Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How very Pinteresting--the library is now on Pinterest

You may have heard about or even be on Pinterest, the visual social network whose popularity has skyrocketed in the last year and a half.
The library's Pinterest account.

The Dick Smith Library, in addition to being on Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and of course Blogger, is now on Pinterest. Be sure to follow us.

By the way, the Texas Social Media Research Institute is having a Pinterest party in the Library Instruction Classroom (#139) on December 5 from 12:10-12:50.  Attendees are encouraged to bring food and crafts inspired by Pinterest.

Picture from the TSMRI Spring 2012 Pinterest party.

Check out how some other libraries are using Pinterest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Ready for Halloween?

Tomorrow is the big day!  I have my candy, and my jack-o-laterns are made.  I thought I would give you a list of fun movies you might watch as you wait for the trick-or-treaters. (Sorry I don't do scarey.)
  • Beetle Juice - 1988
  • Hocus Pocus - 1993
  • The Goonies -  1985
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - 1993
  • Corpse Bride - 2005
  • Casper - 1995
  • Monsters, Inc. - 2001
  • Ghost Busters - 1984
  • Young Frankenstein -1974
  • Germlins - 1984
Hope you all have a GREAT Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Dyslexia Awareness Month is coming to an end but those that suffer from the disease will continue with their struggles. Every person with this disorder is challenged with different things. My 11 year old daughter is dyslexic and deals with it like a champ. Sure she has her moments of throwing her hands up and wanting to give up. But we have taught her that she has to work that much harder to overcome the simplest tasks. I have learned that I must be her strongest advocate and I have learned that I shouldn’t have to apologize to her school because they now have to make provisions in her curriculum.

Recently we heard about Chromagen lens glasses that help with dyslexia, color blindness, migraines and other disorders.  We made an appointment with one of the doctors I saw on a WFAA channel 8 News segment in Plano, Tx. My husband and I sat in the waiting room hoping and praying these glasses would help her out. The doctor was amazing and came out several times after testing, re-testing and testing her again and told us that with the glasses her reading level improved by 10-12% immediately. I was so excited for her and knew we had to purchase these glasses for her.  So after they picked me up off the floor when they told us the price for the glasses we got them ordered and went home to wait for them to come in the mail.

Her new glasses came in and she loves them. They look different due to the purple lens color but she has an amazing attitude and was able to take all the questions and comments for her classmates. The glasses are helping her focus more at school, she is able to complete most of her homework on her own and she has more confidence in her work.

Below are some links to information I found helpful:

· (This is my daughter’s doctor in Plano, TX)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Consumer Reports: Used/New Car Buying

I just bought a car recently after doing some research for a couple of years. Yes, I said a couple of years. I knew absolutely nothing about cars; so, to catch me up on different types available, I searched every company site and listed each type of vehicles being advertised, price (I limited my search to everything under $25k), picture, and mpg based on the basic automatic models. That’s a lot of information to obtain and very grueling depending on the site...hence the years part. There was no rush at the time because I couldn't afford it, and I had a good running vehicle so I took my time compiling all the data necessary until the time when it would come in handy. Anyway, after compiling all that data, I put it into an Excel spreadsheet to compare and contrast. It narrowed down my list of vehicles to a certain extent, but I still had quite a few on my list and no other way to narrow down besides closing my eyes and pointing randomly at a vehicle on my list.

Then my friend and then-boss, Janie, introduced me to Consumer Reports. Luckily, the Dick Smith Library subscribes to this, so it’s a free service to use for staff, faculty, and students. I found that I absolutely love their Buying Guide. You can find it in the periodicals section of the library or you can search Discovery@TarletonLibraries for “Consumer Reports Buying Guide” and it will pull up the most recent buying guide. You can save the PDF to your personal folder and take it with you when going looking for cars in case you forget or see something new that you hadn’t considered.

Consumer Reports lists all the problem areas for each vehicle per dealer per year. It provides an average rating scale for each vehicle per year as well as an overall rating based on “the percentage of survey respondents who reported problems for that trouble spot, compared with the average of all vehicles for that year” – Consumer Reports. It’s interesting to see how each car measures up to the other, and definitely helped to narrow down my search. However, I do have to state that not all cars find their way into Consumer Reports. For example, I have no idea why they don’t have ratings for the Chevrolet Camaro prior to 2010. I know they were out then, so I’m not sure why they weren’t included. The Kia Rio is not listed either, and there are newer models that won’t show up on the list until they have the necessary data to be compiled and presented. All in all, it takes about 2 years for a car to show up in the Consumer Reports Buying Guide.

Either way, if you’re looking for a new or used car, I would start with Consumer Reports. It’s been the most helpful database with car shopping as well as other important purchases. Not only does it compile data for cars, but it also compiles data for cell phones, appliances, and electronics and many more things. So, you might want to check it out next time you’re shopping for something expensive. It might just save you a ton of money and a whole lot of grief from buying something that's probably not going to measure up to your expectations

P.S. This has nothing to do with Consumer Reports, but it's just a helpful little tip that I found out when I went car shopping. You want to compare and contrast dealerships as well as cars when shopping. Some dealerships just have the worst service and others are very helpful and efficient. So, just be aware of that little tidbit as well. The site I visited to find this information out was, but there are others as well. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

What’s in a Name?

Tarleton, McIlhany, Doc Blanchard, Nancy Golden….do you see the pattern??  Then there is Military Drive, and Centennial Lane too!!  Of course they are streets within or near the Tarleton Campus!!  Now, we all know for whom Tarleton Street was named!  But did you know that it wasn’t always Tarleton Street?  And, you may have heard that there was a McIlhany Academy here in Stephenville, or that Stephenville College’s president was Marshall McIlhany – but is there more?  My September 27, 2012 blog was all about Doc Blanchard…and Nancy Golden was Tarleton’s first female student body president!  Tarleton has a long history of training military cadets, thus Military Drive.  Then, Tarleton celebrated its Centennial in 1999, and named the little street over by John Tarleton’s grave Centennial Lane!

Want to know more about Stephenville streets?  The fifth annual Spirits of Erath Cemetery Walk will be held Sunday November 4, 2012 at 2 PM, across the street at the West End Cemetery!!  Admission is $5 per person.  The event is co sponsored by the Friends of the Tarleton Dick Smith Library and the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library.  The event strives to bring Erath County’s history to life by portraying people in its past!! 

This year the Spirits will be people in Stephenville and Erath County’s past for whom Stephenville streets were named!  The short vignettes will relate biographical information about the person or family by actors dressed in period costumes!  Featured in the walk will be Tarleton, Orr, Kight, Groesbeeck, Stephen, Erath, McIlhany, and Long streets!  The photo shown above is of H.J. “Harry” McIlhany!

The tour starts at 2 pm, as soon as the tour groups are organized!  Please come – you might even see some “characters” that you recognize!!  What a fun way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon and learn a little about our local history at the same time! 

Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Freedom of Speech

 National Free Speech Week

Join the Society of Professional Journalists and the Department of Communication Studies in celebrating Free Speech on campus. Tuesday, October 23 through Thursday, October 25, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

What is Freedom of Speech?
Freedom of Speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thsrs, the shorter thesaurus

Here's something some of you may find useful: Thsrs is a tool, created by David Friedman of Ironic Sans, that allows you to search longer words and retrieve a list of shorter synonyms. It was created to allow Twitter users to shorten their potential tweets without having to resort to weird abbreviations. Firefox and Internet Explorer plugins are available for easier/quicker use. Give it a try!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Litter Airy Miss Quotes...Oops! I mean "Literary Misquotes"

It started with a book that I was reading in which the author used the phrase, “to mulch it over” in describing the contemplation by a character. Suffice it to say that this writer will never win an award as the world’s best author. The phrase she was trying to use was “to mull it over.” This got me to thinking of some of the most common literary misquotes that I know.

Here’s a few.  See if you can give the actual quote. Answers can be found at the very end of this blog.

1.      "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!” resulted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner meaning that the speaker was at sea with salt water surrounding them but none of the water is fit to drink.

2.      "Pride cometh before a fall” originated from The Bible Psalms 16:18 meaning that a person who becomes so full of pride becomes arrogant which often leads to disappointment due to wrong decisions.

3.      “Elementary, my dear Watson” attributed to the fictional character, Sir Sherlock Holmes, in reply to his assistant, Watson. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Return of Sherlock Holmes is the key to this misquote.

4.      “Find a penny, pick it up” stems from the first line of a poem in the children’s book, The Real Mother Goose. This simplistic misquote is actually a mondegreen, meaning that the phrase is misheard, thus misspoken.

5.      “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is derived from William Congreve’s play, The Mourning Bride. Angering a lady could be trouble!

6.      "At one fatal swoop” is a misquote from Shakespeare’s MacBeth. The phrase is about a hawk diving to kill its prey, and is not about a death fall. What’s the real quote?

7.      "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here” developed from Dante’s Inferno where the inscriptions on the gates of Hell have the slightly changed, but greatly different literary inscription.

8.      “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast” arose from William Congreve’s play, The Mourning Bride where one would have trouble finding that musically inclined monster.

9.      “Theirs but to do or die” is a subtle change from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade. This poem is a memorial to a suicidal military charge by British soldiers during the Crimean War. Given this information, can you guess what the correct quote is?

10.  “Open says-a-me!” seems a reasonable phrase for Ali Baba to use to open the cave of treasures in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, however the correct phrase might make you hungry. What’s the phrase? 
1.      “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
2.      “Pride goeth before destructions and an haughty spirit before a fall.” KJV
3.      “Excellent!” I cried “Elementary” said he.
4.      “Find a penny and pick it up.”
5.      "Heaven has a rage like love to hatred turned. / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
6.      “At one fell swoop”
7.      “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
8.      “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.”
9.      “Theirs but to do and die.”
10.  Open sesame!”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Preserving Texas' Civil War Records

The theme for Archives Month in Texas is about preserving Civil War records in Texas. While we do not have any Civil War records here at the Dick Smith Library we do have books in the Local History Room that can help you research the Civil War in Texas and there are several websites you can search for records. We do have in the Local History Room Index to Applications for Texas Confederate Pensions. The book is organized into three sections: 1. Index to Approved Pension Applications; 2. Index to Residents of the Confederate home and the Confederate Woman's Home; 3. Index to Rejected Pension Applications. The listings are alphabetical and give the application number and county of residence. The Local History Room also has several books on Texas units that served in the Confederate forces. The Texas Library and Archives Commission has a searchable database of Confederate Pension Applications located here: The site is searchable by name or application number and the search can be limited by county. None of the pension applications are digitized, so you would have to order copies of the application from the archives. The State Archives also has a Confederate Indigent Families List, this was aid paid to families of those serving in the Confederate forces. Instructions on using the list can be found here:

At the federal level the National Archives is working on digitizing the 1.28 million case files from the families of deceased Civil War Union soldiers. An excellent short video about the project with views of some of the records is at:
The pension records are online at
To read the interesting story of one woman's attempt to keep her widow's pension see this article written by one of the volunteers working on the project:
The National park Service has an excellent Civil War website: One of my favorite features is the "Find a Person" search box at the bottom of the page. This allows you to search the 6.3 million records in the soldiers and sailors database. The database is searchable by name, unit, state, battle, and keyword to name a few of the available search terms. This does link to digitized records. information is also given for the units such as when and where they were formed, sometimes even listing in which county they were formed. Members of the units are also listed and the battles the unit fought.

Hopefully these sources will help you get started on your own research.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Homecoming and More in the Library

Tarleton is "Celebrating 100 years of the Tarleton Alumni Association" during Homecoming Week 2012. We kicked off the week with Midnight Madness on Sunday, Silver Bugle Hunt on Monday, and the Purple Out Picnic last night. Tonight we will have Yell Contest followed by the Snake Dance and the beginning of Beating the Drums. Midnight Breakfast is tomorrow night, Bonfire on Friday, and the Homecoming ParadeQueen Crowning & Game on Saturday (Texans vs. Kingsville @ 6pm).

Photo by: Tracy Holtman
Where does the Library fit into all of this, you might be thinking? Well, the Library has put together a Homecoming display to add to the festivities. We used Homecoming issues of the JTAC, opened Grassburrs to the Homecoming pages and proudly displayed the Purple & White. You can come to the Library and discover what previous Homecoming events were like, who was crowned Homecoming Queen, and if the Texans won their game.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Start @ the Library: Research Help

Now that midterms are over, you may find yourself facing some major research paper assignments with a due date that is quickly approaching. 


Not quite sure where to start? 


Why not start at the  library?


The Dick Smith Library offers Research Guides on every major subject to give students a starting point on their research. 


These Research Guides also introduce you to the librarian who specializes in your subject area. 


Feel free to contact them if you find yourself needing further assistance or help locating materials. 


Have a quick question on the go? 


Why not email a librarian using our simple web form by clicking the "Ask a Librarian" link or emailing


Stop by, call, or email us anytime!


We're happy to help you succeed here @ Tarleton State University!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Secure Are You Online: The Checklist

Since we conduct most of our daily activities online (i.e. pay bills, talk with friends, make business contacts, etc.), it's essential that we become aware of and use online security measures.

Thorni Klosowski's recent article "How Secure are You Online: The Checklist" on Lifehacker provides some useful tips for enhancing our online security in four areas:
    picture of computer keyboard
  • passwords
  • browsers
  • at-home Wi-Fi and networking
  • browing on public Wi-fi.
Learning more about online security and ways we can protect personal data will continue to grow in importance as personal interactions, commercial transactions, and business communications continue to incorporate online tools.

It's up to us to learn more. Checklists like those offered by Klosowski are a start. Dick Smith Library also offers useful resources on the topic. A few titles are listed below. Each entry includes a link to the item's catalog record so you can learn more about it (records may take a few seconds to load):
To locate more information about online privacy or computer security, you can search the library's catalog and our subscription databases, as well as use Discovery@Tarleton.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Using the Discovery search tool

Here's a short (just under four minute) video on using Discovery, the library's new search tool that allows you to simultaneously search the library’s catalog and most of the databases using one interface:

You can get to Discovery on the library's home page, or by clicking the following link:,uid&profile=eds

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

“I’m Tom, and this is my brother, little Dickie Smothers!”
Tarleton's Entertainment in October 50 Years Ago!

On October 22, 1962, the Tarleton State College Civic Series brought in a delightful duo to entertain Tarleton and the area – the Smothers Brothers!  Fairly new to the entertainment industry, the Smothers Brothers were introduced to the nation in 1961 on Jack Paar’s late night show – a performance that blew the roof off NBC studios in New York – and resulted in Paar booking them for a return engagement, as well as offers from all over the country!

The Smothers Brothers, Tom & Dick, were actually brothers, and those were  their real names.  They were born on Governor’s Island in New York, later moving to Southern California where they went to high school.  Both were active in theater and music in high school, and at San Jose College.  After that they got a 15 month booking at the Purple Onion in San Francisco.  They worked there and in Denver before returning to New York and were “discovered” by Jack Paar.  They were in their twenties and brought a fresh, clean, and hilarious approach to musical comedy!  One Tarleton student stated “I just loved the Smothers Brothers!   Hats off to the Civic Series Committee!”

In the 60s and 70s the Tarleton Civic Series Committee brought in nationally/internationally known entertainment to Tarleton once or twice a year.  Later on the group was changed to the SPA (Student Programming Association), and now it is known as SWAT (School Wide Activities Team).  It has grown from a small number of participants and events to over 100 active members and features many events throughout the fall and spring semesters.  All events are selected, planned, and facilitated by students!

Hats off to the Tarleton SWAT team!

Grassburr, 1963.
JTAC, October 16, 1962, October 30, 1962.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Most Surprising Banned far

Ever wonder what the most surprising Banned Books have been through the years? Well, the Huffington Post published a list below of the Top 11 most surprising Banned Books so far.

1. The Dictionary (both Miriam Webster & the American Heritage Dictionaries)
The definition for "oral sex" is not age appropriate

2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Obscenity and painted the country in a negative light

3. Sylvester & the Magic Pebble by William Steig 

Portrays policemen as pigs

4. Beloved and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 
Obscene language and gratuitous violence in many parts of the country

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. 
Author had the same name as an obscure Marxist theorist and no one checked to see if they were the same person

6. James & the Giant Peach and The Witches by Roald Dahl 
James & the Giant Peach - obscenity and violence; The Witches - sexism and devaluing the life of a child

7. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Sexually explicit and homosexual themes

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
Most speculate it's because the strongest woman character marries a boring and much older man

9. A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway 
A Farewell to Arms - sexual content; For Whom the Bell Tolls - seen as pro-communist

10. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein 
Promotes disrespect, horror, and violence

11. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Concerns about making a religious argument exposed to kids

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Banned Books That Shaped America

The Library of Congress created an exhibit, "books that Shaped America," that explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life. Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned/challenged.