Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Our Library Christmas Tree!

Have you seen our Christmas tree in the library foyer? It is made completely of books!....GREEN books! The presents are even books from the same series! All those books are the Library of Congress National Union Catalog! Familarily known as the "NUC", the books are a massive set of photocopies of printed catalog cards!

YES......the same cards that were in the old card catalog! Do any of you remember the CARD CATALOG? Well the Library of Congress NUC is where we obtained our catalog cards!

The Library of Congress began the NUC project in 1901. Our first set contained pre-1956 imprints of every important book in the United States, with regular updates for many years! The NUC was extremely valuable to libraries before the advent of electronic catalogs!

Many libraries have begun to use the green NUC's as a unique Christmas tree! We enjoyed "building" it and have enjoyed hearing all the comments about it from our patrons! Hope you had a chance to see it!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See You Next Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Treats from the Library

Once your holiday festivities are over, you may find yourself with time to spare and in need of some reading or listening material. In case that happens, check out these ideas from previous LOL posts:

  1. Read the library's online books.

  2. Try out some new recipes.

  3. Expand your language skills with Mango.

  4. Listen to selections from Contemporary World Music and Classical Music Library.

  5. Enjoy Issue #1 of the Library Chronicles newsmagazine.

  6. Read J-TAC articles 1919-2007.

  7. Check out the library's mobile site.

  8. Learn TSU history from Tarleton Thursdays LOL posts.

The library will close over the break (Dec. 23 - Jan. 2), but our online resources will be available when you want them. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Do you regularly make (and break) New Year's Resolutions?

If not, take heart. You're not alone.

Here are some tips to make it more likely you'll follow through this year.

1. Visualize the end result.
What is the positive outcome of each resolution?Find a motivating image or quote to keep you going.
"Money" by 401K on, under a Creative Commons license.

2. Be specific.

Urgent news by rambergmedia on under Creative Commons license.

For example, instead of "Lose weight", try "Lose 20 pounds by June 14, 2012."

3. Break it down.

Calendar module and iCal data by m.gifford on under a Creative Commons license.

To track your progress on smaller milestones, try a goal-oriented social network like "43 things" to keep yourself accountable and seek advice from others. Or, you might download a reminder app, use an Outlook calendar, or carry a notepad and paper.

4. Keep reminders nearby.

"Think about it Thursday" by Rhonda Gibson on under Creative Commons license.

Post your list in an unavoidable place. Moving the list frequently will prevent it from becoming part of the scenery.

5. Enlist support.

"Team Spirit" by jheffie on under Creative Commons license.

Find a group of like-minded people (online or off) who are trying to accomplish the same goal. For example, here is a list of
popular money management blogs

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

A Winter Scene in Stephenville!

Check out the big display case in the foyer featuring a winter scene of Stephenville’s past and present! The miniature buildings were handmade by Tarleton alum J. Louis Evans, Class of 1941! We displayed the buildings several times a few years ago, and have once again been given the opportunity to display them by J’s daughter Emily! A side note……..J wrote the now famous “Spirit of Tarleton” speech for Emily’s graduation!

Some of you may recognize a few of the buildings. The Berry Cottage, the John Tarleton Ranch House, and the dogtrot cabin are all located on the Stephenville Museum grounds. Also still standing is the American Legion Hall, the former Dinner Bell restaurant building, St. Luke’ s Episcopal Church, the Trogdon House, the Hunewell Bandstand (although the current one is a replica and is not located where the original was), the courthouse and buildings around the square, as well as the modern Town and Country Bank building on Lingleville Highway!

No longer standing are the old 3 story Stephenville High School building which was located where Hook Elementary now stands, the Woodshed snack shop which was across the street from the old high school, the depot, and the petrified wood Wolfe Nursery building which was located where Jack in the Box now stands! Shown above is Wolfe Nursery around 1940. It is a great view of the entire area which is now Walmart, Jack in the Box, Chili's, Staples, etc! Wow!! What a change!!

Come by and take a look at the great little snapshot of our town!

Good Luck on your Finals!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recipes in unexpected places

Sometimes it's easy, even for me, to forget that our databases can be used for things other than classroom assignments and research papers. That's why I was so surprised when I stumbled across delicious-looking recipes while taking a closer look at some of our databases. I'm sure you're all gearing up for finals (try to get some sleep!), but you might want to take a look at these when you have a bit of time.

Alt HealthWatch - The best part about the recipes in this database is that you don't even have to know what you're looking for. Don't type anything at all in the search boxes. Instead, go to Document Type, located near the bottom right of the main search screen. Choose Recipe from the list. Then click the Search button. You'll see all the recipes available in Alt HealthWatch. I'd like to try making the Hearty Beef Stew ("Comfort Food Makeovers"), Velvet-Smooth Dark Chocolate Pudding ("Short-order Sweets"), Linguine Bolognese ("Perfectly Seasoned Suppers"), and Tortilla "Lasagna" ("'Make mine meatless!'").

Consumer Health Complete - If you're just interested in browsing, do a search for "recipes". I'd like to try making Pumpkin Soup ("Recipes: Soups and Starters"), Potato Pancakes ("Recipes: Snacks"), and Grandma's Tornado Cookies ("Follow the Footsteps").

Academic Search Complete - In one of the search boxes, type "recipes". Change the drop down menu next to the search box from "Select a Field (optional)" to "Subject Terms." There's overlap between what you'll find here and Alt HealthWatch and Consumer Health Complete, but I think there are also a few recipes I didn't spot in either of those databases.

It wouldn't surprise me if there are more recipes available in some of our databases that I don't even know about. So, have you used library databases for anything outside of coursework or research? Let us know!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 10 Test Taking Tips

It's that time of year again -- FINALS! It doesn't have to be the beginning of the end of you. It could be the perfect ending to a great semester! Click on the link and follow these tips to be more successful on your tests.

Good luck on your finals!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet Our Staff: Crystal Stanley

Crystal Stanley
Archives and Reference Assistant
Dick Smith Library – Lower Level – room B05A

My career at the Dick Smith Library began October 24, 2011.  I was excited to be hired as the Reference Assistant. At the moment I am working on reducing the reference collection, but I also file legal inserts and answer questions about the databases. I work at the main floor reference desk from the time 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 in August 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. This fall, I began working on my Master of Arts in History. I have recently become interested in furthering my education and career goals to include a Master in Library Sciences. I have a great interest in archives.

As for now, my outside interests include READING!! I love books! I am also advising the lovely ladies of Kappa Delta Chi, of which I am an active alumna (hence all the penguins at my desk!).

[Editor’s note: Crystal jumped right in and got involved with Halloween at the library, distributing candy to little visitors the first morning of her second week – hence the photo!]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Extended Hours Start This Sunday!

San Francisco twilight - © Amanda Pape - 2011
The library will offer extended hours to help you get ready for your finals!  Sunday to Thursday, December 4 - 8, we will remain open until 2 AM each night. All night study hours begin Sunday, December 11, when the library opens at noon, and doesn't close again until 7 PM on Thursday, December 15.  Limited services (laptop checkouts and use only of the upper level with ID required to sign in) will be available from midnight to 7 AM each of those days.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Where do you suppose the Tarleton students shopped in the horse and buggy days? The above photo shows Higginbotham's, a long time business on the square in Stephenville! It was located where the courthouse annex is today!

The Higginbotham's back then was a lot different than the Higginbotham lumber yard that we have today! The early Higginbotham stores took care of their patrons from birth to the grave! They had clothing, hardware, lumber, furniture, and even a funeral parlor. In fact, our Higginbotham's on the square had a funeral home at the back, which was in use until the late 1960's when the Stephenville Funeral Home on the South Loop was built!

The December 1, 1936 JTAC contained a small Higginbotham's ad! It stated that "At Higginbothams you will find J.T.A.C. students welcome"!.....and that they were "featuring Reg Shoes"! Wonder what "reg shoes" were! The December 15, 1936 JTAC Higginbotham ad stated that they were having a "Christmas Sale" and that J.T.A.C. students should come to Higginbotham's to do their Christmas shopping!

Well, I think that the Stephenville Higginbotham's of today has lots of merchandise that would be on a man's wish list, and also some for a woman's wish list, but it doesn't have nearly the assortment of goods that the Stephenville Higginbotham's of 75 years ago did!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Social Media Conference

Don't forget to stop by the Social Media Conference on December 2, 2011. This is the inaugural conference for the Texas Social Media Research Institute, which is affiliated with Tarleton's Communications Department.

Social media is defined by Merriam-Webster as " forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and micro-blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)."

Social media affects many aspects of modern life, including politics, education, privacy, commerce and, of course, people's social and offline.

There is a terrific lineup of speakers, which you can view here: .

Several sessions will be held at the library--two sessions will be led by one of our librarians, Amanda Pape. One is on LibraryThing, and the other is on using social media sites for genealogy.

Paid registrants will be entered into a drawing to win a free iPod Touch. You can still register here.

Find out more about the Texas Social Media Research Institute here:

And don't forget to check out the Dick Smith Library on your favorite social networking sites:


We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Most Popular Social Networking Sites

With the Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) having their conference this Friday, I thought I would share this list of the most popular social networking sites.  You can read the entire list of fifteen and how they are ranked on this webpage.  The library is using some of these social media sites.  Click on the links to follow us!
  • Facebook - over 700,000,000 unique monthly visitors!
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Ning
  • Google Plus+
  • Tagged
  • Orkut
  • hi5
  • myyearbook
Do you use any other social media sites?  Post a comment and share!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The library will close today, Wednesday, November 23, at 5 PM.  We will reopen on Sunday, November 27, at noon.  Don't forget that you can access our catalog and databases 24 hours a day!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 10 Amazing Databases

Popular Science recently produced a list of 10 amazing databases. Here is their list and a link to the article describing the databases.

1. The Combined DNA Index System
2. The Encyclopedia of Life
3. The Food and Agriculture Organization Database
4. The Genographic Project
5. The International Panel on Climate Change's Data Distribution Centre
6. The MD:Pro
7. OK Cupid's OKTrends
8. Sloan Digital Sky Survey Database
9. The Wayback Machine
10. Worldcat

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

If you don't know what National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is, check out this post Thomas wrote about it last year. With slightly under two weeks left, a lot of NaNoWriMo participants have probably fallen behind, but there's still hope left! If you need help figuring out what to do next with your characters and story, there are resources on fiction writing at the library that might help you out. If you need help finding those resources, here are a few tips and links:
Keep in mind that no one is grading you on your NaNoWriMo writing. Just try to write as much as you can each day, and remember that you can revise your work, if you'd like, after NaNoWriMo is over.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Frank Blazek, Tarleton Student Fall 1956

This week is International Week at Tarleton! Back in 1956 Tarleton student Frank Blazek had an interesting story. I mentioned him in my September 22, 2011 blog post but only stated that he was from Czechoslovakia.

The November 20, 1956 JTAC ran the above photo and a story of how Frank had escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia! It stated that Frank was born near Prague. When he was 11 the Communists jailed his father, an anti-communist leader. His father escaped in about a month and fled with his wife to Germany. Frank remained with his grandparents for 2 years before escaping. It took him and his sister 2 days to escape. They took a train to a small town near the German border and then they, disguised as workers, got on a bus bound for a workers dance. They and 6 others escaped from the dance and began walking. They walked all night and most of the next day before crossing the border. Frank explained that if they had been caught they would have been shot!

Frank lived a short time in Germany, then French Morocco with his parents. There he took up tennis and eventually became the winner of the Carmen Coupe tennis tournament over 4000 other participants! Then he came to the United States, first living in New York, and then attending Thomas Jefferson High School in New Jersey to learn English! After finishing at Thomas Jefferson he came to Tarleton! After graduating Tarleton Frank went to Texas A & M!

What a story!

Come by the library and see the great International and Study Abroad display in the foyer!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten Facts About Sleep

With the end of Daylight Savings Time about ten days ago, I've been trying to re-adjust my body's internal clock.  It seems to take me at least a week to adapt my sleeping when I travel across time zones or endure the switch to or from Daylight Savings Time.

I recently read and reviewed a book about sleep, and it was full of interesting information about the science and culture of sleep.  Here are ten facts, all from sleep research, in no particular order:
  • People can partially awaken from REM (rapid eye movement, the deep) sleep, but they cannot move.  REM muscle paralysis is carried over into wakefulness.  This sleep paralysis goes away by itself after a few minutes, but can be frightening (page 11).
  • A person’s core body temperature drops to facilitate the onset of sleep.  Body temperature is lowered by increasing blood circulation in the surface of our bodies.  Since hands and feet have a large surface area, warm hands and feet are an unmistakable sign that the body is getting ready for sleep (pages 13-14).
  • Melatonin, a hormone released by the pineal gland that promotes sleep, is secreted starting in the late afternoon and early evening and reaches its peak while we are asleep.  If we open our eyes and receive strong light impulses through the optic nerve, the pineal gland immediately stops producing melatonin, which causes us to awaken (page 14).
  • "Nap shops," where exhausted workers can rent a short-term sleeping space, are very popular in Japan (page 49).
  • Are you an early bird or a night owl?  The next time you have the next day off (ideally, during a vacation or a break from school), write down what time you go to bed and when you get up the next day.  Then determine your sleep midpoint by dividing the length of time you sleep in half.  Early birds have sleep midpoints before 3 AM; night owls have sleep midpoints after 4 AM (page 63).
  • Insomnia is more likely to affect women than men (page 82).
  • Snoring is more frequent in men (page 83).
  • The ideal room temperature for sleep is between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (page 92).
  • Women who smell peppermint before going to bed sleep longer, with more SMS (slow wave sleep) and less REM sleep.  Men did not experience the same effects, but said they felt more awake and refreshed in the morning.  However, if the scent of peppermint is present all night long, it tends to awaken people from light (stage N1 and N2) sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep quickly (page 113).
  • Lavender, jasmine, and vanilla are soothing scents that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but can have undesirable side effects in the morning, such as with tasks involving physical exercise. (pages 112-113).
More facts about sleep: 16 Things You Didn't Know About Sleep (infographic)
and 60 Eye-Opening Facts About Sleep.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Expand your language skills with Mango Languages

Celebrate International Education Week by learning a new language with Mango Languages. Access to the Mango Languages learning system is available from the library database page.
  • Mango is free to all Tarleton students, faculty, and staff.

  • The system is completely web-based and remotely accessible, so you can learn anywhere you have an internet connection.

  • You can start learning TODAY... no more waiting lists.

As you listen to and repeat after native speakers, you'll learn more than just words and phrases. You’ll learn how those pieces can be rearranged and combined to make new thoughts, new conversations, and even more practical communication! In no time at all, you'll be able to navigate all sorts of everyday situations — get directions, order a meal, make new friends — the possibilities are endless!
Bonne Semaine de l'éducation internationale!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Records

With today being Veterans Day I thought I would share how easy it is to obtain copies of veteran's records from the National Archives. If you are a veteran or next of kin of a deceased veteran you can request a copy of their records online. Just watch this short video to see how to request the records and to learn how many requests are received each day:

And thank to all of the veterans for your service and sacrifice.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Library Time Capsule - 1956

"The heart of a college or university is its library" - words spoken by Edmon Low, librarian at Oklahoma A & M College at the dedication of Tarleton's new library on November 9, 1956! Tarleton President E.J. Howell added that the library had grown from 5,000 volumes in 1920 to 40,000 in 1956! The new building, which is incorporated in the current reference and computer area of the main floor, had a capacity for 80,000 volumes!

The November 1956 dedication ceremony was followed by the sealing of the time capsule shown above in the foyer. Student Body President Don Wilkinson and Cadet Colonel John Boyson are shown.

The time capsule above was recovered by a former Tarleton staff member and the construction crew during the 1984 renovation. Opened in 1984, the time capsule was added to and resealed in the new foyer of the library - the current foyer across from the circulation desk.

During the 2006 renovation, the 1956/1984 time capsule was opened. Rather than adding to it, a new time capsule was built to hold addition items. Both the old and the new time capsules were sealed in the library!

Do you know where the library time capsules are located and when they will be opened again?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The library at your fingertips!

Mobile Website

Use your smartphone/tablet to access the library! The library has a mobile website designed to work better for small wireless devices. The URL is The mobile site gives you information about our hours, the services we offer, links for searching our catalog, and it even lets you search our most popular databases! 


Additionally there is a library catalog app available for both iPhone and Android smartphones! The app lets you:

Catalog App
  • Search our catalog

  • Find materials and put needed items on hold if they are not available

  • Log into your library account and renew items

  • Check your account information


    If you have any questions please visit the Library Systems Department Office (Room 250) or contact us via phone (254) 968-9466 or email

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten (+) Online Photo Ideas

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it may be prime time to think about photos -- what to do with them and ways to share them.

If you have photos and are stuck for ideas, check out the iLibrarian blog post "Top 17+ Things to do with Online Photos" by Ellyssa Kroski to learn ways you can create

--- music videos,
--- blog and social networking slideshows,
--- business cards, stickers, and postcards,
--- trading cards, badges, and posters,
--- online scrapbooks and coffee table books,
--- newsletters and brochures,
--- photo collages,
--- online portfolios,
--- comic strips, and
--- photo widgets.

You'll also find links to tools that will help you
--- edit and caption photos,
--- turn photos into cartoons, and
--- frame photos.

Check it out!

Friday, November 4, 2011

17th Century Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and smartphones are today's social media; but in the 17th and 18th Centuries the written word in the form of letters and short notes, were social media. In the 17th Century public postal systems had come of age. Now it was possible for the ordinary citizen to communicate with others just as heads of state had been doing for years. This rise of the postal systems caused an explosion of letter writing. Voltaire wrote as many as 10 to 15 letters a day and dramatist Jean Racine complained of not being able to keep of with all of the letters. The equivalent of a full inbox. What was the subject of all of these letters? Not much, invitations to dinner, and OMG, did you hear about the king? One woman over the course of 26 years sent her daughter over 1,000 letters on the coming and goings in Paris.

Another form of writing much like Twitter today was les billets, little bits of paper with inflammatory words about politics that were thrown about in public. These little slips of paper were a way to organize uprisings and bypass government censors.

To learn more about these writings and the Mapping the Republic of Letters project see:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Aerial View of Campus ca 1959-62

Still a familiar building on campus, Davis Hall is seen just behind the library in the upper right corner of the photo above! The former boy's dorm was named for Tarleton Dean (President) J. Thomas Davis.

The November 3, 1936 JTAC states that Davis Hall was named J. Thomas Davis Hall by T.O. Walton, the President of A & M College. It states that credit for growth of the college was given to Dean Davis. He was born in Heard County, Georgia, then moved to Sun Mountain, Alabama. At age 14 his family moved to Texas where he attended the rural schools in Denton County, then entered North Texas Normal in 1902.

When Dean Davis came to Tarleton in 1919 there were only 300 students, five buildings, and 11 regular teachers. Seventy five years ago, when Davis Hall was named for Dean Davis, there were about 1050 students, 20 buildings, and over 70 faculty members!

Gabe Lewis, John Tarleton Agricultural College registrar in 1936, stated that Dean Davis was a great man and one that deserved all the honors which had been bestowed upon him! Dean Davis was a member of many educational organizations, both state and national, as well as the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and the West Texas Chamber of Commerce!

Just look at us now! Way to go Tarleton!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11022011 Happy Palindrome Day

Today's date is a palindrome. A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other unit that can be read the same way in either direction. Today's date is special because it is a rare eight-digit palindrome, of which there are only twelve this century. It is also special because this is the last time 11022011 will occur in all four digit years.

For you math types out there; 11022011 equals 7 x 7 x 11 x 11 x 11 x 13 x 13, that is, the product of seven square, eleven cube, and thirteen square where numbers seven, eleven, and thirteen are three consecutive prime numbers. There are even more palindromes in all of this math, see For more information and less math see:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chills and thrills for your Halloween

It's finally time for one of my favorite days of the year! The library has lots of things to help you get in the mood for Halloween - I've listed some suggestions below.

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - For those of you who prefer your classics to be filled with blood and gore. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy make a great zombie-killing team.
  • The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007 edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin J. Grant - If you can't decide what you want to read, try an anthology.
  • Late Victorian Gothic Tales edited by Roger Luckhurst - Another anthology.
  • Three Vampire Tales edited by Anne Williams - Polidori's The Vampyre, Le Fanu's Carmilla, and Stoker's Dracula - lots of fun for those who prefer their vampires not to sparkle.
  • Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King - We have lots of other books by King, too.
  • The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman - An occasionally creepy and unsettling graphic novel series.

  • Poltergeist - Ghosts!
  • Perfect Blue - Not quite ready for checkout yet, but this one might be a good fit for those who find themselves missing Halloween after it's over. It's an animated psychological thriller about a Japanese pop star who's being terrorized by an overzealous fan.
  • Lost, The Complete First Season - Not horror, but this one might be a good choice for those who'd like a few strange and creepy moments without the risk of nightmares.

Friday, October 28, 2011

J-TAC Digitization Project

Revisit Tarleton’s Past online through the J-TAC Newspaper Archive.

Begun in 2005 with the goal of creating online access to the J-TAC collection, the project’s first phase was completed in 2011 when the 1919-2007 issues were published on The Portal to Texas History.

A gift of $1,000 from The Friends of the Dick Smith Library helped the library raise the $25,000 required to complete this phase of the digitization project.

J-TAC issues for 2008-2011 will be added to the online collection in the near future.

To search the J-TAC Archive:
1. Go to the Dick Smith Library home page (
2. Click on the “Databases” link.
3. Click on the “J-TAC Newspaper Archive” link.
a. You can browse issues by year or
b. Use the “Advanced Search” feature to search for topics, by time period, etc.

You can view the slideshow presentation of 1919-2007 J-TAC articles in the Library Lobby or by following this link to the Prezi -

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk

Sunday October 30, 2011, 2 pm

West End Cemetery

The fourth annual Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk, sponsored by the Friends of the Dick Smith Library and the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library, will be held across the street Sunday October 30, 2011, at 2 pm. Admission $5 per person.

Did you ever wonder what things were like in early Stephenville? A good way to find out some interesting tidbits about our area's past is to come to the cemetery walk! "Spirits" from Stephenville's past are portrayed by actors in period dress and provide guests with an entertaining afternoon!

The above photo shows the Higginbotham dealership.....quite a difference between the cars of the early 1900s and the cars of today! Willis Higginbotham owned the Stephenville dealership shown above! Our own Dr. Don Zelman, and Lori Larue will be portraying Mr. and Mrs. Higginbotham in the Spirits Walk Sunday afternoon, along with several other familiar faces you won't want to miss!

Come join us in bringing our local history to life!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet Our Staff: Danni King

Danni King
Graduate Assistant
Reference & Information Desk
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor

I began working at the Dick Smith Library as a student worker in August of 2006, also my freshman year here at Tarleton, in the Processing/Cataloging Department. I worked at the library until December 2009, and began my semester of student teaching in January 2010. I graduated from Tarleton with my Bachelor of Science in Education in May 2010. I began graduate school in January of 2011 and began working at the library in February, this time as the Reference Desk Graduate Assistant. I work at the Information desk on the main floor and do my best to answer the patron's questions. I'm also becoming a master at un-jamming the printers. I'm pursuing my MED (Masters of Education) degree in School Counseling with the LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) option. I hope to graduate in the spring of 2013.

I will have been married two years this December, and my husband not only graduated from Tarleton, but he works here as well in the HVAC department. We have five dachshunds, and we spend most of our time chasing after them. We enjoy going to the movies, traveling, and playing outside with our crazy dogs. I also enjoy cooking, baking, and photography. I love to read and couldn't possibly think of just one favorite book, there are just too many to name!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top 10 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

As Halloween and other holidays approach, pumpkins are always a popular decoration and delicious treat. If you are looking for a new idea for dessert instead of serving the same old pumpkin pie, give these top 10 pumpkin recipes a try.

Top 10 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes Taste of Home Recipes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Charles & Garnett Froh
Did you know that Charles Froh, an accomplished musician, was the head of Fine Arts at Tarleton from 1910 to 1950! My blog post September 9, 2010 was about Charles Froh. Charles had, at the time he retired, the longest tenure of any Tarleton faculty member!
Charles Froh's younger brother Garnett was a also a professor of music at Tarleton but only taught 11 years. He died in 1932 at the young age of 39. Not only was Garnett Froh an accomplished musician, he was also an artist and completed over 500 paintings! One of his paintings, of Tarleton's first women's dorm, is hanging in the stairway of Hunewell dorm!
The Froh brothers were well known musical pairs in this area and often gave musical entertainments to the Tarleton faculty and students! The Froh brothers built a department of music that was recognized all over the state! Because of their contribution to Tarleton and the area, the 1933 Grassburr was dedicated to Charles & Garnett Froh.
Come to the Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk across the street on Sunday afternoon October 30, 2011 at 2 pm and find out more about the Froh brothers and many other local "spirits"! Cost is $5 per person for an entertaining afternoon! You might recognize some of them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tarleton History: J-TAC & Grassburr yearbooks

With homecoming just around the corner, it seems like a good time to re-post some information about ways to look up Tarleton State University history -- specifically how to locate J-TAC issues (online and print) and copies of the Grassburr yearbook:

  • J-TAC student newspaper (online) -- Created through a Dick Smith Library project and made available via UNT's Portal to Texas History.
    -- You can use this direct link to the J-TAC (1919-2009) at the portal.
    ---- Browse issues by year.
    ---- Use the "Advanced Search" feature to search for topics, by time period, etc.

  • You can also go to the Portal of Texas History.
    -- Enter JTAC in the search box & choose title from the drop-down menu.
    -- Click "Submit."
    -- Browse issues or finesse your search using the "Advanced Search" features.

  • J-TAC student newspaper (microfilm) -- Photo negatives of print issues are available in Dick Smith Library's in-house collections.
    -- in Periodicals Collection (library's main level)
    ---- Use the library's new microform scanner to read, print, and save copies of articles/pages.

  • Grassburr yearbooks-- Call number LD5271.T35G7
    ---- Limited Collection (lower level) houses the most complete set. In-house use only.
    ---- Curriculum Collection (lower level) yearbooks. Can be checked out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Halloween Movies for Younger Kids

It's easy to find a list of horror movies to watch for Halloween, but hard to find something in proper Halloween spirit that doesn't cause so many nightmares. The top ten for younger folks are:
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
2. Daffy Duck's Quackbusters
3. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
4. The Addams Family
5. Corpse Bride
6. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
7. Cinderella
8. Beetlejuice
9. The Monster Squad
10. Ghostbusters

Monday, October 17, 2011

Al Capone Convicted Today in 1931

Today in 1931 the notorious gangster Al Capone was finally convicted of a crime. For years law enforcement authorities had been trying to convict Capone for crimes he either committed or were committed in his name. He was believed to be the person who ordered the Valentines Day Massacre. In 1930 he was indited on income tax evasion charges. He is attributed with saying "The income tax law is a lot of bunk. The government can't collect legal taxes from illegal money." It took the jury 9 hours to convict Capone of three felonies and two misdemeanors. He was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison and pay $80,000 in fines and court costs. A small price to pay for someone who was Public Enemy Number One. Part of Capone's time would be served in the new Alcatraz prison. For more information see this link:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fun Halloween Facts

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Halloween? Where did the idea come from? Why do we carve pumpkins? Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought a fun Friday post would be about the origins and facts surrounding our common day celebration of Halloween.

According to the website,, “Halloween's roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their "Druid" religion, November 1st was New Years' on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year would rise up and roam the earth on this night…The Irish carved Turnips and put coals or small candles inside. They were placed outside their homes on All Hallow's Eve to ward off evil spirits. They were also known to use potatoes and Rutabagas. When Irish Immigrants came to America, they quickly discovered that Jack O'Lanterns were much easier to carve out and began using them. This truly neat tradition quickly spread to the general population in America and elsewhere”.

If you would like to learn more about Halloween and the traditions surrounding it, you can check out the following books that we have here at the Dick Smith Library:

Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night

A Little Book of Halloween

Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween
GT4965.S58 2002

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk

Sunday October 30, 2011

2 PM

The Friends of the Tarleton Dick Smith Library and the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library are having their annual Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk across the street at the West End Cemetery on Sunday afternoon October 30, 2011 at 2 PM. The cost is only $5. per person and is an entertaining afternoon!

People in Stephenville's history are portrayed by actors and actresses in period costumes giving short vignettes of the past! This year we have a doctor, a cotton ginner, businessmen and women, a lawyer, musicians, artists, and we will even have some "special" entertainment not listed on the flyer! For more information call Glenda Stone, here in the library, at 968-9871.

The Spirits Walk is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bird calls

Through Birds of North America Online, you can listen to a huge variety of bird calls. Here are a few strange, interesting, and/or eerie ones I've come across. Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet Our Staff: Lisa Wan

Lisa Wan
Tarleton - Fort Worth Librarian
817-732-7300 x7315
Texan Hall Library, Room 445, Hickman Building, 4th floor, Fort Worth

I began working as the Off-Campus Librarian on September 1, 2011. I have been working in the Texan Hall Library and the Medical Laboratory Sciences library as a graduate student since February 2010. I provide reference and research services to students, faculty, and staff, as well as give presentations of library resources to classes. I work with librarians at the Dick Smith Library to market and promote library services to our off-campus students and faculty in the Southwest Metroplex. I love being a librarian, and one of my most favorite occasions is when a student has an “Ah-ha!” moment while doing research.

My library career started as a “Superseder” (a person who replaces the old material in legal materials with the new, updated materials) at the Duke Law School Library after my graduation from Baylor University. I loved being in the library and decided that my career path would be to become a librarian. I earned my Master in Library Science from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). I have worked mostly at university and law school libraries doing cataloging, acquisitions, and reference. I earned my most recent degree, Master of Education in Counseling, from Tarleton (all on the Southwest Metroplex campus) in August 2011. I will become a Licensed Professional Counselor and counsel adults in my time outside of the library.

I love being with my children whenever they are home, but my daughter and youngest son are at college back east; my oldest son has graduated from college and lives in San Antonio. I enjoy cooking, hiking, hunting with my significant other, and singing in my church choir. Whenever I get the chance to travel, I enjoy visiting friends in Durham, Chicago, and the tiny Appalachian coal mining town of Grundy, Virginia, all places that my family and I have lived.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stephenville ISD banned books!

Although Banned Books Week is over, I did a little research on banned and challenged books. I saw many that I had read. The Grapes of Wrath and Catch-22 are two of them. I feel like such a rebel! (I have been known to be a bit on the conservative side.)

I was quite astonished to find that here in our little town, there have been books banned! Not challenged... but BANNED! I had no idea! I should really keep up with the news more.

Check out the links to find out what books have been banned, and why. What do you think?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

John Tarleton College - October 1908

Over 100 years ago the 10th session of John Tarleton College, 1908-09, was the most prosperous in the school's history! Enrollment reached 287 - tuition had doubled - the $15,000 girls' dorm, Mary Corn Wilkerson, was built - and there were 16 graduates!

In 1908-09 the campus consisted of 8 acres with natural grass lawns and shade trees! There were 3 basketball courts and 2 tennis courts. The athletic field was equiped for high jumping, vaulting, hurdle racing, etc. The baseball and football field had a grandstand and was enclosed by a picket & board fence. There was also a bath house equipped with dressing room, showers, and lockers!

The Athletic Association was composed of John Tarleton College students and faculty and directed all athletic events. To participate in athletics, the player had to be a bonafide student in good standing. John Tarleton College was a charter member of the West Texas College League which controlled intercollegiate meets. The West Texas College League had rigid rules which required high morals and scholarship for all participants!

Shown above is a John Tarleton College track meet in October 1908! It shows the field, the grandstand, and the board fence!

We have come a long way in the last 100+ years!

Cross Timbers Historic Images Project, Dick Smith Library.

John Tarleton College Bulletin, 1908-09.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Your learning philosophy

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." -Alvin Toffler

I gave a library tour to a class recently. At the end of the tour, the instructor asked her students to write down information about several of the locations we had just visited. She also asked them to write down their philosophy of learning.

This really got my attention, and has been residing in the back of my mind ever since.

I'm a former public school teacher. As part of student-teaching (and, later, job-hunting) we all dutifully recorded our philosophy of teaching.

But no one had ever asked me about my philosophy of learning. What could be more important?

How do you learn best?

What are some of your positive and negative learning experiences?

What is YOUR philosophy of learning?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stories and Tales of Halloween

It's almost that time of year, to read tales and stories of Halloween, to name a few:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Banned Books Week

The Dick Smith Library's 2011 "Banned Books Week" Display
This is "Banned Books Week" in the United States, September 24 through October 1.  It really should be called "Challenged Books Week," because not that many books are actually banned.  Many books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials. The American Library Association (ALA) tracks challenges that occur, recording 348 challenges in 2010 (the fewest since 1990).  However, the ALA estimates that this number reflects only 20-25% of actual challenges, as many are not reported.

You might want to check out this interesting infographic about the top ten challenged books of 2010, or join the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out on YouTube.

[photo above and the others at the link on the caption by Tracy Holtman; the display was put together by Rashelle Hansen and Sharon Alexander.]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Parent's Day at Tarleton!
This weekend is family weekend at Tarleton! Our campus will be filled with many of our students and their families! This is a long standing tradition at Tarleton. The 1926 Grassburr first mentions Parent's Day, which was held in conjunction with May Fete! This annual event went on well into the 1990's without too much change. The May Fete was discontinued and Parent's Day was moved from the spring to the fall, and became Parent's Weekend. Always a highlight of May Fete/Parent's Day/Parent's Weekend was the selection of a queen, as shown in the 1966 J-TAC above! Take a look at the old Grassburrs in the library to see how the "queen" fashions have changed over the last 75+ years!
The February 23, 1995 J-TAC reports that Rusty Jergins, Dean of Students, was working toward revamping Parent's Weekend to support a mix of gender and a balance of traditional and non-traditional age students. As a result, we have the Family Weekend as we know today. It is nice to know that Parent's/Family/Day/Weekend is such a long standing event at Tarleton!
We hope that you attend the Family Weekend activities this might even see the library staff and our Friends of the library participating! Come out and let the library staff serve you some delicious lemonade............and while you're there purchase a Tarleton Traditions book for $5 and a Friends' book bag for $4!
See you Saturday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October is American Archives Month

Did you know that October is American Archives month? American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value.

Whether or not you realize it, you probably have an archive in your home. This is your personal archives: a collection of material that records important events from your family’s history. This collection can include letters, photos, scrapbooks, important documents.

At Tarleton, the archives are located in the Dick Smith Library. Collections in the archive include the Charles W. Stenholm Congressional papers, C. Richard King papers, Richard Thompson papers, Randall Popken papers, and the state Senatorial papers of Mike Moncrief, to name a few. The University Archives are also housed in the Dick Smith Library. Collections in the University Archives include the papers of presidents and university committees, photographs, the J-Tac, Grassburrs, and the Cross Timbers Historic Images Project.

The W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, in Thurber also houses archival and manuscript collections. Collections at the Center the records of the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, which includes reports on the mines and maps of the mines. Other collections at the Center relate to the town of Thurber and its citizens. These collections contain personal papers and photographs.

For more information about the archives contact the Collections Archivist, Gary Spurr at of 254-968-1808.