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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Library Sponsored Blood Drive June 24, 2015

Come by and donate to the American Red Cross Blood Drive sponsored by the Dick Smith Library.  The drive starts at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 24th and ends at 3:30 PM. 

To schedule your appointment visit and enter Stephenville's zip code 76401.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet the Reference League!

The Reference Department published two new videos to the Super Librarian series last week.

The first video introduces you to the Reference League! They are here to save the day (and your research)!

The second video features a student who needs help after hours. Will the super librarian be able to help him?


The Super Librarian series features library staff helping patrons with common questions and problems that arise in the library. You can see the first video in the series, How to Find a Book at Follow our YouTube channel  to keep up with our latest videos from this series and more!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Small Community Library!

I'm a library nerd - I'll admit it! I love libraries, and I love finding libraries in the places that I travel. On a recent trip to Sitka, Alaska, I walked up on this small free community library located on a public street in a neighborhood area!  It's filled with books from which anyone can take a book, leave a book, or both.
Sitka Small Community Library - Lisa B. Wan, photographer & copyright holder, 2015
Someone has even attempted to add some organization to this free library by adding labels to the shelves.  In case you can't read it, one of the labels on the bottom shelf states, "Children Reads".  The the attention to detail by putting the children's books on the lowest shelves is notable.
Sitka Small Community Library Books - Lisa B. Wan, photographer & copyright holder, 2015.
Small community libraries exist all over the world, but I love it when I find one. I realize that there are other people who love books so much that they build small libraries, fill them with books just so that others can share in that love, and I smile.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The importance of organization in a library

Do you ever go up to the stacks collection on the upper level and wonder why on Earth the organization system is so crazy?  It might seem overly complicated to those not working in a library, but the following article demonstrates just how important organization is.

In The Boston Globe, "Daunting search paid off for library: Worker who found missing prints describes her dramatic discovery," we learn the story of how Boston Public Library shelved two valuable prints incorrectly, a collective value of more than $600,000.  These included Dürer’s “Adam and Eve” and Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait With Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre.”

There was large speculation about if it was a theft, but what it really came down to was the sheer size of the collection that has been accumulating for centuries.  They've only started organizing the collection in recent decades, going through and labeling items one by one.  When you have 320,000 items, if one thing is shelved wrong it can take ages to track it down.  In the end, they had 14 people searching through nine different rooms over the course of a month before the prints were found.

So the next time you look for a book and it's exactly where the call number says it should be, say a small thank you to organization!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Butterfly Gardening

With all the rain we have been having this spring the flowers are blooming! And with the flowers comes butterflies.   Here is one book to get you started on what to plant in your garden to attract butterflies.

Butterfly Gardens
QL544.6.B87 1995
General Stacks

Search Discovery@Tarleton to find out what other materials the library has available on butterfly gardening.  (You might also search to find ways to get rid of mosquitoes!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Artemis Literary Sources

Tarleton Libraries now has access to a new database, Artemis Literary Sources. Artemis Literary Sources combines the information found in Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Center, Scribner's Writers Series, and Twayne's Author Series into a new interface that searches them all together. All of these resources are still available to search separately. However, Artemis adds new search tools that you can use to narrow topics, or see how language has changed over time.

Topic Finder

The Topic Finder tool lets you narrow your search using a wheel visualization, as seen in the picture below:

Here, I've done a search for "Emily Dickinson". By looking at the wheel, I can some topics that are associated with her, and I can narrow my topic from there. In this case, I've selected "Amherst", which was her hometown. So, the results are showing me biographical articles and articles on how her home influenced her work. Using this tool, I can see what paths my research might take and what sources might be available to support my paper.

Term Frequency

This tool is very similar to Google's N Gram Viewer. Google's tool shows the frequency of a word in books indexed in Google Books over time. This does something similar, but it shows how frequently a word or term has shown up in the sources indexed in Artemis over time. This includes book reviews, works of criticism and works of literature, so you get a good range, as you can see below.

Here, I've visualized the terms "Hip Hop" and "Techno" from 1985-2014. As you can see, both terms have been rising steadily since about 1998 or so. I can click on any of the points of the graph to see the documents that the graph is referencing.

Overall, this new database gives some pretty cool tools for researching and visualizing my data.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Americans and privacy

The Pew Research Center recently published a research study on American's attitudes towards privacy, security, and surveillance. Some of their findings include the following information:

                                          flickr photo by Sean MacEntee
                                          shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

  • "93% of adults say that being in control of who can get information about them is important; 74% feel this is 'very important,' while 19% say it is 'somewhat important.'
  • 90% say that controlling what information is collected about them is important—65% think it is 'very important” and 25% say it is 'somewhat important.' "
Books on privacy in our collection
To find out more about privacy, security, and surveillance, you may want to search our catalog. Using "privacy" as a subject brings up many results.  You may also want to try "security" or "surveillance." If you are off-campus,  narrow your search by restricting it to e-books so that you can start reading right away.  Log in with your NTNET username and password to receive access.

Some of our e-book titles on privacy include Facebook nation: total information awareness (2014) by Newton Lee and Privacy vs. security (2014) by Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon.

   Image retrieved from          Image retrieved from

Print books
Two of our print books on privacy (located upstairs, in the General Stacks) are Data and Goliath : the hidden battles to collect your data and control your world (2015) by Bruce Schneier and Dragnet nation : a quest for privacy, security, and freedom in a world of relentless surveillance (2014) by Julia Angwin.