Friday, December 21, 2012

Library Closed December 22, 2012 - January 1, 2013

The Tarleton University Libraries staff wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The library is closed December 22 through January 1. We will reopen January 2 at 8 AM, and be open Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM through January 11. Normal hours resume at 7 AM on Monday, January 14.
Some library staff model their "best" festive holiday sweaters! - Photo by Tracy Holtman

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Texas Films Added to National Film Registry

Each year the Library of Congress adds 25 films of cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance to the National Film Registry. This year there are two films by Texas filmmakers. Melton Barker's "The Kidnappers Foil" is an interesting addition in that it is what is know as an itinerant film. These were films produced from the late 1930s to the 1970s using local talent in small towns across the United States and around the world. The film maker would charge a small amount  to shoot a"town booster" film or one featuring local talent and local landmarks. "The Kidnappers Foil" was filmed hundreds of times by Melton Barker using the same script. The plot line was fairly simple, Betty gets kidnapped from her birthday party and the local kids come to her rescue. At the end their was a big party to celebrate where the local children could showcase their talent. While there were hundreds of these films produced only a few remain today. The Texas Archive of The Moving Image has ten of these films that you can view online. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image has also created a website about Melton Barker and his films.

The second Texas film added to the National Film Registry is Richard Linklater's "Slacker". Linklater filmed "Slacker" for $23,000 on 16mm film in Austin Texas. Rather than a having a plot the film is a series of vignettes that are connected. The film takes place in a single day with a cast of colorful Austin characters as they discuss Scooby Doo, UFOs, Leon Czolgosz, the JFK assassination, and other topics. The film came to influence a whole generation of independent film makers and was picked up by a major distributor and made more than $1 million at the box office. 

Other films added include Dirty Harry, Breakfast at Tiffany's, A Christmas Story, A League of Their Own, One Survivor Remembers, 3:10 to Yuma, and Two-lane Blacktop. 
The entire list of films added to the National Film Registry can be found at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pick a Book, Any Book!

The Blind Assassin
By Margaret Atwood
By Erik Larson
You may be wondering what to do with all of that "extra" time you'll have during the Christmas break. I say READ A BOOK! The Library Staff has collaborated to bring you a list of suggestions. You can find these books on "display" on the main level near the new books! Check them out and then CHECK THEM OUT! If you can't find something you like, you can search Discovery @ Tarleton to find that little bit of literature to keep your mind healthy over the holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Check out some audiobooks for your holiday travels

Yea! Finals are over. It's time to enjoy your holiday. Yea!

cover If You Could See Me NowMany of us will spend some time on the road during this semester break -- taking vacation trips, visiting relatives, enjoying road trips with friends and family, finding excuses to explore roads not taken, etc. 
What a great opportunity to take along some of the library's audio books; we have quite a diverse selection. 

To look for titles that might suit you,
  • Click the library catalog link on the library's homepage.
  • Click "Advanced Search Options" under the basic search box.
  • Choose Audiobook from the "Type" menu.
  • Click "Search" to see a list of all the library's audiobooks (over 600 of them).
  • You can also put in search terms to locate
    -- book types (i.e. mystery, detective, biography, fantasy, etc.),
    -- authors' works (i.e. James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Rebecca Makkai, Kamala Nair, etc.), and
    -- books on subjects of interest (i.e. history, friendship, music, etc.).
cover of 5th Horsemancover of A Visit from the Goon Squad
Once you've located some audiobooks you're interested in,
jot down their call numbers so you can easily find them in the library's audiovisual collection on our lower level.  Then you can check them out with your Tarleton ID, pop 'em into your CD player, and enjoy listening to great stories. 

The library is open Dec. 17-21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

So there's still plenty of time for you to pick up some audiobooks to listen to as you travel down those long, winding highways during the semester break.

We wish you a great holiday and a splendid 2013!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Winter Interim Hours

Library Christmas Tree 2011
by Tracy Holtman
With the end of the fall semester, the library's interim hours start today.  We will be open 8 AM to 5 PM today, Friday, December 14.  We will be closed this weekend, then open 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, December 17-21.

The library will be closed for the winter holidays, December 22 through January 1.  We reopen at 8 AM on Wednesday, January 2, and will be open January 3-4 and January 7-11 from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Spring semester hours resume on Monday, January 14.  Remember that you can access the library's catalog and electronic resources at any time through our web page,  Use our Discovery metasearch engine to search the catalog and multiple databases at once!  Go to,uid&profile=eds.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

“Lucky 13”

On Friday December 7, 1962 the Wainwright Ball was held in the Tarleton State College dining hall from 8-12 pm.  Because of the day and time of the event, the residents of the women’s dorm were given permission to stay out until 12:30!!

The theme for the formal dance was “Lucky 13” in honor of the 13th anniversary of the organization of the Tarleton rifle team.  The birthday theme was carried out in the decorations.  Blue parachutes were lowered from the ceiling ,  a fresh cedar tree was used, and fresh cedar and white candles adorned the tables.  Revolving colored lights were placed at the entrance and around the dance floor.

A few highlights of the evening included the naming of Mackie Wright as Wainwright Sweetheart,  cutting the huge "Lucky 13" birthday cake, and dancing to the dreamy music of Tarleton’s Tophatters dance band combo.  Mr. Jim Woodie, choir director, played a medley  of classical and popular songs on the piano during intermission.

Prior to 1949 the Tarleton precision drill team was known as “Crack Company” and was a long established tradition on campus.  As one of the finest drill teams in Texas, the Wainwright Rifles participated in inaugural parades both in Washington, D.C. and Texas, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and the Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau in San Antonio.  The drill team was named for General Jonathan Wainwright, World War II hero of Bataan and Corregidor.

Have a wonderful and safe Christmas break!

, 1963
JTAC, December 4, 1962, December 11, 1962.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Finals week and social media

Finals week is incredibly stressful. Many students take the opportunity to diffuse emotional stress by posting on social media sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  If you are a student and/or follow students, you are likely to see posts and pictures about finals, sleep (the lack of), and food. As of right now, the Twitter hash tag #finalsweek is being updated every few seconds. 

As you're tweeting and blogging to blow off steam, keep in mind that other students aren't the only ones who use social media...professors, staff, and parents do as well.  If your Twitter profile has your name and/or real picture, watch what you tweet and/or consider setting your account to private.

If you'd like to learn more about social media and tools like Twitter, browse the library catalog or our Discovery Search Tool by searching words such as social media, Facebook, and Twitter.Besides this blog, you can keep up with the library (and give us feedback) via other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr,  Pinterest and Foursquare.  You may want to drop by next semester as we sponsor several Lessons @ Lunch sessions on social media presented by the Texas Social Media Research Institute.

A screenshot of the library's catalog records of books about Twitter.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Study food

Walking through the library yesterday afternoon, I saw all kinds of meals being consumed - sandwiches, tacos, chicken, pizza, nuggets, burgers, and LOTS of coffee and power drinks.  That got me to thinking about the best type of food to help you study.  According to this post on the Campus Talk Blog: the Top 10 Brain Foods that Help You Study and Get Better Grades are listed below.
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Apples
  • Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.)
  • Dark Chocolate - YEAH
  • Spinach
  • Colorful Berries or Grapes
  • Beans (legumes)
  • Onions
What is your favorite type of study food? The library encourages you to make yourself at home while you study, but please follow our food and drink policy (no eating around computers or in the Special Collections area).  Post a comment and share your best study foods.  Good luck with finals!!!  Oh  BTW - I have some nuts I will share if you need a snack - Library Room 250 - while supplies last.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stunning Photos of Snowflakes

I found this on Gizmodo recently, and I thought it would be of interest to some out there who absolutely love photos. It's a post about stunning photos that people have taken of real snowflakes, and I've got to say, they're pretty amazing. Some of them just don't look real. If you'd like to see them, and I suggest that you do, they are linked on Gizmodo under "You'll never believe these stunning photos are real." To learn more about photography and how to take professional pictures on your own, try searching Discovery@Tarleton and see what you can find.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arts and Crafts Showcase

Need to do some last minute Christmas shopping?
The 19th Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Showcase will be Friday, December 7th starting at 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. It will be held at the Barry B. Thompson Student Center Ballrooms. Lots of items to choose from. A home made craft is always a special gift. Proceeds from the sale of vendor booths supports the university's Staff Council empolyee scholarshipand grant program. Check it out, you may find a gift that you won't find in a department store.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Come Take a Look at Our New Display!


If these images intrigue you, stop by the library and see the whole thing - we've got a brand-new Coca-Cola themed holiday display. It's located right across from the Suave Cafe, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack at the same time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So long Larry Hagman: A Real North Texas Gentleman

The recent news of Larry Hagman’s death made me pause to remember my associations with the infamous J.R. Ewing and Hagman’s mother, Mary Martin.  According to the database, Credo Reference, Mary Martin, was a Weatherford native. She married a local Fort Worth lawyer, Benjamin Hageman and gave birth in Fort Worth to a son, Larry, in 1931. Martin and son soon went to live with the maternal grandmother in Weatherford freeing up Martin's time so that she could work on theater.  I remember Martin as a lithe, short-haired pixie in green tights playing her most famous role as Peter in Peter Pan. 
 Larry, who changed his name from Hageman to Hagman, was most well-known for his two television series roles:  Major Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie
 and his role as the notorious oil-baron, J.R. Ewing of Dallas.  According to the database, Literature Resource Center, my search of “Hagman, Larry” revealed that Hagman penned a book in 1980 entitled Hello Darlin’: Tall (And Absolutely True) Tales About My Life.  This book is available at numerous libraries in Texas. Tarleton students, staff and faculty may obtain it via a TexShare card or Interlibrary Loan.
  I lived outside of the state of Texas at the height of the Dallas series, and while I wasn’t dying to know "who shot J.R.", I was always interested in watching the opening of show which panned over the skyline of the city of Dallas and showed glimpses of Texas ranchland.  My heart felt a little closer to home seeing familiar sights and hearing Texas accents flowing out of the mouths of characters such as J.R. Ewing and Sue Ellen. 
According to a friend of mine who lives in Weatherford, she and her mother (who is from Weatherford) actually ran into Hagman while out and about in town. She asked him for his autograph. He declined saying that he did not have any photos with him and would not sign a piece of paper.  He did promise to send her an autographed photo if she would give him her address which she did, although she thought that she would never see the promised photo. True to his word, an 8x10 autographed photo showed up in her mailbox a week later! 
            For those of you who would like to read more about this real-life Texas gentleman, a search using the database tool, Discovery, listed more than 1,050 full-text online articles.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Teller of Tales

Samuel Clemens, better know as Mark Twain, was born today in 1835 in Florida, Missouri.  At the age of four, he moved to Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal, located on the Mississippi River with its riverboat traffic, would have a major influence on Clemens' career as a writer. H e has been hailed as one of the greatest writers in American literature.  William Faulkner declared Twain "the first truly American writer," Norman Mailer stated that Huckleberry Finn stands up to "the best modern American novels," and Ernest Hemingway felt that all American writing came from Huckleberry Finn "and there has been nothing as good since."  Mark Twain is noted for his witticisms and quotes.  One of my favorites is: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." The Dick Smith Library has books by Mark Twain and other November birthday writers on display and available for checkout next to the new books display at the front of the library.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Language Lab Arrives at Tarleton!

The new language laboratory, a major addition to Tarleton State College, was used for the first time on October 29, 1962!  It was located on the third floor of the Administration Building, the building which is now the Howell Education Building! 

Accommodating thirty students at a time, each booth was lined with acoustical tile and equipped with individual microphones and earphones.  This conveyed the concept of individual instruction.  The instrument panel enabled a student to listen to one of as many as five different tapes by using a channel selector. 

The cost of the electronic equipment was about $2800, not including furniture and labor.  Future plans included the addition of a console so that the instructor could listen to the students individually as well as enabling the students to call the instructor if help was needed. 

At first only freshmen labs were using the new facility.  Pattern-sentence drill was used where students used their knowledge to complete given statements.  Dictation courses could also be taught in the lab.  The area included a large instruction room and three offices for the Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Dr. Russell Peterson, and instructors Barbara Alsup and Mr. R.D. Godwin.

An open house was held for the lab on December 20, 1962.  All features were demonstrated and explained, and all the new equipment was on display.  The Spanish and French tape recordings that were being used were also played so that the attendees could experience firsthand the new teaching tools!

Dr. Peterson and Dr. Godwin were long time professors at Tarleton!

Grassburr, 1963.
JTAC, December 18, 1962.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Ladies and a Gentleman

What do 2 ladies and a gentleman have in common? They are all authors and celebrate birthdays on November 29th (tomorrow). All three have passed on, but their books remain timeless. Many of their books have even been made into movies (some very good ones, if I say so myself).

Also available as an audio book.
Louisa May Alcott born November 29, 1832
Madeleine L'Engle born November 29, 1918
C.S. Lewis born November 29, 1898
The library has these books and more. Help celebrate the lives of these authors by reading one of their amazing stories.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Extended Library Hours: Fall 2012 Finals

Did you know the library extends its hours for you to prepare for finals? 

Check out our Extended Hours Schedule:

The Suave Cafe will also be extending their hours so you can fuel up while you study: 

The Dick Smith Library wishes you good luck on your finals!

Let us know if we can do anything for you:

Phone: (254)968-9249

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The library will close today, Wednesday, November 21, at 5 PM.  We will reopen on Sunday, November 25, at noon.  Don't forget that you can access our catalog and databases 24 hours a day!

If you are traveling, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

And the numbers are in...

I have been gathering information for a presentation and I thought I would share.
  • 54% of student printing is done in the library (on 4 printers vs. 44 across campus!)
  • Since the move to Pharos for print management, there has been a 30% reduction in the number of print jobs in the library
  • 745,106 fewer pages (74% decrease) have been printed in the library compared to this same time last year.
  • Campus wide there have been 103,566 pages sent to the print queue but not printed (i.e. canceled or timed out before being released) saving over $4,500!
How do you like the new system?  Do you use the "release at any printer across campus" feature?  Have you used all your $5.00 of free printing? Tell us what you think - we like your feedback!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3 Basic Rules I Use When Editing Photos Online

I love Photoshop, but I can't afford to get Photoshop on my home computer. So, I've been trying different sites for photo editing. So far, my favorite has been PicMonkey, but there are plenty of other photo editing sites out there as well that might work better. As long as you follow some basic rules and don't go overboard (unless you like the overboard look), they work just as well as Photoshop.  However, you won't be able to edit anything out of the picture, or clone anything in the picture, or do any advanced editing to the picture without Photoshop (that I know of).

3 Basic Rules I Follow:
1. Crop first - some photo editing tools put barely-there borders around the photo to accentuate the center of the photograph. If you put the border around it first, then crop, it changes the look of the picture and you may not like it so much. I've found it's just easier cropping first.

2. Don't over-do it on the color. Sometimes, less is more. I'm guilty of this a lot of times, but then I learned, it also depends on the computer monitor you use. Make sure the computer you're using has a bright monitor, otherwise the pictures can be overloaded with color. If you're using a computer with a dull monitor, just be aware and try to either understate the photo or save the photo to a cloud-based site (like Dropbox) so that you can see what it will look like on a normal computer screen first before posting.

3. When using the tools provided by photo editing websites, always remember that there is a fade scale. If you like a certain way the tool works, but think it's too much, look around for a scale letting you edit how much of that tool you would like to apply to the picture.

And those, so far, have served me well (at least, in my opinion they do, which, when editing your own photo, is the only one that counts). :D

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moby Dick - Published

November 14 in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & and Brothers in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: "Call me Ishmael." Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville's friend and Pittsfield, Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United StatesMassachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson

Today is Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday. The library has lots of stuff by and about him. Here's a small selection:
Try this link for more, or try searching Discovery if you'd like to search both the library's catalog and most of the library's online databases.

If you'd like to read some of Stevenson's works but prefer downloadable e-books, check out Project Gutenberg. Librivox has free downloadable audiobooks, read by volunteers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Armistice Day

November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m.  -
the world celebrated the end of World War I.

That day was then known as Armistice Day; In the United States, it is now called Veterans Day

In England, this day is known as Remembrance Day and is symbolized by the poppy.  On the English battlefields of Flanders, the only thing that grew on those fields were poppies.  John McCrae, a doctor with the Canadian Armed Forces, seeing these flowers dotting the fields where soldiers had given their lives, wrote a poem named, In Flanders’ Fields

The poem so inspired an American War Secretary, Moina Michael, that she began selling poppies to raise money for ex-servicemen.  A postage stamp has been created to honor her work in recognizing service men through the poppy.  The tradition continued to grow through the work of Major George Howson, an infantry officer, who formed the Disabled Society.  These disabled men and women of WWI could easily create an imitation poppy that was sold to others as commemorations to be worn on Remembrance Day.   The proceeds from the poppies helped supportthe ex-servicemen.  Poppies are still worn on lapels, hats, and clothing.  Poppies are placed on graves, in wreaths, and upon cenotaphs as symbols of remembrance.

In Flanders’ Fields by Lt. Col. John McCrae

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly,
Scare heard amidst the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch – be yours to hold it high;
If ye break faith with us who die.
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders’ fields.

Friday, November 9, 2012

45 years of Rolling Stone

November 9th has special significance for me because it's my brother's birthday. Thinking about my brother, music comes to mind, so in honor if his birthday I wanted to find a fun Friday fact that focused on music.

Today is the 45th anniversary of Rolling Stone. November 9th, 1967 Rolling Stone magazine produced it first issue (first cover pictured on the right). As you can see, it's not the slick cover we're used to today, just 11x17 black & white newsprint that came folded in half.

Rolling Stone started out with a very focused goal: cover rock & roll music with intelligence and respect. Before Rolling Stone there was no tradition of rock photography, people like a young, Annie Leibovitz started her professional career there and helped create some of rocks iconic images.

Today, Rolling Stone mixes music with pop culture, politics, and humor. Think of someone that you consider influential and they've probably been on the cover.

Rolling Stone magazine is available in the Dick Smith Library, Hot Titles section of our periodicals collection. You can also ask our periodicals staff about older issues.

Books owned by Dick Smith Library:
Rolling stone : 1,000 covers : a history of the most influential magazine in pop culture
NC974.4 .R66 R67 2006

The Rolling Stone interviews
ML394 .R65 2007X

The Rolling Stone illustrated history of rock & roll : the definitive history of the most important artists and their music
ML3534 .R64 1992

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Election of November 1962

Fifty years ago, November 6, 1962, the Tarleton State College Young Republicans and Young Democrats were very busy promoting their candidates for Texas Governor!  The Democratic candidate and winner, John Connally, made a campaign visit to Stephenville, delivering an informative speech at the Stephenville airport, which was attended by many of the Tarleton Young Democrats!  The Republican candidate was Jack Cox, who was a graduate of North Texas State, and was a former State Congressman.

John Connally had a long list of honors.  He entered the University of Texas in 1933, and became the Dean of the Law Fraternity, President of his Law Class, Assemblyman from the Law School, Chairman of the Student Publication Board, President of the Athenaeum Literacy Society, and the honors went on and on.  President John F. Kennedy appointed Connally as Secretary of the Navy in 1960.  He served in this capacity until December 1961.  Connally also received the University of Texas Ex-Students Distinguished Alumnus Award, and was also a Director of the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth!

Everyone will remember that Governor and Mrs. John Connally were in the presidential limousine when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and that Governor Connally was wounded.  Interestingly, last night Dr. Robert McClellan, the last living attending surgeon who was present in Trauma Room 1 in Parkland Hospital when President Kennedy died, came to Tarleton to speak on his memories of the event.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy continues to be a very popular topic, as was indicated by the crowd last night.  Dr. McClellan described in detail the events of November 22-24, 1963.  He was showing a movie on hiatal hernia repair up on the 2nd floor of Parkland when he got the word and proceeded to the ER.  Thinking and hoping that the seriousness was not as bad as reported, the first person he saw was Jackie Kennedy sitting with bloodied clothes in a chair outside Trauma Room 1.  The ER nurse indicated to the Secret Service to let Dr.McClellan into the room.  Two other doctors were already in the room, and Dr. McClellan was asked to hold the retractor while the other doctors tried to clamp off one of the wounds.  From the time Dr. McClellan arrived in the ER until President Kennedy was pronounced dead was about 7 or 8 minutes.  Dr. McClellan believes that two bullets entered President Kennedy from two different directions, supporting the conspiracy theory.  However, we will have to wait until 2029, when the complete 1976 House Special Select Committee on Assassinations report will be fully released, to find out all the details that the committee found.

In the question answer session at the end of the talk someone asked about Governor Connally.  Dr. McClellan said that the governor had a chest wound and was treated by several doctors, but his injuries took a backseat to the happenings  of the President of the United States!  The photo above shows the newly elected Texas Governor John Connally and Tarleton President E.J. Howell, when Connally visited campus on April 21, 1963, just a few months before the Kennedy assassination! 

…A Memorable Time for Many!

Grassburr, 1963. 
JTAC November 6, 1962. 
Stephenville Empire Tribune, November 6, 2012.