Friday, March 30, 2012

Excellence in Teaching Conference TODAY

Today the Dick Smith Library hosts the educational sessions for the annual Excellence in Teaching Conference put on by the Center for Instructional Innovation (CII).  These sessions are open to faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Sessions will be held from 9 AM to noon and from 1:45 to 4:10 PM, in both the Library's instructional classroom and the multipurpose room, both on the main floor.  Many sessions are only 15 or 30 minutes long; easy to squeeze into your busy day.

Some of the sessions include:
- Using Humor to Engage Student Learning
- Take a Sneak Peek at Blackboard Learn 9
Using Qualtrics for Online Data Collection
- Jing It! (free screen capture software)
- Panopto: A Tool for Online Courses

There will also be presentations by the R.E.A.L. Council and the Texas Social Media Research Institute, as well as a panel discussion on "Active Teaching Techniques Across the Disciplines," and a debate between Dr. Chris Guthrie and Dr. Charles Howard on "The Use of Technology in the Classroom."

More information about all of the sessions is here, and a printable agenda for the day is here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012 READ Poster Reveal

Dick Smith Library staff members are busy preparing for our upcoming celebration of National Library Week (April 8-14) and our 2012 READ poster unveiling.

First observed in 1958, National Library Week (NLW) celebrates the contributions of libraries and library staff members to their communities. READ posters celebrate the importance of reading and literacy. So, the two make a great combination.

In 2010, the library's READ posters featured Dr. Dottavio and the Purple Poo. In 2011, they featured ROTC cadets and the Tarleton Players. This year the library's READ posters will again feature people and/or groups representing Tarleton's rich history. Can you guess who's featured this year?

You don't have long to wait for an answer. On Wednesday, April 11 at 3 p.m. the 2012 READ posters will be unveiled in the Dick Smith Library lobby. Refreshments will be served after the unveiling.

Want to read more about the library's 2010 and 2011 READ posters? You can!
The library's newsletter, Library Chronicles, offers articles about each year's posters: the 2010 READ posters on page 11 of issue 1 and the 2011 posters on pages 6-7 of issue 2.

Click this Library Chronicles archives link and choose an issue. You can download your own copy of the READ posters by clicking the thumbnail images on page 7 of issue 2.

Come celebrate National Library Week at 3 p.m. on April 11 and see if your guesses about who's featured this year are correct.

Do you have suggestions for future READ posters? Leave a comment and let us know; we'd love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Speak the Language of the Library?

Take this quiz to see how well you know “Library Lingo”:

       1. Objects that you place in your backpack are called
a.       books
b.      workout clothes
c.       monographs

                 2. A “stack” refers to
a.       a bookshelf
b.      a pile of pancakes
c.       the papers on your desk

        3. The term “periodical” refers to:
a.       something that happens every once in a while
b.      academic journals
c.       the action needed to punctuate the end of a sentence

               4. “Carrels” means:
a.       songs sung at Christmas time
b.      the plural of the name “Carol”
c.      desks in the library

            5. “Boolean Searching” denotes
a.      a method of scaring someone
b.      method of searching using words like “and”, “or”, and “not”
c.       a method of getting Halloween treats

               6. “ILL” stands for
a.      when you feel really SICK
b.      Interlibrary Loan
c.       International Library Literacy

  7. The “catalog” refers to
a.       a tool that lists all the resources in the library
b.      a place you look in order to select clothes to order
c.       a word that refers to a log in the shape of a cat

                8. "Subject Heading”  is
a.       an archaic term used in census-taking during the time of kingdoms
b.      the title of a paper
c.       a term or phrase used in indexes and catalogs to identify material on a given topic

                9. A “Bibliography” is a
a.       a list of citations or references to books and articles on a particular topic
b.      short summation of everything that a person did in their life
c.       booklist

       10. "Patron” refers to
a.       a mature woman
b.      a person who uses the services of the library
c.       a name combination using the names “Pat” and “Ron”
Score your quiz to see how well you did:1=c, 2=a, 3=b, 4=c, 5=b, 6=b, 7=a, 8=c, 9=a, 10=b

Discovery for Tarleton Libraries

Need to find books or articles on a specific topic, but don’t know where to start?

Try Discovery for Tarleton Libraries. This new search tool allows users to simultaneously search the library’s catalog and most of the databases using one interface.

If you set up a personal account, you have the additional benefits of creating email alerts, RSS feeds and can save records for future use in your personal folder. All records in Discovery have permalinks that you can copy and paste for direct access.

Discovery makes finding the resources you need easier and more convenient.

Find the Discovery link on the library homepage in the News and Events section or by clicking the following link:

Let us know what you think of this new service!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dick Smith Library's Mobile Apps: Ebscohost Databases App

Have you downloaded the Ebscohost App that allows you to search the Dick Smith Library’s Ebscohost databases yet?

I just downloaded the App to my iPhone and I love how easy it is to search the databases for my scholarly articles. This is great if you’re a student who is on the go like I am!

Check out the search I just conducted with a few simple key strokes!

EBSCO has just released an app for both iPhone/iPod and Androids. Click the link at the bottom of any EBSCOhost page to email yourself the download instructions, access key and a link to the app store. It is really important that you follow the directions carefully in order to get access to the library’s Ebscohost databases!

If you’re having trouble, be sure to ask a librarian for help!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Navy Band Heard by Full House

Tarleton’s main auditorium was almost filled to capacity to hear the 1962 Civic Series concert by the United States Navy Band, which kept the audience enthralled for almost two hours!

The band began by playing The Star Spangled Banner with Ben Mitchell Morris singing the solo. Ben was born in Seattle, Washington, but moved to Houston when he was five years old! He returned to Washington and attended the University of Washington, and later studied voice in San Diego and San Francisco, attaining nothing short of perfection. He was one of the most versatile and popular artists in the band.

The last song of the first half was Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever. The band consisted of many talented soloists on several instruments but perhaps the wildest applause came when Frank Scimonelli played the English post horn, which sounds only three notes and is controlled by lip movements!

Also garnering loud applause was the trumpet trio playing The Brave Matador, with an encore by the entire trumpet section playing Around the World. The concert closed with Anchors Aweigh and a standing ovation!

If you have never heard the United States Navy Band you’ve missed quite a treat! I had the pleasure of hearing the Navy Band at Tarleton when I was in high school and our Granbury High School Band attended! It was a great concert!

JTAC, March 20, 1962, March 27, 1962.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome, spring!

Today is the first day of spring otherwise know as the vernal equinox. If we lived in the southern hemisphere, we would be welcoming cooler temperatures and autumn.
"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
Henry Van Dyke
For more information on Spring and its history, check out these links.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have a Great Spring Break!

Granbury, Texas
March 9, 2012
The Dick Smith Library will be open today, Friday, March 9, until our normal closing time of 8 p.m..  We will be closed Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11.  We will be open Monday through Wednesday, March 12-14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  We'll be closed Thursday through Saturday, March 15-17, but will resume normal Spring Semester hours on Sunday, March 18, from noon to midnight.

Please note also that the entire campus will be closed on Thursday, March 15, due to major electrical work.  Power will be shut off at 4 a.m., and may not be completely restored until 6 p.m.  During that time, the Tarleton home page,, and all other pages associated with it, will be unavailable.  You will be unable to access the library's catalog or databases, as well as BlackBoard, Ducktrax, MyGateway, Degree Works, and Chalk and Wire.  For more information, please see

Please have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

The Townster’s Club

In celebration of Women’s History Month, today’s blog post is about a former
women’s organization at Tarleton called the Townster’s Club! It existed between January 1950 and the end of the 61/62 school year. Composed of Tarleton girls who lived in town, the group’s mission was to promote good will and encouragement of friendship among girls who lived in the dorm and girls who lived in town. All girls who lived off campus, including commuters, were encouraged to participate and become more aware of Tarleton activities.

Miss Helen Willard, Dean of Women, was the sponsor of the Townster’s Club when it
was created in January 1950. There were 30 members. Donna D’Arcy was president, Sammie Powers, vice president, Jean McLarty, secretary, and Dean McLarty, reporter.

One of the Townster’s first activities was to sell pendants at the Tarleton basketball games to help finance the club. They assisted with many campus events during their active years at Tarleton, including serving refreshments to a large number of visitors and potential Tarleton girls to campus. In 1952 they served some 75 high school senior girls from nearby towns who were visiting campus.

The photo above, taken on the stairs of the “new” library, shows the 1956/57 Townster’s Club members. That stairway was in approximately the same area as the current reference desk. The Townster’s last photo appeared in the 1961/62 Grassburr, standing on the stairway in the Hunewell dorm!

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Grassburr, 1962.
J-TAC, January 10, 1950, December 12, 1950, October 9,1951.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Your Texan Card - It's Important

Do you have your Texan Card?  Do you carry it with you?  Here are just a few things you need your Texan Card for:
  • building access
  • check out materials and laptops at the Dick Smith Library
  • entry into on-campus events
  • swipe at new printer release stations  in several buildings on campus (when the system comes up after Spring Break!)
  • Texan Bucks, a stored-value debit system for use on and off-campus
  • reduced price when paying for photocopies on campus 
  • receive a discount from some retailers when you show your ID
  • meal plan
If you need to pick up or replace your card, just visit the Texan Card Office in the Tarleton Center, room 101. If you need to add additional funds to your cards, you can do that online at

Texan Cards - they really are important!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: New Audiobooks

Going somewhere for Spring Break?  For you commuters or anyone about to take a long road trip, the Dick Smith Library has a growing collection of audiobooks in CD format, with many audiobooks still available in cassette format. They are located on the lower level of the library, just to the right, as you exit the elevator or the stairs, through the glass doors, in the Audiovisual Collection area. You can check them out for four weeks; plenty of time to take them on a vacation (just be sure you don't lose any of the pieces!).

Here's a post on how to search the library catalog for audiobooks. You can create lists for mysteries, historical fiction, or your favorite author, for example.

If you're in RDG301, Children's Literature, some of  you need to read five novels or chapter books for your investigation project! Spring Break is a great time to do this, and if you will be on the road part of that time, listening to an audiobook makes the travel time pass more quickly. Here is a list of 50 audiobooks that might work for this assignment.

Here, in no particular order, are ten of our newest titles (click the titles to check availability):

1. Life - ML420 .R515 A3 2010B - An autobiography by Rolling Stones founding member Keith Richards, this was the 2011 Audiobook of the Year and 2011 winner of the Audie Award for Biography/Memoir.

2. Moon Over Manifest - PZ7 .V28393 MO 2011 - With dual narrative lines set in 1917-1918 and 1936, this 2011 Newbery Medalist is the story of a small town in Kansas called Manifest (modeled after the real town of Frontenac, where author Clare Vanderpool's grandparents grew up), with an intriguing plot, compelling characters, and a lot of heart and soul.

3. The Reversal - PS3553 .O51165 R48 2010B - Part of Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch series, this audiobook won the 2011 Audie Award for Mystery.

4. This Body of Death - PS3557 .E478 T48 2010B - One of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley novels, this audiobook was a finalist for the 2011 Audie Award for Mystery.

5.  The Postmistress - PS3552 .L3493 P67 2010B - The effects of war on those not fighting it are explored in Sarah Blake's 2011 Audie Award for Fiction finalist.

6.  Chapters from My Autobiography - PS1331 .A2 2010D - by Mark Twain was a finalist for the 2011 Audie Award for Distinguished Achievement in Production.

7.  A Visit from the Goon Squad  - PS3555 .G292 V57 2010B - by Jennifer Egan won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  This unusual novel about time is really a series of linked short stories.  Characters in one story will pop up in one or more later stories, set earlier or later in time (even somewhere into the 2020s).  The two main characters are Sasha, a kleptomaniac, and her one-time boss, Bennie Salazar, a music company executive.

8. Snakewoman of Little Egypt - PS3558 .E4753 S63 2010B -  The Snakewoman is Sunny, who has just gotten out of prison after shooting (but not killing) her husband, pastor of a snake-handling church in present-day rural Illinois. She rents a garage apartment from Jackson, a professor facing a midlife crisis.  Robert Hellenga's chronicle of their adventures (yes, it involves snakes) won the 2011 Audie Award for Literary Fiction.
9. In the Garden of Beasts - E748 .D6 L37 2011B - Erik Larson's latest narrative nonfiction is set in pre-World War II Berlin, and focuses on then-US Ambassador to Germany William Dodd and his reckless daughter Martha .  This audiobook follows the rise of Hitler and is a nominee for the 2012 Audie Award for History.

10. The Girl in the Garden - PS3614 .A565 G57 2011B - This debut novel by Kamala Nair is as lush as its cover.  It begins with an adult Rahkee Singh leaving her engagement ring and a long letter to her fiance, explaining why she cannot yet marry him and must go back to India to deal with her past.  The book then flashes back to a visit she made there in the summer when she was ten-going-on-eleven.  Rahkee has to deal with her parents' crumbling marriage, and the secrets being kept by her mother and her other relatives.  One of those is the mysterious girl in the beautiful garden...

Monday, March 5, 2012

The 1940 US Census

It's your America! Help the ten-year
roll call--1940 census, U.S.A.

United States. Bureau of the Census,
U.S. Government Printing Office,
circa 1940.  Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division.
Four weeks from today, on Monday, April 2, at 8 AM Central time, the 1940 US Census will be released digitally.  Genealogists (like me) and historians have been waiting for this, as the 1940 (and later) original census forms have not been available for public use because of a statutory 72-year restriction on access for privacy reasons.  The digital images will be available for viewing and download for FREE at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) special 1940 US Census website,

The 1940 US Census, officially occuring on April 1, 1940, asked the typical questions from earlier censuses: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 US Census also asked some new questions. Lingering concerns from the Great Depression were reflected in numerous questions about employment status for those age 14 and older.  For example:

There was also a question about income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939, as well as one asking where one was living on April 1, 1935 (which will be a gold mine for genealogists!).

The 1940 also has a "supplemental schedule" for two names on each page, the persons enumerated on lines 14 and 29 (about a 5% sample of the population). The supplemental schedule is a section with additional questions to ask these two people.  It asks the place of birth of the person's father and mother; the person's usual occupation, not just what they were doing the week of March 24-30, 1940; and for all women who are or have been married, has this woman been married more than once and age at first marriage.

The 1940 US Census will not have a name index when it opens on April 2, 2012., a free website, plans to create a free name index of the 1940 US Census after it opens. You can sign up NOW to be a 1940 US Census indexer. In the meantime, you can get some practice by indexing other records through FamilySearch Indexing.

I have been a FamilySearch indexer for a few months now.  It involves downloading some software to your computer, then downloading batches, indexing them, and uploading them back to the FamilySearch indexing website.  It's been rewarding to see records I've indexed actually appear later on the FamilySearch site.  If you follow the detailed instructions with each batch, you will be successful and will help others access all sorts of records - lately I've been working with Texas birth records from the early 1900s.

Until name indexes are available, you will need to know the address of the person you are searching for and the Census enumeration district (ED) in which that address was located.  Initially, the 1940 Census WILL be indexed down to the ED level.  So, if you know the 1940 ED for an ancestor or relative, it will shorten your search considerably.  There are a number of tools available to help you figure out EDs.  The National Archives has a web page with links to various other sites and utilities for determining 1940 EDs.  There are other suggestions on the National Archives website on how to prepare to do research in the 1940 US Census.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Catching the E-Book Wave -- Lessons@Lunch

Been thinking about purchasing an e-book reader?
Have a reader and want to find more sources for e-books?
Want to see what else your device can do?
If so, next week's Lessons@Lunch (March 5, 7 & 9) should help you get the answers you need. The sessions will be held in the Library Instruction Classroom (#139) from 12:10-12:50 p.m. The presenter will be Beverly Tackitt, psychology major and e-book enthusiast.
Each session will cover different topics:

  • Mon., March 5: Picking the Right Device for You-- How do LCD & E-ink differ?
    -- Popular devices.
    -- Which devices use what file formats?
    -- Languages supported.
    -- How to pick the right device for you.

  • Wed., March 7: Where & How to Get Books for Your Reader-- Where to get books (free books, low cost books, library books, and more).
    -- How to get books onto your device (downloading or sideloading).
    -- Exploring your options (conversion programs or services).

  • Fri., March 9: What Else Can My E-Device Do?-- Listen to music, watch movies, play games.
    -- Enjoy audiobooks.
    -- Use text to speech features.
    -- Download apps.
    -- Search the Internet
This Lessons@Lunch series is sponsored by the Dick Smith Library. If you need more information, please email Cathy Wilterding at
See you in Library #139 on March 5, 7 & 9!