Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Google Changes Its Privacy Today

In case you somehow missed it, Google has changed its privacy policy today. in place of the 60 separate policies they did have there is now one policy. In the past information Google collected was partitioned off so information from You Tube was not mingled with Gmail or Google search results. Now all that information will be linked together. Google says this is not bad because if you are doing Google searches for recipes now it will give you You Tube videos about cooking, where in the past Google was unable to do this. But what if your searches could reveal your location, health concerns, sexual orientation, or religion. you might not want all this being linked together.

There is a way to change your search settings so that past searches are deleted and search history is turned off. Google will still collect the data, but it will be for internal use only and after 18 months be partially anonymized.
Law enforcement agencies will still have access to the data. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has provided a guide to remove your Google search history at:

Of course if you are not logged in to any Google services while searching, then none of the results wouls be directly linked to your accounts.

Trends in Higher Education

If you have been on the Tarleton Campus for any length of time, you have probably noticed some pretty significant changes in access to technology and learning methods. EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC) recently published their 2012 Horizon Report for Higher Education that explores technology trends predicted over the next five years.

The following article from MindShift examines 6 key trends found in the report
1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever/wherever they want.
2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based.
3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative.
4. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
5. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based learning and similar methods foster, which more active learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.

What do you think are some trends we should be paying attention to?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Write, Read, Read Aloud, & Share

Maybe they should have read it again.
Writing a paper can be a hard difficult task, but you might be even more frustrated when your professor returns your paper and you realize that your professor has found simple writing errors that costs you points off your grade.  You really thought that you had read that paper thoroughly, but somehow you missed didn’t see the errors.  How did that happen?! Did you find the three previous errors? I’d say that it was easy for you to see them because you did not write this paper and my mistakes just jumped off the page at you. (See * for corrections.)

What would be a good way for you, as the writer, to catch your writing errors before you turn in your paper?  Page 70 of "The APA Manual" has three suggestions for improving your writing: 1) reread your paper with the caveat of waiting a few days after you have written it to reread it, 2) read your paper aloud, and 3) have a friend(s) or colleague(s) read your paper.
Have you ever tried reading your own writing aloud?  Did it sound awkward?  Did you immediately change a few words because you knew that it sounded wrong the way you first wrote it? Reading your own writing aloud is one of the easiest things that you can do to improve your writing.  Pages 104-106 in Robert Fry’s book, ImproveYour Writing, suggests that not only should you read your paper aloud, but read it backwards so that you are reading the words and not phrases; you will catch more mistakes that way.
Finally, share your paper with a friend and help out your friend by reading their paper too.  Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch’s book, VirtualPeer Review: Teaching and LearningAbout Writing in Online Environments, gives some suggestions about online sharing. I’ll bet that you both get better grades on your next paper.
And yes, I did follow all three suggestions: reread, read aloud, and share.
* The errors were 1) at the beginning of the first sentence: “…hard difficult task…” where either “hard” or “difficult” should be deleted, 2) the end of the first sentence: “ …simple writing errors that costs…” where “costs” should be “cost”, and 3) in the second sentence: “…somehow you missed didn’t see the error…” where either “missed” or “didn’t see” should be deleted.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Database: PsycTests!

PsycTests has been added to our databases!

PsycTest is a repository of the full text of psychological tests and measures from the American Psychological Association.

Comprehensive Test Coverage:

  • Focuses primarily on unpublished tests, those developed by researchers but not made commercially available
  • Most records link to a variety of materials describing the test in peer-reviewed literature, technical reports, or dissertations as well as links to related peer-reviewed literature describing test development, review, or use.
  • All records include a summary that describes the test, with its purpose and some history of its developmentMost records include the actual test instrument

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lessons @ Lunch: iPad Tips

Are you thinking about getting an iPad?

Maybe you have one already but you feel like something is missing.

Stop by the Dick Smith Library on Tuesday, February 28, from 12:10-12:50 p.m. in the Library Instruction Classroom (#139, near the cafe).

Stephen Wilson, the Manager for User Support Services, will discuss how to secure your iPad, find and use the best productivity apps, and how to connect to Tarleton's wireless system, calendar, and e-mail functions.

Have a question? You can ask it on our Facebook page for the event here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Wintertime in Texas!

You never know what wintertime in Texas might bring! Yesterday it reached 80 degrees.....and it is only February! The photo above shows snow and the home economics building during the winter of 1937 - seventy five years ago!

The home economics building was located in Heritage Park between what is now the education building and the new replica of the Hunewell bandstand. It was originally built in 1915 as the Mollie Crow administration building but became the home economics building when the new agriculture/later administration building was completed in 1919.

The cornerstone of the new administration building, later the home economics building, was laid by the Chancellor Commander of the local John Tarleton Lodge No.227 Knights of Pythias, Ben Compton. The Pythian Home Band from Weatherford headed the parade from the lodge hall to the college. Mayor J.J. Bennett gave a short speech, followed by Judge W.J. Oxford, who delivered the main address. Judge Oxford told of the history of the Knights of Pythias. The cornerstone contained a college catalog, words from former mayor J.T. Lockhart, the John Tarleton Lodge No.227 Knights of Pythias roster of members, the Twentieth Century Club roster of members, and a poem by Theo Bauer!

Classes were held in this building for many fact, the library and study hall were in the top floor of the home economics building at one time, and the chemistry department was once in the home economics building! After the chemistry department moved out the area was "freshened up" with new furniture and draperies! I attended classes in this building in the 1960s! This building was demolished in 1981.

Guthrie, Christoher E., John Tarleton and His Legacy.
King, C. Richard, Golden Days of Purple & White.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Check out our Bloggies!

Do you need a video camera for an assignment, or just for fun? The library has six Sony Bloggies that are available for a 7-day checkup. Just bring your picture ID to the circulation desk and check one out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leap Year

Leap Year: 2012 is a Leap Year

Upcoming Leap Day: 29 February, 2012

A birthday every 4 years?

A Leap year consists of 366 days, as opposed to a common year, which has 365 days.

Why do we need Leap Year?
How do we calculate Leap Year?
Who invented Leap Year?
Leap Year in other Calendars
Calendar Tools
For more information on Leap Year go to:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Black History Month

Every year since 1976, the U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month.  It celebrates the achievements of black Americans. Many other countries around the world devote a month to celebrating black history.

Here are some resources to find out more about Black History Month including biographies, timelines, quizzes & games, even some lesson plans.  Take a look!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Romance Novels at the Library

If you've been by the library lately, you may have noticed our Valentine's Day display, which has tons of romantic items...and romance novels! Romance is one of my favorite genres, so I thought I'd list a few that the library has in its collection. Some of the books I've listed below have been used in the display, so be sure to ask for help if you have trouble finding one you'd like to read.
  • Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn - A Regency romance novel. Penelope Featherington is resigned to the idea of becoming an old maid, even though she has been in love with Colin Bridgerton, her best friend’s brother, for years. What she doesn't realize at first is that Colin has finally started noticing her as more than just a family friend.
  • Sizzle and Burn by Jayne Ann Krentz - This romantic suspense novel features a psychic heroine and a private investigator hero.
  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer - I'm sure just about everyone has at least heard of Meyer's Twilight series, but did you know that Meyer has also written about aliens? Although not technically a romance novel, this book features strong romantic subplots. It stars an alien who has taken over the body of a human girl.
  • The Big Bad Wolf Tells All by Donna Kauffman - This book mixes suspense with romantic comedy. The heroine, Tanzy, is a columnist with a stalker. She's unaware that her great-aunt's seemingly boring and dependable personal assistant is actually a private investigator her great-aunt hired to keep an eye on her.
  • A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux - Douglass is abandoned by her boyfriend while vacationing with him and his spoiled daughter in England. Heartbroken, she wishes she had a knight in shining armor, and Nicholas, a knight from the 16th century, magically appears. This book is much-loved by many fans of time travel romances.
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Speaking of time travel romances, if you'd like something where the heroine travels into the past, this book (and the others in the series) might be for you. In 1945, Claire, an English nurse on her honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, is transported to 1743. She becomes torn between the husband she left in her present and the young Highland warrior she eventually falls for in the past.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - A classic romance novel. If you've already read it, this might be the perfect month for a reread.
  • The Secret by Julie Garwood - In this historical romance, the heroine, Judith, is determined to attend the birth of her best friend's first child and to find her father. Her escort from her home in England to her friend's Highland home is Iain, a Scottish laird. One of the things about this book that hooked me when I first read it was the strong bond between Judith and her friend.
You can find more romance novels, books about romance novels, and books with strong romantic elements in the library's catalog by doing a subject search for "love stories."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Archive of Americana

Archive of Americana is one of the library's databases that provides access to primary-source historical materials such as newspapers, government documents, and other publications.  Many of the newspapers in this collection go through 1922, but the Dallas Morning News is included through January 1984.  Here's a brief demo on using it for family history research - click on each image for a larger view:
My great-grandfather immigrated to Texas sometime after 1880, so I did a search (above) on his (unusual) last name and limited it to 1880-2012 (see the red box in the image above).

In the image at left, only five of the 132 results are visible.  Click on the "View all [whatever number] link in the bottom left corner (again, in the red box in the image).

This should (it doesn't always) bring up preview images from the documents that include one or more of your search terms.  If you see something promising, you can click on the preview or on the "View Article" link (see the red boxes in the image below).

When you find an article, you will find a number of tools at the top right of the page.  The "Article Bookmark" link opens a new window containing the OpenURL for the article. You can copy and paste this OpenURL information into another application.  The "Export Citation" link opens a new window containing a simple, text-only format of the citation information for the article. You can also Email the OpenURL link for the document.

You can zoom in or out, reposition the image in the viewing pane, view the full page the article was published on, and reset the image view to the default.  You can also open the article as a PDF, open it in a print-friendly view, and maximize (or minimize) the image view pain.

You can also add the article to "My Collection," a temporary saving space that's held until you log off.

Your search term(s) will be highlighted in yellow. There is a check box at the top left of the screen to toggle that feature on or off. 

The database has a very informative "Help" page that explains all of its features.

Give this database a try for your pre-1922 ancestors, as well as Texas family through 1983.  I was expecting to find my grandfather's cousin who lived in the Dallas area (and I did).  I did not expect to find this article (pictured left) about my grandfather, who never lived in the Metroplex but only in Houston and Austin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Library Lovers Day!

If you can't scan the QR code above, click
Come and get a button like the one pictured above and some (Hershey) kisses in the lobby of the Dick Smith Library!
Read the latest edition of the Library Chronicles at this link!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

There's Something Rotten With the Data

LinkEver wonder how long all those digital files you are creating are going to last? Well, data does rot. Whether it is movies on DVD's, audio tapes, word processing documents, digital photographs, old home movies or video recordings if it is in a digital format it can deteriorate over time. But there are solutions to prevent this from happening. Here is a short video about the problem of data rot and what you can do about it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Foto

Who says you can't read in the tub? All you need is a little, OK a lot, of imagination.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton’s Historic
Rock Greenhouse

I had the opportunity to assist Sarah Barmore with research on Tarleton’s old rock greenhouse this summer. Tuesday’s Stephenville Empire Tribune had a front page article about the 70th anniversary of the February 7, 1941 approval of the construction plans for the greenhouse!

The September 30, 1941 JTAC states that “a new solid native rock horticulture building is now being constructed with a steel frame greenhouse.” It had controlled heating to enable plants to be grown at all times of the year! A 16 x 10 storage room was used for bud wood and plants used in classes. Not only did the students learn horticulture, the vegetables grown were served in the dining hall!

The present horticulture center was built in 1973, the same year that Dr. Mike Wade, current professor of Environmental and Agricultural Management, came to Tarleton. In 1975 the program was called floriculture and landscape design, and in 1982 it became horticulture and land management. From those early beginnings, the Tarleton “horticulture” department, has grown and is now a part of the Environmental and Agricultural Management department, which has a faculty and staff of 10!

Tomorrow, Friday, February 10, 2012, from 4:30-7:30, the Tarleton Horticulture Club will hold an anniversary celebration sale at the historic rock greenhouse in the old pecan orchard next to the baseball complex!…….Go by and see the historic greenhouse and what the club has to offer…..especially for Valentine’s Day! You might find just what you have been looking for!

Have a great
Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stop Squinting

Close your eyes and image that you are sitting on the beach.  The brilliance of the sun shining on the water is so intense that you can’t see anything.  Squinting, you reach for your sunglasses, placing them on your face.  Ah, the tightness at the corners of your eyes relaxes as you see the water and sand come into focus while the sunglasses cut the glare.

Using the correct terms while doing a database search is sort of like putting on your sunglasses. By using the correct terms your search will “come into focus” and you’ll be able to stop squinting as you browse through the many appropriate articles you have found.
How do your find the correct search terms? For example: how would you search for articles about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Do you use “PTSD”? Should you include the hyphens between the words? (Hint: hyphens mean something to the databases).  Is the word “Posttraumatic” or is it two words, i.e. “post traumatic”?

Finding the right words is simple when you use the database thesauruses. Many of the databases have a thesaurus which will let you know if your term is the one used in that database.  Often the link to the thesaurus is located along the top edge of the search screen such as in this screen shot: 

 Using the thesaurus in the database PsycInfo, I searched “PTSD” and found this entry:
My word choice of "PTSD" is not the term that is used in this database.  By using the thesaurus I now know that I should search using the words “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. 

All I had to do was stop squinting (searching using the wrong terms), put on my sunglasses (use the thesaurus), and relax.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Have you ever set a goal for yourself? I’m sure many of you have since you’re here at Tarleton State University! But, have you ever set a goal that you felt was impossible to achieve? If you’re having trouble meeting your goal(s), here are 10 great tips to help you achieve them!

Concentrate on 1-2 goals at a time
Create a plan
Create Milestones
Find a Goal Buddy
Know your work habits
Track your goals
Give yourself a reward
Learn to say no
Take time off to be social

If you would like to see the complete article on setting your goals and achieving them, click here.

Also, the Dick Smith Library has a few resources within its collection on setting goals.

Here are two electronic resources available:

Self-management & Personal Effectiveness: How to Achieve Your Personal Goals in Life and at Work

Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips from a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life

Monday, February 6, 2012

Historical Images of Tarleton, Stephenville & more

Have you had a chance to look at our digital archive, also known as the Cross Timbers Historical Images Project? It's full of fascinating local historic images, some of which are featured below.
Tarleton's 1925 football team.

Construction in front of Dick Smith Library in 1984.

Tarleton Men's Glee Club, 1905.

To search the digital archives:
  • Go to the library's home page and click "Cross Timbers Historic Images Project" under "Special Collections."
  • On the next page, click "Search digital images archive."
  • Then enter a subject terms such as "Tarleton" or "football."
  • On the results page, click Details for more information about the image.
  • Click on the image to get a closer look.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"I read an article the other day..."

I'm always saying that to my friends. Well, I did read an article the other day, and it was a very interesting article. Interesting because it was about a Peruvian tribe that is very isolated with hardly any contact with civilization. They are becoming bolder and actually had killed a man that had traded with them. He was the only one who could communicate with them. I am always astonished to find that there are still tribes that are uncontacted.

The world really isn't as small as I think.

You can read the article by clicking here:
Isolated Peru tribe makes uncomfortable contact.

Also, check out these articles that I found in our databases about isolated tribes.

Search them by title at

"Water World"

"The Hidden Tribes of the Amazon"

"Lost Tribes: Indigenous People and the Social Imaginary"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What's Your Favorite App?

After only a week our favorite app display has created quite a buzz....We've had several students leave their mark!! So far the expected Apps have appeared: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We have also had the Holy Bible, Angry Birds, and even Weight Watchers.

Remember the Library's mobile web page is readily available and it can support your immediate needs - from searching databases, "Ask a Librarian", discovering our hours and services,   to searching the catalog. 

Another valuable app is BookMyne which lets you search the Tarleton University Libraries Catalog, renew items, place holds, even identify current best sellers!

With Library Lover's Week approaching fast the Library's mobile page will definitely get some looks!!

What's Your Favorite App and Why?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Think Green

Save our trees!
Check out the Think Green Printing page on the Library Home Page
It will teach you how to:
Print only what you need
Print selectively
Print on both sides
Print PowerPoint handouts
Use electronic handouts
Select font to save ink/toner