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.