Friday, October 29, 2010

The first photograph taken of humans

It's hard to believe there was a time when photographs of people didn't exist. That is why the recent discovery of what appears to be two men near the river's edge in a photo of Cincinnati taken in 1848 is a big deal among photography historians. The photo was taken September

24th, 1848. The photo is known as a daguerreotype.

The credit for photgraphing a human for the first time is generally given to Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype process. In an 1838 photo he took of Paris, Daguerre caught an image of a man who appears to be getting his shoes or boots shined at a street corner.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Sunday is Halloween!!
The Friends of the Dick Smith Library and the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library are co-sponsoring the 3rd annual Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk across the street at the West End Cemetery!

Come on over! For just $5.00 you will have a fun time and meet some of Stephenville's early settlers! Music, Murder, and is sure to be a great afternoon!! Besides the actors and actresses dressed in period costumes, don't be alarmed if you hear strange noises between 2 pm and 4:30 will be heard a little before 2, and the By Gone Days Gunfighters will be on hand to give us some special entertainment! What a fun time it will be!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 10 Journals/Magazines/Newspapers Used

The Periodicals Department is located at the back of the Main Level of the library. It is responsible for ordering, cataloging, processing, and preserving journals, magazines, and newspapers. They come in 3 different formats: print, electronic, or microform. According to the current usage stats, the top ten journals/magazines/newspapers  requested and used since June 1, 2010 are as follows:
  1. Teaching Children Mathematics
  2. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
  3. Consumer Reports
  4. Stephenville Empire Tribune
  5. Teaching Exceptional Children
  6. Rolling Stone
  7. Fort Worth Star Telegram
  8. People Weekly
  9. Better Homes & Gardens
  10. Esquire...&...House Beautiful (tied for 10th)
For more information, please visit the Periodicals web page.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ig Nobel Prizes

Yeah, yeah, you know all about the Nobel Prizes awarded annually for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics. It really does benefit the world that Alfred Nobel wanted to be remembered for something good.

But, do you know about the Ig Nobel Prize? The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. According to the Annals of Improbable Research, the prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology. Prizes have been given for notable discoveries such as perfecting a method to collect whale snot, treating symptoms of asthma with a roller-coaster ride, and confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

This year, graphene was the big event in physics. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the Nobel Prize for discovering graphene, the world's thinnest material. And Geim, a Russian-born physicist at the University of Manchester in England thus became the Very First Person to win not only the Nobel Prize, but also the Ig Nobel Prize--in 2000, for using magnets to levitate a frog.

Who says scientists have no sense of humor?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Homecoming 2010: Welcome Alumni!
We hope you enjoy this special weekend on campus! If you need to check your e-mail (or Facebook page) while you are here, come by the library and ask for a guest pass at the Information desk. We are open today until 8 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday noon to midnight. You can also print for 10 cents per page.

If you are a member of the Tarleton Alumni Association, you can also check out library materials. See our brochure for more information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Celebrating the Spirit of Tarleton!

Homecoming 2010 is upon us! This year's theme is Celebrating the Spirit of Tarleton! Nothing would be more fitting than to honor J. Louis Evans, former Tarleton alum, former Mayor of Stephenville, former 60 year member of the Stephenville Lions Club, former Director of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce.....and......former Distinguished Alumnus of Tarleton, former recipient of the Tarleton Distinguished Service Award, founder of the Tarleton Development Foundation, former Director of the Tarleton Alumni Association, and former Director of Information at Tarleton!

As mayor J. appointed a committee to write a Home Rule Charter, which made Stephenville an incorporated city. Subsequently the city built a new police station and airport, the south loop was completed, a long-range water plan was implemented, the city park was expanded, including the building of the first baseball field!

As for baseball, J. was one of the founders and president of Little League baseball in Stephenville, founder of the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame, the Stephenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Texan Club. He served on the Tarleton Athletic Council and was the PA system announcer for Stephenville High School and Tarleton for 20 years, without missing a home game!

For his daughter Emily Jane's graduation from Tarleton in December 1984, J. wrote and delivered the commencement address - what has become a Tarleton icon - The Spirit of Tarleton!.....which included these excerpts: "Yes, I am the spirit of Tarleton. I was born in 1899 from the soul of an itinerant farmer......I suffered the pangs of early childhood with James Cox, Pearl Chamberlin, Charles Froh, George Ollie Ferguson, and Charlie Hale.......I won 86 consecutive basketball games with Coach Wisdon.........I won an Oscar with George Kennedy........I won the national rodeo championships.....I walked the Halls of Congress with Sam Russell and Charlie Stenholm......I presided over the Senate with Ben Barnes.....I blocked and ran to a football record when the Texans posted the first 10-0 season in Tarleton's history.....YES, I have the spirit of Tarleton, and by the grace of God I'll always have!"

J. contributed several times to our library display case as he is shown above standing beside his replica of Tarleton's first building and dog house! You may also remember our wonderful "Christmas Stephenville Village" displaying J's replicas of Stephenville historic buildings that we used several times!

J. Louis Evans passed away July 24, 2010. Long live the Spirit of Tarleton!

Stephenville Empire Tribune, July 26, 2010.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Strange Maps of Strange Places

Maps have been around for thousands of years, ever since man needed to record the location of places. Some early maps of Pacific Islanders' look like a collection of sticks and seashells. As cartography rose as a science and an art form maps became more detailed and colorful. Today with GIS and Google Maps just about anyone can produce a map of just about anything. Some would argue that the advent of GIS is the death knell of traditional paper maps. I love maps and when one of my librarian friends showed me this blog I just had to share it. Frank Jacobs Strange Maps, Cartographic Curiosities blog is a wonderful blog for those who love cartography. While Frank loves maps your usual atlas does not interest him. To quote from his blog "he collects and comments on all kinds of intriguing maps-real, fictional, and what-if ones..." So if I have aroused your cartographic curiosity click on this link:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Top Tens of Global Road Warrior

Global Road Warrior is one of those databases that can be a lot of fun to look through - you never know what interesting information you'll find. Below is a list, in no particular order, of ten people, places, and more that are top ten of something - all this information was found in Global Road Warrior.
  • Indian cricket player Rahul Dravid is one of the world's top ten batsmen. (India: Sports)
  • The Bankstown Sports Club is one of Sydney, Australia's top ten sports clubs. (Australia: Sports)
  • Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova is one of the world's top ten female tennis players. (Slovakia: Sports)
  • Italian soccer player Paolo Maldini was one of the top ten in the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year voting. (Italy: Sports)
  • Hong Kong's Ocean Park is ranked among the world's top ten marine and educational parks. (Hong Kong: Points of Interest)
  • France is one of the top ten countries in its number of agnostics and atheists. (France: Superstitions and Folklore)
  • In 2006, Equatorial Guinea was named one of the top ten corrupt states by Transparency International. (Equatorial Guinea: Historical Notes)
  • Arabian horses, which originated in the Middle East, are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the world. (Saudi Arabia: Superstitions and Folklore)
  • The Prague International Marathon is one of the world's top ten marathons. (Czech Republic: Sports)
  • Russia's Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is ranked among the Women's Tennis Association's top ten female players. (Russia: Sports)

Monday, October 18, 2010


What's the "Great American Novel?" Gone With the Wind? Uncle Tom's Cabin? Captain Underpants? Maybe it hasn't been written yet.

Here's your chance to fix that!

November is National Novel Writer's Month. Sure, it's early, but here's the deal: you can do all your prep work beforehand so long as you don't write a word of your novel before 12:00 AM on November 1.

Now for 'da rules (shamelessly ripped from the NaNoWriMo website):
What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.
Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.
Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter---anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing! For a more in-depth NaNoWriMo overview, visit the devilishly handsome "What is NaNoWriMo?"and "How NaNoWriMo Works" pages.

The whole site is written like this. If you become a registered member you get all kinds of prizes, like "bragging rights," and "a sense of personal worth." It's a great way to blow off some of that October steam!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Are you on foursquare or   These applications can be a lot of fun and are a great way to explore the city.  Some places even reward loyal customers with specials and discounts when they check in.  (Hints for Stephenville: Pizza Hut, Chili’s, and Payless Shoes).  I wanted to pass on some tips and ideas for using these sites.
  • If you’re wondering about privacy issues, there are a number of options to choose from. You can:
    • “Check out” instead of check in.  Posting your location as you leave a venue helps with safety and security.
    • Every time you check-in it will ask you if you want to Tell your friends or post it to Facebook and Twitter. If you remove all these check marks, your friends will see that you’ve checked-in somewhere but they won’t know where. It will simply state that you are “off the grid.”
    • You can also change your privacy settings for a more secure Foursquare experience.
  • Give feedback on that location – “had great service” or “wonderful meal.” Comments you share can be beneficial to both friends and the location you visited.
  • Take advantage of the special offers available to you.
  • There are also numerous apps to add to your Foursquare experience. For example, if you check-in to the same place every day, you might want to try the Check-in Assistant app. It will automatically check you into your favorite place when you’re there.
  • Foursquare can be linked to your Twitter and Facebook accounts as well. Whenever you check-in, it will automatically post to Facebook/Twitter letting your friends know where you just checked-in. If you’re a more private individual, you can always change the privacy settings in Foursquare.
If you’d like more information, please check-in to Foursquare. It’s a really interesting tool. And don’t forget to check-in to the Dick Smith Library (now on Foursquare) and let us know what you think.

Life Without the Library

Due to numerous requests, I decided to add a link to a post on the "Life Without the Library" comic series. The link had gotten lost, and it has taken me a while to find it again, although now I have it bookmarked. And now it is available to anyone who is searching for it. The link is as follows: Thanks once again to all who helped me create it. I honestly could not have done it without you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

New Agriculture Building Has Interesting Features!

Several things were going on in October 1951! The new agriculture building was completed, the old agriculture bulding was torn down, and the new dairy barn was almost completed! Dedication of the new Agriculture Building highlighted the homecoming festivities that year!

The new $325,000 agriculture building housed the classrooms and offices of the Agriculture Division as well as those of the Business Administration and English Department! The new sidewalks, that I wrote about in last week's blog, connected the beautiful new three story structure with the rest of the campus!

Situated over the main entrance was the sculptured figure of a bull imbeded in the brick wall, representing progressive agriculture. This decorative ornament seemed particularly appropriate to the purpose of furthering agriculture at TSC!

Decorated in a soft light green motif, the green and glazed brick tile combination kept the color scheme from hurting the eyes! The latest modern streamlined florescent lighting was arranged to give out as much light as possible without causing strain on the eyes! The new building also had excellent acoustics, wide, airy, and roomy offices with plenty of working space as well as storage and easily accessible fire escapes through doors rather than windows.

The lecture room and auditorium seated approximately 200 people and had projection rooms, movie projectors, and screen, curved bottom seats, AND the rear entrance was arranged so that a tractor or other vehicle could be brought directly into the showing room!

The only drawbacks were the need for more pencil sharpeners, an airconditioning system, and the installation of elevators! "But who knows, perhaps these improvements and others too will be made in the future!"

J-TAC, October 10, 1951.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free Apps

Do you have a smartphone? If so, no matter what platform you use, there are lots of free apps that can help you become more productive.

Dragon Dictation: Dictate reminders to yourself & e-mail, Facebook, or tweet them...not recommended for use while driving. iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry

Dragon Search:
Use your voice to search Google, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, iTunes & Wikipedia. iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch

Evernote: Create text, audio & picture notes. iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile

Google Mobile:
Access Google Docs, RSS feeds, News, Maps, etc. Includes voice search. iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile

ListPro (free for 30 days): Use 30+ templates to create lists that can be sorted by category, date due & priority. You can also e-mail yourself reminders. iPhone/iPod, Windows Mobile, Palm

Do you have any recommendations for killer apps--free or otherwise? Post them in the comments section!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

21 Services Offered at the Circulation Desk

Although it is Top Ten Tuesday, I couldn't narrow down my list to just 10. I got to 10 and then thought of other items, and made it to 15 and then more came to me and finally I ended up with 21 services that are offered at the Circulation desk.

  1. Check out books!
  2. Renew your books at the circulation desk or online.
  3. Place a hold on a book
  4. Check out a laptop for 4 hours in-library use.
  5. Lose something? Check the lost and found.
  6. Course reserves can be checked out at the circulation desk.
  7. Get a TexShare card. Request one online or in person.
  8. Pick up your Inter-library loan item.
  9. Buy a headset for under $4.
  10. Pay for guest printing.
  11. Check out our Test Prep section.
  12. Send a fax. It is $1 for up to 5 pages and an additional $.25/page after the first five.
  13. Check out the APA and MLA style books.
  14. Reserve a study room.
  15. Purchase a color copy for $1/page.
  16. Check out a Flip video camera.
  17. Fill out a book locator request.
  18. Donate books to the library.
  19. Purchase a membership to the Friends of the Dick Smith Library.
  20. Check out markers for use in the study rooms.
  21. Friendly staff to assist you.

You can stop by in person, call us @ 254-968-9450, or email if you have any questions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Academic Integrity Brown Bag

Join the Discussion!
  • What is Academic Integrity?
    • Why it Matters
  • Is Academic Dishonesty a Big Deal?
    • Causes & Consequences
    • Ways to Avoid Missteps
  • Where is Help Available?

Thurs., Oct. 14
Library MultiPurpose Room

Sponsored by
Office of Judicial Affairs (254-968-9576)
Division of Student Life

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tarleton State University awarded $2.73 million facilities grant

Tarleton State University recently won a three-year, $2.73 million grant to develop the American Clearinghouse on Education Facilities. The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools awarded the grant to help ensure that public schools are designed efficiently to encourage learning.

The program will use a Web site, distance learning, online journals and on-site training programs to help in the planning, design, financing, construction, improvement, operations and maintenance of educational facilities by working with educational institutions to make sure that the facilities are designed efficiently and resourcefully, said Dr. Mark Littleton, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies who will serve as project director.

The funding will provide three additional doctoral fellows for 12 months, Littleton said.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Aerial View of Campus in 1956

"Bulldozer Levels Parking Lot Area" and "Work Starts on New Sidewalks" were headlines from the September 18, 1951 J-TAC! "A bulldozer is leveling a parking lot area in rear of the science building and the new agriculture building". The lot, which accommodated 88 cars, was gravel with concrete curbs and gutters. Quisle construction Company of Fort Worth built the lot at a cost of $7, 927. It is the same lot we still use today, but now it is paved!

The new 1951 sidewalk was 8 feet wide and ran from Cain to Lillian Street, alongside the new wing of the science building and in front of the new agriculture building. One of three new sidewalks, another was built in front of the science building, and the third connected the new agriculture building with the swimming pool and new physical education building for women!. The three sidewalk projects, also by Quisle Construction Company, cost $8,848.25!

All the new sidewalks and the new parking lot can be seen in the 1956 aerial photo above! See if you can find them! One sidewalk goes in front of the library! (Hint: from Ag building to "new" women's gym and swimming pool!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why do people read?

People read for many reasons
  • For pleasure and interest
  • For academic success
  • For work
  • For information that assists good decision making
  • For understanding directions (such as street signs and recipes)
  • For keeping in touch with family and friends
  • For understanding the world we live in

The ability to read is vital.

It paves the way to success in school which can build self-confidence.

It motivate your child to set high expectations for life.

  • Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world
  • Reading improves your vocabulary
  • Reading is an active mental process
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Improves memory
  • Improves your disipline
  • Improves creativity
  • You always have something to talk about
  • Reduces boredom

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Facebook

It's Tuesday! That means a list. You all use Facebook. You see it on monitors all over the library. So I decided to give you 10 reasons you should follow/like the Tarleton Libraries on Facebook!
  • Show your support for the library.
  • Find out what new databases and resources are available.
  • It is a way to contact us for help.
  • See the events coming up in the library.
  • View our photos...who knows, you might see yourself!
  • Read the LOL blog, as it is fed into Facebook.
  • See what others are saying about the library.
  • Write on our wall to let us know how we can improve to better help you!
  • Find out information about the library, like our hours and resource links.
  • See what services the library has to offer.
I'm sure you can think of many more reasons to follow/like us on PLEASE DO!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trial Databases - Feedback needed!

The library needs your help. Please give your feedback!
There are several databases up for trial ( and we need to know if they would be beneficial for your research. If there are other resources you think the library should have please let us that too!

Current resources on trial: (access information on trial page above)
These databases are only available for a short time. Contact us, at 254-968-9466 or email at if you have questions concerning these databases. Thanks for your help!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Banned Books

Book banning. How Fahrenheit 451. How The Handmaid’s Tale. How chilling. Is book banning something that happened only back in the day? Well, of course not! Here is a list of books challenged or banned in 2009-2010.

The whole concept makes me sad. I walked around, looking at the thought-provoking displays in the Dick Smith Library on banned books, getting sadder and sadder. Many of these books have provided me with hours and hours of contemplation and entertainment. The authors have given me insight into other persons, other cultures, other religions, others' opinions. They have helped define who I am.

So, how to get past these blues? For me, of course, it is to select one of these banned books to read. Yeah! Take that, censors! I live in The UNITED STATES of AMERICA, where (for the moment) I can still read whatever I choose! Join me in radical reading! Learn about banned books and find a title to read at the library. BE AN ACTIVIST. Protect your right to read!