Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Miss Margaret Bierschwale

"Miss Margaret Bierschwale, head librarian, has returned to Tarleton after spending a year of graduate study in English at New York's Columbia University, completing her residence for her Ph.D." She studied Elizabethan drama with Professor F.S. Boas of London, and it was one of the most inspiring courses she ever had. Not only did she enjoy her coursework, but the privilege of being in New York meant just as much to her because of the music, art, drama, libraries, exhibits, and other entertainment. (J-TAC, September 29, 1936)

The 1939 photo above shows Miss Bierschwale, in the center between G. O. Ferguson and Dean J. Thomas Davis, in front of the library circulation counter given by the 1939 graduating class. Also in the photo, second from left, is the senior class president and our namesake Dick Smith!

Miss Bierschwale also had an interest in Texas history. The same J-TAC states that "Tarleton's library holds valuable and rare volumes on Texas history". Some of the books on Texas history mentioned in the 1936 article were Narrative of the Texas Santa Fe Expedition, Evolution of a State, John C. Reid's Tramps, and Big Foot Wallace.

One of our recent benefactors, Dr. C. Richard King, who donated his vast collection of Texas history books to us, stated many times that Miss Bierschwale influenced him to collect quality Texas history books! And that he did! Dr. King donated several hundred books about Texas to our library!

We hope that we have a positive influence on you throughout your life, as Miss Bierschwale did on Dr. King!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rock, paper, or scissors - which one would YOU choose?

Big decisions can be nerve-wracking. You can consider the pros and cons of a decision all you want, but sometimes it seems like no one thing makes one choice better than another.

If your decision involves at least one other person, you could always rely on Rock Paper Scissors. "But," you say, "that's no way to make an important decision!" Oh really? Back in 2005, the president of an electronics company based outside of Nagoya, Japan allowed the results of a Rock Paper Scissors game to decide whether Christie's or Sotheby's should sell the company's art collection.

I'm not necessarily advocating that you use the game to help make major decisions (I'm not sure I could bring myself to do it), I'm just saying there's precedent. If you did decide to do it, though, you might, like Christie's, want to do a little research first. As it turns out, Rock Paper Scissors isn't really a game of chance (sorry Sotheby's!). For instance, Academic Search Complete provides access to a New Scientist article that lists a few Rock Paper Scissors strategies, as determined by the programmer who created RoShamBot, a Rock Paper Scissors playing computer program. Also, you can get The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide by Douglas Walker and Graham Walker via interlibrary loan, or you can check out the World RPS Society's website (they even have trading cards!).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Challenged Books in Texas

Since 2002, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has posted an annual report, Free People Read Freely, during Banned Books Week that provides information about challenged books that have been removed, restricted, or retained in Texas public and charter school libraries and class reading lists during the previous school year. This information is obtained through an Open Records request by the ACLU under the Texas Public Information Act.

Here are the twelve (there was a four-way tie for ninth place) books (or series of books) on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library that were challenged most frequently:

1.  Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling - the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was challenged 21 times just in 2001-2002!

2.  Forever by Judy Blume (who is a panelist in a webinar today on challenged books) - 11 challenges since 2001, including one this past school year.

3. (three-way tie with seven challenges each):  The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, In the Night Kitchenby Maurice Sendak, and Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes.

6.  (three-way tie with five challenges each):  And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris, and the Scary Stories series (such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) by Alvin Schwartz.

9.  (four-way tie with four challenges each):  The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (all in 2007-2008 when the movie came out), Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, It's Not the End of the World by Judy Blume, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Book Video

Free Banned Books Webinar Tuesday 1-2 PM Library Multipurpose Room

Defending the Right to Read: 
Celebrating Banned Books Week

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
- Dick Smith Library Multipurpose Room

We face more challenges than ever when it comes to defending children's right to read. In celebration of Banned Books Week, this webinar features a stellar panel of experts, including renowned author and longtime advocate of intellectual freedom Judy Blume, who will discuss book rating systems, the impact of the Internet on challenges, the effect of censorship on children’s publishing, and how to best prepare for book challenges.

Additional speakers include Beverly Horowitz, Vice President and Publisher of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers; Pat Scales, former school librarian and a member of the National Coalition against Censorship Council of Advisors; Kristin Pekoll, a young-adult librarian at the West Bend (WI) Community Memorial Library; and Nanette Perez, program officer at the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Books Week Starts Saturday!

Banned Books Week was conceived by the American Library Association as an annual celebration of our First Amendment rights and our freedom as Americans to read whatever we want. During the last week of September, libraries all over the nation host displays and discussions that promote the idea of intellectual freedom.

The Dick Smith Library is proud to participate in Banned Books Week, and will feature a book display highlighting materials that have been challenged for one reason or another. All of them have been the target of proposed banning, relocation, or other challenges at a library in the United States.

Featured titles include:
Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

...and many more!

For more information regarding Banned Books Week, check out

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"Rain or No Rain, Books Must Be Moved!
Adhesive Mud Haunts Cadet's Afternoon"!

"As if by magic, a job comes to a Tarleton cadet. Although rain is falling as usual, the cadet is to work on the campus for another half-day. Because the Library is being changed to the new addition of the Science Building, the books must be moved!"

"When the clock strikes 9, the rain has quit falling, and our young friend is helping move books at a fairly swift gait. At 9:30 the rain starts! By 10 the cadet is working less energetically and someone suggested using a gondola. At 11 the loads are getting heavier and the mud getting sticky. Finally it is noon and the cadet hurries to lunch to think of books and mud all afternoon and far into the night."

The September 14, 1935 J-TAC stated that the addition to the science building was nearly complete. The Library had been moved to the first floor and would be open the first day of school! It further stated that the library would be located there until a library building was built. That didn't happen until 1956, with the construction of the center portion of our current library! The photograph above shows students studying in the library when it was located on the first floor of the science building.

Of course, the old science building is now the math building, and I bet it would take a lot longer to "move" the library books now!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doing research from home?

I know a lot of students and faculty do research and need to access library resources from off campus. Recently the library purchased some additional electronic books (eBooks) covering all academic areas. The library now has over 56,000 eBooks you can use and access from anywhere in the world! Other online resources available include digital music you can listen to and/or download, electronic journals (or eJournals as we call them), government documents (eGov) and more! The library catalog includes over 400,000 items with over 16% available remotely! And don’t forget about the 174+ electronic databases with tons of full-text articles!

Doing research from home? We have you covered!

(If you need information about how to access these resources go to -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Good Goes Bad: 10 Most Dangerous Web Sites

I am in a funk after reading the article When Good Goes Bad. Facebook? Twitter? banking/financial sites? YOUTUBE?!!!! Owww! Why don't hackers redirect their energy and creativity to good use solving the world's many woes? Don't they want to live in a nice world, too?

To balance this negativity, I would like to direct you to the Christian Science Monitor's blog which honors 'decent...courageous..selfless' people working hard to make our world a better place at Making a Difference. However, be aware that Making a Difference is a news site, a Dangerous-type site, so consider yourself forewarned.

Let me know how you feel after reading these. I am the one in the corner, humming kumbaya and rocking my computer, because apparently that is all my computer and I can do safely.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month

Stop by our Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) display at the library.

And don't forget to enjoy the free food, music and games at the Hispanic Heritage Fiesta outside the Dining Hall at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

75 Years Ago

Last week the Tarleton Thursdays blog was about Charles Froh and the Fine Arts Department - about when he came to Tarleton in 1910 and the department had 3 pianos and one instructor - and then by 1930 had a new conservatory with fine equipment and splendid staff! Seventy five years ago, in the fall of 1935, the J-TAC boasted headlines such as the "Band is Largest in School's History", "Plans Made for Coming Years in Fine Arts Club", and "College Orchestra to have Tryouts"!

One of the students in 1935-36 was Clyde H. Wells, shown in the photo above! Clyde Wells, a Stephenville native, attended Tarleton from 1935-1936, going on to graduate from Texas A & M. While at Tarleton he was an agricultural education major, was on the livestock judging team and was a member of the SOTS (Sons of Tarleton Society).

Clyde Wells served on the faculty at Tarleton and Texas Christian University. He was also with the USDA Soil Conservation Service and lived in Granbury where he was associated with the Black Ranch. He was Director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show, and served as a trustee for the Texas A & M Research Foundation. As chairman of the A & M Board of Regents and chairman of the Council of Governing Boards of Texas Colleges and Universities, he was devoted to Tarleton and one of the best friends Tarleton has ever had!

Clyde Wells was involved in many organizations, contributing time and funds to various community activities in Granbury, as well as Tarleton. He was selected as Tarleton's Distinguished Alumnus in 1971. He was honored by the House Concurrent Resolution 63 adopted by the 68th Legislature in 1983, recognizing him for his many educational and agricultural contributions to the state of Texas. He was a member of the board of Trustees of Tarleton's Development Foundation, was a member of the President's Commission and served as president of the Tarleton Alumni Association from 1952-1954.

Little did Clyde Wells know 75 years ago when he was a Tarleton student that our Fine Arts Center of today would be named in his honor!

Grassburr, 1936.
J-TAC, September 28, 1935
J-TAC, February 5, 1987.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Texshare Card Program and Interlibrary Loan Services

Need material not located at Dick Smith Library?

Dick Smith Library can still accommodate you through the Texshare Card Program and Interlibrary Loan Services. The Texshare Card Program is a reciprocal borrowing program. With this card you are granted free borrowing privileges at all participating public and university libraries across the state of Texas. As a card holder you agree to observe all rules and regulations. You will be responsible for returning all borrowed materials to the lending library in person or by first-class mail. For a complete list of participating institutions, go to

Illiad is our online interlibrary loan tracking and document delivery system. Interlibrary loan is a service to obtain materials not available in your local collection. Requests may be made to obtain books from other Tarleton Campuses or libraries nationwide. Requested items may include books, journal articles, microforms, videos, etc. All materials are obtained within the guidelines of copyright legislation. Most journal articles will be available via the internet. You will be sent an email with a link for access. Or if you prefer, articles and loan materials can be shipped to your campus. simply choose your campus location & delivery method on the User Information page pull down menu in illiad.

Check Out our New Visual Display!

Thanks to Theater at Tarleton we have some beautiful new art pieces on the lower level of the library. The theater posters have been framed and hung in the A/V area and really brighten up the space. Stop by and check out the view!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Tuesday: Tips for E-Research

Research can be pretty daunting -- so many possible starting places, so little time. Online resources can help us locate useful, quality information, as well as meet deadlines if used systematically. The following list presents one possible strategy: begin with general resources and progress to more specialized resources.

10. Start with Wikipedia for topic overviews.
While not considered appropriate for most academic papers, encyclopedias like Wikipedia are good starting spots because they can help us understand a topic well enough to begin researching it.

9. Read the
library's e-books (and print books, too).
Books offer in-depth discussions, have indexes for locating specific information, provide recommended reading lists, and can help you obtain a lot of information in a short time.

Use Google Scholar to begin locating materials.
Use this tool to locate article citations and, perhaps, links to articles in Tarleton Libraries' databases via SFX. It's a handy way to get a sampling of the research materials available on your topic.

7. Advance to the Tarleton Libraries' web site.

When you're ready to locate scholarly sources (i.e. when your instructor says "use peer-reviewed resources" or "locate some credible books on this subject"), go to your library -- either online or in person. Check out the resources, tips, and services available to you as part of the Tarleton community. You may be surprised at the resources that await you.

6. Check out the library's
subject research guides.
These guides offer "starter" lists of databases and selected Internet sites, which are organized by subject to help "jumpstart" your research.

5. Search the
library databases.
Using the library's databases gives you access to 1000s of electronic journals, trade magazines, and newspaper, as well as article citations, research reports, and online reference works.

4. Use
interlibrary loan to get more materials.
If what you want/need isn't available via your Tarleton library (either electronically or in print), ask us to get it for you via your ILLiad account.

Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate.
Use evaluation criteria like authority, currency, reliability, etc. to help you choose resources worthy of being in your papers/projects.

2. Use the University Writing Center's
citation resources.
The Writing Center staff can help you organize, develop, and document all types of research papers -- in person and online.

1. Confused? Ask for assistance.
Use Dick Smith Library's Ask a Librarian email reference, call the library's Information Desk (254-968-9249), or stop by during library hours. We can help you locate resources, give you tips for searching the library's database/catalog, and assist you in figuring out how to cite sources.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dinner & A Bit of History

Enjoy a great meal and the presentation Texas Pioneer Lady 1880 by Mrs. Welba Dorsey during Dinner in the Stacks, hosted by The Friends on the Dick Smith Library on Sat., Sept. 18, 2010.

Appetizers at 6:30 p.m. in the Dick Smith Library lobby.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m. in the Stacks (3rd floor of the library).

Following dinner, Dorsey will give her presentation about the life of Mrs. Ann Dillard Fleming Delk, whose family came to Texas in 1828. Dressed in period clothing and assuming the persona of Delk, Dorsey will talk about pioneer life in the 1800's.

Join us for a fun & informative evening!
Members $15.00 -- Non-members $17.50

Please make reservations by noon Thurs., Sept. 16.
254/968-9871 or 254/968-9474

For more information, please view the attached flyer.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Charles W. Froh
1936 Grassburr
"Enthusiastic Tarleton Music Professor, Here Since 1910, Thinks Summer Too Long!"

According to the September 21, 1935 J-TAC, Charley Wesley Froh, head of the music department at John Tarleton College, instructor since 1910, was the oldest man in point of service in the college. He had taught consecutively since 1904, first as head of the music department at Western Piano College, Fresno, California. Then in 1906 he began teaching at Add-Ran-Jarvis College in Thorp Spring (the forerunner of TCU), and came to Tarleton in 1910.

Upon arriving at Tarleton the music department consisted of three pianos and one instructor. In 1915 the conservatory moved to a larger building. A splendid, new, modern conservatory was completed in 1930 and had the finest musical equipment and a splendid staff! He headed the fine arts department for nearly 40 years.

Recognized as a master in music circles, Charles Froh was also choir director at the First Methodist Church, with his brother Garnett as the pianist. He built up enrollment in Tarleton's music department to a high figure. Fully retiring in 1950, Froh opened successful private studios in Stephenville and Dublin. Tarleton's grand old man of music died January 6, 1953 and is buried across the street in the West End Cemetery. He stated "If I had my life to live over, I would certainly choose music again. I have been very happy."

Charles Froh worked with a fire and zeal that inspired students to do their best. His office files indicated that he had taught some 3,000 students with hundreds of them going on to teach in various parts of the country! Not only that, the walls in his office was lined with a collection of over 500 portraits of musician students and friends.

Seventy five years ago that fire and zeal really showed in his statement to the J-TAC that "The summer was too long. I had too much vacation. I am eager to get started in the new year!"

We hope that you too have eagerly begun this new 2010-11 school year and wish you the best!


J-TAC, September 21, 1935.
J-TAC, January 13, 1953.
Stephenville Empire-Tribune, January 9, 1953.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: What are Archives Good For?

  1. Archives document our rights and hold governments accountable.
  2. Use of original materials provides users a tangible link to the past that can create an emotional connection for the user.
  3. Archives contain first person accounts that document historical events.
  4. Archives contain materials that document the lives of historically underrepresented groups.
  5. Archives contain materials that document the use and transformation of our environment over time.
  6. Archival materials contain information about past events that can be used by citizens, business, and government to support their business functions.
  7. Archives provide documentation of events when that information is lacking in government records, such as birth date or place of residence.
  8. Archives preserve the history and records of grassroots organizations that might otherwise be lost.
  9. Archival material can have evidential value that provides information about the origins, functions, and activities of their creator.
  10. Archives can be used by educators at all levels to teach across all disciplines.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

" Mary Corn-Wilkerson Comes From Grave to Entertain Fast-Stepping Freshman"

"School days had at last arrived. Gay cries and merry laughter filled the Dormitory parlors as new and old students renewed old friendships and began new ones. The insistent tingling of the Dump telephone interrupted the gaiety of the house, halting for a moment the noisy chatter of upperclassmen and freshmen alike. A tall, good-looking senior girl skipped to the telephone and answered."

"May I speak to Mary Corn Wilkerson? an urgent and somewhat excited male voice inquired. The girl, surprised beyond words, could only mutter a few unintelligible words, her mind awhirl in search of an answer.....the boy spoke again....I have a date with Mary Corn Wilkerson!"

"The girl replied.....of course, but come over here. I want to meet you!...The elated freshman - it would have to be a freshman - ran from the Varisty to the Dump....his mind picturing a beautiful girl with blue eyes and golden hair.....Light in heart he strutted through the door of the colorful, old building endowed by Mary Corn Wilkerson, there to be met and surrounded by a happy throng of cheering seniors and freshmen, who, after much telephoning in an earnest effort to locate Mary, escorted him to the framed document which tells the story of the founding of the dormitory. After five minutes the facts soaked in, leaving him bewildered!"

.....of course, his name remained a secret, at least partly a secret! What a great story...

The Mary Corn Wilkerson dormitory was featured in my March 4, 2010 blog. Of course it is no longer standing, but hopefully none of the current incoming Freshmen guys were "fixed up" for a date with Lula Gough!

Welcome to the Fall Semester 2010! Hope you Freshmen didn't have too many pranks played on you!

J-TAC September 21, 1935.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

International People Skills Month

Below is a list of some of the types of books/e-books/magazines/journals/dvds that the Dick Smith Library has available to help you gain the skills you need to master your people skills.

Once Upon a Time: Using Story-Based Activities to Develop Breakthrough Communication Skills
Type: Book
Call Number: HF5718 .G3675 2007

Life is a Series of Presentations: 8 Ways to Punch up Your People Skills at Work, at Home, Anytime, Anywhere
Type: Book
Call Number: HF5718.22 .J433 2004
Intro to Leadership: Key Skills to Being a Leader
Type: DVD
Call Number: HD57.7 .I587 2007

Reading People: the Unwritten Language of the Body
Type: DVD
Call Number: BF637 .N66 R43 2000Z

Networking for Job Search and Career Success
Type: E-Book
Call Number: HM741 .T85 2004 EB

Digital Modeling of Material Appearance
Type: E-Book
Call Number: T385 .D6824 2008 EB

T+D: Better Performance Through Workplace Learning
Type: Magazine

Teaching Exceptional Children
Type: Magazine

Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management
Type: Journal