Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"A.B. Yearwood, Jr. Wins State Public Speaking Contest"

A.B. Yearwood, Jr. won 1st place in public speaking at the FFA state leadership contest held in Huntsville June 29-30, 1936. In addition, teams from this area won 2 of the 3 leadership contests - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in public speaking!

In other areas, the Rochelle team coached by R.P. Tull won 1st, and the Comyn team coached by D.W. Graves won 2nd in chapter conducting. Both coaches were former Tarleton students and Graves was also a Stephenville boy!

Yearwood was a member of the Stephenville High School FFA, and had graduated in May of 1936. He entered Tarleton in the fall of 1936 and was a member of the Lords & Commoners, the Honorary Corps of Cadets, and was a lieutenant in Company C. He went on to graduate from Tarleton, and to obtain a master's degree from Texas A & M in agronomy. He grew up in Erath County on what later became the Charles Neblett Jr. Ranch. In 1936 he went on to win 2nd at the Tri-State FFA public speaking contest!

In 1940 A.B. Yearwood, Jr. became agronomy and soil conservation professor at Tarleton when professor L.G. Rich was called to serve his country in WWII. Ironically, A.B. Yearwood, Jr. also later left Tarleton to serve his country in WWII! A member of the Air Corp, he was killed October 3, 1944 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana while on a training mission. His plane crashed on the runway as he landed. In addition to his father and step mother, he left a wife and 13 month old daughter.

"Because of his outstanding record as student, teacher, and soldier, A.B. Yearwood, Jr., will long be remembered with affection and respect by his classmates, fellow faculty members, and brothers-in-arms of the United States Army Air Forces."

J-TAC, July 3, 1936, August 28, 1936, October 10, 1944

Stephenville Empire Tribune, April 18, 1958

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LibriVox, and why it's so awesome

We mentioned LibriVox over a year ago, talking about its being a free audiobook site. I recently revisited this nifty little site and have a few thoughts to share with you all.

First off, I LOVE the concept. Public domain works are up for grabs, and in this case the grabs are pretty widespread. The selection of available materials is pretty extensive. This is largely a good thing, putting aside differences I have a bit of an issue with the quality of the audio.

Take for example this version of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. The snobbish drama critic in me says: “Not much in the way of performance and the differing audio quality even among members in the same scene speaks volumes. I scoff at their puny attempts, SCOFF, I SAY! Now look away as I turn my nose up at you!”

Back to reality. Now, I realize that it’s unlikely that these folks are professional voice actors, but that’s precisely what makes this such a wonderfully egalitarian tool. So long as the quality of your “performance” is understandable and as true as possible to the text, your interpretation is welcome. This blending of literature and theater is what truly makes the Internet worth using, don’t you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Personal Finance Books

Times are getting tough, we may have to check these out.
  1. The Total Money Makeover
  2. How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously
  3. Your Money or Your Life
  4. All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan
  5. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
  6. The Complete Tightwad Gazette
  7. The Random Walk Guide to Investing
  8. The Millionaire Next Door
  9. Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement
  10. Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes (and How to Correct Them)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Do you have a TexShare Card?

If you don’t, you might consider applying for one. It’s easy and free!

The TexShare card program is a reciprocal borrowing program across the state of Texas. Participating institutions include many public, academic, and special libraries.

As a current Tarleton student, faculty, or staff member you are eligible each semester to receive a TexShare card. The card allows you to visit any participating TexShare library and borrow materials free of charge. You can request your TexShare card at the Dick Smith Library Circulation Desk or online:

Once you have received your card, you are ready to check out. Remember to bring your TexShare card and photo ID when visiting libraries.

Materials borrowed on a TexShare card are subject to the lending library's policies and must be returned in person or by first-class mail.

TexShare provides a list of participating libraries on their web site. Use the Library of Texas to search for books and articles from libraries located in Texas. The Library of Texas lets you pick the library collections you search, helping you locate items near you.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More on Facebook privacy

Following up on the Facebook privacy tips post a couple days ago, here's a link to The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy, a post on the Lifehacker website that they promise to keep current with changes to Facebook privacy practices, which are usually unannounced. Bookmark it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"Tarleton College Wins Recognition from Older School!"

The June 5, 1936 J-TAC stated that John Tarleton College had been put on the approved list of junior colleges by Arnold College, New Haven, Connecticut! Dean J. Thomas Davis had received a letter from Arnold College president Webster Stover stating that because of Tarleton's educational standing it had been placed on the list - it was a great honor! Graduates transferring from Tarleton to Arnold would receive in full all corresponding credits they had earned at Tarleton!

Arnold College was the oldest accredited co-educational college of physical education in the East! It granted Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees with teaching majors in physical education and teaching minors in history, English, and science. Arnold opened its doors in 1886 in Brooklyn, N.Y. as the Brooklyn Normal School for Physical Training. It later moved to New Haven, Connecticut. After several moves and several name changes, Arnold College was acquired by the University of Bridgeport in 1953, becoming its own division, offering diverse sports and education classes aimed at producing knowledgeable physical education teachers. Luckily Tarleton did not have to endure anything like this! Tarleton has grown by leaps and bounds since 1936!

Arnold College searched "for those who truly wish to make a significant contribution to tomorrow's world. Such individuals must know the how of teaching a myriad of activities and the intricacies of what makes the human organism tick. They must also know the why of both the scientific and motivational points of view to enable him or her to teach effectively". They were very concerned with the students' preparation and skills they would take with them when they graduated. They wanted students to get a feel for the entire field of education before entering the "real world."

Does this remind you of Tarleton and Keeping it REAL!

Way to go Tarleton!

I think we'd still be elgible for Arnold College's "approved list"!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

10 Facebook Privacy tips

These tips are from a joint presentation given by Career Services and the Dick Smith Library. For details, check out this PDF.

10. Check your account's privacy settings regularly. Facebook sometimes revises privacy features without notifying users.

9. Don't use Facebook to log onto or leave comments on other sites...or even public Facebook pages. Even an innocent misspelling or slightly political comment might come back to haunt you one of these days. If you have to comment, do so anonymously--and avoid hateful comments, since your IP address is easily traceable.

8.Restrict the use of your information in Facebook ads.

7. Restrict apps and games. Even if you don't take quizzes or play games, third-party companies can access your information through your friends who do.

6. Create and customize groups. Then decide which group can access personal information about you. For example, you may not want your boss to see wall posts about your love life.

5. Test your privacy settings. Don't assume everything is OK.

4. Control access to your photo albums and videos. You may not want your "Family" group to have access to party photos from last week. Actually, it's probably best to leave those photos off of Facebook altogether. **Update: Facebook has now enabled facial recognition software so that it is easier to tag your friends in photos. If you don't want others to tag you in photos, go to Account Settings-->Customize Settings-->Suggest photos of me to friends-->Edit Settings-->Disabled-->Okay.

3. Edit your profile, including your picture. It may be possible for an identity thief to reconstruct your information with your full name and birth date.

2. Use https://; add a security question. Https: provides a secure socket layer to encrypt your information. A security question makes it more difficult for other people to log into your account.

1. Decide whether you want to be shown in search engine results.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Save Money This Summer

If you’re like most of us, you’re constantly looking for ways to save money in whatever way you can. You may look at where your money is going and think “Why am I paying so much for groceries?” Here are ten tips to help you save money on your groceries this summer. Give some of these a try and you may be surprised by the amount of money you actually save.

Top Ten Ways to Save Money on Food:

10. Make a List
9. Stop Experimenting with Recipes
8. Shop Online
7. Keep Leftovers
6. Make a Core Menu for the week
5. Buy in Bulk
4. Buy Store Brands
3. Cook from Scratch
2. Use Coupons
1. Buy Local Produce

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ask the Archivist

On June 9th I participated in #AskArchivists Day on Twitter. I was one of over 100 archivists from around the world that participated. By the end of the day there had been 7,232 Tweets, 1,672 Twitters, the hashtag was used 419 times, and 1,094 URLs were Tweeted. I thought I would review some of the questions I was asked that day.

What is the most unusual thing you have found in a collection?
The original Maverick mascot for UT-Arlington was a horned horse. One day I found the headstall and horns that were used on the horse in a university collection.

What is the best way to preserve Civil War letters?
Remove them from the envelopes and flatten them. Placing each letter in its own acid free folder or Mylar sleeve.

How do you preserve crumbling newspapers?
First newspapers are very acidic and age rapidly. If the papers are on microfilm I would use microfilm or have the papers microfilmed or digitized. If you only have a few clippings you could copy the clippings on to acid free paper and discard the originals.

Do archivists accept everything that comes along?
No, most archives, like libraries, have a collection policy and they only accept items that fall within that policy. Also the condition of the item is also taken into consideration before accepting an item.

What type of education does someone need to become an archivist?
There are two basic paths. One is to earn an MILS (Masters of Information and Library Science) degree with a concentration in archives. The other path is a Masters in History with a Certificate of Archival Management. In either case an interest or background in history or research methods is helpful as an archivist.

What are the three main issues facing archives and archivists today?
In no particular order they are: electronic records, expansion of ways users want to access collections, and budget cuts.

This is just a sampling of the questions that archivists answered that day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

New Women's Dorms

Summer 1936

The first women's dorm was built in 1908 and named for benefactor Mary Corn Wilkerson. After her husband died, Mary donated 370 acres of land to Tarleton with proceeds to be used to build a woman's dorm. The first addition to the original dorm came in 1925 and was named Chamberlin Hall in honor of Lily Pearl Chamberlin, Tarleton's first female faculty member, and the person responsible for the home economics program at Tarleton.

Two new annexes were added in 1936 and named for other Tarleton women, Lena Lewis and Lotta Moody. Lena Lewis was a long time professor of history at Tarleton. Lotta Moody was director of the girls' dormitory for 15 years.

The map above, from the 1937 Grassburr, shows all four sections of the women's dormitory. On the far right is the original Mary Corn Wilkerson dorm. The first addition, Pearl Chamberlin Dormitory is the section to the left, and immediately behind Wilkerson dorm. The second addition to left is the Lena Lewis Dormitory, and the building to the far left is Lotta Moody Dormitory. The snow photo above shows the Senior Girl's Home with Lewis Hall under construction in the background.

The new additions were built for convenience! Each room had two closets. The radiators were concealed, although that did away with a place for the girls to hang their laundry to dry! Each dorm had maximum ventilation and were they constructed with fireproof brick and concrete with steel framework. The floors were of terrazzo or maple Bruce blocks. The exterior was made of Thurber brick! The new additions provided rooms for 56 girls!

Looking south the girls could view Hunewell Park and the ROTC open drill field....."a pleasing view for all the year!"

Stephenville Empire-Tribune, June 12, 1936, July 3, 1936.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great DVDs at the library

Lately, I’ve been adding a lot of new DVDs to the library’s collection, so I thought a post about DVDs might be a good idea.

The library has DVDs on topics that apply to courses, DVDs that can help you with activities you do in your daily life, and DVDs you might want to watch just for fun. Here are just a few:
  • Secrets of body language [BF637 .N66 S43 2008] - This documentary shows how politicians and celebrities use their body language to persuade people, establish their power, and advance their careers. If you ever watched and enjoyed the show Lie to Me, you might enjoy this.
  • The eye of the storm [LC212.22 .I8 E94 2007] - This documentary follows third grade teacher Jane Elliott's experiment to teach her all-white class about racism by dividing them into "blue-eyes" and "brown-eyes," making one group superior or inferior on successive days.
  • Rosemary & Thyme (1st and 2nd series) [PN1992.8.D48 R67 2005 and PN1992.8.D48 R671 2005] - Murder and gardening!
  • Lost (Season 1) [PN1992.8.S35 L678 2005] - I have to admit, the only season I watched all the way through was this one. This show starts off great: a plane crash, a mysterious island, and lots of characters with secrets.
  • Flatland [QA699 .A132 2007] - This DVD features oppressed geometrical shapes. It's based on a book that you can also check out.
  • Project Runway (Season 1) [TT502 .P76 2004] - Yes, we have the first season of Project Runway.
  • Jane Eyre [PR4167 .J3 W45 2007] - The BBC miniseries adaptation of the book.
  • Shopping behind the seams : judging quality in clothes [TX340 .S56 2009] - This educational DVD shows you the things to look for when you're clothes shopping, to make sure that the clothes you're buying are worth what you're paying for them. Expensive clothes aren't necessarily well-made, and cheap clothes won't necessarily fall apart after the first few washes.
  • First impressions : etiquette and work habits for new employees [HF5389 .F57 2005] - A bit cheesy, but useful.
And here are a few more you can expect to see on the library’s shelves soon:
  • Freakonomics [HB74 .P8 F695 2007] - If you like the book or haven't read the book yet but want to, you might want to watch this. And, by the way, the library has the book, too.
  • Pride and prejudice [PR4034 .P7 L36 2010] - The one with Colin Firth!
  • I'm normal, you're weird [HM101 .I538 1998] - An educational program wrapped in a bit of sci-fi. The story: a trio of aliens is coming to our planet and wants to blend in, so they spend some time looking at all kinds of aspects of human behavior that are culturally determined.
  • One red paperclip [HF1019 .O54 2008] - A documentary about a guy who bartered his way up from a single red paperclip to a house in only one year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Most Powerful Women Authors

Forbes published a list of the ten most powerful women authors based on their "ability to influence us through their words and ideas. Collectively, these women hold readers captivated with stories of fantastical worlds, suspense and drama, insights into the complexities of minority experiences and cultures, and fresh takes on societal issues and expectations…"   It does not hurt that these women have sold a lot of books as well - over one billion copies!   I have listed the authors here with a link to their titles the library owns - in case you want to read their work.
Agree or disagree with the list? Post a comment and share your opinion!

Friday, June 10, 2011

You need a Masters degree for THAT!?

"Why would a librarian need a masters? Don't they just shelve books all day?"

From the lips of parents. Mine, in fact. See, when I told my mom and dad that I wanted to go to graduate school to become a librarian I got the standard "Didn't you think this through?" look.

It's a fine question. Working in the library isn't a common first-choice for a career. Tell me if you find the following definition accurate:

librarian, n. A person who works in a storehouse for books known as a "library," making sure the books are in order and directing others to the location of said books. A truly quaint vestige of a non-digital past, considering you can get pretty much everything you want off Google. Usually known for irritably shushing the slightest noise inside the library.

That last part is kind of dismal, isn't it? Who would want to do that? Not I, said the duck. What's worse, why on Earth would you need a masters for it? Spoiler alert: you wouldn't. Fortunately, the librarians I've known do so much more than the individual just described.

Let's see what the ol' academic standby, Oxford English Dictionary has to say on the subject:

librarian, n. The keeper or custodian of a library.

Eh, that one doesn't really work for me, either. It's just not specific enough. I'm going to give the OED a run for their money and supply another definition:

librarian, n. A person associated with a library possessing specialized training in providing assistance with personal learning from a variety of information formats.

Still not perfect, but in my opinion more accurate as to what a librarian actually does. Notice I didn't specifically mention books here. There are a lot of other ways to learn things, and books are an efficient way to do this. In fact, for hundreds of years books were the most efficient way of sharing information. They still do a great job of it, and to my mind aren't obsolete in the slightest. If the book was stolen or damaged beyond repair, however, all the information contained within it was no longer available. Books need to be physically accounted for and repaired, and this is the traditional purview of a librarian. Many librarians continue to do exactly this every day, sharing information in this way.

But what about all the other ways we learn? The internet, for example, is not contained in a book. There's a lot of information there, and much of it is accurate and may be used to learn and improve our quality of life. Conversely, a LOT of it is not worth the energy it takes to make it light up your monitor. The question is now how to navigate through everything that exists out there into finding what it is you want.

Enter the librarian. See, anyone who can move a book off a shelf and read it can find information and use it. Punch the letters on a keyboard and put words in a search engine and you're doing the same thing, only a little faster. The difficulty is in knowing which book to pull off which shelf, or what words to use in what search engine out of the billions of possibilities.

This is what a librarian excels at: knowing how to efficiently use time to choose the right option. Librarians understand how knowledge is organized, why it is done that way, and most importantly, how it can be used. All those words in all those books mean nothing if don't apply to your situation. A librarian can help you cut through the fat to get to the meat.

Learning how to do that for people takes time, though. Librarians go to graduate school to learn from experts how to do this well. That masters degree represents a focused period of time spent learning how to navigate and utilize the ever-expanding information base. That's the trick: we can all get to something, but a librarian can get you to the right thing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Welcome to Summer 2011!

Hope you had a great break and welcome to Tarleton's 2011 first summer session!

75 years ago Tarleton saw a record enrollment, and summer enrollment is also up for 2011! In 1936 over 700 students were enrolled!

"When the pine trees pine and the paw-paws paw, and a huge bumble bee settles down for a comfortable rest on a grass lounger's nose, summer session will be open at Tarleton with a buzz. The campus and buildings have put on their Sunday best for a fine summer of study and sleep." The photo above shows the 1936 lawn and lounge furniture in front of Mary Corn Wilkerson dorm......ready and waiting for the bees and grass loungers!

In summer 1936 Tarleton boasted of having cool class rooms, electrically cooled water fountains all over campus, unexcelled faculty, rec hall, tennis courts, practically all the general courses as well as special ones!

Tarleton had all the certificate privileges for teachers as did the other first class colleges in the state. Classes could be counted toward the requirements for teacher certification. Provisions were made for teachers who needed to do additional work in curriculum, music, physical education, art, and nature.

An excellent summer course in Home Economics was taught, according to the June 5, 1936 J-TAC. Students learned how to feed a family of four "attractively and well" on $1.00 to $1.25 a day! They learned how to make an attractive table, provide a balanced diet, and the methods of serving for both formal and informal dinners.

The May 16, 1936 J-TAC stated that Tarleton had many advantages, including associates of high moral character, clubs, dances, dinners, convenient shopping, convenient studying areas, and an atmosphere of gay spirits mingled with the beautiful shades and the green of campus. It stated that Tarleton was recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses of the state!

Good luck and have a great summer - here on one of the most beautiful campuses in the state!

Ask an Archivist day on Twitter!

It is ask an archivist day on Twitter.  You can ask Dick Smith Library's Gary Spurr a question.  Just send him a tweet at @

His first tweet was:   "Hey! It's DAY I am ready for your questions."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Terms Start!

Welcome back to the Dick Smith Library for your summer classes!  Here are the library hours for the summer terms, June 8 - August 11:

Monday - Thursday 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Service at the Circulation Desk stops 15 minutes before the library closes.
We will be closed on Monday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday.