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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cause for Revolt

The Declaration of November 7, 1835 or as it is otherwise known, The Declaration of Causes adopted by the Consultation at San Felipe was a declaration of reasons for taking up arms against Mexico prior to the Texas Declaration of Independence. The war had already begun with Mexican forces marching on San Antonio. The document explained Texas actions and made it clear to Federalists in Mexico that Texas desired only to preserve the Mexican constitution of 1824. The Declaration had eight points. First that Texas had taken up arms in defense of their rights and liberties and the republican principles of the Constitution of 1824. Second, Santa Anna's actions meant that the government of Mexico was no longer considered legal by Texas and therefore Texas was no longer bound by agreement made at the time Texas was settled. Also as long as Centralist forces were in Texas they would be attacked. In addition Texas had the right to establish an independent government, Texas was responsible for the debts of her armies and pledged to pay these debts. The last point was that Texas would reward with land and citizenship those who aided her in this fight. This last point would aid in the settlement of Texas, as the longer one fought for Texas the more land you would receive. Pictured is a image of Lorenzo de Zavala's copy of the declaration in Spanish. The document was printed in English and Spanish. The Handbook of Texas Online has more information at
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has a translation at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ask a Librarian???

Need Help, like yesterday? You can call the reference desk during library hours at (254) 968-9249 or send an email via web form.

Ask A Librarian QR code

"Ask A Librarian" is the key to your success with any of these issues and more. Our Librarians will get you started in the right direction and help clear up any uncertainties. Feel free to email, call, come in person, or use the "Ask A Librarian" web form, it's that easy and convenient.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Remember, Remember the 5th of November

    Have you ever heard the saying, “Remember, Remember the 5th of November”?

    Or perhaps you’ve heard of a man named Guy Fawkes?

    Ever wonder about the history surrounding the phrase, date, and the man?

     The Dick Smith Library has three materials discussing the significance of Guy Fawkes and the date November 5th.

    So why not celebrate by taking time to learn about this interesting day in history?

    Feel free to check out these materials with your Texan Card.

    Want to learn how people celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in modern day England?

    Check out this article from The Wall Street Journal.