Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Think Pink: It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We are now officially in the second full month of classes and the semester appears to be going well. If you need any assistance, please stop by the Blagg-Huey Library, Dallas Center Library, or Houston ARC for research help or a quiet space to study. Beyond classes and projects, October is more than the second month of class, the first month of fall, or the home of Halloween--October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is a very serious illness, one that will claim the lives of nearly 40,290 women in the United States this year alone. This is the most common form of cancer among American women, second only to the various forms of skin cancer. A staggering 12% of women in the United States will be stricken with invasive breast cancer in their lives.

There is good news, however. Survival rates of this once fatal disease are very high in its early stages. If breast cancer is detected in stage I, there is a 100% survival rate. Even as far down as stage III, 72% of those diagnosed will still be alive five years later. Those are some fantastic odds no matter how you slice it! Breast cancer, in its earlier stages, is no longer a death sentence.

Better medical technology and early detection have led to this increased rate of survival, one of the reasons October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month is about taking steps to detect the disease early, and encouraging others to do the same. Breast cancer is something most, if not all, people are aware of. Ensuring that everyone detects the disease in stages I or II, when the chance of survival is the highest, is what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about.

For more information on breast cancer or anything else health-related, take a look at the Health Studies Subject Guide. The journals and databases listed in the guide should make researching a wide variety of health-related topics much easier. Should you feel like donating to cancer research, the American Cancer Society is a great place to start.

Let’s make this Breast Cancer Awareness Month a successful one, T Dub!

~Jason Mims

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

NEW! Banned Books Week with Mandie

Editor's Note: Not only is Mandie Mims a valued member of the Dallas Center Library staff (she serves as Subject Librarian for Health Care Administration, Health Literacy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Pathology), she has quite the sartorial flair as she demonstrated during Banned Books Week 2015. Here, Mandie shares interesting tidbits and personal reflections about banned and challenged books--all while suitably dressed, of course.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman’s works have frequently been challenged for reasons such as violence and unsuitability for younger age groups. His book Neverwhere came under attack in New Mexico. According to Gaiman, “The biggest boon that Banned Books Week provides is the discussion that is had with honesty and awareness…you’re a kid in a school district [that banned a book] and there’s not a local Barnes & Noble and you don’t have 20 or 50 bucks in disposable income…That book is gone. It was there and now it’s not. The fact you can buy it on Amazon doesn’t make that any less bad.”

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson)
Written in 1865, Alice was challenged in 1900 because of expletives; many parent groups have claimed it also encourages drug use and child abuse (the rumors of drug use began in the 1960s, although many branded those observations overreaching on the part of critics). Carroll said it best when he stated, “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does."

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Both the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the Academy Award-winning film have come under fire for their portrayals of the Civil War-era south. Despite frequent challenges (or perhaps because of them) the book is considered by many to be one of the Banned Books that Shaped America. Margaret Mitchell's characters have been some of the most enduring in American literature (who could forget Rhett’s famous last words: “My dear, I don’t give a d***”?).

300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
Comic books and graphic novels are frequently challenged, and no one knows this better than the dynamic duo of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Their Batman story arcs have been targeted for depictions of extreme violence, and both authors have been attacked for their critiques of the government. The art and imagery in 300 is nothing short of breathtaking, and certainly not for kids! Some parents, however, seem to confuse pictures with children’s books. Miller stood his ground for 300, just as all information professionals should stand their ground for controversial books. “Give them nothing, but take from them everything,” he said.

Dangerous Angles: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Block
This one holds a special place in my heart! Not only were the Weetzie Bat books some of my favorites growing up, but a parent at my high school challenged and successfully had these books removed from the school library during my senior year (the books are frequently criticized for their heavy subject matter, including same-sex relationships, children born out of wedlock, and the AIDS epidemic). Block’s surrealist style adds an element of fantasy to her topics, while her excellent character development makes her characters' experiences all the more painful. Her characters are both underrepresented in YA and intensely relatable--all the more reason why we need Weetzie Bat! “She knew they were all afraid. But love and disease are both like electricity," Weetzie thought. "They are always there--you can't see or smell or hear, touch or taste them, but you know they are there like a current in the air." "We can choose," Weetzie thought, "we can choose to plug into the love current instead.”

~Mandie Mims

Monday, September 28, 2015

Because You Can, Read a Banned Book Today

Editor's Note: This post is reprinted from Check It Out: The TWU Libraries Blog. September 23, 2013.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Imagine the world, or any list of classic literature, without these titles. If some had their way these celebrated works of literature and many more would be missing from classroom, bookstore, and library shelves. 

For all sorts of reasons there are many who've attempted to suppress material that conflicts with their beliefs.  The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. However well intentioned, though, censorship is censorship. As Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. said in Texas v. Johnson, "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

Fortunately for book lovers everywhere, there are those--including the American Library Association, libraries, librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, educators, and readers of all types--who rally against this kind of suppression. Every year since 1982 these people have banded together during Banned Books Week (this year from September 27th through October 3rd) in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas--even those considered unorthodox or unpopular. Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week celebrates Americans' freedom to read while highlighting the value of free and open access to information. The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. 

Because of Banned Books Week and other rallying cries against censorship, banned and challenged books continue to be available to those who wish to read them. What's black and white and read all over? Banned and challenged books.

To commemorate Banned Books Week, choose a frequently challenged book and use the TWU Libraries catalog or WorldCat to locate a copy; or see displays of banned and challenged books on the (Denton) Blagg-Huey Library's ground and second floors. For assistance, ask at the Information Desk or contact us.  

ead a banned or challenged book today.  Because you can.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, September 25, 2015

Denton Library Computer Lab Closed Sept. 24-29

The (Denton) Blagg-Huey Library's Computer Lab is on the move.

The lab--with its computers, printer, and virtual assistant--is moving from the library's first floor to its second floor (just outside the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence).   

To facilitate this transition the computer lab will be closed Thursday, September 24th through Tuesday, September 29th. The lab will be back in business in its new location on Wednesday, September 30th.

Need a computer in the meantime? Computers are located on each of the library's four levels, and Chromebooks and other laptops are available at the first-floor Circulation Desk. For assistance ask at the Information Desk on the first floor.  We are, as always, happy to help.    

~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Food for Thought: Is Your Food Safe?

September is National Food Safety Education Month, a good time for each of us to think about a subject we may take for granted--how we buy, prepare, and store food for ourselves and our families.

The websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are good sources of current health information you can use to stay safe. Find out what the CDC has to say about food safety here; and learn about several aspects of food safety from the FDA here.   

Do you know the right way to handle and prepare raw produce and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices?  Watch the FDA video below to find out.  

Links to more valuable food safety information appear below the video. 

Fruits and veggies are important parts of our diets. Do you know how to prepare and serve them safely? Learn steps you can take to keep your produce safe.

Safe Food Handling: What You Need to Know
Learn four simple steps to safe food handling.

Debunking Myths about Safe Food Refrigeration
To refrigerate or not to refrigerate—that is the question. And how cold is cold enough?

Are You Storing Food Safely?
Easy steps you can take to help store your food safely.

Food Facts for Consumers
Explore a wealth of food safety information from A to Z.

The TWU Libraries' Nutrition & Food Sciences (NFS) Subject Guide contains a wealth of information related to NFS research.  For assistance please contact Nutrition & Food Sciences Subject Librarian Suzi Townsdin at or 940-898-3297.

~Sandy Cochran with Elaine Cox

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How May We Help You?: Services for Faculty Members

The TWU Libraries in Denton and Dallasand the Houston ARC, are dedicated to providing a wide range of services to TWU faculty members. One of the most popular faculty services we offer is the Faculty Information and Research Support Team (F.I.R.S.T.), a program with the singular goal of supporting faculty members' research, courses, and professional development.

F.I.R.S.T. is comprised of Subject Librarians partnered, based on fields of study, with faculty members who have signed up for the program. Faculty members can sign up by contacting the Subject Librarian who specializes in their subject area.  

Your Subject Librarian is available to provide research expertise and custom research support pertaining to the following.
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Grants
  • Courses (creation and updates)
  • Professional development
  • Database searches
  • Table of contents alerts
  • Keyword/phrase search alerts
  • Access to materials
  • Interlibrary loan order generation
  • Bibliography or reference list checks

To sign up for F.I.R.S.T. simply contact the Subject Librarian in your field of study. 


More information about F.I.R.S.T. is available here, and a comprehensive list of services available to faculty members is available here.

If we can help you, we hope you will let us know.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Registration Deadline for Family Weekend is Friday 9/25

Family Weekend 2015 is right around the corner.  If you haven't yet registered, the time is now.  The deadline to register for this annual fall showcase highlighting all that TWU has to offer is Friday, September 25, 2015.  

Register with your family, register with a friend, or register alone--but register for all the fun, including the 2nd Annual Rubber Duck Station for Children in front of the library featuring duck decorating, rubber duck-themed games and music, and prizes.  

An event schedule is located here, and the Family Weekend 2015 Registration Form is available here

~Sandy Cochran 

Research That Clicks: Subject Guides & Subject Librarians

So much to do, so little time.  

Wouldn't it be great if you could quickly sift through all the information at your disposal, leaving you with resources tailored to the project at hand?  The TWU Libraries have you covered.  

Our Subject Guides, geared toward study, research, and writing in specific subject areas, are 37 handy packages of information (databases for accessing the articles you need, websites, videos, course information, writing tips, and more) gathered by subject area.  Simply go to the guide (or guides) that most closely relates to the topic at hand, and click--you're taken to a compilation of searchable, authoritative information geared to the subject area of your choice.  "Ideally, students should consult the Subject Guides instead of Google at the beginning of the research process to narrow their research topic," says Reference Librarian Elaine Cox, "and again when they are ready to locate full-text articles." 

Subject Guides can be useful to faculty members as well as students, says Cox.  "There are many ways faculty members can use the Subject Guides for their classes.  They can request course-specific guides, link to a specific guide within Blackboard, or work with their Subject Librarian to create a guide focused on a special topic."

Questions?  Contact the Subject Librarian pictured in the upper right corner of the guide you are using.  Research experts in specific fields, the TWU Libraries' experienced Subject Librarians are here to help you with your research questions, large or small.

Recently updated, the Subject Guides now feature a cleaner user interface and increased functionality for a more streamlined user experience.  All are easily accessible from the TWU Libraries homepage > Subject Guides.

~Sandy Cochran with Elaine Cox 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Metroplex Archivists Meeting On 9/25 Open to All

An archivist (AR-kiv-ist) is an information professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to records and archives determined to have long-term value.  Wikipedia 

On Friday, September 25, 2015 the annual meeting of the Metroplex Archivists, a group of special collections and archives staff members from across the DFW Metroplex, will be hosted by the TWU Libraries.  This group includes academic, junior, and public library specialists in digital libraries, digital humanities, records management, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions.  The meeting's itinerary is available here.  

Interested in the topic of archiving?  All TWU staff members are invited to attend. 

WHAT  Metroplex Archivists Meeting
WHEN  9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 25, 2015
WHERE  Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus, Joyce Thompson Lecture Hall (Room 101) (first door to the right as you enter the building)
LUNCH  Please consider joining the group for a Dutch treat lunch after the meeting at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant (just minutes from campus)
DETAILS of the meeting and lunch are available here   
RSVP  Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 23 for the meeting, the lunch, or both to Kimberly Johnson ( or 940-898-3743)

~Sandy Cochran with Kimberly Johnson

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Library Laugh

Happy Sunday. 

~Sandy Cochran