Thursday, December 17, 2015

#NativismSyllabus - Guest post by Dr. Michael Landis, Assistant Professor of History


On June 17, 2015, neo-Confederate white supremacist Dylan Roof entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, SC and murdered nine black parishioners.  The event, though sadly not unusual in the history of the United States, sparked immediate and profound national outrage.  In the aftermath, symbols of the Confederacy began to be removed and Americans struggled to come to grips with centuries of white supremacy terrorism.  A product of that struggle was the #CharlestonSyllabus (, compiled by the African American Intellectual History Society.  Scholars from around the world contributed to the list of the most important primary and secondary sources to understand what had happened in Charleston and what it meant for American society.

Since the summer of 2015, other issues have arisen to anger Americans and ignite impassioned debate, namely the role of newly-arrived immigrants in American society.  Syrians fleeing devastation and civil war in their home country; Central Americans yearning for jobs, security, and a better life – their arrival in the United States triggered alarm and fear among many Americans.  Politicians stoked the flames of hate, anger, and hostility, eager to ride this issue into high office.  Some politicos grabbed headlines by making wild accusations about foreign-born Americans and the dangers of the Islamic faith, suggesting national religious registries, internet censorship, and racial quotas.

Nativism – the fear of immigrants and the desire to deny them rights – has long been part of United States history.  Manifesting most famously (and effectively) in the Know Nothings of the 1850s, Chinese Exclusionists of the 1880s, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, and Japanese Internment in the 1940s, nativism has proven a powerful force in American politics.  The books, essays, articles, and primary sources below provide a comprehensive road-map for understanding American nativism and immigration.

#NativismSyllabus was conceived and compiled by Dr. Michael Landis (@DrMichaelLandis), with the help of Margie Maxfield.  The hashtag started trending on December 8, 2015, in response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

Ms. Margie Maxfield, MSIS, is the Systems Librarian at Tarleton State University.

Dr. Michael Todd Landis is an Assistant Professor of History at Tarleton State University, board member of Historians Against Slavery (, and author of Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis (


Essays/ Articles:

Primary Sources:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Everyone comes to the library first!

The screenshot above is from a February 1939 edition of the JTAC. As you can see from the message, "everyone that visited Tarleton came to the library first!" The Senior Class of '39 did in fact donate a beautiful charge desk to the library.

The Dick Smith Library is swarming with students studying for finals, preparing for presentations, and finishing last minute projects. We are the central hub of the campus. The "IT" place. Always have been and always will be (in my opinion).

Senior classes don't typically give gifts these days. However, I'm sure they're thankful for the wonderful time they've had not only at Tarleton, but also in the library. Good luck to you all on your finals and especially to those graduating Seniors.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Extended hours for Finals

Good Luck with Final Exams!   The Library has started "All Night Study" hours. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Dick Smith Library will be open today, Wednesday, November 25, from 7 AM to 5 PM.  We will be closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, through Saturday, November 28, reopening at noon on Sunday, November 29.

Extended hours will continue at that point - you can find the schedule here:

The Study Grounds Cafe, although closed today through Sunday, will also have extended hours the rest of the semester.  Their schedule is here:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a safe trip if you are traveling!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

International Game Day Today!

Stop by the Dick Smith Library's Multi-Purpose Room today between 2pm and 6pm to join the Tarleton Game Club for International Game Day.  The Tarleton Game Club students will be giving short presentations on projects they have made and the process they go through to create games.  They will also be demoing the Oculus, a virtual reality device.  There will be a game tournament for Battleblock Theater starting at 4pm.  If you want to join, sign up between 2pm and 4pm.  You must be present to win the prizes for the tournament.  There will be free food while supplies last!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Library Extended Hours: Coming Soon!

Did you know the library extends its hours for you to prepare for finals? 

Check out our Extended Hours Schedule:

Let us know if you have any questions: 

Phone: (254)968-9249

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Eat a Sandwich Today

Today is National Sandwich Day.  I eat sandwiches for lunch almost every day.  They are fast, easy, and generally cheap.  And you can eat them with only one hand, which is just what John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich needed. 

Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (4 of 5) / Molly Elliott / CC BY-ND 2.0

In 1762, after having sat at a card table for hours gambling he asked for something he could eat without having to get up so he could continue his game.  The cook did what all of us do and slapped some meat between two pieces of bread and his meal was served.  They soon caught on and became very popular in England and were first served in restaurants and later became popular on picnics.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Birth of the Internet

Can you remember a time when something wasn't immediately accessible via the Internet? A time when you forced to do your shopping in brick and morter buildings? A time before Facebook?

History of the Internet

On October 29, 1969 a studend named Charley Kline transmitted "LOGIN" from a computer in UCLA to one in Stanford. He got as far as L O before it crashed.

He was able to send the complete message an hour later.

So why was this important? Because it initiated a spark in thinkers, dreamers, and those with the technological know-how to invent HTML and HTTP languages that would allows computers to talk to one another.

World Wide Web in 1989
Since 1989 the Internet has become one of the most influential inventions of our time. It has allowed us to become closer globally and has helped shape our world views. We can learn from one another at a tremendous rate and what happens at one corner of the globe can be viewed almost immediately in another nation.

So I ask again, can you remember a time when the world wasn't at your fingertips. What has it allowed you to do?

For more information:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October is (Also) Family History Month

Besides being #ArchivesMonth, October is also Family History Month, and we have a number of databases and other resources here at Tarleton that can help you research your own family history.  Check out our Genealogy Research Guide for suggestions as well as a link to a web page with other helpful resources.

If you need help using any of these databases or other resources, 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

And don't forget that TODAY, Tuesday, October 27th, from 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the Library's Multipurpose Room, the Library will be hosting a Brown Bag presentation on "Preserving Your Family History and Treasures" by our archivist Gary Spurr.  Please feel free to bring your lunch!  We hope to see you there. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Highlight: The Addams Family

Growing up in the 90's during Halloween was ... AWESOME! So many of my traditions for Halloween today, go back to what was cool then. It was a time when you could still trick or treat in your own neighborhood. Homemade candy wasn't a scary thing if it was in a neighborhood you knew. Movie nights consisted of Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. But my favorite that I could watch any time of year was The Addams Family. Of course, my generation were familiar with the 1991 version that was followed by The Addams Family Values. I, however, watched the 1964 TV show almost every night before I went to bed. So as I have been preparing for the Halloween holiday this year, I of course pulled out my VHS tape of The Addams Family and prepared for an epic movie night full of nostalgia. This got me thinking what came before the TV show? Was it a book? Who came up with this idea of a family that was so scary yet normal in their own way? So I did some digging and thought I would share with you some facts I found interesting!

The Addams Family actually started out as a cartoon in the The New Yorker. American cartoonist, Charles Addams, was the creator of this eccentric family.  He created them as an inversion of the ideal American family. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single-panel cartoons. Only about half were originally published in The New Yorker between 1938 and 1988. They have since been adapted to other media, including the TV show (live and animated), films, video games and a musical. Addams' original cartoons, however, were not given names until the TV series, but well-known characters were often seen in his cartoons: Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Cousin Itt and Thing. Charles Addams was first inspired by his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, which was an area full of "ornate Victorian mansions and archaic graveyards." Charles Addams was approached by a television producer who wanted to create a TV show. All Charles had to do was given names to his characters and characteristics for the actors to use in their portrayals. The TV show first aired in 1964 and lasted two seasons with over 60 episodes. The Addams Family's first appearance in an animated show was on the third episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies that first aired in 1972. ( 

A few interesting things about Charles Addams himself:
Charles Addams was born in 1912 and passed away in 1988. He is distantly related to U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, despite the different spellings of their last names. He married his last and third wife in a pet cemetery. 

I've included a few links to other interesting facts and even a quiz on what you know about the 1991 movie! 

Happy Halloween! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's #ArchivesMonth

October is #ArchivesMonth. What does that mean? #ArchivesMonth is a chance for archivists to educate the public on what an archive is, what archives are, and what archivists do. We will be sending out tweets all month highlighting the Tarleton Archives. Please view the video below to see a brief overview of some items the Library's Special Collections & Archives have and services we offer.

If you're not certain what an archive is or what archives are, check out this article titled "What is an Archives?". Feel free to contact any of the Special Collections & Archives staff if you have any questions.

Amanda Pape, Coordinator for Archives and Special Services,, (254)968-9251
Gary Spurr, Collections Archivist,, (254)968-1808
Crystal Stanley, Archives & Reference Assistant,, (254)968-9496

On October 27th from 12:10pm-12:50pm in the Library's Multipurpose Room, the Library will be hosting a Brown Bag presentation on "How to preserve your family records" by Gary Spurr. Please feel free to bring your lunch! We hope to see you there. 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @tarletonlib to see all of the wonderful tweets about #ArchivesMonth. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Check Out Items Video

Last week, we released our second Welcome to the Library video! Have you ever wondered what those numbers on the spines of books are? What the Curriculum Collection is? Where you can find the movies? This video, How to Check Out Items, answers all these questions and more!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

How long will it take you to finish the books in your TBR pile?

Read It Forward has a calculator on their site that can tell you how long it will take you to finish the books in your TBR (To Be Read) pile. It's available here. All you need is the total number of books in your pile (or saved on your e-reader, or included in a Goodreads TBR list, or wherever else you keep lists of books you plan on reading) and the total number of books you finished last year. You don't have to add your age if you don't want to. The calculator then figures out how long it will take you to finish them all, assuming your TBR doesn't grow.

I added up the number of books I've marked as being ones I'd like to read, plus the number of e-books I own. According to the calculator, it would take me 6 years and 4 months to finish them all.

What about the rest of you? How many months, years, or decades (!) does the calculator think it will take you?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Banned Books Week 2015

Help the library celebrate Banned Books Week, 
September 28th-October 2nd!
The library's Banned Books Week theme this year highlights characters from frequently banned or challenged books.
 Hester Prynne from the Scarlet Letter is featured here. 

Stop by the library and pick up a Banned Books Week button!

Learn more about Banned Books Week by checking out our displays on all floors of the library. 

See a book you'd like to read? Check out the book with your student ID card. 

Have questions about Banned Books Week?
Contact us at (254)968-9249 or email 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Make Copies

This is our first video in our "Welcome to the Library" series, How to Make Copies.  Learn how to make copies as well as add money to your Texan Card.
Keep an eye out for more videos in our "Welcome to the Library" series and learn how to check out items, use the laptop vending machine, print, scan, request materials from offsite, and more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Hobbit Day


Hobbit Day was officially declared in 1978 in honor of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthdays, two beloved characters from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Before the official declaration there was much debate on when the observance should occur due to the differences between the Gregorian and Shire calendars. This is because Tolkien once said that the Shire calendar is ahead by about 10 days, depending on the month.


Some Tolkien fans celebrate with having parties and feasts emulating the hobbit’s parties. Feasts can include potato-cheddar pancakes, jam "sandwiches", and dill pickle spears. For more feasts ideas checkout Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's menu ideas.

Fun games to play include a scavenger huntpin the ring on Bilbo, and a Hobbit trivia night. Others celebrate by simply going barefooted in honour of the hobbits, who rarely wear shoes.

How will you celebrate Hobbit Day?

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Dump

Collections Archivist Gary Spurr received a package from a woman whose mother attended Tarleton in the twenties. In the package, there was a small Tarleton pennant, a leather covered graduation invitation, Yell Book, handbill to a Cherniavsky concert, and many more interesting things from her mother's year at Tarleton (1924-1925). In the letter, the woman states that her mother lived in "the dump". The question is....WHAT WAS "THE DUMP"? Upon further investigation using the JTAC Newspaper, Grassburr archive, and the Cross Timbers Historical Images Project, we discovered that the Dump was actually the Mary Corn-Wilkerson girls dormitory.

"The dump" was built in 1910 after Mary Corn-Wilkerson responded to a call of need for a women's dormitory and deeded 370 acres of land to the university. She asked that the real estate be sold and the money used to build the first women's dorm. It was a two story high red brick building with all the "modern conveniences" of the time. Over the years, several annexes were added. Sadly, in 1955 "the dump" was demolished and 8 years late Hunewell was constructed in its place (Guthrie, 1999).

Donated items in package.
Letter accompanying donated items.

Photo taken from 1920 Grassburr

 Guthrie, C. E. (1999). John Tarleton and his legacy : the history of Tarleton State University, 1899-1999. Acton, MA : Tapestry Press, [1999].

Note:  Guthrie's book is available in the Dick Smith Library on the 3rd floor in the General Stacks. It can be found with the following call number: LD5271 .T35 G88 1999.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Library Learning Commons - Still the place to be!

The Library Learning Commons (LLC) is still the place to be!  The Commons, which opened last year, is where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee, get tech help, set up a tutoring session, use a computer, or print. The space is comfortable and inviting, with some great technologies to help you get your work completed. There are collaboration stations, KIC scanners, charging stations, even laptop vending machines. The easiest way to find out more about the LLC is to view the website.

Need assistance? Call 254-968-9249 or email

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More NEW Furniture and Staff!

Just today, the Dick Smith Library has a new Evening Circulation Supervisor, and more new furniture on the lower level!

Pictured at left is Ginger Cousins, our new Evening Circulation Manager, who started today.  For much of the rest of this semester, she will be undergoing training and will be working Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Eventually she will be working 3 PM to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 PM to 2 AM on those days, when we have extended hours later in the semester.

Ginger is trying out one of the new lounge chairs just delivered today for the lower level of the library.  These chairs join some of the other new comfy items pictured below.

Welcome to Ginger!  And come try out some of the new furniture on the lower level!

photo by Tracy Holtman
photo by Crystal Stanley

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Course Reserve Contracts

The Dick Smith Library's Course Reserve collection is located behind the Circulation Desk.  This service allows faculty members to pull our materials as well as provide their own items specifically as supplemental material for their class.  We have varying loan periods as options so that all students have access to materials.  In the past, a physical contract has always been required.  This semester, we have gone digital!

Faculty can now submit their course reserve contracts online by visiting our faculty support page on Course Reserves.  All you have to do is fill out the form's three sections and it will automatically be emailed to the library member in charge of reserves.  Then all you have to worry about is providing the materials.  If it's physical, items can be delivered through campus mail or dropped off in person.  If it's for an E-Reserve, simply email the file to Kym Schow at  E-Reserves will require a password, and one will be generated for you unless you contact Kym and ask for something specific.  Passwords cannot be submitted through the form for security reasons.

We hope this extra service makes things a little bit easier for faculty to make items accessible for their students.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kym Schow via email or at 254-968-9871.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Laptop Vending Machine

We've added a second laptop vending machine on the top floor of the library. This vending machine works the same way as the machine on the main floor and has 12 laptops available for checkout, in addition to the 24 available for checkout on the main floor.

As a reminder, to use the machine:
  1. Swipe your Texan Card.
  2. Enter your NTNET password.
  3. Agree to the terms.
  4. Take the laptop that pops out of the machine.
  5. Return the laptop to the machine from which you checked it out within 4 hours.

Please make sure to return your laptop from the machine you checked it out from. The machine will warn you that the laptop doesn't go in that machine, but if you miss the message and leave it in the wrong machine, you will incur late fees.

We hope you will enjoy the added laptops!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Trudy Carlson Celebrates 45 Years of Service at the Dick Smith Library

Trudy Carlson - picture by Tracy Holtman

No one has ever worked at the Dick Smith Library longer than Trudy Carlson! Her career has spanned four and a half decades - 45 years - serving the students, faculty, and staff at our Tarleton - Stephenville campus always with a smile and a gracious manner!

Trudy Carlson began working as a librarian in 1970.  Tarleton State University and the library were much smaller then, but Trudy was a large part of the Reference Department with special emphasis on Education.  Trudy laid the foundation for the current Children's Literature collection. A special collection of books focusing on education is called, "Trudy's books". This is because Trudy purchased the books with her own money to create a collection to be used by Education students to enhance their classrooms and their teaching styles. This collection also has a large variety other items such as posters, pamphlets, and visual aids.   For most of the last 45 years Trudy has worked as a member of the Educator Preparation Council which is made up of people from the Curriculum and Instruction department as well as as a people from a variety of departments who focus on the process of preparing future teachers.

Trudy has also held the position of Head of User Services, which in non-librarian language, means that she was in charge of library employees who help patrons at the Reference Desk, who fulfill Interlibrary Loan Requests, who check in and out materials in the Circulation Department, and who give instruction in classrooms.  Trudy is currently the Associate Director of the Dick Smith Library.

One of our librarians, Tracy Holtman, recalls that on her very first day of work, Oct. 1, 1998, Holtman was honored to sit at the table with Trudy as she received the award of the Tarleton State University Employee of the Year!  What an honor to Trudy for her service to the university!

Trudy has always been active in volunteering with the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.  She has been their campus adviser and an active alumni.  Trudy has also volunteered for Delta Kappa Gamma which is an organization focusing on Education majors.

Trudy is an animal lover, especially of dogs.  Prissy is her current fur-baby. She collects angels and wears a guardian angel pin on a daily basis.  Trudy is an avid reader and has stated that she is very excited to finally have time to read!  It is no surprise that Trudy is an active volunteer at her church, sitting on the church board and serving where she sees a need.

Trudy Carlson is a person known at Tarleton.  Every university president since Dr. Trogdon has known Trudy, including our current President, Dr. Dottavio.  Her presence as a library representative is large at Tarleton, even though Trudy is quiet-spoken.  Trudy is also known around Stephenville as a librarian lady.  It has happened more than once that while Trudy has been out having lunch around town, a student will walk up and mention the library or ask a question about the library. Trudy is ready to give them an answer with a smile.

Retirement will give Trudy more flexibility with her time.  She will still volunteer at her church.  You may see her in the library too, from time to time, when she's not busy catching up on her reading.

Thanks for all of your years of work and for the smiles, Trudy Carlson!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

At Our Libraries, You're WORTH IT!

After tours of the Dick Smith Library on August 18 and 19, we asked the incoming Class of 2019 and their group leaders to show off their best dance moves. Transition Week 2015 was a lot of hard work for everyone on campus, but you students are WORTH IT!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome back!

Excitement is in the air here in the library. We have a lot of new things to share with everyone as the semester starts.   The library acquired several new research resources this summer, updated the furnishings and technology on the lower level, and even add some causal/fun read item with OverDrive.   We hope everyone will come see all the changes in the library!  Welcome back!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Welcome Freshman!

Today and yesterday, the Library has been participating Transition Week's Academic Success labs with a presentation about and tour of the library.

We love seeing all the new faces! Check out our Flickr page for more photos and to see if you can find yourself.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Artwork in the Stairwells!

It's been a little noisy in the library this week.  That's because soundproofing materials are being installed in the stairwell.  Even better though, the soundproofing panels double as the backdrop for art work designed by Fine Arts Assistant Professor Chris Ireland's Introduction to Digital Media class this past spring.  The stairwells will be blocked off the rest of the week, but come by some time next week and check it out!  Here are two of the panels from the corner of the stairwell leading up from the lower level:

The panels represent different academic majors at Tarleton.  Can you guess what these are?

Hint: One is from the College of Science and Technology, and the other is from the College of Business Administration.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Music Databases

The library added 10 new music databases this week! These databases contain streaming music files, videos, scores, discographies, and musician biographies, as well as more traditional reference materials. They cover a variety of genres from throughout time and around the world, from medieval motets and early american folk music to jazz and hip-hop. There are also databases specifically devoted to dance and opera. Basically, no matter your musical tastes or academic interest, you can find something in these new databases.

One of the most interesting new databases to me is Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries. This database contains streaming music from the Smithsonian's Folkways Recordings, which collects diverse, traditional musical forms from around the world. It also contains music from archives in Africa and Asia.

Music students and faculty will probably find a lot to use in the Classical Scores Library. This database contains over 45,000 scores. They include everything from individual instrumental parts to full orchestral arrangements. They are presented in an easy-to read format and can be printed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Book Drop by Any Other Name May Be The Book Return

                  Many book drops are nondescript slots in the circulation desks or outside walls.
No information available.
Other book returns are metal, weather-proof boxes similar to mail boxes in which patrons my drive by or walk up and deposit books.

Free image
Other book returns are more creative.  The book return at the Sitka, AK Public Library falls into this category. It's an over-sized stack of "books," made out of metal, about five-feet tall, with the obligatory slot for depositing the books. It's one of the most fun book drop returns I've ever seen!

Sitka, AK Public Library Book Drop; Photo by Lisa Wan; All rights reserved.
Book returns may not sound like the forum for funny stories, but the library comic, Unshelved, by Ambaum and Barnes ran a 3-strip series featuring the book drop.  It seems that patrons were curious to know where the books went after they were dropped through the outside book drop slot and other interesting conversations through the book drop with the librarian.  See the May 4, 5, 6, 2015 Unshelved for these humorous strips. (For copyright purposes, I have not included any of the strips.)

The Dick Smith Library has a couple of ways to return books in Stephenville.  Books can be deposited in the slot in the circulation desk or in a box located on the outside of the building.

When a student in Fort Worth receives books requested through ILLiad (Interlibrary loan), the books will arrive via the courier and may be picked up on the 5th floor of the Hickman Building in Suite 500.  Returning the books doesn't involve a book drop of any sort, rather the books should be put back in the envelop or box in which they were received and taken back to the Suite 500.  Be sure to give plenty of time for the courier get the books back to Stephenville before the due date!

Keep a look out for the more interesting book returns, but no matter what - 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

An 1890 Missing Person: Using Chronicling America 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.  Two years ago, 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.  I posted about one such missing person then.  Here's another one that caught my eye:

John Fordham's mother apparently hired a Wichita, Kansas, detective agency to look for him when John left home just before turning 15.  Since John had "a fancy for horses" and "may be found around cattle ranches," it makes sense that the detective agency might have sent this notice to sheriffs in Texas counties.

This missing person notice had a good clue about the missing boy - John Fordham was or would be age 15 on May 9, 1890, meaning he was born on May 9, 1875.  I conducted a search in for a John Fordham born in 1875, and found a record with a matching date of birth for a burial in a Wichita, Kansas, cemetery for a John Chafin Fordham.  That young man died on June 2, 1896, at just 21 years of age, which made me wonder - what happened between the 1890 missing person notice, and his death just six years later?

A search in the Library of Congress Chronicling America website for "John Fordham" between 1875 and 1896 brought up some results from June 1896 issues of the Wichita Daily Eagle.  The first article was from June 3:
from The Wichita Daily Eagle, June 3, 1896, Page 5, via Chronicling America

John's mangled body had been found near the train tracks in White City, Kansas, which is about 100 miles northeast of Wichita.  He'd been traveling with another young man named T. T. Kell (who does not appear in any later articles) to the Dakotas, and they'd decided to hop the train rather than buy tickets (even though John certainly had the money).  Speculation in the article was that John fell asleep and fell out of the train and was run over.

More detail appeared in a article in the next day's Daily Eagle:
from The Wichita Daily Eagle, June 4, 1896, Page 5, via Chronicling America

John's body had letters addressed to a J. C. Fordham of 522 S. Lawrence Avenue in Wichita, a note for $350 from a Helen Fordham (his mother), and a March 12, 1896, deposit slip for a bank in Wichita, all of which helped identify him.  His father, Charles Fordham, claimed the body.

But just what happened in 1890?  Young John apparently had some wanderlust - the letters found on his body indicated he owned mines in the Cripple Creek, Colorado area, and he was on his way to Dakota when he died.  He appeared to have a mind of his own, even at a young age, and was rather successful financially, based on his clothing, the contents of his pockets, and the references in the articles.  Obviously, he came back home to Wichita sometime between the early 1890 "missing" poster and his death in 1896.  So far I haven't been able to determine what he was doing all those years in between.  Maybe as more newspapers are digitized, I'll find out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer heat

So far the summer has been really nice, but 100 degree days are just around the corner!  Here are some
safety tips to survive the summer heat.
  • Stay in a cool place indoors or under a shady tree. 
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate
  • Drink lots of liquids - cool or cold water, drink sport drinks, such as Gatorade, etc. Keep your body hydrated by drinking 8oz of cool water every 15 -20 minutes.
  • Do not stay in or leave anyone in a closed, parked car during hot weather.
  • Perform the most stressful job in the cooler part of the day if possible . 
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat with vents. 
  • Use an umbrella for shade. 
  • If you feel hot, try to cool off. Open a window. Use a fan. Go to an air-conditioned place. 
The library is filled with comfortable seating, books, computers, and even TV's.  Come visit and stay cool!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Today is Embrace Your Geekness Day

When I think geek, I think of computers and technology.  If you are one of those types of geeks here are 5 library tech tools to help you celebrate Embrace Your Geekness Day:
  •  Overdrive - eBook titles can be downloaded to an e-reader, tablet or other device or read in the browser.
  • Mobile Apps - download mobile apps for various databases or download the library app to keep up with your library account and search the catalog.
  • Laptop Vending Machine - if you need to borrow a laptop to study while you are building your own from scratch, you can check one out for 4 hours at a time from our laptop vending machine.
  • Collaboration Tables - come hook all your laptops up and work on group projects at one of our collaboration tables.
  • Social Media - keep up with everything that is going on in the library by following us on social media. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

SPORTDiscus and Philosophers Index

The library has two new databases this month: SPORTDiscus with Full Text and Philosophers Index with Full Text. These two databases support growing programs here at Tarleton in the Humanities and in Sports Medicine/ Kinesiology.

Philosophers Index contains full text for many leading philosophy journals from around the world and in over 30 languages. It covers every area of philosophy, including aesthetics, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of science and more.

The resources available in SPORTDiscus with Full Text thoroughly cover sports and sports medicine topics, as well as topics like occupational safety, health education, physical therapy and nutrition. It includes not only journals, but conference proceedings, book chapters and eBooks as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

You CAN Do _________ (fill in the blank with your hardest class assignment)!

What do you think is the hardest assignment you are required to do? Something in statistics? Writing a college level paper? Whatever attitude or mindset you have plays a large role in how you approach a task considered to be challenging.

Studies by Carol Dweck have shown that mindset has much to do with the ability to accomplish a task.  In Dweck’s (2006) book, Mindset: The Psychology of Success, she informs the reader about “fixed mindsets” and “growth mindsets”.  She explains that “fixed mindsets” view tasks as something that the learner is not smart enough to accomplish, even if they worked hard on it.  Does this sound like something that you may have done with trying to write a paper in APA style or to complete a statistics assignment?  Dweck describes “growth mindsets” as ones in which the learner believes they have the ability to increase their IQ through perseverance and hard work. 

by Reid Wilson@wayfaringpath; Icon
In Dweck's (2010) article, Even Geniuses
 Work Hard, she points out that having to work at something doesn’t make a person stupid.  Sometimes the most outstanding person is the one who, at first, found the task to be difficult, but through perseverance and hard work, appears to be functioning at the level of a genius.

Next time you think you’ll never be able to write that APA paper or you can't  do those statistics problems, take up the growth mindset; believe you can accomplish the task and work hard to actually do it!

Dweck, C. (2010). Even geniuses work hard. Educational leadership, 68(1), p. 16-20. Retrieved from
Dweck, C. (2006) Mindset: The psychology of success. New York: Ballentine Books.

Friday, June 26, 2015

OverDrive eBooks!

Tarleton State University Libraries has a new feature:  OverDrive eBooks (and digital audiobooks)!

From the library's home page (, choose Databases, and then OverDrive.  Depending on your browser settings and whether or not you are already logged into NTNET, you may (or may not) get the authentication screen, which looks like this:

Enter your NTNET ID and password, and click Login.  You'll then get a screen like this:

Scroll down the page, because there are a number of different groupings of the eBooks, or use the menu at the top.  There's also a search box in the upper right corner, if you are looking for a specific title or author.

If you are familiar with OverDrive from using it at other libraries, the interface is the same here.  Tarleton has partnered with other libraries in the Texas A&M System to purchase eBooks and digital audiobooks for this shared resource.  Keep checking as more titles are being added!

If the book shape (or headphones, for an audiobook) in the upper right corner for a title is dark, it is available for checkout.  If it is grayed out, you can place a hold on the item and be notified when it becomes available (and have it automatically checked out to you .  The eBooks can be downloaded in Kindle or EPUB format, or read in your browser.  Items can be borrowed for 14 days, and you can have up to 10 items checked out and 10 items on hold at any one time.