Friday, December 13, 2013

Extended Hours are Extended!

Since final exams now stretch into next week, library hours have been extended as well! Below is the revised schedule:

Good luck on your exams, and safe travels home for the holidays!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Library is Open!

Need assistance? Call (254)968-9249, email, or tweet @tarletonlib.
We have started extended hours and will be open until finals have finished.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Study Smarter Not Harder!

Today is a dead day, so everyone is busy studying...right?

Well, even if you aren't today, hopefully sometime in the next week you will be. If you need study tips, we will be with you right until the end, posting study tips to our Facebook Page and to our Twitter. You can also find our research tips from midterms by looking for the hashtag #TSUMidtemMania on both sites. And remember, if you need a good place to study, or help with research, the library is open for extended hours now and will begin all-night study hours on Sunday. Good luck with Finals!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Need a break from finals? On December 2 (today) in the Thompson Student Center, there will be fun activities for Students, Faculty, and Staff from 11am-3pm. An oxygen bar, make your own stress ball station, meditation/visualization room, healthy brain food, and so much more will be setup. Remember to take time to eat right, get plenty of rest, and exercise. You will be more likely to succeed when you have eaten a good meal, gotten a good night sleep, and studied regularly.

The Ranger College Cosmetology school will also be offering free manicures and pedicures to Tarleton students. There will also be $3 haircuts, what a deal! Prepping for finals mentally and physically is important; take the time to relax.

Free coffee will be provided Wednesday, December 4th through Friday, December 13th at different departments around campus. There will be signs posted in those departments letting you know you where the coffee is located. Just remember to bring your own cup and drink as much as you need. For a healthier option, choose an apple instead of coffee. Apples can give you just as much energy as caffeine without the crash. Hope to see you all there! Good luck to everyone on finals.

If you need help during finals, feel free to tweet your questions to @tarletonlib #TSUFinalsFrenzy. Also, be looking for research/writing tips on our Facebook.  
For additional assistance call (254)968-9249 or email

Extended hours have started!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  

We're on the downhill slope to the end of the semester now, and to help you all out the library has started their extended hours this week.  From December 1st through 5th, the library will be open until 2am to give your study time an extra boost.  On Saturday the 7th, we will also stay open until 8pm.

The real fun begins on the 8th, when we transition to overnight study.  Full services will still be offered during regular hours, but the library will be open as a study area between midnight and 7am.  Be sure to bring your Tarleton ID, because you will need to sign in on the main floor to stay after-hours or to enter the building after midnight.

On the Thursday the 12th, as finals are ending we will close at 10pm that night.  We'll wrap up the semester on the 13th by transitioning to interim hours.  We'll be open 8-5pm Monday-Friday and are closed on weekends until we close for Christmas break on December 20th.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are the Library's Thanksgiving hours for this week. We hope you  enjoy the holiday! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Find Old Newspapers with This Cool Tool!

At the recent Texas State Genealogical Society conference, I attended a presentation by Lisa Louise Cook, who showed us some "cool tools" for finding old newspapers.  I'm just going to talk about one of them in this post, the Stanford Newspaper Data Visualization.

According to its website, "This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' 'Chronicling America' project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers."  The site provides some great historical information about the evolution of newspapers in this country.

I use Chronicling America a lot, but was not aware of this great aid for finding newspapers in a particular time and locations (and language).  There's a timeline slider bar at the top that you can use to slide to the era that interests you.  For example, here's how the map looks for 1887:

You can then pan and zoom in to a particular area, and when you click on one of the dots, you can see what newspaper(s) were published in that city or town at that time.  Here's an example for Stephenville, Texas, in 1887:

If I click on that dot, a red triangle points to it, and then I can click on (any one of) the title(s) that appear for that location and date:

When I click on "The Stephenville empire," I get the corresponding page from Chronicling America:

If electronic copies of the newspaper are available in the Library of Congress collection, this page will tell you (scroll down), and provide a link.  If it's not available electronically here (keep in mind it may be available elsewhere), you can then click on the "Libraries that Have It" link to find out some (not necessarily all) of the libraries that may have that title in some format:

I'd caution users of this feature to also use WorldCat (for additional libraries that might have the newspaper), as well as to contact the library in question, to make sure they truly have the newspaper and the years you want.  Note just above that for Tarleton State University, the holdings were last updated in January 1988.  We actually have the newspaper on microfilm beyond 1917, albeit with numerous gaps in the early years.  I also recommend checking our Archive of Americana database to see if it includes digital images from the newspaper and date in question.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Library Amnesty Food Drive

Have a library fine that needs to be paid? Why not get your account cleared and help a local food bank? It is Library Amnesty Food Drive Week! Each food item you donated will equal $1.00 waived on overdue fines. All donations will be given to local food banks to help the Stephenville community.

Friday, November 15, 2013

THANKSgiving Tree

This time of year always brings us back to reflect on what we are thankful for so this year the library staff came together to visually show our THANKS.

Library staff members and student workers wrote things they were thankful for on the leaves and our tree is continuing to grow each day.

If you are in the library and want to add to our tree please feel free! We have plenty of leaves and would love to add to our growing tree. If you cannot make it into the library you can email me at and I will add your THANKS leaf to our tree.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Favorite Three About the Dick Smith Library

This is my last blog post for the Dick Smith Library, and I thought it only fitting that I post about the top 3 things I have loved most about working here.

1. The Library Staff - I can't tell you enough how wonderful it is to work with people who like to work together and have spirit when they come to work. I have worked here for over 12 years (including my time as a student worker), and I have not met anyone with whom I couldn't get along. They are extremely nice and always willing to help out in any situation they can. It's been like working with a family. They just want everyone to succeed. It's what they do.

2. The Environment - Working at a university in general is just plain exciting. My grandpa used to tell me that I needed to work for the school system when I grew up, and I completely understand why. There's always the benefits that everyone talks about, but it's more than that with a school or university. It's new people coming and going all the time. It's the excitement that each new fiscal year brings with its new entertainment and new challenges. It's happy times I had as a college student and memories that I will always cherish.

3. The Resources - I work with keeping the library's databases and license agreements renewed in a timely manner, and I have to say, they aren't cheap. The library spends a pretty penny to keep its collection current and as scholarly as possible for students' research needs. I've been pretty impressed with the decisions they have made on their databases as well as their print and audiovisual collection as a whole. Anytime I find something on GoodReads that I might be interested in, I'll look it up in our catalog to see if we might have it so I can check it out. If not, there's always the option to get it from Interlibrary Loan or you can use Suggest-A-Purchase to request that the library buy the item instead. It's saved me lots of money from going to Hastings and just buying a, you don't have to worry about spending money on something you might not like once you've read it.

All in all, I've loved working for the Dick Smith Library, and I will miss my colleagues here, but I'm thankful for the all the encouragement and opportunities they have given to me through the years, and I wish them all the best.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Library Databases

I keep finding different databases that have really good information in them. I really wish I had access to the Home Improvement Reference Center when we were building our house. I love the decorating ideas, woodworking etc... I also like the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, it has instructions for so many craft items that I never tried because I couldn't afford the book.

I also like history; I like the Civil War database. My great grandfather was a water boy in the Civil War; he was one of those that lied about his age to get in. I think he was only 16. Just take your pick, I'm sure you will find something of interest.

Arts and Crafts      Outdoor Recreation

    Civil War

Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrate Veteran's Day with a little history!

Today is Veteran's Day, when we honor the men and women who have served our country in the armed services. We at the Dick Smith Library, would like to thank all of our veterans for their service, and especially honor those Tarleton students, alumni, staff and faculty that are veterans.

This day wasn't always called Veteran's Day, though. Originally it was called "Armistice Day" and it celebrated the day that fighting stopped at the end of World War I- November 11, 1918. In 1954, the name was changed to Veteran's Day, in order to also honor the veterans who had served in World War II and the Korean War. If you want to learn more about the history of Veteran's Day, check out this page from the VA, which gives more details.

In honor of Veteran's Day, I also wanted to highlight some books we have in the library that tell the stories of the veterans of America's wars from the Revolutionary War to the present.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Today Is...National Men Make Dinner Day

This day is for men who rarely or never cook and is celebrated every year on the first Thursday in November.  The day has its own website with rules and recipes.  The man has to pick the recipe, do the shopping, and barbeque is not allowed.  If the man is using your kitchen and you are concerned for the safety of your good cookware you are encouraged to hide it.

If you need help finding a recipe the library has several cookbooks that can help.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hope for the Holidays

If you have extra goods on hand or are just looking for a way to pay it forward, donate to Hope for the Holidays between now and November 20th.  The Business Administration National Honor Society Delta Mu Delta and the Tarleton Society for Human Resource Management are collecting donations to give to the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth. 

Their wish list includes fruit cups, snack food (singles), pasta & sauce, pop tarts/cereal, mixed nuts, kitchen supplies & paper goods, gallon sized zip lock bags, paper towels/toilet paper, tissues, dishwasher detergent, soap & hand gel etc.

Drop off boxes are located in the Business Building, the Nursing Building, the Fine Arts Building, the Thompson Student Center and the Dick Smith Library.  In the library, you'll find our donation box in the foyer beside the supply vending machine.  Just look for the large "Christmas present" drop box!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motivational Monday

Yesterday evening, I overheard a student proclaim she needed to write a three page paper on motivation that was due today. I told her "procrastination is a motivator in and of itself"(this doesn't mean I think anyone should procrastinate in order to motivate themselves to do school work); this got me to thinking, what truly motivates college/university students to succeed in school? Motivation can come from anywhere, anyone, or anything. My motivation typically comes from a desire to do better and have more in life. What motivates you?

Check out these books in the library on motivation, achievement, and success in college:

  1. 9 things successful people do differently
  2. Execution: the discipline of getting things done 
  3. The little book of coaching: motivating people to be winners
  4. A theory of achievement motivation
  5. The achieving society
  6. Self-theories: their role in motivation, personality, and development
  7. Motivating Students
  8. Giftedness, conflict, and underachievement
  9. Achieving educational excellence: using behavioral strategies
  10. Execution: the discipline of getting things done
To find these resources and more, you can Ask A Librarian or call (254)968-9249.

Friday, November 1, 2013

GRE Workshop & Prep Materials

If you're thinking about graduate school or beginning to prepare for your job search, resources to get you ready are available.
  • The Academic Support Center is offering a GRE workshop this Saturday (Nov. 2, 2013) in MATH #125 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    It's the last GRE workshop being offered this semester.
    -- You can get more information and sign up at this website:

After the workshop, you can use the following library resources to further prepare for the GRE and other qualifying exams like the GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.  In addition, these database offer a range of materials to help you prepare for your future careers:
Prepare for Your Future
  • Testing & Education Reference Center offers entrance exam and vocational/professional certification prep materials, resume assistance, and additional career prep materials.
    Learn more from this post.
  • Job & Career Accelerator, LearningExpress Library, and NBC Learn offer career exploration materials, many types of practice tests, and videos.
    -- Learn more from this post.

Whether it's preparing for the classes you're taking, coursework you plan to take, or your future careers, the library can help you get ready to soar.  All you need is your network login and you're good to go.

Have questions?

Let us know: stop by the library's reference desk, email, or call  254-968-9249.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween and popular culture

In honor of All Hallow's Eve I thought it would be interesting to look into how the holiday has affected popular culture, particularly through film and media. The library has several books on the topic including a few on the history of Halloween. Take a look and remember that our databases contain many more articles on the subject as well. Have a fun and safe night Halloween!

(Links take you to the library catalog record where you can get additional information)

Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the modern horror film (PN1995.9 H6 P55 2012)
The Martians have landed!: a history of media-driven panics and hoaxes (P96.P75 B37 2012)
Projected Fears: horror films and American culture (PN1995.9 H6 P44 2005)
Of Corpse: death and humor in folklore and popular culture e-book (GR455. O43 2003 EB)
Halloween: from pagan ritual to party night (GT4965. R634 2002)
Death makes a holiday: a cultural history of Halloween (GT4965. S58 2002)

Photo credit:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Library General Satisfaction Survey

Starting today, there's a new link on the library's home page:

For the next week or so, we'll be asking you to complete a General Satisfaction Survey each time you visit the library, either physically or virtually.  Currently we're asking you to click the link on the home page to access the survey, but later the survey will automatically pop up when you access library databases or web pages.  On November 5 and 6, from 8 AM to 5 PM, we'll also ask you to fill out a survey in our lobby as you leave the building (since sometimes the use of the library doesn't involve getting on our computers, website, or databases).

You can get an idea of the main questions we are asking by clicking the photo below to see an enlargement.  Besides these questions, we'll also ask about your primary campus, your status (undergraduate or graduate student, faculty, staff, other), your college (Ag, Business, Education, etc.), and from where you are accessing the library.

The entire survey is only one page and should only take a few minutes to complete.  Please fill one out each time you visit/use the library and its resources during the survey period.  Thank you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

TBT-Throw Back Thursday

In honor of all the TBT (Throw Back Thursday) posts I see on Facebook and other blogs, I thought I would share a couple of Tarleton Library (Dick Smith Library) TBT pictures.
Circulation Desk 1921

Card Catalog

Outside Library Doors 1950's

Front of the Library 1960's

Students using earphones

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The War of the Worlds

I heard about this story a lot when growing up. On October 30th the eve of Halloween, in 1938, Orson Welles narrated a story called "The War of the Worlds," a story about an invasion of Martians on Earth. At the beginning of the story he explains that it is only a play. But if you missed the first of it, you didn't catch that part and it would be forty minutes before announcing again that it was just a play.  His performance sounded very real, he had fake news bulletins to interrupt and broadcast things they were seeing, like a ball of fire landing on a farm, creatures, etc.  It sounded so real and scared people so bad, the roads were packed, they loaded their guns and hid in their cellars.

Mr. Wells did apologize to America for the incident.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Reference Databases

Do you have a research topic you don't know anything about? 
Do you need a good starting point for your research?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you need a reference database! Reference databases contain sources like encyclopedias or dictionaries. These sources can be general- covering multiple topics, or subject-specific. The databases contain reference works on everything from genetics to fashion to education and more. The library has two of these databases- Gale Virtual Reference Library and Credo Reference. In these databases you can search multiple reference sources at once, or search inside an individual title related to your topic. 

Reference books are not usually considered scholarly sources for research papers,  but they can provide valuable background information on a topic that you are unfamiliar with. They can provide definitions, major issues related to the topic and biographical information on important people related to your topic. 

Protip? The articles found in these databases often have bibliographies or lists of articles and books for further research. Use these as a starting point to gather scholarly sources, which you can cite in your research papers.

We also have all of the encyclopedias pictured in this post, and many other print encyclopedias
(and other reference works) at the library. You can search the library catalog to find them, or come by and ask a librarian! We can show you where they are and help you identify which ones are appropriate for your research.

Friday, October 18, 2013

On This Day in History...Intercollegiate Football Rules Were Established

In honor of our Tarleton Texans being 5-0!

In October 1873 Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers met in New York to come up with a unified set of rules.  Before this meeting each school had its own set of rules and the games were played following the home team's.  The rules they established closely resembled soccer.  Although Harvard was invited to the meeting they did not attend, preferring the game more closely resembling rugby. 

Eventually, the other colleges began playing the rugby style game and new rules were adopted in November 1876.  After several tweaks over the years, lowering the number of players to 11, establishing a line of scrimmage, creating yards and downs, and introducing passing, the game became what we Texans watch with so much enthusiasm. 

Champions of West Texas: John Tarleton College football team 1905

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Enhancing Your Study Skills" series

Do you need to work on your writing skills?  Do you have a hard time focusing in class or when you study?  Each semester, Student Success Programs provides the "Enhancing Your Study Skills" series. Typically, the sessions are offered on Mondays in Math 125 and on Tuesdays in Room 219 of the Thompson Student Center.  Presentations are from 12:10 - 12:40 pm.  Students are encouraged to bring their lunch.

Here is a list of upcoming events for the rest of the semester:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

#TSUMidtermMania #studentsuccess

Have you been noticing these 2 hash tags (#TSUMidtermMania #studentsuccess) being used last week and this week on twitter? Tarleton faculty and staff are working hard to help our students succeed during midterms and even finals (#TSUFinalsFrenzy). Not sure how you are doing in your classes? Don't be afraid to talk with your professors/teachers about your progress in your classes! It's important to keep in contact with your professors/teachers all during the semester and not wait until the last minute to see where you stand. Here are a few books in the library that can help you succeed...

            LB2343.32 .S79 2005 General Stacks
          LB2343.3 .U63 2005  General Stacks
            LB3060.57 .D87 2007 General Stacks
            LB3051.A597 1978  General Stacks
             LB1631 .G42 2005 General Stacks

Keep an eye out for the hash tags and don't be afraid to use them in order to get a response to questions about tests or research.

YOU CAN DO IT! #TSUMidtermMania #studentsuccess

Monday, October 14, 2013

Midterm Mania

Want to contribute to the Midterm Mania conversation?
 Check out the hashtag: #TSUMidtermMania
Midterm Mania is happening NOW! 

Are you bogged down with midterms? Have a huge research paper due? 

Check out the library's Twitter account: @TarletonLib

During Midterm Mania, we have been tweeting helpful tips for students concerning Midterms.

Don't have a Twitter? That's okay. 

We've also been posting to Facebook. 

Check us out and Follow and/or Like us. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Top 10 Scary Books

The air is getting cooler, offices are being decorated, and The Simpson's have aired their annual Treehouse of Horror episode which means Halloween is right around the corner! I'm not a fan of scary movies but I do occasionally like to read a good scary book. Below I've listed several books that I (and other library staff) feel offer some spine-tingling thrill and that are available at the Dick Smith Library (call numbers included to help you in your search!). The links also take you directly to the catalog record for additional information. Feel free to leave a comment telling us your favorite scary stories!

1. Just After Sunset: stories by Stephen King (PS3561. I483 J87 2008)
2. The Exorcist by William Blatty (PS3552. L392 E9)
3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (PR6007. U47 R5 1938B)
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (PS3563. C337 R63 2006)
5. The Works of Edgar Allen Poe (PS2601. H25X v.1 - 10)
6. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (PZ8.1. S399 SC 1981), also More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (PZ8.1 S399 MO 1984)
7. Dracula by Bram Stoker (PR6037. T617 D7 1976)
8. Ghost Story by Peter Straub (PS3569. T6914 G4)
9. Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (PS3519. A392 H3 2006)
10. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (PS3503. R167 S66 2001)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October is Family History Month!

Free Five Generation Family Tree Fan Chart from

October is Family History Month, and we have a number of databases that can help you research your own family history.  Here are some of my favorites:

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.  This database includes American Historical Newspapers (most of which only go through 1922 due to copyright), and the Dallas Morning News - Historical, which includes issues from October 1, 1885, through December 31, 1984.  (Issues from August 12, 1984 to today's can be found at the Dallas Morning News - Current link.)  For a brief tutorial on using the Archive of Americana database, check out this post from February 2012.

Newspapers are a great source of family history information.  You'd be surprised at how much information can be found in the New York Times - Historical (1851-2009), even if your ancestors did not live in New York City.  If you or ancestors were affiliated with Tarleton (or even from Stephenville), check out our J-TAC Newspaper Archive (1909-2009).  This connects you to the Portal to Texas History, where photographs, maps, newspapers, yearbooks, documents, and other materials from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical and/or genealogical societies, and private family collections have been digitized and indexed in this free online database.

Speaking of Texas - the Handbook of Texas Online has historical information and sources that can help you with your research, and Texas Digital Sanborn Maps has early maps (1867-1970) of towns and cities in Texas.

Another database to check is the Biography and Genealogy Master Index, which indexes current reference sources as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world.  If we don't have the listed reference source in our collection, talk to me or another librarian about obtaining what you need through interlibrary loan.

Three of our newest databases are African American Archives, American Revolutionary War Archives, and World War II Archives, all accessed through the first link.  These provide you with material at the Fold3 subscription database site, "the web's premier collection of original military records."  Of particular interest are the World War II Hero pages, with primary-source documents, first-hand accounts, photos, timelines, and maps for over 8.8 million men and women who served in this conflict.

Finally, we have HeritageQuest Online.  This database allows you to search indexed U.S. Census records from 1790 through 1940, over 28,000 family and local history books, and over 2.3 million genealogy and local history articles from 1800 to 2009, as well as Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant application files, and Freedman's Bank records from 1865 to 1874.

If you need help using any of these databases, see our Coordinator for Archives and Special Services (and amateur genealogist) Amanda Pape, on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library, call her at 254-968-9251, or (best) e-mail her at

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Plan now to ace midterms/finals weeks

@Tarletonlib tweets with the #TSUMidtermMania hash tag.
If you follow us on Twitter, you may noticed recent tweets with this hash tag:


The Student Success and Multicultural Initiative Department at Tarleton State University will help cushion the stress of midterms (and, later, finals) by offering study tips and free giveaways such as coffee, T-shirts and more.  Be on the lookout for this hash tag.  For more info, you can follow the library on Twitter: @tarletonlib

Here are a few ways the library can help you do better on midterms and finals:

Books to help freshmen: Check out our Pinterest board with books designed to help you succeed in college.
Device charger: Power up your favorite device upstairs near the Information Desk.
Earbuds: Everyone learns differently. Some people need earbuds to reduce distracting noises, while others like to play music to enhance concentration.  You can purchase earbuds here at the library for $2.11 each.
Hours: The week before finals we have extended hours.  The week of final exams, we will be open twenty four hours a day.
Study rooms:
We have individual and group study rooms upstairs.
Study supplies: 
We have a school supplies vending machine across from the cafe (main floor). It is stocked with scantrons, blue books, highlighters, pens, batteries and more.

Last but not least, there is our friendly and helpful staff, including the librarians at the Information Desks (upper and lower floors). They'd love to help you find a book or article or answer any questions you might have, so please don't hesitate to ask!

Friday, October 4, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For those of you that live under rock, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us know someone that has or has had breast cancer and statistics show early detection is crucial. The library is here to help arm you with knowledge and information.

Here are just a few resources available at our library:

Book Jacket
Breast cancer epidemiology
RC280 .B8 B67217 2010 EB
Book Jacket
Breast cancer: a Lobar disease 
RC280 .B8 B74 2011 EB
Book Jacket
Breast cancer
RC280 .B8 B6725 2008 EB