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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Children's Books Writers

As I was searching, I found a list of the top ten children’s books writers. I noticed that several students have been checking out children’s literature for class projects so I thought this would be an interesting blog post to share. The library actually has items from all of the authors mentioned; just click on their name and the link will take you to their items in the library catalog!

According to the website, the following authors are the top ten children’s books writers:

1. Kevin Henkes
2. Patricia Polacco
3. Eric Carle
4. Beatrix Potter
5. E.B. White
6. Margaret Wise Brown
7. Maurice Sendak
8. Shel Silverstein
9. Dr. Seuss
10. Chris Van Allsburg

Monday, September 26, 2011

Library Printing Tip: PowerPoint Slides with Dark Backgrounds

It's easier to take notes and use highlighters on printed PowerPoint slides that use dark text on light backgrounds. What do you do, though, when you're at the library and the PowerPoint you need to print has light text on a dark background?

Go to File > Print. Before you hit the "Print" button, change the Settings from "Color" to "Grayscale." You should see the colors on the Print Preview on the right flip from the original light text on a dark background to dark text on a light background.

Not only will the printed slides now be easier to mark up, they'll also have used less printer toner. If you'd like to be even more economical (yay, go you!), change the "Full page slides" setting to "3 slides" or more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lowest percentage of young workers since WWII!

I just read an article about how we have the lowest percentage of young Americans working since World War II. It was eye opening!

Young people have been conditioned that if you do well in school, go to college, and get a degree or certificate, you will be able to find a great job, make lots of money, and live the American dream. It is very disheartening to graduate and then find a job that pays minimum wage or just above minimum when you just worked your butt off for 4, 5, or 6 years.

Read the article to find out what they say about it. Many people are moving back in with their parents. There were some interesting comments below the article, take a moment and read them. Now is the time to plan for a job. Are they hiring in your field? What can you do with your degree? What are you going to do if you can't find a job?

For further reading, see if you can find Adam Shepard's book, Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream. I'm sorry to say that the library does not own a copy of the book, but you can get it through interlibrary loan.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton Connections Abroad - 50+ years ago!

Do you suppose that Dick Smith knew and visited with 1956/57 Tarleton student Frank Blazek from Czechoslovakia! Frank is shown above with his hand on the world! You will recognize the library globe, a gift from the class of 1946-47, which is currently located in the Special Collections area on the lower level!

Dr. Dick Smith, our library namesake, spent three months in Europe during the summer of 1961, and part of the time in Czechoslovakia! It was his fourth trip to Europe! That summer, fifty years ago, Dr. Smith took a casual, off the beaten path, tour of Europe. He visited lesser traveled areas of Italy, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, and England!

In Italy, Dr. Smith had an extraordinarily good time in Bologna visiting the ancient University of Bologna, a center of legal training in the Middle Ages. He saw rare illuminated manuscripts from the 9th century in their library!

From Trieate, Italy, Dr. Smith took a four day freighter trip down the Adriatic coast to Yugoslavia's medieval town Dubrovnik. He was a guest at an educational conference with professors and students from forty different countries.

In Budapest and Prague Dr. Smith visited historical sights and famous art museums. In Vienna, he accidently met Rev. Kenneth Pope who had visited the Tarleton campus during Religious Emphasis Week several years prior!

While in the Austrian Alps, Dr. Smith stayed in a resort hotel that had been a political prison during the 15th century! During his stay in Germany he was a guest of a baroness in her medieval mansion, and visited fine arts museums and attended the opera in Munich! On Dr. Dick Smith's return home he stopped over in Paris and London!

Wow, what a trip our namesake made 50 years ago!

J-TAC, September 19, 1961.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Meet Our Staff: Leslie Newcomb

Leslie Newcomb
Administrative Associate
Dick Smith Library – Upper Level – room 201

I began working at the Dick Smith Library on September 1, as the Administrative Assistant.  In this position, I also serve as Student Worker Coordinator for the library. If you are a student and are interested in working for the library, come see me on the upper level administrative office, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, and fill out an application.

Two years ago I began working for Tarleton at the W.K. Gordon Center in Thurber.  Some of my responsibilities there included welcoming guests, answering questions about area history, and providing museum information; and assisting with gift shop management.

I began officially volunteering at the Ranger City Library during 2009, after occasionally helping out since 2006 and working closely with the librarian on many other projects, both for the library and for outside interests.

When I have spare time I enjoy reading and watching movies.  I have a future goal of learning how to and actually enjoying cooking.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One last thing...

It’s funny how we as Americans often define ourselves by our work. Telling someone “I’m an accountant” or “I work with kids” will give a certain kind of message, and they will assume certain things about you.

On Monday, September 19, I’ll be leaving this country to study for my Master of Arts in Information Studies at the University of Brighton. I’m doing this so I can continue to further my career in libraries.

Though I’ve only ever worked in one library, I can honestly say that it’s the best place I’ve ever been employed so far. The reason for this is simple: librarians (and other information professionals who work in libraries) happen to be the friendliest, kindest, most generous people I have yet to encounter.

I’m not sure where my future will take me, or where I’ll be working in a year, five years, or thirty. I know one thing, however: if I’m working with library professionals I’ll be associated with the best possible company.

The staff of Dick Smith Library will each hold a piece of my heart. I love them all, and I’ll never forget how they’ve enriched my life for the past five years.

Thank you!

Thomas Schilb
P.S. I’ve attached pictures from my last two displays. Enjoy!

Constitution Day

Constitution Day - Find out more!

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. Since the anniversary is actually tomorrow, it is celebrated today September 16th. We encourage everyone to observe this important day in our nation's history by attending local events. There is a brown bag lunch today in library's multi-purpose room. Free Pizza!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

20th Anniversary of the

Friends of the Dick Smith Library

We have reached a milestone! This month is the 20th anniversary of our Friends of the Dick Smith Library! The first membership meeting for our Friends group was held on Dick Smith's birthday, September 9, 1991 in the library multipurpose room! The group had humble beginnings - besides the organizing committee, only 4 people attended. Mrs. Ivy Lou Cleveland, shown on the left in the photo above, was one of the attendees. Mrs. Nedra Maddox, on the right above, was also an early member. The Friends had a bank balance of $290.64 the fall of 1991 from bake sales and the sell of aluminum cans!

The Friends group, even though small in number, started a number of events that still exist today! The first book sale was held in 1992, and the first Dinner in the Stacks was held October 1993 with Tarleton's Major William Brown speaking on the Civil War and 96 in attendance! In addition, the Friends of the Dick Smith Library co-sponsored with the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library a genealogy workshop with Salt Lake City's Ron Bremer in October 1993 with almost 100 in attendance, and co-sponsored with the Erath County Genealogical Society a program by Lady Jeanne Luckahoo on Pocahontas!

It was several years before the group officially elected officers. Dr. Ann Albrecht was elected president in October 1997. By that time the Friends had $4125. in their account! They continued to have book sales and dinners. Money was also obtained by memberships. Soon they had enough to create an endowment! In 2009 a business membership category was created.

The Friends have purchased popular titles, display cases, art, a map case, and furnishings for the Local History Room, replaced worn Stephenville Empire Tribune microfilm, and provided the seed money to digitize the JTAC! They are truly Friends of the Library!

This Saturday night we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Friends of the Dick Smith Library with Dinner in the Stacks, featuring Sherri Knight and James Pylant and their new book "The Oldest Profession in Texas, a History of Waco's Legal Red Light District"! Information about the dinner can be found on the library website!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

See The Supernova This Week

This week features rare treat to see a supernova. No, we are not talking about a souped up Chevy, but a star that has burnt out. This supernova is only 21 million light years away. When compared to most supernovas that are 1 to 4 billion light years away, this one is really close in an astronomical sense.

The star is a Type 1a supernova used to calibrate distances in space is known as SN 2100fe is expected to peek in brightness the first part of this week. Because of its closeness to Earth and its brightness, it should be visible using a good pair of binoculars. To find the star look in the northern sky just after sunset. Find the Big Dipper, then look above the last 2 stars in the handle and it will be above it forming an equilateral triangle.

For a chart to assist you in fining the star go to :

For more information see this link:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering 9/11

If you didn't realize, Sunday marks a decade since the tragic events of 9/11. In honor of this event, the library has a "Remembering 9/11" display in the foyer. The two sided exhibit features photos, books, and other information as well as original art from Tarleton staff member Alan Magnani. Come by the library to check it out or view pictures of the display on our Flickr page.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"Girls Happy in Classy New Dump Without Beds!"

Seventy five years ago, in September 1936, Tarleton girls were welcomed to the new school year by a new dorm - Lotta Moody! My blog post June 16, 2011 told about the new construction and additions to the women's dorm, and included a map of the area.

The September 19, 1936 J-TAC reported that the new girls' dormitory had been open since the beginning of school, but that most of the rooms only had two mattresses! Furniture was coming in a piece at a time every day or so! Even though the girls didn't have beds they were quite fond of their new living quarters!

The new dorm had hardwood floors, showers, tile floors in the baths, two closets to each room and built-in radiators, and staircase. The girls were very proud of their new home which had the appearance of a modern hotel!

Of course some of the girls were still in the old halls, but to compensate them for not being in the new dorm, their furniture, walls, and floors were refinished, giving the entire building a new and attractive appearance! All the girls were refraining from scratching or writing on the walls and furniture. They didn't even hang up pictures on the "new" walls. They, of course, were helped along with their good intentions by being subject to fines for defacement, but they were very proud of their new quarters and had a great attitude!

Have a great semester!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I know everybody's busy right now, but sometimes a (short!) break is just the thing. If you're tired of Facebook games, add some variety with these:
  • Knoword - A game that tests your vocabulary and spelling abilities. The default seems to be Canadian/British spellings, so be sure to click on the dropdown menu on the top right of the screen and select "English (U.S.)" for your language, unless you'd like an extra level of difficulty.
  • Ancient Lives - The best thing about this one is that you'll actually be doing something useful. The Ancient Lives project allows people with no knowledge of Greek to help decipher Greek text on bits of papyrus. There are lots of similar projects, like Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters, Foldit, and EteRNA, but this is the only one I've tried very often. Ancient Lives doesn't require you to sign up for an account or install anything, but some of the others do.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top 10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything?

Our loyal followers know that today is 10 Top Tuesday! Yippee! Woohoo! Because of the Labor Day holiday though my brain skipped a beat and I thought it was Monday, so... I didn't have a Top 10 post ready, but now I do!

I found this list on and thought it warranted a second look. Ten skills to help you succeed at almost anything... this is going to be good!
Check it out!

Today is.... "Read a book day!"

I personally have never heard of this holiday, and there is not much information out there about it. But, what a great way to spend a day! Maybe it should be read "anything" today! Or, read "something" today?

Why not take some time out and read today? It's going to be a great day outside; take a book out and read on your break. Inhale that pre-fall air, get into the spirit of school and read something today.

Check out the following article about "Read a book day."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blogger is getting a makeover

For those of you who blog, Google recently announced changes to Blogger's interface. You can gradually opt in to the new interface, rather than being confused by an unexpected change in Blogger's look and feel.

More information here:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

"It doesn't look like much now, but someday it will be the science auditorium!"

That's what the 1961 Grassburr stated about the new addition to the science building! So, fifty years ago the Tarleton students began the 1961/62 school year with a new science auditorium! The March 7, 1961 J-TAC reported that the new addition was almost complete. The seating had been installed and only adjustments to the heating and air conditioning system, which automatically provided even temperatures, needed to be made! The new addition could have been used a short time during the spring and summer of 1961, but welcomed in the 1961/62 school year.

The 2,617 square foot science auditorium was added to the existing science building in response to a shortage of classroom space. It was to be used not only for the sciences, but was also used by other departments as well for their large lecture classes. Classes were held in the auditorium from then until the 1990s.

Groundbreaking for our new state of the art science building was held in February 1999. After its completion the old science building was renovated and is now the math building. The old science auditorium area can still be seen but has taken on a more "modern" look!

We welcome you to the new school year and hope that you have a great college experience!