Monday, July 28, 2014

More Time for Thinking?.... or Just More Cat Videos?

What could a memory machine do?  
This was the question that Vannevar Bush asked when he proposed the memex.

Vannervar Bush wearing
head-mounted infovore machine
from Atlantic Monthly (1945), vol. 176
Bush proposed a new system for organizing information in his article, ”As We May Think” which was first published 69 years ago this July. This system is linked to the beginning of hypertext and the Internet.
Bush stated, “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified…a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications…it is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory” (Bush, 2006). Does this remind you of the Internet in a primitive way?

Bush described this information organization devise, the memex as:
From Life magazine, (1945) vol. 19, no. 11, p. 123
“…a desk, [that] can…be operated from a distance…the top [is]…slanting translucent screens, on which material can be projected for convenient reading.  There is a keyboard, and sets of buttons and levers….” (Bush,1945).
Does that sound like a desk-top computer, your personal laptop, or even, perhaps, your smart phone?!

The part of Bush’s article that often gets overlooked is Bush’s underlying reason for creating the memex.  Bush hoped to use the memex to cut down on the time it took to do good research which, in turn, would leave more time for deep thinking which Bush called “mature thought” (Levy, 2007).  Do we really have more time for thinking through the use of our “mechanical indexes” or do we just choose to skip the “deep thought” part in order to watch another cat video?  What do you think?

Bush, V. (1945). As we may think. The Atlantic Monthly, 176, 101-108.
Bush, V. (2006). As we may think. The Atlantic Monthly, 298(2), 55-58.
Levy, D. M. (2007). No time to think: Reflections on information technology and contemplative scholarship,  Ethics and Information Technology, 9, 237-249. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Collaboration Tables!

The collaboration tables in the library have multiplied! We now have four collaboration table booths, and two collaboration table rooms in the new library learning commons, as well as our original collaboration table on the lower level. These tables and rooms are great for working on group papers or projects, researching together or group exam review. Everyone can share their own screens, and see the large screen monitor. No more huddling around a lab computer or someone's laptop!

All the collaboration tables are equipped with a large screen TV monitor, an on board computer, wireless keyboard and mouse and connectors for four other devices. Just push the button on the cord to display that device. Pro tip: If you are using the on board computer along with other connected devices, disconnect the other devices to return to viewing the on board computer. The connectors are all HDMI or VGA, but if you need a different kind of connector, ask at the circulation desk. We have connectors for iPads, tablets, and many other devices available for check out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Computing in the Library

Need a place to get your assignments done?  The library is here to help!  We have over 200 computers with all kinds of applications and programs needed to complete a project. Here is a list of the software installed on our computers. 

Adobe Creative Cloud
•    Photoshop
•    Illustrator
•    Acrobat Professional
•    InDesign
•    Dreamweaver
•    FireWorks
Multimedia Tools
•    iTunes
•    Quicktime
•    RealPlayer
•    VideoLan
•    Windows Media Player
Microsoft Office 2013
•   Word
•    Excel
•    Access
•    PowerPoint
•    Publisher
•    Project
•    VisioSkype
Web Browers
•    IE
•    Firefox
•    Chrome
Windows Movie Maker

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tarleton pride on Pinterest

If you're on Pinterest and you follow the library, you may have noticed our Purple Pen--Writing & Art board, which spotlights contributions from Tarleton students, staff, and faculty.

We're only getting started and we'd love to have more pins to show off.  Help us celebrate Tarleton authors and artists on Pinterest.  If you know of a Tarleton author, artist or work that should be part of the board, let us know in the comments below. 

Thank you.

A screenshot of the library's board for Tarleton authors and artists.
We hope to add many more pins.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Attribution: It's the Right Thing to Do

What do you do when you need an image for an assignment - a presentation or a paper?  If the image is one you created yourself, you’re good to go. But what about those times you can’t create your own images? Is it OK to just use that great picture you found on the internet?

It’s safest to assume that all images on the web are copyrighted with all rights reserved, unless otherwise stated. That means you need to get permission for use from the image creator, or possibly face penalties ranging from a take-down notice, to a bill requesting payment for use of the image, to legal action against you. Not to mention – asking permission is moral and ethical.

A number of artists and photographers, sometimes in an effort to generate notice for their work, have made their images available for use under Creative Commons (CC) licenses. The creator can put the image into the public domain (waiving all copyright), or retain some rights and choose from six licenses, ranging from simple attribution (permitting derivatives and commercial reuse, CC-BY), to allowing reuse as long as it is noncommercial and the work is not modified (CC-BY-NC-ND).
This work, "CC Chart", is a derivative of slide 88 of “The OER 101 Workshop at USM II” by Zaid Alsagoff used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5. ”CC Chart” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 by Amanda Pape

There are a number of tools available to help you find copyright-friendly images, such as Creative Commons Search and flickrCC. Recently, Google Image Search made finding such images much easier.
  • Enter your search term.
  • Click on Search tools.
  • Click on Usage rights.
  • Select the appropriate license (“Not filtered by license” is the default). 

Google image search screen shot taken and further modified by Amanda Pape, CC-BY

Images (if any) that fit the license restrictions will appear. Depending on your search terms and the license you choose, images may come from Flickr, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, or the Open Clip Art library.

It’s important to note that ALL Creative Commons licenses require users to provide attribution to the creator.

What is attribution? It’s the journalistic practice of crediting information to its source (so you know where something came from), and a concept in copyright law requiring acknowledgement of the creator of a work (such as an image) which is used or appears in another work (such as your blog or Facebook post).

Why should you provide attributions? Using other's images without giving credit is plagiarism. Also, think about how you might feel if someone “borrowed” one of your images to use on a website and did not give you credit, thereby implying that the image was their (or another’s) creation. This has happened to me (more than once), and I wasn’t too happy about it. (Luckily, in both cases, the borrowers added or corrected the attribution when I commented on the mistake.)

When using Creative Commons images, you must credit the photographers/artists in the manner they specify (if they do so). Sometimes you can find the preferred attribution with the image, or on a profile page from the website where you found the image.

Just as there are tools to help you find copyright-friendly images to use, there are tools available to generate attributions when no specific one is provided. Unfortunately, none of the tools I’ve tried (such as flickrCC, OpenAttribute, and ImageCodr) fully and consistently meet the Creative Commons guidelines for attribution, which require that you:

  • Cite the work’s title or name (and link it directly to source of the original work). 
  • Cite the author’s name, screen or real (and link to the author’s profile page when available). 
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under (and link to the license deed on the CC website). 
  • Keep intact any copyright notices for the work. 
  • Indicate if the image has been modified or adapted by you in any way.

If you use one of the citation tools mentioned above, take what it generates and fill in the missing pieces, as much as you can. Make some effort, just as you would in citing text sources in a paper written for an assignment in school. The two images used in this blog post provide examples of proper attribution.

Here are some additional resources on proper attribution: (has a great infographic), and

And here is my presentation on Slideshare on Creative Commons licenses and proper attribution:

[A slight variation on this post appeared originally on the Texas Social Media Research Institute blog on July 9, 2014, and is used with their permission and that of me, the author.]

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Citing Sources--Help and More

Citing your sources for a research paper can be a daunting prospect. 
There are so many questions.
  • Is your book an e-book or a print book?
  • Is that internet source an article, a blog post, a web page, or an online newsletter?
  • Is it possible  (or even desirable) to cite a tweet?

Perhaps you've felt something like this:

Gif obtained at

Don't worry. We're here to help.

Our Citing Sources page is an excellent resource.

It has the following:
A screenshot of our Citing Sources page.

You can also get citation help...
  • in person at the Information Desk on any floor.
  • by phone at (254) 968-9249 during library hours.
  • by using our online Ask A Librarian form.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dog Days of Summer

Although this Texas summer has been mild in comparison to previous summers, it's still hot out there.

I have three dogs at home that I worry about while I'm at work so I used the library's Discovery@Tarleton service to locate some tips on keeping your beloved pets cool on a hot day.

Here are 10 tips I found from an article titled "Top Tips for a Cool Dog This Summer from Benny The Dog" from PR Newswire:

1. Provide plenty of fresh water

Always have fresh, cool water available at all times. Keep the water bowl in the shade and remember to carry a water bottle on walks.

2. Never leave your dog in the car on a hot day

Even when left for only a few minutes can cause brain damage or death. A car retains heat, even in the shade. Locked inside a car a dog can't cool down through panting because the air is too warm. An open window is not sufficient to keep a car cool enough.

3. Always provide access to shade

Ensure there is a shady area for your dog to retreat to. The temperature in the shade is considerably cooler than sitting under the sun.

4. Check for signs of heatstroke

Look out for early warning signs; excessive panting and drooling, a rapid heart rate, bright red tongue, very red gums or dizziness. In severe cases there could be; shock, coma, convulsions and loss of consciousness.

5. Exercise in the cooler hours

Early morning or late evening, walking in the cooler parts of the day is more comfortable for both dog and owner. Reduce exercise intensity on hotter days.

6. Go swimming

For water loving dogs swimming is one of the best forms of exercise in hot weather. Include water fetch toys to safely increase enjoyment for both dog and owner.

7. Use a dog cooling jacket

For longer walks or days out consider using a dog cooling jacket. This provides evaporative cooling, exchanging the dog's heat for the cool water stored in the jacket.

8. Use a cooling pet mat

These specialist dog beds use cooling gel technology to create a lower temperature than your dog.

9. Give your pet a frozen dog toy

Specially designed freezing toys can provide a satisfying treat to cool dogs on hot days.

10. Use dog boots

As heat rises from the ground, concrete or tarmac surfaces can become hot. Dogs both absorb and release heat through their paws. Boots help to isolate the heat and offer protection from hot pavements.

"Top Tips for a Cool Dog This Summer from Benny The Dog." PR Newswire 30 June 2014. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 16 July 2014.

How do you keep your pets cool in the summer? 

Want to find more helpful hints using Discovery@Tarleton

Feel free to contact us for assistance in navigating Discovery or any of our other databases available:


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Most Interesting Man Asks A Librarian

Not sure how to cite your sources, where to find materials in the library, or how to use the databases? 

Tarleton Libraries is always ready to help you with your research needs. You can also give us a call at 254-968-9249 or send questions via any of our social media outlets. We look forward to helping you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Did you know that July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month?  Here are a few things to know when using your cell phone in the library.
  • Turn your cell phone to its lowest volume or use the silent signal function.
  • Keep your cell phone within easy reach so you can answer it quickly.
  • Keep your voice low and your conversations short when talking on your phone.
  • Step outside to use your cell phone if you are disrupting other library patrons.
Need to charge your cell phone while you are in the library?  We have a kiosk for that.  On the upper level the kiosk is located at the end of the computers near the stairs.
Upper Level Charging Kiosk
Picture taken by Tracy Holtman
Our charging kiosk on the main level is located on the wall between the new Tech Spot and Writing Center in the Learning Commons.
Main Level Charging Kiosk
Picture taken by Tracy Holtman

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Aeronautics and October Sky

Tarleton’s Aeronautical Team recently placed 5th at the Texas CanSat competition, quite a feat for our university!  Their accomplishments reminded me of the book, October Sky, written by Homer Hickam, about four young men who, without prior training, succeed at making their own rockets.

current picture of Coalwood, WV 
 The setting for the autobiographical novel is in the coal mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, during the 1950's when  our country was putting much effort into exploration of the space and rocketry.  It's hard to imagine the current Coalwood which has no post office, stores, schools, or railroad, that has only one church and a  few remaining aging people living in cookie-cutter type, company homes being caught up in a rocket-mania that lead to national acclaim.  

In the book, Hickam is a young man growing up in this remote, mountainous town populated by mostly coal miners who have very little interest in anything beyond taking care of their families through dangerous work in the mines.  Hickam has a strong interest in science and dreams of rockets, but his practical, hard-working coal miner father wants him to focus on a job in the mines.  His mother, however, encourages Homer to carry on even after he blows a hole in the family’s fence. 

The Rocket Boys, 2007
by Mike and Kim Daniels
Aspirations for young people to do anything more than replace parents in the mines are few, but Hickam’s far-sighted chemistry and physics teacher, Miss Riley, helps he and his group of friends (self-named “The Rocket Boys), to learn the science and math required to succeed at rocket-building.  Humdrum town life changes as locals pick up The Rocket Boys’ passion.  Enthusiastic towns-people turn out in large numbers to see the launching of some of the rockets built by these young men.  As The Rocket Boys' knowledge grows, their next challenge is to take their skills to the outside world.

The book was originally named Rocket Boys, however Universal Studios changed the name to October Sky (an anagram of Rocket Boys) when the story was made into a movie.  October Sky is often-read in book clubs and schools across the country.

Check out October Sky (Call number: PS3558.I224 O27 1999) from the Dick Smith Library to read this story yourself!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Do you have books you haven't finished?

Last week, a researcher used data from Amazon to determine which books the most people had started and then not finished on their Kindles. The list of books includes mostly non-fiction, including a couple of highly discussed books from last year - Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In and Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century.  Are there books that you started but haven't finished? I know I have a few!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 4th

Photo by Amanda Pape
The library will be closed for Independence Day on Friday, July 4th. It will reopen with normal summer hours at 1pm on Saturday, July 5th.

Here are a few fireworks safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We want to ensure you all have a safe and happy July 4th. :)

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.