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: