Friday, February 27, 2015

Safety First

With another round of snow and ice hitting the area, I thought these winter driving tips from AAA might be helpful.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly..
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Drive slowly
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • ...there are many more on the website.    
My number safety tip is: Everyone stay safe and enjoy the weather with a warm beverage and a good book!

If you need the library, we encourage you to take advantage of our online offerings. We have excellent electronic resources (e-books, e-journals, databases, etc.) available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Procrastination = Stress

Have you ever put off printing your paper until 10 minutes before class? Waiting until the last minute to prepare for class can be very stressful for many reasons.
  • What if there are technical problems?
  • There may be a possibility of being late to class.
  • What if you don't have enough money on your Texan Card to print.
All of these stressful situations can be diverted if you simply plan ahead. Remember to finish your project on time. Don't stay up late working on a paper or presentation. You won't feel prepared or well rested the following morning. Remember to check your Texan Card frequently for your balance. You can add more funds to your account with cash using the Texan Card machine in the Learning Commons or by going to the Texan Card website and using your debit or credit card. Keep in mind that we rely on technology for most of our daily tasks, problems can easily arise. Stay calm. There is always a solution, the solution may not be an instant one, but know that there IS a solution. Procrastination is never the answer to staying on track, it will just lead to stress.

Photo Credit given to


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Texas Bluebonnet Award

The Day the Crayons Quit was recently announced as the 2015 winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award, a children's choice award by students in grades 3-6.   This hilarious fantasy by debut book author Drew Daywalt (who has lots of experience in film writing and directing) has the crayons in the box on strike and writing letters to their owner about their various complaints.  Oliver Jeffers' whimsical illustrations incorporate crayons (of course!) as well as mixed media.  This book would be a great mentor text for a lesson on letter-writing.

The Texas Bluebonnet Award is one of many children's choice competitions across the country.  Some of you Tarleton students probably remember participating when you were in grades 3-6.  Students are supposed to read at least five books on the list of twenty, and then vote for a favorite in January of the following year.

A Texas Bluebonnet Award has been given since 1981.  The master lists and voting results from all those years are still available.  We have all of the winners and 596 books from the lists in the Dick Smith Library (on the lower level in the Curriculum Collection).

The master list of nominees for the current year (2015-2016) was announced a few months ago.  We have these books in both the Dick Smith Library and the Texan Hall Library in the Hickman Building of the Fort Worth campus.  Students across the state are reading these books and will vote for their favorite in January 2016.  Here's a one-minute video of the covers of these books:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Library Lover's Month

photo by Amanda Pape, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
February 11th, 2015 was the day Dick Smith Library celebrated Library Lover's Day. However, it can be celebrated all month. This year's theme was "Library Pick-up Lines". Several designs were created for posters and buttons.

Post it notes were filled out by students, faculty and staff to list their reasons for loving the library. The board was full of positive and fun comments. Buttons were places on every floor along with chocolate kisses.

We also held a twitter contest for the person who could tweet the most using #WeLoveTarletonLib during the week of Library Lover's Day. We had two winners who showed their love for their library.

@KdchiNu and @TarletonSSMI were the lucky winners!

Library Lover's Day was a great success and we love our patrons!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where Can You Get a Cherry Coke on Campus?

On this day in 1985 Coca Cola officially introduced Cherry Coke.  Before the release, soda shops and diners would add cherry syrup to Coca Cola making their own "Cherry Coke".  By 2007 Cherry Coke had been renamed Coca Cola Cherry.

Picture of Coca Cola flavor selections in the Study Grounds Cafe.

 The soda fountain in the Study Grounds Café located in the library has Coca Cola Cherry along with Coca Cola Orange, Coca Cola Vanilla, Coca Cola Raspberry, Coca Cola Lime, and Coca Cola Cherry Vanilla. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

African American History Month

African American History Month
photo from
February is African American, or Black, History month. This month, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and other agencies declare an official celebration of African American heritage, culture and the contributions of African Americans to the United States of America. You can find out more information on the ways our national cultural institutions are celebrating this month at

Want to do more research on African American History? Check out our Black History research guide. This guide lists databases, journals and books that might be of interest. Of special note is our database, African American Archives.  It contains original documents and photographs that reveal the African American story from a personal perspective. In addition, the Library of Congress's American Memory Project, includes extensive free collections related to African American History. You can find everything from slave narratives and legal documents, to collections relating to Jackie Robinson and other baseball players.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Avoid losing your document by saving it immediately

Searching for a lost document can be extremely frustrating...especially when that document is an assignment that is due in a few minutes.  Avoid this hassle by naming and saving your document as soon as you create it.

How to do this from a campus computer:

1.  Open Word (Windows symbol-->All Programs-->Microsoft Office-->Word 2013).

2.  Click Blank Document.

3.  On upper left, click File.

4. On the next screen, click Save As and Computer.

5.  Select your T: drive (note: it may have your UID # as part of its name).  This will allow you to retrieve your document from anywhere on campus.

6. Give your document a name. Bonus: Saving your document right away activates Auto Save.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy President's Day!! 

Image result for presidents day clip art free commons
Washington's Birthday was originally established in 1885 and was celebrated on February 22nd in recognition of George Washington's birthday.
It wasn't known as President's Day until 1971, when it was moved to the third Monday in February in order to create a 3-day weekend for Federal workers.
Want to know more about the holiday and why it was created? Check out the history of President's Day at

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tarleton Information Fair!! February 28

Discover Tarleton State University on 
Saturday, February 28, 
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
at a special recruiting fair in Fort Worth.

Find out about the nearly 100 degree programs – bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates.
Learn about Tarleton’s five locations, including the Global Campus online:  Stephenville, Fort Worth, Midlothian and Waco.

Attend snapshot presentations from Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships and Housing.
Explore the Honors College, International Studies and Study Abroad, Student Success and Student Life.

Visit with representatives from all five Tarleton colleges – Business Administration, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Education, Liberal and Fine Arts and Science and Technology, as well as the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies.

Advising, Library Resources and Career Services will be on hand, and a GRE Workshop (requires advance registration)will be held.

Anyone wishing to apply on the spot should bring test scores and official transcripts.
Alumni welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Information Fair Details:
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Come and go from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tarleton State University - Fort Worth campus
6777 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76116

>> View Map

This fair is free and open to anyone interested in learning about Tarleton State University. There will also be free refreshments and free parking!
 RSVP Here

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 ALA Youth Media Awards

On Monday, February 2, the American Library Association (ALA) announced its Youth Media Awards.  These are a number of awards for books and other media (such as audiobooks and videos) given annually in January or early February - check out the link above for a list of the winners.

Two of the award winners are also on the Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list for 2015-2016, and are already available in both the Dick Smith Library in Stephenville and in the Texan Hall Library in the Hickman Building in Fort Worth.  Many of the other winners, including all of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert winners and honor books, have now been ordered for the Dick Smith Library, and should be available for checkout in a few weeks.

The Right Word:  Roget and His Thesaurus, won the 2015 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational book for children.  It was also named as an Honor Book (a runner-up) for the 2015  Randolph Caldecott Medal, which "honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children."  It also received a 2015 National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Honor Book designation, for outstanding nonfiction for children. Jen Bryant (a previous winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, another ALA award, last year; a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book designation in 2009; and the Orbis Pictus Award last year) was inspired to write about Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869) when she accidentally picked up an early edition of his Thesaurus instead of the novel she'd planned to read on a road trip.  This picture book biography features watercolor, collage, and mixed media illustrations by Melissa Sweet, a previous winner of the Sibert Award (in 2012) and a Caldecott honoree (in 2009, for A River of Words, written by Jen Bryant).

 A runner-up for this year's Sibert Award was Separate is Never Equal:  Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation.  This picture book is about the little-known school desegregation case in California that preceded the more famous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case by seven years.  This book was also named a 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book, given to "Latino/Latina ... illustrator[s] whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."  The author and illustrator of this book, Duncan Tonatiuh, won the latter award in 2012 and had honor books named in 2011 and 2014.  His books also won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 2012 and 2014.  His artwork is inspired by ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec writing system.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why is there such a thing as Groundhog Day?

Punxsutawney Phil predicted this morning that we will endure 6 more weeks of winter. But do you know why this is even a tradition? Well, hopefully after reading this you will know more.

Groundhog Day is an holiday celebrated in the United States but has been passed on down throughout the centuries. February 2nd has been designated as the holiday for many years. But it hasn't always been called Groundhog Day. Centuries ago it was called Candlemas, and it has traveled through European countries like England and Scotland. It stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important. 

According to an old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

It has been passed from the Roman legions to the Germans who picked it up and concluded that if an animal, a hedgehog, saw his shadow the days of winter would not pass thus a second winter would begin.

The Germans recited:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

It has also been dated back to 19th century American farmers. New England farmers believed that no matter how cloudy it was on Feb. 2nd winter was not going to end. If the farmer didn't have at least half of his hay remaining, the cows would be eating very lean until spring when grass started growing again. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has been helping this tradition continue on Feb. 2nd for the last 125 years.

Here are a few books in the library that are fun reads about Groundhog Day:

Punxsutawney Phyllis 
by Susanna Leonard Hill

It's groundhog day! 
by Steven Kroll

So as we all "celebrate" to keep wearing our winter gear, we can think about the reason why we are still freezing cold. Thanks Phil the Groundhog, thanks a lot!