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


Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's COOKIE Time!

October is Cookie Month, and, as all my friends know, I love cookies! So, cheers to the origin of the cookie and here's a short list of resources the Dick Smith Library owns that will help satisfy those cookie needs.

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book by Betty Crocker [General Stacks]

 Grandma Rose's Book of Sinfully Delicious Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Cheese Cakes, Cake Rolls & Pastries by Rose Naftalin [General Stacks]

Martha Stewart Living [Periodicals]

Cooking by James Peterson [General Stacks]


Understanding Baking: the Art & Science of Baking by Joseph Amendola [ebook]

Storied Dishes: What Our Family Recipes Tell Us About Who We Are and Where We've Been [General Stacks]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Library of Congress temporarily shut down

Because the US Congress failed to pass an appropriations bill on September 30, government offices and services that are deemed nonessential have shut down. Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and its website is inaccessible, except for, and Cataloger’s Desktop. However, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine still offers access to LC and other agencies before their websites went dark.

The Tarleton Library is still open, however, so please stop by, call, email us, tweet, or contact us through Facebook if you have any questions or need help locating resources!

Phone: 254.968.9249
What day is it?
 It's the day to make the Library Safe.
 Do you know where to go if there is a tornado? What do you do if there is a bomb threat? A fire? Do you know where the fire extinguishers are located? Do you know where the first aid kits are located? The Dick Smith Library Facilities Committee will be working on a plan to maintain a safe and secure place to work and study. There will be information and training on these issues. Stay tuned for more info.