Friday, August 30, 2013

Hey, Class of 2017!

Photo Taken By Tracy Holtman
Did you participate in Library Poker during Transition week?

If you did, you may remember filling out a Discovery T-Shirt Drawing Card to win a free t-shirt.

We've drawn the winners and we're waiting on you to come pick up your shirt!

 Not sure if you won?
Check your Tarleton email account for an email titled "Discovery Shirt Winner!"

 If you provided a Twitter account, check your Twitter to see if we notified you on there too.

 If you are a winner, come visit us at the library to pick up your new Discovery t-shirt!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Behind the scenes at Offsite

Although we have thousands of journals available online there may be times where you need to see the print or microfilmed version of an article. The periodicals we have inside the library are only the tip of the iceberg of what the library owns. We maintain a separate location for the bound periodicals older than 3 years and almost all microform holdings, which we call "Offsite Stacks". Renovated and expanded last year, our offsite stacks allow us to keep journal volumes and film without taking up valuable space in the library.

If you come across a title in the catalog that says "Offsite" as the location and you need it please fill out the form on the Periodicals Department web page or visit the Periodicals Service desk (temporarily located past the café on the main floor). We'll retrieve the volume you need within 24 hours if during the week or Monday morning if submitted over the weekend.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday - Twelve Library Resources & Services

Welcome (back, to you returning students)!  Here, in no particular order, is a list of ten things (plus a bonus two) the library has to help make your semester a success. Note that some resources have been relocated from their original locations during our Learning Commons renovation project.
mobile whiteboard
collaboration table
presentation practice room
Have a GREAT semester, and please remember the library is here to help you! The library is open 101 hours per week (more during finals and the week before them).  You may get help and ask questions in person at the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, by email at, or via the web at

Monday, August 26, 2013

Library + Pinterest = Success? Yes!

Welcome to all of our returning students and to the class of 2017. There are many resources at Tarleton State University to help you while you are a student here.

One of them, naturally, is the library.

One resource for student success that you might not expect us to have is our Pinterest board called "College Success." (Yes, we're on Pinterest!).  It features books and other resources on how to rock your first year of college.

A screenshot of our "College Success" Pinterest Board.

Most of the books on this board will be on our upper floor, or the "general stacks."
Each book has a Library of Congress call number (which is actually a combination of letters and numbers) that tell you what area the book is shelved in.

For example, the book below has the call number LB2343.3 .C62 2009.

A screenshot of our pin of "The Naked Roommate" on Pinterest.

 This means you will look for the L section on our floor plan.

Floor plan created by Tracy Holtman.
 When you find the Ls, you will look at the sides of the shelves for signs that tell you where the LB section is. Then look for LB2300, and so on, until you find your book.

If you need assistance, please ask whoever is at the Information Desk, and they'll be glad to help.

Best of luck during your first year at Tarleton State!

P.S. Don't forget to follow us on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Databases Now Available!

The Dick Smith Library has a giant list of databases for all your research needs, and now we've added a few more. Check out our new resources on the A-Z Database page or follow the links below.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How Pathogenic Viruses Think: Making Sense of Virology by Lauren Sompayrac

Normally a book about viruses would not be the kind of book about which I would consider writing a review, but Lauren Sompayrac’s book, How Pathogenic Viruses Think: Making Sense of Virology is the exception.  As soon as I looked at the cover of the book, I noticed that this book did not look like the typical medical laboratory sciences book.  An illustration of what might be reminiscent of Freud sitting with an odd-headed body laying on couch gave me the clue that Sompayrac was about to take a unique position in describing viruses.  The author's humorous perspective helps the reader to understand different types of viruses. Black, white, and purple line illustrations are used to convey the concepts.

In the first part of the book, Sompayrac helps the reader understand her organizing principle, i.e. her use of the technique of learning how viruses “think”.   She also discusses human defense systems against viruses.  In Part II, Sompayrac stages the description in terms of an interview with the virus through which the properties of each is described in detail. The first page of each chapter shows a drawing of the virus talking to a psychologist illustrating to the reader the concept “how the virus thinks”.  Each virus is illustrated uniquely  such as the Rhinovirus shown as a body with a rhinoceros head, and Measles: A “Trojan Horse” virus being shown as a body with a Trojan warrior helmeted head. The same style of black, white, and purple drawings are used to illustrate the specific properties of the virus. In Part III, newly emerging viruses, virus-associated cancer, vaccines, and antiviral drugs are described.  Each chapter concludes, as all previous chapters, with a listing of the general principles and sometimes including thought questions.  The book ends with Summary Tables, continuing in the same light-hearted style as the rest of the book.  Tables listing the various groups of viruses are labeled with humorous titles such as “Viruses We Inhale”, “Viruses We Eat,” and “Viruses We Get from Mom”. 

Although only 167 pages long, this book on viruses gives the reader a good understanding of the characteristics of the pathogenic viruses and a humorous manner to recall each. The book lives up to the author’s idea as stated in the dedication to this book, “...although science is serious, it should also be fun!” This book may be found in the Medical Laboratory Sciences library (QR 482 .S65 2013) at the Schaeffer Building in Fort Worth. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Do You Know About Course Reserves?

The library is in full swing getting ready for the start of the fall semester.  As faculty finish wrapping up their own preparations, they are starting to set up their course reserves for the semester.  These are items that the instructor has deemed important for the entire class to have access to, and therefore have allowed the library to keep it to loan to students.  Faculty can choose to have their items available for 2 hours (in library use only), 24 hour overnight use, 2 day and a 7 day check out.

To see what items we currently have on reserve, simply search the course reserves in our catalog.  You can search by instructor, course number and course name.  Between now and the first week of classes our course reserve selection will be growing a lot.  If you don't find what you need today, check back as it gets closer to the start of class to see if they've been added.  You can also call the Circulation department at 254-968-9450 to ask or just stop by the library in person.

If we don't have the item that you're looking for, ask your professor if they have a copy that they're willing to place on reserve in the library.  It never hurts to ask!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Have you tried ILL?

The Dick Smith Library has a wealth if information available for our users. We've got books, ebooks, newspaper, academic journals, popular magazines, CDs, and DVDs on nearly every subject.

However, occasionally we may not own a book or have access to every article you need. The good news is that we do offer a fantastic service called Interlibrary Library Loan, otherwise know as ILL or ILLiad.

The service is free to all current students, faculty, and staff. You simply log in to your ILLiad account using your NTNET account at and place a request for the item you need. Our staff will search for libraries around the country that own and will loan or make copies of the material. Requests do not have to be limited to research, recreational reading can also be requested.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Guests Are Welcomed!

Due to the upcoming construction, the library will be limited on computer access. Guest users, have no fear, WE HAVE A PLAN! During interim hours (August 9th- 23rd 8am-5pm), guest users will be able to access computers. A few days before school starts, guest users will only be allowed to have computer access after 3pm.

Guest users will find computers on the upper level of the library. If needing to print, you will need to use one of the first couple of computers down the middle section of the stacks (as pictured below). Guest users who are students from another institution can bring their university issued ID to access the computers before 3pm after the fall semester starts.

We are sorry for this slight inconvenience for our guest users. We look forward to the new Learning Commons and know, that once it is completed, our guest users will appreciate the new space as well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Panic!

When you visit the library, you may feel like something is missing. You may even find yourself asking, "Are the computers vanishing?!?" or "What's going on?!?"

Don't Panic!

The computers have been temporarily relocated to prepare for the library renovation project.

You can still find computers on the upper and lower levels of the library (around 75 if you're counting).

So when you come into the library, keep calm, take a deep breath, and check out our upper and lower levels.

As always, we're here to answer any questions you may have.

Contact us via phone (254)968-9249 or email

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

1963 J-TAC
Texan Transition Week is just around the corner, and campus departments are preparing to greet the Class of 2017 by making plans for an activities-filled week and developing strategies to ensure the new students' time at Tarleton is rewarding -- academically, professionally, and personally.

Welcoming students to campus is a long-standing Tarleton tradition that has evolved over time. For example, when the 1963 Freshman Class arrived on campus, they received registration help, took campus tours, attended a general assembly and departmental presentations, and participated in social events like swimming at the college pool and a dance.

Curious about what previous students experienced at Tarleton? No problem. You can learn much about Tarleton's past by reading The J-TAC articles (1919-2009) online at UNT's Portal to Texas History.

Here's how:
-- Click this direct link to the J-TAC (1919-2009) collection at the portal.
   -- Or, click "J-TAC Newspaper Archive" on the library's database page.
-- Use the "Advanced Search" feature to search for topics, choose specific time periods, or set other search limits.
   -- Or, browse for articles by year and issue.

If you have questions, give us a call 254-968-9249 or contact us with our Ask a Librarian service. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Periodicals & Reference in a new location!

If you haven't had a chance to stop by the Dick Smith Library in the past week you might be in for a little bit of a shock. We've been clearing out the main floor in preparation for the upcoming Learning Commons renovation but never fear! Our collections and computers that were in the area have been moved to different parts of the library. If you're looking for journals, newspapers, magazines, and reference books you'll now find them just past Suave Café at the end of the hallway (the former student lounge). You'll also find a sitting area and copy machine in the corner.

Our Periodicals Service desk and Periodicals Specialist Sandy are located just outside the room to assist with questions, provide directions, and help with the microform machines which are now in Room 106.

We're very excited about the new Learning Commons and are eager to see the renovation get started. If you have any questions at all about where things are or have moved to temporarily please ask! You can contact us by phone, email, in person, or through our social media links.

Phone: 254-968-9249
Tarleton Libraries on Facebook
Tarleton Libraries on Twitter

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Secure Password Tips

Although this great infographic by the Daring Librarian calls these password security tips "for librarians", they can be used by anyone.

Check it out and let us know what you think of the tips below.

P.S. Your Tarleton NTNET password (this goes with your st_ username and allows you to use library databases and log onto campus computers) expires every 120 days. You will be notified via your Tarleton Go email one week before it expires. Be sure to reset it beforehand, or come to the library if you need help.  If you have not gotten your NTNET username and password yet, note that they should be loaded into Tarleton's computers about a week before the first day of school. You can ask us for help then or claim it here. Note: Your NTNET information is separate from, and different than, My Gateway.

Daring_Comic_Super_Password by Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones on Flickr.

Monday, August 5, 2013

An 1891 Missing Person - Using Library Resources to Learn More

The Dick Smith Library serves as a Regional Historical Resources Depository for original and microfilmed records for a number of Texas counties, including Coleman.  Recently, another library transferred to us a fascinating Coleman County Sheriff's ledger from 1887 to 1892 that contained notices about stolen and stray animals, and wanted and missing persons.  This one caught my eye:

I decided to use library resources to try to find out what happened.  First, I used the Archive of Americana database to search old newspapers for articles on Hanchette from 1891 or later. 

Mr. Hanchette arrived in Chicago from Los Angeles by March 31, 1891, to organize an exhibit of California fruit in the Windy City.  After the exposition closed in May, Hanchette was supposed to return home via train, but instead disappeared.  About the time the missing person notice went out, articles started appearing in Chicago and other newspapers:

from The Chicago Herald, May 19, 1891, page 3, via Archive of Americana database 
This was followed by speculation and supposed sightings. Hanchette was spotted at the end of May 1891 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on a "big spree;" and near Flandreau, South Dakota, in June 1891, "selling organs for a Chicago firm." Speculations included that he'd sailed for South America in late June 1891, and that he'd been located with another woman (not his wife) in July 1891.

The story resurfaced in August 1897 in Chicago, when Los Angeles newspaperman Robert J. Farrell "said Hanchette told him he [Hanchette] had concluded to drop out of sight and cautioned him [Farrell] to say nothing of having met him [Hanchette]."

Thirteen months later, Hanchette's wife Emma died, and nine months after that, his son Earl, and newspaper articles on those deaths mentioned Hanchette's disappearance.  He still had not turned up.

I wondered if anyone else had tried to solve this mystery, so I also searched another library database, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Full-Text for "Hanchette."  A promising result out of 116 was Charles Dwight Willard: Los Angeles City Booster and Professional Reformer, 1888-1914, written by Donald Ray Culton at the University of Southern California in 1971. The Los Angeles city booster part made me think Willard might have a connection with Hanchette, and I was right (pages 44-47).

Willard was on the staff of the Los Angeles Herald while Hanchette was its city editor in 1888, and he later joined Hanchette on the staff of the Chamber of Commerce.  The two were good friends. When Hanchette disappeared, Willard took over his duties as Chamber secretary, and was later elected to the post.  According to Culton, Willard had to deal with snarled financial records, careless meeting minutes, an overdrawn bank account, uncollected membership dues, and a debt of $2,300.

Although publicly Willard spoke positively of Hanchette, in private (a letter to his father in June 1891), he said, "He was not a bad man, but he was hopelessly weak," and that some of Hanchette's actions had been "dishonorable."

My research mentioned another book about Willard that mentioned Hanchette, Suffering in the Land of Sunshine, by Emily Abel.  I requested this 2006 book through interlibrary loan and found it supported Culton's findings.  Another letter Willard wrote to his father in July 1891 stated that Hanchette had been "in secret a spend thrift, and a fool about money matters...When he went away things were in a hopeless snarl with him and he had not the courage to come back and face them" (page 49).

By the way - Hanchette was on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Public Library from 1889 until his disappearance.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Library changes

The main floor of the library is looking really bare.  We are clearing the area so that construction can start soon for the new Learning Commons!   The computers and tables will be moving next week.  If you would like to keep up with the status of the work, check the Library Learning Commons Renovation website. If you're a more visual person, the library also posts pictures of the status on their Flickr account.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Do you ever get stressed? How about STRESSED?

Most of us are under stress either at work, school, home or all of the above. I have put together a list of TEN things you can do to relieve stress:

1.       Exercise. Helps relieve stress and tension.
2.       Take long, deep breaths. Will calm your nerves and slow your heart rate down.
3.       Call a good friend. Talk about positive things only and it will change your mood and attitude.
4.       Start a journal. Journaling allows you to release your frustrations and move on.
5.       Get a massage. Relieves pressure and physical tension.
6.       Start a garden. This can be relaxing and save you money by growing your own organic foods.
7.       Watch a comedy. Laughter is a wonderful stress reliever.
8.       Find a hobby. Set aside time every day or several times a week to enjoy your hobby.
9.       Reduce caffeine and sugar. Try to remove caffeine and sugar (including artificial sweeteners) from your diet.
10.    Get more sleep. Your body and your mind need time to rest and recharge.

The library offers many resources to battle stress. Here are just a few books available in the library for stress management: