Tuesday, January 31, 2017


A great new resource for any assignment involving children's or young adult books is TeachingBooks.net.  This is a new TexShare database that is available to academic, school, and public libraries in the state of Texas that participate in the TexShare program.

From the home page, you can search for resources for books by title, grade level, core curricular area, genre, or cultural area.  In the example below, I searched for books in the math curricular area, and then used the limiters in the left-hand column to further narrow my results by grade level (in this example, grades 1-5):

The results show the types of resources available  Author resources include audio name pronunciation guides, interviews (some audio, some video), and links to the author’s or illustrator’s websites or blogs, Book resources include lesson plans (some of which have the relevant TEKS), award information, book trailers (videos), and readings (such as excerpts read by the author, or from audiobook versions).

The page for a book has even more resources, such as links to other books in the same genres or subject areas.  Text complexity measures may include Lexile levels and ATOS (Accelerated Reader) reading levels.

If you create an Educator Login, you can create custom book lists to save and share, such as these (if you are off-campus, you'll be prompted for your NTNET user name and password):

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tarleton Centennial Display

100 years ago Tarleton joined the Texas A&M system and will be celebrating all year. The first celebration is taking place this week in the gallery of the Clyde H Wells Fine Arts building. The gallery consists of photos and artifacts spanning the last 100 years.

I recently spent an hour in the gallery and it wasn't enough time to take it all in. Thanks to a television in the corner, I was immediately immersed into the 1940's and 1950's. My eyes were drawn to a large desk with an antique typewriter and a wicker table with a bejeweled box and hand-held mirror. I was able to imagine myself living in the girl's dorm while viewing a photograph of the parlor room.

I encourage you to visit the gallery and learn about our past. I also encourage you to answer these questions:
  • When were female students allowed to stop wearing uniforms?
  • Who was the librarian in the top photograph?

But you'll need to hurry because the exhibit is only available this week!

Exhibit hours are:
Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Chinese New Year - January 28th

The biggest holiday of the year for Chinese families will soon be upon us: Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) is happening this Saturday January 28th (New Year's Eve is the 27th). To compare the significance of this holiday for the American context, it would be like combining Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's all in one. Click here to learn more about Chinese New Year. (That link takes you to an online article from Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, via the Credo Reference database subscribed to by the Dick Smith Library. If you're off-campus you'll need to enter your NTNET username and password to access it.)   

There are many different foods that are typically eaten on this occasion, and they are often symbolic of  increasing your chances of long life or wealth. One favorite is dumplings (like the ones pictured below), eating them on New Year's is supposed to bring increased wealth.
Dumplings (shui jiao 水餃) - Joshua Wallace, photographer and copyright holder, 2015.
Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar, and therefore doesn't happen on the same day every year on the solar calendar that we use. It fluctuates between mid-January to mid-February. According to the Chinese zodiac the new year will be the year of the chicken, and we are leaving the year of the monkey.  The Chinese zodiac consists of twelve animals, so the same animal reoccurs every twelve years. Click here to learn more about the Chinese zodiac. (That link takes you to an article in an online version of Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, subscribed to by the Dick Smith Library. If you're off-campus you'll need to enter your NTNET username and password to access it.)   

A common part of the Chinese New Year holiday is for the adults of the family to give red envelopes full of money to the children of the family. 
A Red Envelope (hong bao 紅包) - Joshua Wallace, photographer and copyright holder, 2017.
Roughly translated the words on the envelope mean "wish you prosperity, money is coming your way" (gong xi fa cai, gun gun er lai). 
A legend associated with the Chinese New Year is that of the Nian monster (nian shou 年獸). This creature comes out of hiding on New Year's Eve to eat people. Luckily, this monster is afraid of firecrackers and the color red, and that's why you see plenty of both this time of year. Typically, families will stay up late into the night to guard against the nian shou. According to some, this monster can eat a whole village in one bite. (That link takes you to an online article from The Paducah Sun, via EBSCO's Newspaper Source database subscribed to by the Dick Smith Library. If you're off-campus you'll need to enter your NTNET username and password to access it.)   

Some Chinese phrases for New Year's: 

  • Xin nian kuai le (新年快樂) - "Happy New Year"
  • Gong xi fa cai (恭禧發財) - A common expression heard during Chinese New Year, roughly translates to "Wishing you increased prosperity." A comical reply to this phrase is hong bao na lai (紅包拿來) which means "hand over the red envelope." 
If you want to learn Chinese or another language, then you should check out the Mango Languages database. It's available on the library website's A-Z database page. 

The library has several books about Chinese New Year in the Curriculum Collection, which is located on the lower level at our Stephenville location: 

Click here to listen to some Chinese New Year's music. That link takes you to the library's catalog, from there click on the "Online Access Click Here" link. 

Click here to watch a documentary about how modern Beijing families celebrate New Year's. 
(That link takes you to the Films on Demand database subscribed to by the Dick Smith Library. If you're off-campus you'll need to enter your NTNET username and password to access it.)   

International Programs will be hosting a Chinese New Year celebration on Friday January 27th from 6PM - 8PM at the Thompson Student Center. There will be food and activities. Click here for more details. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Here's to a great Spring 2017!

Welcome back everyone! I hope you had a wonderful break and you are ready to start 2017 off great!
Below you will find some new information about the Dick Smith Library and some reminders.

New Info:
  • The library now has 2 color printers. One is located on the main level in the copy center next to Tech Spot and the new one is located in the printing area upstairs.
  • Additional tables have been added downstairs by the practice presentation area.
  • You may have noticed that all the computers are now running on Windows 10. If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to ask!


  • If you need a shuttle to pick you up from somewhere on campus, call: 254-968-9265, this is also located on the back of your Texan Card.  
  • If you have a library fine you can pay this online with a credit card by going to MyGateway and it will appear in your Texan bill pay. Please allow one business day for fines to show up.
  • The Writing Center is open in the library (located next to Tech Spot) Mon-Thu 6pm-8pm.
  • The library has 2 study rooms that can be reserved for 4 hrs. All other study rooms are first come, first serve.
  • The practice presentation room can be reserved for 2hrs, and must be used for presentations only.
  • If you know you have a test coming up within the next few weeks and want to make sure you have a study room, you are more than welcome to book a room in advance. Just remember to be on time, because reservations are canceled and given to the next person if a group does not show up. You may make these reservations by calling the circulation desk at 254-968-9450 or by coming to the desk.
  • If you are in an organization that needs to book the Multi-Purpose room, you will first need to make sure you have an activity permit. Afterwards, you will need to create an account in OrgSync and you will be able to request a reservation through there.
  • If you need help locating a book or have a database/research question you can contact the reference desk at 254-968-9249.
We are here to help make your semester go as smoothly as possible. Here's to a great Spring 2017!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Made in the Maker Spot Fall 2016, plus new hours!

Welcome back everyone! Starting today the Maker Spot will be open 10am - 8pm, Monday - Thursday and 10am - 5pm on Fridays. To inspire you about the types of things you might make in our new extended hours here are some of the things people made last semester!


Fidget Toy

Mini Christmas Tree

Snowman Ornament

Scarf Holder