Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"Wind Converted to Power by Bicknell"

"Wind Energy Conversion System May Provide Free Energy Source"

Today we see many wind turbines along the horizon all across west Texas! We now even have several in northern Erath County, as shown in the panoramic photo above. However, this isn't the first time wind turbines were mentioned in Erath County. In 1936 Tarleton freshman J.E. Bicknell, Jr, developed an apparatus that furnished electricity for lights and his radio in his home in Goree! The February 29, 1936 J-TAC pictured Bicknell's contraption, as shown above!

Bicknell used five dollars and a few junked automobile parts, a few pieces of second hand lumber and a lot of ambition in creating the wind turbine! He cut off each end of an automobile rear axle and attached a wind vane to one end and blades to the other. He installed a spindle and shaft to the differential, and then installed an automobile generator! When the wind blowed the electricity was stored an a battery connected to the generator. He concluded that if the wind blowed three days a week there would be enough stored electricity to furnish his home with plenty of power!

Another attempt to utilize a wind turbine was at Tarleton in 1981. A wind turbine was installed at the Ag Farm! It made electricity from wind energy and supplemented the energy from utility companies for the farm. "Tarleton's wind system serves three purposes. First, it helps to make the general public aware of alternative energy systems. Second, it helps us to gain experience with everyday operations and problems of wind energy conversion systems. Finally, it allows us to improve the reliability and efficiency of wind energy systems," said Dr. Jimmy McCoy, Associate Professor of Physics at Tarleton.

The wind turbine at the ag farm wasn't very reliable at first, and was not very price effective at first either. However, it enabled modifications and improvements, and further study of the utilization of wind turbines. Although the wind turbine at the college farm no longer exists, it was a new trend, and one that did continue to develop as we can see from the many wind turbines now on Huckabay Ridge!

We have certainly had a windy March.......lets hope that it goes out like a lamb so that we can welcome a gentle spring in a few days!

J-TAC February 29, 1936.

J-TAC April 9, 1987.

Fill the Field

The library did our part to help the Student Government Association Fill the Field!  Here are a couple of pictures of stuff in boxes we took over to help Fill the Field!  Thanks SGA for a GREAT event.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Interesting New Books

My job involves making the library's books and resources available in the library catalog, so I'm one of the people who gets to see things before they end up on the library's shelves. For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to list 10 of the books I've cataloged recently that I think look interesting - they should be available for check out soon.
  1. Japan fashion now by Valerie Steele et al. - This book's pictures are interesting enough on their own, but the text, too, has fascinating information about Japanese fashion. 
  2. Social engineering : the art of human hacking by Christopher Hadnagy - This book is filled with social engineering examples.
  3. 100 dresses by The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Since I usually only get to flip through our new books, I like the fashion books the library gets because they tend to have gorgeous pictures. This one has full-color images of dresses from all sorts of time periods.
  4. Disaster deferred : how new science is changing our view of earthquake hazards in the Midwest by Seth Stein - What with everything that has happened and is still going on in Japan, it's not surprising this book caught my eye.
  5. The race for perfect : inside the quest to design the ultimate portable computer by Steve Hamm - Although the book's jacket says it focuses on a single product, the ThinkPad X300 laptop, the book itself seems to discuss lots of different products.
  6. The price of everything : solving the mystery of why we pay what we do by Eduardo Porter - I've read a lot of blog posts about the price of e-books versus the price of print books, so this book about prices and value looks particularly interesting to me.
  7. Amore : the story of Italian American song by Mark Rotella - The first few pages feature a short phone conversation between Frank Sinatra and Vic Damone. For some reason, that passage caught my attention when I flipped through the book.
  8. What women want : the global marketplace turns female-friendly by Paco Underhill - In general, books on consumers and consumer behavior always look interesting to me.
  9. Studying British cinema : 1999-2009 by John Fitzgerald - For something so skinny, this covers quite a few British films.
  10. Islands of privacy by Christena Nippert-Eng - The author interviewed various people about how they try to preserve their privacy.
If you'd like to see more of the library's newest resources, try the "New Books and Resources" link on the right side of the library's website. The list for February 2011 is currently available. Also, don't forget to take a look at the New Books display on the main floor of the library.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brown Bag: Colombia: Politics & Culture

On Thursday March 31st the Dick Smith Library will host a Brown Bag session featuring Dr. Adolfo Benavides, Dean, College of Business Administration. Dr. Benavides' topic will be Colombia: Politics & Culture. The program will be in the Library Multipurpose Room from 12:10-12:50pm.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Little Symphony Orchestra
1936 Grassburr

Girl's Soon to Make Debut of Orchestra!
March 28, 1936 J-TAC

This is Women's History Month! Seventy five years ago some adventuresome female Tarleton students set out to change things up a bit! The March 28, 1936 J-TAC stated that some twelve Tarleton girls were going to create their own jazz orchestra! "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing! "Hotcha" Miller and her Melodears are fixin' to swing out!" The girls claimed that their concoction of jazz would take even the King of Jazz off the top!

"Three gals who can make Benny Goodman cry for Mama toot a mean trio of clarinets." There was also a tenor sax, singing violins, a drummer, a trombone, and a bass horn. The orchestra had Nan Shelton, Dessa Lee Hair, and Minnie Lee Windell on the clarinet, Mary Elizabuth McAdams on the tenor sax, Jen S. Terhune on the trombone, Hazle Nutt, Margaret Hamilton, and Guinevere Whisenhunt on the violin, Marjorie Morris on the drums, and Clarice Andrews on the bass horn!

These girls set out to make Tarleton history with their all girl orchestra. Tarleton had girls in the Little Symphony Orchestra as shown in the photo above, including some of those girls who were in the new all girl orchestra. Tarleton also had an eight member all male orchestra and at one time an all girl band. The J-TAC article closed by saying "be sure to watch for the opening performance - they're the Best in the West!"

Unfortunately, the 1937 Grassburr showed only the coed Little Symphony Orchestra and the all male smaller orchestra.....guess the all girl jazz orchestra was short lived!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fill the Field

Tarleton State University's SGA and Athletic Department is sponsoring the Fill the Field event on March 31st at Memorial Stadium.

The Dick Smith Library has signed up for a square and we are taking donations right now!

Below is a list of items that can be donated:
  • Bottled water
  • Clothes (new or gently used and clean)
  • Non-perishable foods (dry pasta, grains, dried fruit, flour, etc.)
  • Canned goods
  • Monetary donation
Also, if you have a library fine you can take advantage of our overdue fine amnesty. On March 24th and March 25th, for each canned/boxed food item you donate, we will deduct $1.00 from your current unpaid overdue fines. Bring items to the circulation desk on Thursday and Friday this week only!

Then come and join us as we "Fill the Field" on March 31st from 8am - 8pm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 Library Poetry Resources, pt. 2

Please see previous blog entry for the rest of the list.


The General Stacks (Upper Level) are where most of our books that can be checked out are located. The P section covers language and literature. Specific poets or types of poetry (American, British, Italian, etc.) can be located throughout this section.


In the library catalog on the library's web page, go to Advanced Search. Limit your location to Periodicals and search poetry as a subject. Here is a list of some of our print poetry journals.


The Lower Level has a large collection of audio books. Here is a list of some of our poetry audio books.


Search juvenile poetry as a subject in the library catalog. The results will include over 300 titles in our Curriculum Collection on the Lower Level.


To look through one poetry-based journal at a time, go to and click the SFX link on the left, under Databases. Then enter Poe$ under the title tab. This will pull up a list of 20+ e-journals with poems, poets, or poetry in the title or subject categories. (Also included will be journals about Edgar Allen Poe). Click on a title to access the e-journal.

Bonus resource: We have over 400 e-books on poetry in our catalog. To find them, type in poetry as a subject and limit the location to online access.

Top 10 Library Poetry Resources, Pt. 1

Yesterday was World Poetry Day, and April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate by digging into our poetry resources.


Go to Under Library Catalog, click "Books, Periodicals,...etc." For a particular poet, type in the poet's name + criticism.
Example: Robert Frost criticism


Go to the catalog. Type in the poet's name and biography
Example: Robert Frost biography


Go to the catalog. Click Advanced Search Options. Type in the words poetry criticism and change the location to Reference.

Possible resources:
Poetry Criticism PN1010.P499 (71 volumes)


The Poetry Criticism series is also available online. You can search it by going to our Literature Criticism Online database, clicking on Advanced Search and limiting your results by series. For a specific author, type in the name and select Named Author.


JSTOR, Project Muse, and MLA are all good databases for articles about literature. For a full list of literature-related databases, consult our Subject research guide page for English, Literature, and Languages.

And, don't forget to check out our other five resources.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Woman's History Month

March is Woman's History Month.  The theme this year is "Our History is our Strength".  Take this quiz by the National Woman's History project and test your knowledge to see if  can you 'Identify These Women of Great Vision and Achievement Whose History Is Our Strength'

Come visit the library to see our Woman's History display created by the office of Diversity and Inclusion.  You can also see pictures (not very good ones!) on the library's FlickR page!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Library in Japan

My mother always said "if you think you have it bad, just look around, someone always has it worse." We thought we had a mess after the winter storm, imagine theirs. I've never seen lights on top of the stacks like these.

Spring Break Hours

Hope everyone has a fun and safe spring break!  The Library will be closed on weekends with limited hours during the week.  Here is the schedule:

Fri. March 11, 7am - 5pm
Sat. - Sun. March 12-13, CLOSED
Mon. - Thur. March 14-17, 8am-5pm
Fri. - Sun. March 18-20, CLOSED

Monday, March 14, 2011

Malware - Think when on the web!

I want to share this information with everyone and remind you to THINK when you use the internet.  Often times you don’t even have to click a button to get infected with Malware (viruses).

A new Dasient report says that the number of Web sites infected with malware has doubled in the past year. That means we’re now just short of 1.2 million Web sites out there infected with malware.
Big deal, you say. Some 1.2 million Web sites out of the entirety of the Web can’t be so bad, right? Well, that means that in about three months of Web surfing the average person now has a 95 percent chance of running into malware.
From CrunchGrear

Friday, March 11, 2011

What are your favorite websites... and why?

Time has a list of 25 Websites that they cannot live without. What are some sites that you can't live without? Facebook? Twitter? Give us your opinion and why.

Check out Time's article:,29569,1638266,00.html

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Blue will be Worn by Tarleton Co-Eds
Chambray, Khaki are Popular Materials!

"With Spring approaching the co-ed's thoughts turn to new clothes" according to the February 29, 1936 J-TAC! However, the Dean of Women revealed the startling fact that blue would be the color worn by the Tarleton co-eds in the spring of '36!

...So....the blue chambray uniform was the clothing to be worn! Even though the uniforms were the same, the accessories varied a little! Black shoes and ties were worn by some, but while the shoes varied in style, the shoes and ties were the same color. Demerits might result if the shoe and tie color was mixed!

White pique was seen some, and surprisingly, anklets were worn for the first time with chambrays. The anklets were worn in colors by the majority, but in white by the seniors. Hose could also still be worn if preferred! The photo above of the choir shows the blue chambray uniform.

The gentlemen wore khaki slacks, shirts, and brown shoes. White shirts were worn on Sundays and holidays!

What a difference 75 years makes! Have a wonderful and safe spring break!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cookbooks at the library

With Spring Break coming up, I thought I might write about the library's collection of cookbooks - you might have a little extra time to make some good food or snacks. A general search in the library's catalog for things about "cooking" brings up a lot, but you might want to try searching for more specific subjects like "low budget cooking" (for those who'd like good food on the cheap) or "quick and easy cooking."

A couple books I've tried and enjoyed:
  • Campbell's creative cooking with soup (General Stacks, TX715 .C1894 1985) - This is an awesome book that allows you to mix and match ingredients for lots and lots of different meals and desserts. I love the recipes for mini meatloaves and broccoli and noodle casserole. There's even a cheesecake recipe!
  • Mrs. Rowe's little book of Southern pies (General Stacks, TX773 .B8835 2009) - This may be a little book, but it has lots of good recipes packed inside of it. The book tells you everything you need to do to make pies completely from scratch. I have to admit, though, that I always used frozen pie crusts instead of making my own. I really like the Brown Sugar Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Tar Heel Pie recipes.
If you'd rather not seach the catalog, try browsing the TX642-840 area in the General Stacks (3rd floor of the library) and see what you can find. Feel free to comment about any books you particularly like. I love learning about good cookbooks I haven't tried yet, and I'm sure others do, too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: International Women's Day

1. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York demanding shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote.

2. The Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s day in the United States to be February 28, 1909.

3. In 1910 at the second International Conference of Working Women Clara Zetkin proposed an annual International Women’s Day (IWD). Her suggestion was unanimously approved.

4. In 1911 on March 19th over one million men and women attended IWD rallies for women’s right to work, hold public office, and end discrimination. Less than one week later on march 25th the Triangle Shirtwaist fire occurred in New York City. More than 140 women died in the fire, which drew attention to working conditions of women and others.

5. Women in Russia observed their first International Women’s Day in 1913.

6. Russian women begin the “bread and peace” strike on March 8, 1917 to protest the loss of over 2 million soldiers in World War I. Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

7. The United Nations designated 1975 as International Women’s Year.

8. In some countries children give their mothers and grandmothers small presents today.

9. Women are still not paid the same as their male counterparts.

10. Women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics and globally women’s education, health, and violence against them is worst than that of men.

For more information on International Women’s Day see:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Audiobooks for Spring Break!

Going somewhere for Spring Break?  For you commuters or anyone about to take a long road trip, the Dick Smith Library has a growing collection of audiobooks in CD format, with many audiobooks still available in cassette format. They are located on the lower level of the library, just to the right in the Audiovisual Collection area as you exit the elevator or the stairs. You can check them out for four weeks; plenty of time to take them on a vacation (just be sure you don't lose any of the pieces!).

Here's a post on how to search the library catalog for audiobooks. You can create lists for mysteries, historical fiction, or your favorite author, for example.  

If you're in RDG301, Children's Literature, don't forget that you need to read five novels or chapter books for your investigation project! Spring Break is a great time to do this, and if you will be on the road part of that time, listening to an audiobook makes the travel time pass more quickly. Here is a list of 50 audiobooks that might work for this assignment.

Here are some of our newest titles (click the links to check availability):

GE197 .F75 2008C - Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman. - winner of 2009 Audie Awards for Nonfiction and for Politics.

PN1991.77 .P73 E54 2008 - English Majors with Garrison Keillor - winner of the 2009 Audie Award for Audiobook Adaptation, it's a collection of humorous skits.

PQ4863 .A3894 V613 2008 - Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri - 2009 Audie Award winner for Mystery and Suspense.

PS3552 .O932 W66 2009B - The Women by T. Coraghessan Boyle - fascinating fiction about the four loves of (in)famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

PS3561 .I483 D86 2008B - Duma Key by Stephen King - a thriller by the master of horror, it was the co-winner of the 2009 Audie Award for Fiction.

PS3611 .O74927 S93 2010B - The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova - a tale of art, love, and a passion for painting by the bestselling author of The Historian.

PS3619 .T636 H45 2009B - The Help by Kathryn Stockett - winner of the 2010 Audie Award for fiction, this audiobook is voiced by four fabulous readers who bring to life two black maids and the white society they work for in early 1960s Mississippi.

QA76.2.P38 A3 2008 - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow - 2009 Audie Award winner for Biography/Memoir and a runner-up for the Audie Award for Personal Development.