Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

Lightning over Denton, Texas.  June 11, 2012.  Photograph by Mike Mezeul, courtesy of Dallas Observer.

Summer is the peak season for fresh fruit, waterslides, barbecues . . . and lightning-related deaths and injuries.  

Although people do get struck by lightning year-round, summertime is the best time to familiarize yourself with information about lightning from the National Weather Service, including the following:

General Tips
 No outdoor area is safe when you hear thunder.
 If you hear thunder, find a safe indoor shelter (a substantial building or enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up).

Indoor Safety Tips
 Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment.
*  Avoid plumbing (including sinks, bathtubs and faucets.)
*  Stay away from porches, windows and doors.
*  Never lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

Outdoor Safety Tips
No outdoor area is safe during a thunderstorm, but if you're caught outside with no safe shelter options, take these steps to reduce your risk of being struck by lightning:

*  Come down from elevated areas.
*  Never lie flat on the ground.
*  Never shelter under an isolated tree.
*  Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.

*  Immediately get out of--and away from--ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.

*  Stay away from objects that conduct electricity, such as wire fences.

Further Reading
Read some interesting myths and facts about lightning from the National Weather Service.

From everyone with the TWU Libraries, a safe and happy summer to all.

~Elaine Cox

Monday, June 24, 2013

Buy 3, Get 1 Free: A "Don't Miss" Summer Sale

Books for the beach and then some:  Through August 21st, 2013 it’s buy 3 get 1 free at the Friends of the
Libraries Blagg-Huey Library Book Sale, located on the library's first floor near the Reference Collection. 
Questions?  Ask at the Circulation Desk or Information Desk, both located off the first-floor lobby just inside the
main entrance.
Off to the library I go to study and study some more.
What’s that I see on my way out the door?
Why it’s books at the library, not to lend, but for sale!
Might as well stop by, it’s not too far off my trail.
25 cents to 2 dollars on every price stub.
Look, this one’s even in Oprah’s Book Club!
Used textbooks might be useful for class.
Lots of cookbooks and crafts.
I’ve found 3 awesome books, and I think I found my new favorite recipe.
Wait, all summer it’s buy 3, get 1 free!
More books get added to the sale every day?
Well, you’ll be seeing me a lot this summer, I’ll say.

~Aubrey James

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Information Literacy Skills Training: All You Have To Do Is Ask

Today more than ever--with rapidly snowballing technological advances and access to massive amounts of information--students have, in theory, a world of information at their fingertips.  Internet and other electronic resources, social media, databases and other library resources, print and digital resources--and so much more--comprise the vast stores of information at the disposal of today's student researcher.

Overwhelming?  Unmanageable?  It might be, were it not for the very learnable set of skills known as information literacy (IL).  IL is the key--particularly for today's students--to making effective use of available information for the purpose at hand.

How can TWU faculty members arrange information literacy skills training for their students? 
Lecture and hands-on research instruction is available through thTWU Libraries on the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses.  
Faculty members can request library workshopsheld in the classroom or at the library and tailored to a course’s specific research requirements, by filling out a Faculty Form for Class Instruction or by contacting the libraries at reference@mail.twu.edu.  

The TWU Libraries stand ready to help your students build the foundation of research skills they need to succeed in today's classroomFor questions or more information, reach us at reference@twu.edu or 940-898-3702

We look forward to hearing from you.

~Sandy Cochran 

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Mom, We're Bored": The Library to the Rescue

They're enough to strike fear deep in the heart of any parent.  Those two dreaded words--"we're bored."  You briefly consider hiding, but realize they'd find you eventually.  Now what?

Amusing kids for an hour--that's easy.  For a weekend?  Any parent worth his salt can fill a paltry two days with activities.  But hearing the dreaded words at the beginning of a ver-r-r-ry long, hot summer?  That calls for serious strategy. To the rescue?  
NPR's Backseat Book Club.

Geared toward readers aged 9 to 14, the Backseat Book Club picks a new selection every month and invites readers to submit their comments and questions.  At month's end some of those questions are put to the book's author during the NPR radio program
All Things Considered.

More good news?  Your kids can catch up on titles they've missed with
The Complete List: What NPR's Backseat Book Club Has Read So Far.  The really good news?  The Children's Collection of the Blagg-Huey Library on the TWU Denton campus carries most of the selections.  Just follow the links below, visit the Children's Collection (open this summer from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday), and help your kids start their summer reading adventure.  So you'll be prepared, borrowers must have a current TWU I.D. or courtesy card.  For assistance, contact the Circulation Desk at 940-898-3719 or in person (to the left as you enter the building.)

The One and Only Ivan
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Okay for Now
The Red Pyramid
Black Beauty
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Heart of a Samurai
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Shooting Kabul
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Graveyard Book

Whether their summer vacation involves a backseat, backyard or bunkhouse, the Blagg-Huey Library can help rescue your kids from the boredom blues.  Questions?  Contact the Children's Collection Desk (at 940-898-3497 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday) or the Blagg-Huey Library Information desk (at 940-898-3701) during library hours.  A library staff member will be happy to assist you.

For more on past Backyard Book Club selections and All Things Considered broadcasts--or on subscribing to podcasts--visit NPR's Backseat Book Club.

Boredom?  What's that?

~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Is It Just You? How To Know For Sure

Have you ever experienced the following?  You enter a web address, press enter, and . . . nothing.  Or worse, you get one of those error messages that doesn't help at all.  Is the website having technical difficulties, or is it just you?  Now there's a way to check.

At the aptly named
downforeveryoneorjustme.com, simply enter the URL you want to check on and press or just me.  In an instant you'll know if the problem is on your end or theirs.

You're welcome.

~Elaine Cox

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Contemporary Performance Art On Demand: On The Boards TV

Photograph courtesy of ontheboards.org.
From On The Boards, an organization founded by artists in 1978 Seattle to introduce audiences to international innovators in contemporary dance, theater and music, comes OntheBoards.tv--a database of high-quality films of full-length performances by some of today's most provocative artists working in dance, theater, music and some forms that defy categorization.  

For TWU students and faculty members in the performing arts, this database--added to the TWU Libraries database collection in May 2013--has particular appeal.  For everyone else--have a look.  This one's fun.

Access to OntheBoards.tv (currently available on campus only) is available with your Pioneer Portal login information at TWU Libraries homepage/Databases A-Z List/O/OntheBoards.tv. 

For questions regarding this or any other database, the most convenient way to contact us is via our online
Ask a Librarian form.  A librarian will be happy to assist you.


~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Loyalty, Dedication and Service

Sherilyn Bird, Dean of Libraries, congratulates the TWU Libraries staff member recipients of 2013 Service
Awards for service to Texas Woman's University.  Front row L-R: Sherilyn Bird, Elaine Cox, Julie Reed,
Greg Hardin.  Second row L-R: Erica Block, Roy Lynn Tardif, Leah Hamrick.  Third row L-R: LaMargo
Branch, Ryan Becker, Johnathan Wilson.  Not pictured: Shelly Burns, Robbie Jones.  Photograph by
Sean Spear.
Loyalty.  Dedication.  Service.  While some might say these "old-fashioned" virtues are on the decline in today's workplace, employees of Texas Woman's University--and those of the TWU Libraries--know differently.

As part of TWU's annual tradition of recognizing faculty and staff members for designated levels of service to the university, the TWU Libraries were pleased and proud to celebrate with 11 of our own who were honored at the recent 2013 Service Awards & Retirement Recognition ceremonies.

Congratulations to the following TWU Libraries employees:

Ryan Becker (Library Assistant/Technical Services, Denton Campus)
Erica Block (Library Assistant/Woman's Collection and University Archives, Denton Campus)
Shelly Burns (Librarian, T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences--Dallas Center)
Leah Hamrick (Librarian/Technical Services, Denton Campus)
Johnathan Wilson (Librarian/Reference, Denton Campus)


LaMargo Branch (Library Assistant/Interlibrary Loan, Denton Campus)
Elaine Cox (Librarian/Reference, Denton Campus)
Roy Lynn Tardif (Administrative Assistant/Administration, Denton Campus)

Greg Hardin (Librarian/Reference, Denton Campus)


Julie Reed (Librarian/Web Access, Denton Campus)

Robbie Jones (Library Assistant, T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences--Dallas Center)

Loyalty, dedication and service--alive and well at the TWU Libraries. 

~Greg Hardin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Changes Are Afoot

You may have noticed that changes are afoot at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU.

In anticipation of The Pioneer Center for Student Excellence, to be housed on the library's second floor, the library's administration and staff members and others have been hard at work planning, organizing and implementing the series of projects necessary to accommodate this exciting new university venture.

Every effort is being made to minimize inconvenience for our patrons.  An updated library directory has been placed at the Information Desk, in both elevators, and on the information kiosks on every floor; and signage has been placed where appropriate.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to come by the Information Desk on the first floor (on the right as you enter the building) or contact us by phone, email, chat or text if that is more convenient for you.  A library staff member will be happy to assist you.

From all of us with the TWU Libraries, we wish you a safe, happy and rewarding summer.

~Sandy Cochran