add more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Watermelon has the greatest water content of any food out there."

2. Eat light. There's a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They're easier to digest than, say, a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler), says Robert Kenefick, a physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, in Natick, Massachusetts, which studies the effects of extreme climates on soldiers' bodies.

3. Spice it up. As people who live in scorching climates, such as those of Mexico and India, know well, eating hot stuff can cool you down. "Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that helps us to perspire more readily," says Rick Bayless, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Frontera Grill, in Chicago. When this sweat evaporates, you experience brief relief.

4. Make a "cold compress." Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it's dense and starchy, says Jim Hill, Ph.D., an associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis. [By the way, you can use this same rice-filled sock as a heating pad - warm it up in the microwave for two minutes.]

5. Make a makeshift air conditioner.
If it's hot but not humid, place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the breeze. As the ice melts, then evaporates, it will cool you off.

6. Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. "It's all about thermal regulation," says John Lehnhardt, an elephant expert at Disney's Animal Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. "As the water evaporates, it cools you." While elephants wet their ears first by blasting water from their trunks, humans should begin with their wrists to quickly cool down the blood flowing through their veins.

7. Dress right. Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat and that sticky feeling (examples include Coolmax and Nano-Tex); they're not just for athletes anymore. If you prefer cotton, make it thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. "The best thing is to have sweat evaporate directly from skin to air," says Larry Kenney, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park. "The next best thing is for the sweat to move quickly from your skin to clothing and then evaporate. Loose, billowy clothes allow air movement next to the skin and help with evaporation."

8. Go barefoot.
As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet. Blood vessels then whisk that blood to other parts of the body, so "you're getting a greater sensation of coolness," says Donald R. Bohay, M.D., a member of the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society.

9. Turn on the vent in the bathroom. When taking a shower, be sure to use the vent fan: It helps sticky moisture escape. [Use the vent fan every time the bathroom gets steamy, to reduce mold and mildew.]

And finally, my favorite:

10. Escape with a book. Relax with The Call of the Wild, Deception Point, Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making, or Blue Bell Ice Cream: A Century at the Little Creamery in Brenham, Texas "Reading about cold can take your mind off the thermometer, evoking one's own experience of ice and snow," says Walter A. Brown, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the medical schools of Brown and Tufts Universities and an expert in the placebo effect. "It's also a bit of self-hypnosis."

Read the whole article here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

What better way to cool off on a hot Texas day than to enjoy a cool refreshing ice cream sandwich. While it is not clear when August 2 became National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, everyone would agree it is a great way to cool off during a hot day. This treat is not common to just the United States but enjoyed around the world. Jerry Newberg invented the version we know today in 1945 while selling ice cream at Forbes Field. However, a 1905 photo taken at Atlantic City show a vendor selling "original ice cream sandwiches" for 1 cent. Alternatives to the customary wafers are used. One company is San Francisco uses oatmeal cookies and dips the sandwich in dark chocolate.

Scotland, calls them "sliders" and may consist of one wafer and one block of chocolate covered nougat. Referred to as nougat or Chocolate Sliders, a sandwich with two blocks of nougat is called a double nougat with nougat pronounced nugget. Ice cream sandwiches go by their commercial names of "Giant Sandwich," Monaco Bar," or "Maxibon" in Australia. The "Maxibon" has two wafers on half of the sandwich with the other half dipped in chocolate with nuts.

In Singapore, wafer ice cream known as pontong (cut) ice cream is a favorite. Favorite flavors are chocolate, peppermint, honeydew, sweet corn, red bean, yam, and ripple.

So whatever your favorite flavor or style is enjoy a ice cream sandwich today preferably inside.