Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Good to Know: Due Date Rollover

The due date has rolled over for regularly circulating items at the TWU Libraries.  Meaning?  TWU students and faculty and staff members can now check out library items until December 11, 2015.  Items already checked out can be renewed until that same date.

Questions?  Contact the libraries' Circulation Department at or 940-898-3719.  

~Jason Mims

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

B is for Beatrix

Feast  Peter Rabbit feasts on Mr. McGregor's vegetables in a scene from The Tale
of Peter Rabbit by Helen Beatrix Potter.  Image courtesy of
Today we celebrate the birthday of Helen Beatrix Potter, born in South Kensington, London, on July 28, 1866.  The first child of Rupert Potter, a barrister, and Helen Leech Potter, young Helen Beatrix was called Beatrix, or often, just B.  Fascinated by plants and animals, Potter began keeping a journal in her mid-teens, written in a code that remained undeciphered until 15 years after her death.  She made a series of greeting cards and began work on a book, for which she failed to find a publisher.  Potter privately published 250 copies of her book in 1901; it was only after these copies sold that Frederick Warne & Co. published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902.

Potter's books possessed several qualities which set her apart from other authors and illustrators of children's books.  Her integration of story and illustration remains unmatched in children's literature, and her recognition of the beauty of animals--and her ability to convey it truthfully--set her illustrations apart from the grotesque, caricature-like images typical of most Victorian-era animal stories for children. Potter's books were also innovative in their unique size--small enough for a child to hold, and easily transportable.  Unlike the typically large and elaborate children's books of the period, Potter's were clearly for children (rather than for parents to read to children).  Each book cost only one shilling, enabling children from all backgrounds to enjoy them.

Beatrix Potter died on December 22, 1943, at the age of seventy-seven. To this day her works are widely read, and she remains one of the most beloved children's authors and artists of all time.  Gale Virtual Reference Library 

The Children’s Collection (on the Garden Level of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus) includes several works by Potter, listed here, that may be checked out.

Sly old cat / written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter
PZ10.3.P47 Sl3
Tailor of Gloucester / from the original manuscript written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter
PZ10.3.P47 Ta7
Tale of Benjamin Bunny
PZ10.3.P47 Tabb 1975 
Tale of Benjamin Bunny
PZ10.3.P47 Tabb5
Tale of Peter Rabbit
PZ10.3.P47 Tap 1975
Tale of Tuppenny / Illustrated by Marie Angel
PZ10.3.P47 Tatu3
Tale of two bad mice
PZ10.3.P47 Tau 1975
Tale of Peter Rabbit
PZ7.P85 Tap 1900
Tale of Peter Rabbit
PZ7.P85 Tap 1987
Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
PZ7.P85 Tas 2001
Cuento de Pedrito Conejo
PZ73.P85 Tap 1993
Peter Rabbit's natural foods cookbook
TX741 .D6

The Children's Collection--comprised of illustrated children's books, original artwork, and teen literature--supports the School of Library & Information Studies; Department of Teacher Education; and art students from the College of Arts and Sciences at TWU.

For questions pertaining to the Children's Collection, please contact Reference and Children's Collection Librarian Jimmie Lyn Harris at or 940-898-3740.

~Jimmie Lyn Harris

Monday, July 27, 2015

What Are You Reading This Summer?

Before you can say fry an egg on the sidewalk, summer will be over.  If reading that bestseller has been part of your summer plans, now may be the time.

The Browsing Collection on the first floor of the Denton campus' Blagg-Huey Library features many of the books on current best seller lists, along with other must-reads you've been hearing about. We've included a sample of these titles here.

Submit a comment below--what will you be reading this summer?

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (also available in audiobook format)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Don't see the book you're looking for?  Check the TWU Libraries catalog, or contact us for assistance.  We're always happy to help.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hot Off The Press: Titles Added in June

     Whoever said there's nothing new under the (scorching Texas) sun wasn't talking about the collections of the TWU Libraries.  Every month, new titles are added to our catalog for TWU students and faculty and staff members to use for classes, research, and recreational reading. 

Titles in a broad range of subject areas came through our doors in June.  Browse the list here to see our newest books in print, and the list here for our newest ebooks.

See a title that interests you?  Copy and paste it into the Catalog Search box on the TWU Libraries homepage.  For a print book, the availability and call number will appear below the author's name; for an ebook, click View It and follow the links to read the book on your screen.  For either, click Details to learn more.

Questions?  Please ask.  We're always happy to help.     

~Sandy Cochran with Vickie Silva

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Harper Lee Documentary Now Available

If you didn't see the new documentary on To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman author Harper Lee during its special pre-release last week, the TWU Libraries have you covered.  

Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman is now available to TWU students and faculty and staff members here, or through the database Kanopy Videostreaming (TWU Libraries homepage > Databases A-Z List > Kanopy Videostreaming).

Where's the popcorn?

~Sandy Cochran

Throwback Thursday: Fun in the Sun

"Many a spring and summer afternoon is splashed away at TSCW's outdoor pool.  Whether perfecting
their diving form or trying for a golden tan, students rate swimming tops in entertainment."  Texas
State College for Women (TSCW).  1953 Daedalian Yearbook.
For more looks back, TWU yearbooks dating from 1906(!) are available at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus (near the Information Desk).

~Sandy Cochran

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Clubhouse Summer Reading Program for Kids

I Want This One  Children enrolled in The Clubhouse, an educational enrichment
program sponsored by the TWU Department of University Housing, select books to

take home.  Staff members from several library departments assist with the program 
to help the kids have fun and retain their reading skills over the summer.  Photograph
by Jimmie Lyn Harris.  June 29, 2015. 
Ta kid there's nothing better than hanging with friends in a clubhouse.  This summer, a group of TWU Libraries staff members is making that experience even better for one group of lucky children.

Ranging in age from 5 to 12, the children are enrolled in The Clubhouse, an educational enrichment program sponsored by the TWU Department of University Housing.  Every Monday while the program is in session, the group arrives in the Children's Collection at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus for an arts and crafts activity (such as the miniature pinwheel bookmarks the children made to celebrate the Fourth of July) before staff members help each child select and check out a book on a topic of their choice.  Some of the library activities are based on superheros, the theme of the 2015 Texas Summer Reading Program from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Staff members from the Circulation, Reference and Technical Services departments of the library, led by Reference and Children’s Collection Librarian Jimmie Lyn Harris, work together at these weekly sessions with the twin goals of creating fun for the children, and helping them reinforce and retain their reading skills over the summer.  "Working with these future college students," Harris says, "has been a very rewarding experience."   

In addition to library visits, The Clubhouse features reading projects, arts and crafts, cooking experiments, gardening fun, science activities, weekly field trips and more.  Visit The Clubhouse page here to learn more.

The Children's Collection--comprised of illustrated children's books, original artwork, and teen literature--supports the TWU School of Library & Information Studies, the TWU Department of Teacher Education, and art students from the TWU College of Arts & Sciences.  It also serves as a resource for the children of TWU students and faculty and staff members.  

For research and other questions related to the Children's Collection, please contact Jimmie Lyn Harris at or 940-898-3740. 

~Sandy Cochran with Jimmie Lyn Harris

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Piece of WASP History: The Beechcraft E18S Restoration Project

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) (L-R) Bee Haydu, Kay Hilbrandt, Marty Martin Wyall, Florence 
"Shutsy" Reynolds and Nell Stevenson, five of the over 1,000 civilian pilots who became the first women in 
history to fly for the U.S. military, were welcomed to TCCD's Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transporta-
tion and Logistics.  Behind them, a Beechcraft E18S-9700 aircraft once owned by WASP founder and director 
Jackie Cochran.  May 22, 2015.
Across the nation, they left their jobs and homes to volunteer in their country's hour of need.  It was the height of WWII, and their flight backgrounds made them ideal candidates for an experimental program soliciting civilian pilots to relieve men for overseas duty.  They became Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), the first women in history to fly for the U.S. military. 

Since 2012, a piece of WASP history has been under restoration in North Texas.  A Beechcraft E18S-9700 aircraft (pictured left), once the personal property of WASP founder and director Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran, is being restored at the Tarrant County College (TCCD) Northwest Campus' Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics (CEATL). The center is housed at Alliance Airport in Ft. Worth.

Leaders from the community and the aviation industry were among those in attendance as the center welcomed WASP to honor them and shine a spotlight on the painstaking project which the restoration team envisions as "a flying historical tribute to these aviatrix heroes, the WASP of World War II."  The Beechcraft E18S Restoration Team

Working closely with TCCD to pay tribute to the WASP were staff members of the TWU Woman's Collection, including Kimberly Johnson, Coordinator of Special Collections for the TWU Libraries.  The Woman's Collection, the largest depository in the southern United States of research material about women, also houses the WASP official archive.  Archive images were shared with TCCD, for the WASP tribute and for ongoing work on the plane's nose art.  Woman's Collection staff members connected TCCD with scholarship representatives for the Women Military Aviators, Inc. and Whirly-Girls: International Women Helicopter Pilots (the collection is home to both organizations' archives), facilitating scholarship pathways for women TCCD students.  To keep WASP informed about the status of the Beechcraft E18S Restoration Project, updates appear in the WASP News (WASP newsletters dating back to 1943--containing a fascinating glimpse of WASP history--are available here).

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were welcomed to the TCCD's
Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics to
honor them and shine a spotlight on the painstaking aircraft restora-

tion underway which underscores the WASP's service to their country
--and their sacrifices, achievements, and places in American history.  
Image courtesy of TCCD.  Complete program contents, courtesy of 
TCCD, are available here
In 1985 TCCD purchased the plane with the colorful pedigree (the aircraft was also once owned by Merv Griffin, and has a litany of famous former passengers and pilots) from the U.S. Customs Service.  A team of volunteers--professional aviation technicians and students majoring in aviation--began the plane's restoration in the summer of 2012; plans for the aircraft upon completion include using it "to educate aviation enthusiasts and prospective students about flying skills and aviation history, including the WASP's contributions."  Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., Campus President, Tarrant County College Northwest Campus 

TCCD's CEATL provides expanded training opportunities for top industries that support the economy of the northern region of Texas.

To learn more about the WASP, visit the Official Archive of the Women Airforce Service Pilots here; catch up on WASP-related news here; visit the National WASP World War II Museum; and see a trailer for the WASP documentary Silver Wings, Flying Dreams here.  National PBS distribution of Silver Wings is scheduled for 2015; screenings of the film in several Texas cities are planned for later this year.  Watch this blog and the TWU Libraries' Facebook  and     Twitter for updates.  For more information, see the film's Facebook.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran was the driving force behind the WASP, as well as the program's 
founder and director.  After an illustrious career in aviation--including becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier--she died in 1980 (127 of the over 1,000 WASP are still living).  Jackie Cochran still holds more international speed, distance, and altitude records than any other pilot, male or female. Jacqueline Cochran Biography, National WASP World War II Museum

For WASP research assistance and related information, please contact the TWU Woman's Collection at or 940-898-3751, or Ask an Archivist.

~Sandy Cochran with Kimberly Johnson

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stellar Research: Pluto and the New Horizons Spacecraft

Pluto's Heart as photographed from the NASA spacecraft New 
Horizons.  Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University 
Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.  July 14, 
On July 14, 2015, the NASA spacecraft New Horizons made history by successfully passing Pluto within the dwarf planet's orbit.  Over a span of twelve hours, New Horizons collected scientific data from, and images of, Pluto and its five known moons.  In the words of New Horizons' principal investigator Alan Stern, "Following in the footsteps of planetary exploration missions such as Mariner, Pioneer, and Voyager, New Horizons has triumphed at Pluto.  The New Horizons flyby completes the first era of planetary reconnaissance, a half-century-long endeavor that will forever be a legacy of our time."

On July 15, 2015, this historic exploration mission began sending back to Earth the data it was launched to gather--data which has already begun to change astrological scientific theory.  According to New Horizons' science team, the photo below (of approximately 1% of Pluto’s surface) reveals many telling attributes of the dwarf planet, including mountain peaks over 11,000 ft. high and an unexpected lack of crater marks.  These features tell scientists that Pluto's surface has not been around long enough to have experienced heavy meteor activity or long-term erosion, and is therefore a relatively young site of recent geological activity.

It was believed that Pluto could not be geologically active so long after its formation, and that small icy planets of Pluto's age could only be so due to tidal heating (a process whereby energy is produced by the changing pull of gravity, as seen on Saturn's moon Titan).  The discovery that Pluto is the site of geological activity means that isolated small planets can be geologically active after 400 million years without tidal heating from an orbited giant gas planet.

Ice Mountains on Pluto as photographed from the NASA spacecraft New Horizons.  Image courtesy of 
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.  July 14, 2015.  
As the data comes in, more will be revealed about the nature of smaller ice planets that will hopefully provide us with a stronger understanding of our universe.  The science behind this mission, however, did not begin with these latest revelations about Pluto. 

Expectations and theoretical models pre-dating the lead-up to the launch of New Horizons can be found using several of the databases--including ScienceDirect, Science & Technology Collection, and Scopus--to which the TWU Libraries provide access.  The number of journal articles and papers will continue to grow as New Horizons mission data flows in.

It is an exciting time to be alive, as we begin to explore the outer reaches of our solar system.

For assistance with science research and related questions, please contact the TWU Libraries' Sciences Librarian Suzi Townsdin at or 940-898-3297.  

~Jeremy Kincaid

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman

Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and its sequel Go Set a Watch-
man (2015), is the subject of Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman.  Now available through Kanopy
Videostreaming and the TWU Libraries
, the new documentary contains excerpts from Lee's new novel and
information on the author, her work, and the wide-ranging impact of both.  Image courtesy of the Harper 

Lee Biography on  
It's the tantalizing literary event of the year.  Go Set a Watchman, by To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, has been published.  Already a subject of controversy, the book and the circumstances of its release have made Lee and both of her novels the focus of widespread attention and speculation.

In a pre-release of Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman, a new documentary now available through Kanopy Videostreaming and the TWU Libraries before its national release next week, hear excerpts from Go Set a Watchman; learn the circumstances of the creation and release of Mockingbird and Watchman; and hear testimonials from Mockingbird readers--including celebrities, writers, and teachers--about the classic novel's impact on their lives.

From the synopsis of Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman

To everyone's surprise, fifty-five years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee has published another novel.  Go Set a Watchman was written before Lee's beloved masterpiece, as director Mary McDonagh Murphy explains in this update of her 2011 documentary Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird.
Murphy's film, Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman, sifts through the facts and speculation surrounding Lee and both her novels, and includes interviews with Lee's older sister, close friends, and admirers including Oprah Winfrey, Scott Turow, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Wally Lamb and more. 
See Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman here.

The collections of the TWU Libraries contain both To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.  Questions?  Please contact us

~Sandy Cochran