Thursday, October 27, 2016

Writing and Accounting Labs in Fort Worth's Learning Center

Tarleton's Fort Worth campus has a Writing Lab and an Accounting Lab available for students to get help in these areas.  The glassed-in rooms inside of the Learning Commons (Hickman building, Room 450) house the labs.

 The Writing Lab is open Mondays-Wednesdays. from 12 noon to 6 p.m.  Students may stop by any time during these hours to get assistance with writing your papers.  Ms. Sarah Schrantz, the tutor for this lab, will be glad to help you! Students may also contact Ms. Schrantz at

The Accounting Lab is open Mondays - Wednesdays from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. and Fridays from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.  Students who would like help with accounting may drop by any time and Ms. Anna Golden is happy to assist you.  Students may also contact Ms. Golden at

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Open Access Week

This is Open Access Week. Just what is open access and why is it important? Open Access (OA) is scholarly and scientific literature that is online, digital, free, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes this possible is the consent of the author or copyright holder and the internet. OA journals are peer reviewed and the major OA journals in the sciences and scholarly literature insist on peer review. Open access journals are not free to produce, even if it is less expensive than producing a traditional print journal. Authors pay an article processing charge, which some universities have a fund to pay the charge for their faculty members. OA removes restrictions placed on the use of the author’s own work. Authors can share their work on their own terms through the use of a Creative Commons license. There is no charge to the end user to access the article.
 Okay so the articles are available online free of charge and are peer reviewed, but what does this mean for students and faculty? First over the past few years, the prices that university libraries have to pay for subscriptions to electronic journals has steadily increased. Many of these journals are only sold in bundles with other journals and can cost several thousands of dollars for a single bundle. The higher prices have meant that some libraries have to make a decision as to which journals to keep subscribing too and which ones to drop. Open access means no subscription fees. Which in turn allows anyone to have access to the journal and its articles. For faculty it means a wider audience and more discoverability, which can lead to more collaboration with other researchers in their field. Students have access to articles that may not have previously been available. Did you know that any research that is federally funded has to have the research results made available to the public free of charge?
Tarleton currently produces four open access journals:
The Anthology
 Journal of Social Media in Society
Journal of Effective Schools Project

Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources
If you would like to know more about Open Access here is a short video.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tarleton Thursday: Historypin Tour of Campus

Just in time for Homecoming 2016, the Dick Smith Library is introducing a Historypin tour of the main campus in Stephenville!

What is Historypin?  It's a nonprofit organization with "a free website where anyone can upload and create collections of historical photos, videos and sounds."  You can also create a "tour," which is what we have done with some of the photographs from the University Photo Collection.

The Special Services and Archives Department of the Dick Smith Library (Coordinator Amanda Pape, Collections Archivist Gary Spurr, and former staff member Crystal Stanley) chose 18 photographs from this collection and uploaded them to Historypin.  In the process, you can actually "pin" the image on a Google Map.  If the location has a "Street View" available, there's a really neat "Dear Photograph"-like then-and-now feature you can activate.

Below is one example.  The very first John Tarleton College building was located at the northwest corner of what is now N. McIlhaney Street and W. Tarleton Street / Military Drive.  Below is a screen capture from our tour on Historypin, showing a 1900 photograph of the building superimposed over its approximate site.

Note the slider bar at the top of the photograph?  If you slide the red dot all the way over to the left, you get a more contemporary view of the same site (in this case, where the Hunewell Bandstand is now located):

Below is an outline of the "stops" on the Tarleton State University Campus History Tour.  The six spots with an orange figure in the upper right corner are along the campus perimeter and thus had Google Map Street Views available where we could use this feature.

Even better for the research and history geeks in our library department, there is lots of space to include a detailed history of each site, including links to other resources, such as the Cross Timber Historic Images Project photographs and narratives, and relevant pages and articles from the collection of Grassburr yearbooks and J-TAC student newspapers online at the Portal to Texas History.  The Grassburrs and J-TACs often provide descriptions and other details written in the same years the photographs were taken, resulting in more accuracy.

We invite all alumni, students, and current and previous faculty and staff to take the tour!  Let us know in the comments (here on the blog or on the Historypin site) what you think, and if you have any stories (or photos) to add! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: The Top Ten Horror Novels and Stories

Since Halloween is just a couple of weeks away, you might be in the mood to read something scary. According to The Top Tens (a website where Internet users can create and vote on top ten lists on a wide variety of topics) these are the top ten horror novels and stories:  

1. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

Poe in 1849.
This work is in the public domain.
2. Misery by Stephen King. Available in the library. 

3. Cujo by Stephen King. Available in the library. 

4. The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Ghostly Tales and Eerie Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

5. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe. Available in the library in the Ghostly Tales and Eerie Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

6. They Thirst by Robert McCammon

7. The Cellar by Richard Laymon

8. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

9. It by Stephen King

10. Incarnate by Ramsey Campbell

The bottom five aren't currently available in the library. However, you can use our interlibrary loan service to request them. Or you could get a TexShare card from us and use it to borrow them from another library. Or you could use the suggest a purchase form if you think we should add these books to our collection.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dr. Baker's Book on Route 66 - and Curt Teich Postcards

Thursday, October 13, is the last day to purchase tickets for the fall Friends of the Dick Smith Library Dinner in the Stacks on Saturday, October 15th,  Appetizers are at 6:30 PM, and dinner and the program start at 7 PM.  Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members.  You can purchase tickets and get more information about the dinner on the Friends of the Dick Smith Library website.

Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, Director of the W. K. Gordon Center, will present his research on historic Route 66, the former U.S. highway that ran 2500 miles across eight states from Chicago to Los Angeles, and his use of the Curt Teich Postcard Archives.

Baker visited the Teich archives and researched in the production files for postcards along Route 66.  Many of the production files included the original black-and-white (mostly) photographs that were used to create these postcards between 1925 and 1954, an era before color photography was prevalent.  Some of the postcards had only a blue sky added; others had multiple colors added to the purchaser's specifications.

Curt Otto Teich (1877-1974) was a German immigrant who came to Chicago and was very successful.  From its opening in 1898 through 1978, his company produced postcards for businesses and attractions across the country.  The records of this postcard production company, once the largest in America, originally wound up at the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois.  Now the collection is about to be transferred to the Newberry Library in Chicago.  Some of the collection is available online in the Illinois Digital Archives.

The former archives had posted a great guide  (very useful for collectors) to dating Teich postcards based on their stock numbers that is no longer online on the original archives URL.  Fortunately, it's been preserved in a Flickr group.  The company is also known for its "big letter" postcards, featuring the words "Greetings from [some town]," where the letters in the town's name were made of images of attractions there.

Baker's book features 112 sites (organized geographically starting in Chicago) along Route 66, presented in double-page spreads.  One side of the spread includes the black-and-white photo (often with notations on cropping and colors to use) along with the finished postcard (except in one case, where apparently a postcard was never made).  The other side of each spread includes Baker's research about the business or attraction pictured and the production of the postcard.  Baker also includes a brief description of what (if anything) was at that location in July 2014, when he and his wife took a road trip along the entire Route 66 looking for these sites.

This outstanding book is a great addition to Route 66 (and postcard) history.

[This book can be found in the General Stacks (upper level) of the Dick Smith Library, call number F590.7 .B35 2016.]

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Student Success Tips

Student Success Week is October 10th-October 14th. Below are a few tips that you may find useful.

1. Make Connections & Get involved
The people you meet while in college can be a huge impact on your future. Get to know your professors, organization leaders, or any other influential people in your life on a professional level. That way, if they allow you to use them as a reference for a future career opportunity, they will know you on a deeper level than just another face and can give real life examples of how you are a hard worker.
Speaking of using your connections as references, always ask permission. Never assume they will be okay with getting an unexpected phone call about you. Giving them a heads up will allow them a chance to think back and write down things about you that stood out to them.

2. Go to Class & Participate
While this may seem like a given, you would be surprised how many people have to learn this one the hard way. Some professors may give tips or even answers to an upcoming test during class. Participating in class discussions gives you chance to practice material you are studying and helps you apply it better once you have had a conversation about that topic matter.

3. Get a Calendar/Planner & Use it
Time management in college is so important and done correctly it is setting you up for success for the rest of your life. Between taking 12 credit hours, being involved in organizations, going to tutoring sessions, and having a part time job, it is so easy to forget that the 10 page paper that you had all month to complete is due tomorrow. A calendar can help keep you organized and decrease stress by letting yourself have more control.

4.  Challenge yourself-- & Prepare to be Challenged.
College is no doubt an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming and come with a lot of changes. However, one of the ways we grow as an individual is by learning new information and accepting change as a process that helps you grow into a stronger person. Meeting and talking to new people, or joining new groups is scary. But, in the end you will be glad that you took that step out of your comfort zone
Also, you will be meeting many different people with many different view points. Remember to keep an open mind, it is completely normal to have opposing views on a subject matter, and hopefully someone will walk away thinking about a topic in a new light. Almost any topic can be discussed in a calm and educated manner, just remember to be respectful to the other person's opinions and beliefs.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Learn More about Route 66!

For this year's annual Friends of the Dick Smith Library Dinner in the Stacks on October 15th, Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, Director of the W.K. Gordon Center, will present his newest research on historic Route 66. Tickets are on sale through October 13th, and you can purchase tickets and get more information about the dinner on the Friends of the Dick Smith Library website.

In honor of this event, I've rounded up some library resources related to Route 66. Hopefully these will give you some context about Route 66's place in U.S. cultural history and get you excited to see Dr. Baker's presentation on the 15th. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The State Fair of Texas has a Library

Visitors to the State Fair of Texas may anticipate eating a Fletcher's Corny Dog or snapping a selfie with Big Tex, but they probably never think of a library here.

Selfie with Big Tex

But there is one, right in the Hall of State!

Hall of State
Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0

The G.B. Dealey Library is an Historic Library run by the Dallas Historical Society focusing on the history of Dallas, Dallas County, and of the State of Texas.

Holdings of this library include documents, photographs, artifact, and books dealing with historical events of the city of Dallas and Dallas County as well as Texas history.  The economic, social, and political history is the focus of the collection.

Research help is available from librarians by email, telephone, or written correspondence, but is limited to 15 minutes.  Extensive research may be done for a fee.  Researchers may visit in person for free, but appointments are required.

You never know where you may find a hidden library, so keep a sharp look-out.  You may just find one at the State Fair of Texas!