Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sign Up TODAY for a TexShare Card

The TexShare card program is a reciprocal borrowing program across the state of Texas. You can take your TexShare Card to any participating library and check out materials at no cost.

Current Tarleton students, faculty, and staff may request a free TexShare card at the circulation desk in Stephenville or by using the online request form.

With a TexShare Card, you can:
  • Expand your access to more resources
  • Excel in learning
  • Extend your borrowing privileges to hundreds of Texas libraries
  • Encourage more reciprocal borrowing agreements between institutions

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Donated Audiobooks

Besides purchasing a few new audiobooks each year, the library also receives a number of donations from our various "road warriors" - faculty and staff that commute a good distance to work in Stephenville, or to teach classes there and in Weatherford, Fort Worth, and/or Waco as well! Here, in no particular order, are twelve (not just ten!) recently-donated audiobooks (click the titles to check availability):

  1. Undone by Karin Slaughter
  2. The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell
  3. Black Hills by Nora Roberts
  4. The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry
  5. The 6th Target by James Patterson
  6. 7th Heaven by James Patterson
  7. A Painted House by John Grisham
  8. A Chance to Make History by Wendy Kopp
  9. The Wave by Susan Casey
  10. Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
  11. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (a 2011 Newbery Honor Book)
  12. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin (National Book Awards 2006 Young People's Literature Finalist)
Donations of gently-used audiobooks on CDs are gratefully accepted - all we need are the discs and the original box they came in!  We'll take care of putting the audiobook in a sturdy plastic case, with protective sleeves for each disc.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome Back!

The Dick Smith Library staff is here to help you have a great semester! Library hours are:

Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 12:00 am
Friday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

We will be closed this coming weekend and next Monday, September 5, for Labor Day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: New Audiobooks!

The library recently acquired a number of new audiobooks, for you commuters out there!  Here, in no particular order, are ten of them (click the titles to check availability):

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - RC265.6 .L24 S55 2010B - 2011 Audie Award winner for Nonfiction. This is the true story of a black woman whose cancer cells, taken from her in 1951 for research, are still alive today.

2. Half Broke Horses - PS3623 .A3644 H35 2009 - 2010 Audie Award nominee for Narration by the Author(s). Jeannette Walls writes about her rollicking grandmother in Texas and Arizona in the early 1900s.  This is a prequel of sorts to Walls' memoir The Glass Castle.

3. Shanghai Girls - PS3569 .E3334 S53 2009 - Historical fiction set in Shanghai and California from 1937 to 1957, sisters Pearl and May escape China shortly after the Japanese invade, into arranged marriages with Chinese emigrants in Los Angeles.  Lisa See's meticulous research paints a moving portrait of immigration and sisterhood.
4. A Confederacy of Dunces - PS3570 .O54 C66 1997 - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, this hilarious tale of an overeducated and underemployed misfit in New Orleans is full of wacky characters and funny subplots.

5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - PS3606 .O737 H68 2009B - Set in Seattle, in 1942 and 1986, Chinese-American Henry remembers in flashbacks his Japanese-American classmate Keiko, whose family was interred during World War II.  The book was inspired by the finding of belongings of interees in the basement of Seattle's Panama Hotel.

6. The Falls - PS3565 .A8 F355 2004B - A multi-generational family saga set in Niagara Falls, beginning in the 1950s, continuing through the early 1960s and the mythical precursor to the real Love Canal case, then jumping ahead to the late 1970s.

7. Cutting for Stone - PS3622 .E744 C87 2009B - Orphaned by their mother, an Indian nun, and abandoned by their father, a British surgeon, twin brothers in Ethiopia grow up to be doctors and are later torn apart by their love for the same woman and one's flight to America.  Author Abraham Verghese is an Ethiopian doctor now living and working in the United States.

8.  Bellwether - PS3573 .I45652 B45 2009 - 2010 Audie Award for Science Fiction - Pop culture, chaos theory, and matters of the heart collide in this nominee for Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1997 by multiple Nebula and Hugo Award winner Connie Willis.

9. Darling Jim - PS3613 .O34 D37 2009B -  2010 Audie Award for Thriller/Suspense - In Dublin, a young postman named Niall finds a diary written by one of two sisters whose corpses, along with their aunt's, have recently been found. Entries in the diary concern a storyteller named Jim, Irish myth and magic, a tragic love story, and a murder mystery.

10. Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales - PZ8.1 .N28 2009 - This audiobook won two Audie Awards in 2010, Audiobook of the Year and Multi-Voiced Performance, and was a nominee for Distinguished Achievement in Production.  The Distinguished Achievement in Production Award is presented to an audiobook that demonstrates excellence in all areas of production, while the Audiobook of the Year recognizes the audiobook that, through quality, innovation, marketing and sales, has had the most significant impact on the audio industry. Narrators for the folktales include Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alan Rickman.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

U.S. Government Mobile Apps

Have a smart phone?  Did you know that the U.S. Government has an app for that!  Over 50 apps you can use with your phone. All of them are FREE!

Covered areas include:
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Law 
  • Jobs
  • Museums and Libraries,
  • etc.!
Take a look! --

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10 from NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction/Fantasy Books List

NPR's list of the top 100 science-fiction and fantasy books is up, and here are my top 10 from that list. I've linked to the ones the library owns, so you can see if they're currently available for check out.
  1. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
  2. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
  3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  5. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (we only have this as an audiobook, but at least Stephen Briggs is a fantastic reader)
  6. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  7. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  8. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (the only book in the Farseer Trilogy I've read)
  9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (available both in print and audio formats!)
  10. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
There were quite a few books on the top 100 list I haven't read yet, although I have a feeling that, even if I had read them all, Gaiman still would have nabbed several spots on my top 10 list. He's one of my favorite authors.

So, which books would you have chosen?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Feedback: Quiet Study Area

Every year the library conducts a survey to get input from the students, faculty, and staff about the library.  We want to know how we are doing and find out if there is anything we could be doing better. (A big THANK YOU to those who take the time to respond!)  It seems like every year we get requests for more group study areas and quiet study areas.

New signage in the library now makes it easier to locate the quiet study areas! Take a look at the walls near the study rooms and tables on the upper floor of the Dick Smith Library.  You guys wanted more quiet areas...and we listened!

You don't have to wait until a survey is conducted!  The library invites you to submit a comment on our "make a suggestion" page (, by calling the library (968-9249), or just by making a comment on our LOL blog or Facebook page!   We are here to listen!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yea! Time for Fun Books!

book display Harry Potter titlesNow that the summer sessions have rushed to an end, you may be wondering what to do with all your "extra" time -- other than working and finally having time to wash clothes, see family, sleep, etc.

If so, the library has lots to offer in recreational reading:
-- New York Times bestsellers,
-- Pulitzer Prize winners,
-- short story collections,
-- timely reads like the Harry Potter items now on display in the library's lobby,
-- science fiction, fantasy, realistic and historical fiction, documentaries, history & much more.

Also, we offer books in many formats: print, electronic, and audio. You can use the library's catalog to see what's available or ask us to help. We'd be happy to.

Look 'em up and check 'em out with your TSU ID. Happy reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Col. Willie Tate

75 years ago former John Tarleton Agricultural College student Willie Tate was a star athlete at Texas University (University of Texas). The May 16, 1936 JTAC states that Tate, John Tarleton Agricultural College Ex of '35 stars at State University! He played three years on the Tarleton basketeers to gain that finished trim and experience that made him one of those outstanding freshman basketball stars of the Southwestern cage game.

Willie Tate was on the Plowboy conference champions of '31-32 and the undefeated teams of '33-34 and '34-35, under coach W.J. Wisdom. His one-handed looping shots and teamwork were factors in the records he helped the Plowboys set! At the University of Texas Tate continued to excel and received high scoring honors against Rice and other teams making him an outstanding varsity basketeer for the Longhorns!

Col. Tate entered the military as a private with Texas' 36th division in 1940. He was one of the first selected to attend World War II officer candidate school and was Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He commanded a company and batallion in France, Holland, and Germany. He also served in Korea and Okinawa, and was on the Army General Staff in Washington D.C. four years. Col. Tate was twice awarded the Legion of Merit. He retired in 1970 after 30 years of active service. He then joined the faculty of Galveston Community College. After his second retirement in 1983, Col. Tate and his wife moved to Stephenville, where he was a member of the Tarleton Alumni Association for many years and served on the Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Tarleton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.

Col. Tate will soon be moving to Lubbock to be near his family. Today at 3:30 pm in the Wisdon Gym foyer a special reception is being held in honor of Col. Will Tate's lifelong contributions to Tarleton State University! A special program will begin at 4 pm. Col. Tate has been a great supporter of Tarleton and we wish him well! Hope everyone can attend the reception!

Grassburr, 1936.

JTAC, May 16, 1936, October 6, 1988.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

eBooks and Print

Disclaimer: These are the opinions of Thomas Schilb, not necessarily those of Dick Smith Library or Tarleton State University. If you disagree, please post a comment!

As a steady reader of The Guardian, I always find it interesting to see what the British have to say about libraries and books. Awhile back I came across this article that talks about how the most likely business model for publishing will be that print books aren't going anywhere, and that the new eBook format is also here to stay.

Here's my 2 pence: there's this enduring nonsense that the book is "an aesthetic" that shouldn't be messed with, and this attitude is WRONG.

Now before anyone gets their pages in a tizzy let me clarify my position. Technically the codex (sheets of paper bound together, what many of us think of when we say "book") is a very efficient and powerful medium which continues to present its message effectively. It's been around for centuries, and I fully understand the sympathy most of us have for the medium.

The problem here is that the book is simply impractical for some forms of information. For my masters program this fall I have one 168 page book that is going to cost OVER $150. It's over social media and Web 2.0, a subject that changes annually, sometimes MONTHLY. It doesn't seem worth it to me to go spend all the time and effort required to publish this material when, by the time it hits shelves, it will be out-of-date.

The digital version (eBook), which can be updated frequently and relatively hassle-free, seems to be a much more valid option. This can be applied to any science where new content is constantly being released.

Novels, though, and other materials whose content is unlikely to change significantly via revision or new data, are an ideal candidate for the codex medium. The nature of the style lends itself to a more relaxed pace, which means a longer time spent with that material. It's easier to let a friend borrow a codex than navigate the DRM mess that always crops up with eBooks. Truly, I don't see a downside to this medium so long as its advantages are realized and accounted for alongside its disadvantages.

Again, these are my thoughts on the subject. What are yours?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Portal to Texas History

The Portal to Texas History is a great resource for Texas history and genealogy materials.  Photographs, maps, newspapers, yearbooks, documents, and other materials from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical and/or genealogical societies, and private family collections have been digitized and indexed in this free online database. 

One of the collections is that of our very own J-Tacs from 1919 through 2007.  You can search for a name and it will be highlighted on the pages of the issues in which it appears.

The Portal also has some great "Resources 4 Educators," including lesson plans and other learning materials for teachers and students. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Col. James D. Bender

Tarleton's Bender Hall, the men's dormitory built in 1953, is named for Col. James D. Bender. From 1936-1941, Major and then Lt. Col. Bender was professor of military science and tactics at John Tarleton Agricultural College. He left Tarleton and returned to active duty in May 1941. Dean Davis was so impressed with how Lt. Col. Bender ran the Tarleton ROTC program that he had asked Bender to stay another year after his four year term had expired.

Prior to coming to Tarleton, Col. Bender had won the Silver Star for gallantry in action with the 6th Division in France in World War I. Afterward he served in the Philippines, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal Zone and with the 2nd Division at Fort Sam Houston. He also served as regional commander of the CCC in Central West Texas. During his years at Tarleton Bender instructed some 1500 cadets who became commissioned officers in various branches of the armed forces.

The September 19, 1936 JTAC states... Major Bender trains polo ponies along with work - a first in ROTC! Whoever heard of a polo player at Tarleton! Tarleton has one now in the person of Major James D. Bender! In fact, polo was Bender's major hobby. He played many times during his service at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio before coming to Tarleton. He stated that training polo ponies was very easy....all you have to do is ride each one about thirty minutes a day, making it stop, start, and turn rapidly. If the horse doesn't stop quickly enough, one has to ride where there are a number of fences and let the horse run into the fence a few times! Another sport he enjoyed was sitting on the curb in front of the bank and listening to a recitation of all the horse trades that had been accomplished in the last ten years!

Bender left Tarleton to become an instructor in machine gun and automatic rifle at the Fort Benning Infantry School. In 1942 he transferred to Camp Swift where he activated the 387th Infantry for combat. He was promoted to full colonel during World War II. Col. Bender and his troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1943. He was killed in France July 1944.

Cross Timbers Historic Images Project, photo and obituary.

Guthrie, Christopher E. , John Tarleton and his Legacy, p.84.

JTAC, September 19. 1936.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Friends of Dick Smith Library: Tarleton traditions book & book bag

image of book and book bag Want to learn more about Tarleton traditions and get a book bag for toting supplies? Then, the Friends of the Dick Smith Library have a deal for you.

They're selling The Birth of Tarleton's Spirit: The Heartbeat of Our Traditions 1899-1999 ($5) and a sturdy purple book bag ($4). Both are available at the Dick Smith Library's circulation desk.

The book was written and illustrated by Sharon Matherne, a descendant of Dr. W.W. McNeill, who was Stephenville's first medical doctor and one of its original founders. It offers a chronological account of Tarleton's history in verse, includes historical pictures, and features information gleaned from multiple sources: library archives, The J-TAC (1920-1982), Grassburr (1916-1986), Fort Worth Star Telegram (1939), 8th Annual Catalog of Tarleton College, Stephenville Empire-Tribune, and The Purple Book.

Stop by soon to see the book. You're sure to want one. While you're at the library, buy a book bag and fill it with checkouts from the library's collections. Learn more about the Friends of Dick Smith Library.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Dick Smith Library

10.ID + NTNET Username & Password=Library Access
To check out library materials, you must have your Tarleton ID or another photo ID. In order to gain access on the computers, network, or databases, you must have your NTNET username and password.

9.Look for the ABC's and then the 123's
College libraries use an alphanumeric classification system. It's different from your high school or public library. Just remember, books on similar subjects are shelved together. So, when you find one really great book, browse for other gems!

8.The Library is here for you 24/7!
The building itself is open 101 hours a week, and our electronic resources never sleep. They're available anytime, but you'll need that username and password.

7.We have Books, Journals, Databases...
We have a variety of books, e-books, journals, databases, audiobooks, etc. on a vast amount of subjects.

6.If we don't have it, we'll get it!
Stop by the Circulation desk or visit Interlibrary Loan on the web.

5.Classroom Reserves are here!
Readings assigned for your classes are often on Electronic Reserve (E-Reserve) and Reserves at the Circulation desk.

4.It's your library - use it!
Use it to study, do research, catch-up with friends, work on group projects, or just sit back, relax, and have a cup of coffee and a snack from our Suavé Café.

3.Need help online?
Don’t hesitate to use the Ask a Librarian link to email a reference librarian.

2.Need in-person assistance?
No problem, call or come to the Reference Desk.

1.ASK! The best resource in the library is the LIBRARIAN!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Inside the FBI's Vault

Ever wonder what the FBI has in all of its files or keeps in its vaults? Well, you can go inside the FBI's vaults online and view the actual case files. Going to takes you to the vault. There you can search the vault, or browse one of the many categories. the categories include Gangster Era, Unexplained Phenomenon, Popular Culture, World War II, Political Figures, Civil Rights, and several others. Under popular culture are files relating to the FBI investigation as to what the lyrics to the song "Louie,Louie" were; John Denver, Rock Hudson the music group The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix, and Lucille Ball.