Thursday, May 28, 2015

Free public domain books

If you can't find a public domain book in the library or would just prefer something downloadable, there are lots of good sites out there. A couple I like are Project Gutenberg and LibriVox.

Project Gutenberg has over 49,000 free e-books - you can download them as Kindle e-books, EPUB files, or read them online in your browser. If you don't have a particular book or author in mind, it can be fun to browse the categories and subcategories on their Bookshelf page.

LibriVox is great if you prefer audiobooks. Everything on the site is read by volunteers, so the performance quality varies, but some works have multiple versions available, so you can choose which readers you prefer. You can download a whole book as a zip file, stream individual tracks, or subscribe in iTunes.

Some of my favorites from these sites include Jill the Reckless by P.G. Wodehouse (LibriVox) and The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc (Project Gutenberg). Feel free to recommend your favorites in the comments!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Books on Weather, Nature, and Meteorology

Have you noticed the extremely unusual summer we're having?

All of the crazy weather that Texas is experiencing has made me curious about meteorology and how meteorologists predict storms.

Did you know that the Dick Smith Library has books on weather, nature, and meteorology?

Stop by the library for a dry place to hang out and learn about meteorology.

You can check out any of these great books with your Texan Card or current photo I.D.

The Handbook of Nature 
by Frank R. Spellman and Joni Price-Bayer

QH45.5 .S63 2012  General Stacks

Meteorology Today: an Introduction to Weather
by Donald Ahrens

QC861.2 .A3 1991 General Stacks

Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail
 by Les Johnson

TL796 .J64 2013 General Stacks

Friday, May 22, 2015

A 21st Century Library?

I recently saw this picture with the caption that this library contains 3 million books.

Photo attribute: John Strassfield, May 2015
Discussion about this photo and what appears to be lack of evidence of 3 million books centered around the value of browsing stacks to find books and disappointment with the disappearing circulation desk.

How do you feel about a library that looks like this?  Is this really the future library of the 21st Century?

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Resource - Britannica Online

The Library has a new resource - Britannica Online!

Not only does it give online access to the Encyclopedia Britannica, but it also includes Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, general and history reference resources, news, videos, vetted web sites, plus 700 full-text magazine and periodical articles.

We hope you find it useful!  

Remember help is available for this or any other resource by visiting the library, by phone at 254-968-9249, or email at

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thank You Library Student Workers!

I just wanted to thank the library student workers one last time.  We could not do what we do without you!

This video features the students workers that worked in the library during the 2015 spring semester.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Reading Video

Looking for something fun to read this summer? Need a good audio book for your next road trip? The library has you covered! Check out our newest video for staff suggested books and audio books for summer reading.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The coffee bar is open May 13-15

Although the library's coffee bar is usually closed during interim, Dining Services has graciously agreed to keep it open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Wednesday), Thursday, and Friday due to customer demand.

Photo credit: Dick Smith Library

Please stop by and get something, and let the staff know how glad you are to see them!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fun for the summer!

If you're ready to sit back and relax, you can find something for just about everyone at the library - we have books, graphic novels, DVDs, and more. The above picture shows just a few of the things in our collection. From left to right:

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel - A steampunk YA novel.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett, performed by Stephen Briggs - A fantasy audiobook featuring magically intelligent rats and a cat, set in the Discworld.

Angel by Erica Sakurazawa - A standalone Japanese manga.

Cadfael: The Complete Collection - A historical mystery series on DVD.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - A historical mystery novel.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - J.K. Rowling's first novel written for adults.

Cowboy Bebop - A Japanese anime TV series. It's a space western centered on a bunch of bounty hunters.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy - A humorous Middle Grade fantasy starring a bunch of princes from various fairy tales.

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich - Another installment in Evanovich's popular Stephanie Plum series.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - A popular thriller.

Avengers Forever - One of several Marvel graphic novels in the library's collection.

Spirited Away - An anime movie both kids and adults can enjoy. A girl works at a bathhouse for spirits in order to rescue her parents, who've been turned into pigs.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

QUIET!! Thinking Fast and Slow

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on Copyright � 1998 Mark A. Hicks. Originally published by Mark A. Hicks. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Texan Hall Library in Fort Worth seems to be considerably quieter during finals week?  Why?

I think it might relate to this funny post going around on Facebook about turning down the radio when you are driving down the road looking for an address.  
taken from Jodideo. com

Yes, some people admit to doing this as some sort of fault or an ironic action that they have taken, but the truth is that the active thinking required to find an unfamiliar address has invoked the unconscious action of turning down the radio.  The result is that the auditory senses have given way to the visual senses to use more brainpower. 

Professor Steven Yantis of John Hopkins University uses this principle as it pertains to cell phone use and driving.  Yantis (2005) states, "Directing attention to listening effectively 'turns down the volume' on input to the visual parts of the brain. The evidence we have right now strongly suggests that attention is strictly limited -- a zero-sum game.”  

Image found at: <img src="
9780374533557.jpg" alt="Thinking, Fast and Slow">
 The book, Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, is available at the Dick Smith Library at BF441 .K238 2011. 

The book deals with the function of fast thinking and slow thinking.  Fast thinking is the thinking that allows us to accomplish daily tasks. Slow thinking is the deliberative thinking that it takes to concentrate, the type of thinking required to study for finals!  Check out this book to find out more about these thinking processes and how Kahneman applies these to the world of business executives.


Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Slow, New York, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.Yantis, S. (2005). Multitasking: You can't pay full attention to both sights and sounds:

Lab findings suggest reason cell phones and driving don't mix, EurekaAlert!: The Global Source for Science News. Retrieved from

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finals week! Finals week! OMG! It's finals week!

Yes, you will survive.

But, to help you out the Dick Smith Library has extended their hours for you learning pleasure!

Dick Smith Library Finals Hours

Also, once the coffee bar closes we will be offering free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Also, here are some study tips to help your survive your week.

7 tips for a productive finals week

Friday, May 1, 2015

Who is your favorite author?

The library is investigating adding some pleasure reading materials into our collection.   We need your help to identify which genres you like to read and which authors to collect.   Have a favorite?  Please share!

Here is just a FEW of the categories we need your opinion on:
  • Fiction  
  • Nonfiction
  • Biography & Autobiography
  • History
  • Mysteries
  • Mythology
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Self-Improvement
  • Suspense
  • Young Adult