Friday, January 30, 2015

S is For Stress Relief

M is For Mindfulness  The self-guided Mindfulness for Stress online module allows
you to complete each section at your own pace.  It is 
available in Blackboard
(search for 
Health Promotion Mindfulness under the Organizations tab.)  Mindfulness
is a proven strategy for stress reduction that makes discomfort and pain more
bearable; reduces depression; and increases self-knowledge and self-acceptance.  
Every college student knows a thing or two about stress. Juggling multiple roles and responsibilities while trying to fit in sleep and a social life is a recipe for tension they know all too well.  Coping with pressure does not come naturally to some, but the good news is that every TWU student has resources close at hand for combating the understandable feelings of stress, anxiety and overwhelm they may experience.

The TWU Counseling Center serves the TWU student communities on the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses of TWU.  With a mission of supporting student success and personal growth, they place a high priority on confidentiality.  Need to talk?  Contact information for the Counseling Center is listed here in the righthand column.

Texas Woman's University and Student Health Services (SHS) are sponsoring a series of Stress Less sessions aimed at educating students about stress relief strategies; several sessions are scheduled for the Spring 2015 semester on the Denton campus.  Mark your calendar for Successful Sleep Strategies (February 18, 2015); Imagery in Stress Reduction (March 11, 2015); and Proven Stress Reducers (April 15, 2015).  All sessions take place in Room 113 of the Student Union from 12:25 to 1:00 p.m. For more information, like TWU Student Health Services on Facebook or call Dr. Kari Leavell, Ph.D., at the Counseling Center (940-898-3801).  

A set of resources on stress-related topics is available on the SHS Stress Less page.

Also sponsored by TWU and SHS, an online guide to mindfulness meditation is available in Blackboard (search for Health Promotion Mindfulness under the Organizations tab.)  The self-guided Mindfulness for Stress module allows you to complete each section at your own pace.  Mindfulness is a proven strategy for stress reduction that makes discomfort and pain more bearable; reduces depression; and increases self-knowledge and self-acceptance.  For more information contact Sonia Redwine at

College can be a wonderful time, but it does come with its own set of stressors.  The important thing to remember?  Reach out for help when you need it.  You are not alone.

~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mims' The Word: Interlibrary Loan 101

ILL It  Through the TWU Libraries' Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, TWU students and faculty and staff members have access to a wealth of information beyond the libraries' extensive collections.  Image courtesy of the McCracken County Public Library.
Quick fun fact: the TWU Libraries have several hundred thousand physical volumes housed in various collections.  That’s a lot of books no matter how you look at it--but we don't own everything.  What do you do, then, if you need an item not in our inventory?  You ILL it!

ILL stands for interlibrary loan; basically, the process of borrowing materials from other libraries.  Through the TWU Libraries' Interlibrary Loan service you can request materials from other libraries; arrange to have them sent to the library on the TWU campus where you attend classes; and pick up your items at that library's Circulation Desk.  Need an item you can't seem to find?  The TWU Libraries ILL service may be able to help. 

Your first step?  Check our holdings to see if we have what you're looking for.  On the TWU Libraries homepage, in the large maroon box front and center, there are two search boxes--one labeled TWUniversal Search, the other Catalog Search.  Use TWUniversal to find an article, and our catalog to search for a book.  Performing a careful search this way could save you a great deal of time.

Sometimes an item is not in our holdings; that's the time to see if ILL can help.  Start by navigating to the TWU Libraries homepage; clicking on the Interlibrary Loan Request button (look for a maroon box in the righthand column); and logging in with your Pioneer Portal username and password.  An ILL account is needed to proceed; simply follow the prompts to set one up if you need to.

Jason Mims, Stacks Manager at the Blagg-Huey Library on the 
Denton campus of TWU, is the author of Mims' The Word, a blog 
series featuring helpful information from behind the Circulation 
Desk for the benefit of students and faculty and staff members at
TWU.  Jason, a self-professed bibliophile, is also an avid writer 
and biker.  July 22, 2014.  Photograph by Kristin Wolski.  
As convenient as our ILL service is, there are a few restrictions to keep in mind.  First and foremost, we cannot fill requests for textbooks. Every semester there is an updated list of textbooks used in TWU classes that term.  If the libraries receive an ILL request for any of these books, we must cancel it--it would be a policy violation to do otherwise. Secondly, we will not fulfill a request for an item that the libraries own. If a requested item is on a library shelf on your primary campus (if you go to classes in Denton, for example, and the item you need is physically located at the Blagg-Huey Library), that request will be cancelled (if you need an item housed on another campus, however, we will process your request and get the materials you need to the campus where you attend classes.)

Books aren't the only materials you can request through ILL.  Need a specific journal article?  We can get it for you.  If it's an article from a journal we do not own, follow the steps outlined above.  If it's an article accessible through TWU, request it on our Journal Article Delivery page.  Whatever the case, if we can find the article you're seeking, we will fulfill the request.  There is something you can do, however, before submitting a request for a journal article--something that may save time for everyone involved.  Google it. That's right--Google it.  You would be surprised how many free articles are available on the web.  Simply Google the exact title of the article you’re looking for, then check the first page of results.  There’s a relatively good chance your article will be there.

Through the TWU Libraries' Interlibrary Loan service, a wealth of information is available to TWU students and faculty and staff members beyond that contained in our extensive collections, and we consider it a privilege to be able to serve the TWU community this way.  Questions?  There are several ways to contact us.  Shoot an email to; call 940-898-3728; or speak to LaMargo Branch, our Interlibrary Loan Specialist, in person at the Circulation Desk of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus.

Alright, T Dub, that’s it for this one.

~Jason Mims

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Art Works: Gail Williamson Cope

Editor's Note:  Art works to awaken the senses.  It fuels the imagination, encourages creativity, and clears the mind.  It relaxes us.  It can make us laugh; it can bring tears.  It provides a respite, however brief, from our tasks.  Art works to inspire our inner artists, encouraging the advancement of our own works of art--whatever forms those take.  It raises our quality of life.  Art just makes us feel good.

Between classes, between projects, between chapters--whenever the impulse strikes--look up and really see some of the creative works around you, including those at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU.  Because art works.

This untitled painting by Gail Williamson Cope, MFA, Texas Woman's University Class of 2013, is at once evocative and serene. The work in mixed media, oils and acrylics is on display just outside the Woman's Collection offices on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the TWU Denton campus.  For assistance please visit the Information Desk (on the right as you enter the building); a library staff member will be happy to direct you.

Enjoy this and many other pieces--including several by Cope--on the library's four levels whenever the building is open (a current TWU ID card is required for entrance after 9 p.m.).

~Sandy Cochran 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Write When You Need It: Write Site @ Night

Reports, proposals, dissertations. Articles, presentations, results.  In these forms and more, writing is a significant part of academic life.  Practice tends to improve a writer's craft over time, but what can Pioneers learn now about putting words on a page?

Current TWU students and faculty and staff members can get help with any aspect of the writing process by making an appointment with the Write Site or Write Site @ Night, the Write Site's evening writing tutorial service based in the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus.  This service of the popular and comprehensive writing center at TWU is available for both individuals and groups. 

By appointment onlyWrite Site and Write Site @ Night tutors provide many types of writing assistance, including:

● Help with writing assignments in any discipline at any stage of the writing process--pre-writing, brainstorming, drafting, organization, revision, etc.;
● Help with:
~integrating research findings into writing;
~understanding proper use of citation styles (MLA, APA, etc.);
~developing stylistic skills, including grammar and usage;
~writing resumes and cover letters;
~composing essays for scholarships and applications; and
~polishing personal writing; 

 Tutoring of non-native speakers in writing in English; and
● Help for students preparing for the writing portions of ASSET, COMPASS and THEA, and the sentence skills portion of the ACCUPLACER.

Write Site @ Night tutors are based in Room 221 of the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence (on the 2nd floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus) Sundays through Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   

To make an appointment or for detailed appointment information, see the Write Site's Appointments page or call 940-898-2341.  Write Site contact information--as well as help with writing mechanics, citation styles and more--can also be found on the libraries' Writing & Citing page.

~Sandy Cochran

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gentlemen of TWU: Welcome to Men's Health Mondays

Making the most of life, at TWU and beyond, requires physical and mental fitness.

To help with that goal our friends with Student Health Services (SHS) are hosting a series of workshops for the men of TWU--students as well as faculty and staff members--focused on important health topics that affect every man.

The first workshop, from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, January 26, 2015 in Studio 3 of the Student Recreation Center on the Denton campus, will include a presentation and discussion centered on physical activity. Be one of the first 20 TWU men to attend and enjoy free food courtesy of SHS.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tomes Sweet Tomes: The Fiery Winter Book Sale Is Here

Buy Two Get One Free  The Friends of the Libraries Fiery Winter Book Sale, featuring 
a spectacular array of cookbooks, novels and other books priced from 25 centsis taking 
place at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU through February 15,
2015.  Graphic design by Nancy Marcum, Coordinator of Circulation Services. 
Winter, with its shorter days and lower temperatures, is the perfect season for many things.  Hot chocolate. Roaring fires.  Good books and flannel.  For the book lovers among us, winter has it all.

At the Friends of the Libraries Fiery Winter Book Sale, taking place through Sunday, February 15, 2015 at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU, you can gather a winter's worth of reading material on the tightest of student budgets.  With prices ranging from 25¢ to $4--and a buy 2, get 1 free promotion on top of those--you can stock up on tomes sweet tomes and have enough left over to keep yourself in cocoa and cat sweaters until Spring Break.

Located on the library's first floor near the Reference Collection, the sale features an extensive range of titles to fill your cooking, entertaining, celebrating (blink and Valentine's Day will be here) and fireside-reading needs. Center stage is an extraordinary selection of cookbooks. Soups, stews, potluck, comfort food, desserts, holiday fare, gourmet cuisine, salads, vegetables, candy, bread, poultry, appetizers, vegetarian/vegan, seasonal, seafood, steak and too many more foodstuffs to name--if you can cook it, chances are a book at the Friends of the Libraries Fiery Winter Book Sale describes how to prepare and serve it.  
The offerings don't stop there.  From biographies and novels to craft, children's, mystery, science, religion, history, travel, feminist, poetry, genealogy and decorating books--and many more--row upon row of volumes await you (to make a purchase, take your selections to the first-floor Circulation Desk where exact cash, checks and major credit cards are accepted.)

The book sale is open to everyone during regular library hours, but remember--the gigantic and incredible Friends of the Libraries Fiery Winter Book Sale ends Sunday, February 15, 2015.    

For assistance, visit the Circulation or Information Desks on the library's first floor or call 940-898-3719.

Happy browsing.

~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Something Good: 5 Shortcuts to Database Basics

We're creatures of habit, you and I.  Get up at the same time.  Drive the same route.  Talk to lots of the same people. We have our favorites--we know what we like.  The trouble is, creatures of habit can miss something good.

The same notion applies to library research.  Perhaps you have a favorite database--or three or seven--that is your go-to source for articles in a field of study.  Click here, click there and you're in familiar and comfortable territory, fairly confident you'll find what you need. The trouble is, no database--or three or seven--contains everything. Each is a window into only a portion of the vast world of information.  It pays to be somewhat familiar, then, with the databases available to you as a TWU student or faculty member--because when it comes to academic research, you don't want to miss something good.

For the research and other information needs of the TWU community, the TWU Libraries provide access to hundreds of databases representing a sea of information.  Below, five shortcuts good for getting a handle on database basics.  

Shortcut To  An alphabetical list of databases accessible to members of the TWU community with current Pioneer Portal login information.  Good for locating a starting point when you know the name of the database you want to use . . . or when you only remember that it starts with a P.
Find It Here  Via the TWU Libraries homepage, under Research  

Shortcut To  An alphabetical list of database descriptions by database title, each containing a content overview; a list of related subject areas; the date range of the content; the frequency of updates; and relevant Subject Guides.  Good for brief database overviews; comparing databases; or when a database title sounds relevant to your research--but you're just not sure.   
Find It Here  Via a link at the top of the Databases A-Z List (via the TWU Libraries homepage, under Research)

Shortcut To  A list, in alphabetical order by database title, of tutorials/help pages/other search tips featured in the databases.  A good place to begin with any database you're using for the first time . . . or the tenth (some helpful features of the databases are more obvious than others.) 
Find It Here  Via a link at the top of the Databases A-Z List (via the TWU Libraries homepage, under Research) 

Shortcut To  A list of databases added to our inventory, in reverse chronological order by date added (the most recent at the top).  Good for investigating the latest in database access provided by the TWU Libraries
Find It Here  Via a link at the top of the Databases A-Z List (via the TWU Libraries homepage, under Research)  

Shortcut To  A list of Subject Guides, in alphabetical order by subject area, each featuring databases recommended for research in that field of study.  Good for winnowing down the Databases A-Z List to those databases pertinent to a specific topic or subject area.  These guides, dense with other helpful tips and information as well, are worth a look.  Of special note on each, in the righthand column, is the name and contact information of a professional librarian available for subject-specific research consultations for TWU students.       
Find It Here  Via the TWU Libraries homepage, under Research

For assistance with databases or other library matters, please contact us.  We are always happy to help.

~Sandy Cochran  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Creative? Our Next Button Could Feature Your Design

Do you consider yourself creative?  If so, the TWU Libraries want to see what you can do.

To market our various resources and services, the libraries distribute library-related pins to students and other library patrons; the designs change every month or so (you may have seen one of our recent designs left.)

Now it's your turn.  We're sponsoring a contest--open to all TWU students and faculty and staff members in Denton, Dallas and Houston--to help us find our next great library design.  The creators of the winning designs (two will be chosen) will each receive 20 buttons with his/her design plus a Library Gear Prize Pack filled with library-themed merchandise.

Ready to get started?  Entering is as simple as 1-2-3.

1   Go to the TWU Libraries contest page (at

2   Choose the program you're most comfortable with--Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Microsoft Publisher--to create your design.  Open the corresponding template on the contest page.

3   Put your imagination to work.  See our website or other sources of inspiration, and get those creative juices flowing! Record your design on your preferred template, and email it to by February 15, 2015.  Winners will be announced on March 1, 2015 and notified by email.  

Don't worry--it's easier than it looks.  If you do have questions, simply email them to

Good luck--and happy designing.  We can't wait to see what you can do.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

F.I.R.S.T.: Custom Research Support for Faculty Members

To the new and returning faculty members of Texas Woman's University, the TWU Libraries hope you are off to a good start with the Spring 2015 semester. We offer this brief reminder that custom library assistance is available for all your research and class-related needs.

As part of the TWU Libraries' broad array of services, we feature a program known as F.I.R.S.T. (Faculty Information and Research Support Team).  Composed of Reference Department librarians individually assigned to faculty members who request this service, the sole purpose of F.I.R.S.T. is to provide custom information and research support. 

What F.I.R.S.T. Can Do For You

Your personal librarian, once assigned, is available to assist with your requests for information--for publications, presentations, grants, course creation, course updates, professional development and more.  Personal librarians also handle database searches, Table of Contents (TOC) alerts, keyword/phrase search alerts, interlibrary loan orders, and bibliography or reference list checks.  They can arrange document deliveries (emailed PDF copies, or paper photocopies or books via campus mail, for any resources owned by the TWU Libraries or acquired through our licensed databases or Interlibrary Loan service); ensure daily email deliveries of summary contents for the current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education; and arrange email delivery of the full text of any article you choose.  In short, the F.I.R.S.T. program exists to support all facets of the research, and curriculum and professional development, of TWU faculty members.

Get Started With F.I.R.S.T.
We encourage you to begin this semester with F.I.R.S.T. by your side.  To sign up, simply contact the Reference Department at; or any one of our team of dedicated Subject Librarians.  Questions, as always, are welcome and encouraged.

A successful and rewarding semester to all.

~Sandy Cochran

Friday, January 16, 2015

MLK Day: Libraries Closed Monday, January 19th

Selma  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (center) leading march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to protest 
the lack of voting rights for African Americans. Beside King are (L-R) John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Douglas, 
James Forman and Ralph Abernathy. March 1965. Photograph by Steve Schapiro/Corbis courtesy of History.   
In observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all Texas Woman's University campuses--including the TWU Libraries in Denton and Dallas and the Houston ARC--will be closed on Monday, January 19th, 2015. Regular TWU Libraries hours will resume on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015.

To learn about the life and legacy of Dr. King we suggest The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, also known as the King Center.

A safe and happy holiday weekend to all.

~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Whole New Level: LaMargo Branch Honored for Exceptional Service

LaMargo Branch, 2014 recipient of the TWU LibrariesPioneering 
Proud Productivity Award for Better Library Service.  LaMargo was 
recognized for her exceptional work for the libraries' Interlibrary 
Loan service.  Photograph by Kristin Wolski.  December 12, 2014.      
The TWU Libraries have a longstanding mission of strengthening education at TWU "by connecting our community to information and library services that advance scholarly inquiry and academic success." We are very proud of the level of service we provide to the TWU communities in Denton, Dallas and Houston, and also of our tradition of recognizing staff members who perform their duties with exceptional skill and dedication.    

Toward that end, the libraries are pleased and proud to announce that LaMargo Branch, Interlibrary Loan Specialist, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Pioneering Proud Productivity Award for Better Library Service.  Surrounded by colleagues, a surprised and delighted LaMargo was presented with a certificate of appreciation and monetary award by Dean Sherilyn Bird.  

LaMargo, based at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus, has been with TWU for over 11 years.  Known for her work ethic and positive attitude, she says her favorite part of the work she does is filling requests as quickly as possible for TWU students and faculty members.  "I understand what it's like to need information quickly," she says, "so I try to make that happen for our patrons."

LaMargo's efforts and outlook do not go unnoticed by her colleagues.  "She worked extremely hard when the department was severely understaffed," says Health Sciences Librarian Eula Oliphant with the Dallas Center Library, "making sure that our students and faculty had the resources they needed . . .  She did the work of two or more, all the while keeping a positive attitude.  LaMargo takes the term dedicated employee to a whole new level."  LaMargo's supervisor, Access Services Librarian Johnathan Wilson, agrees.  “If I could have a hundred more just like her, I would.  She is dependable, hardworking, and should be commended for her work.”

From the TWU Libraries family, LaMargo, congratulations on this well-deserved honor.  Every day, you make all of us Pioneering Proud to call you our colleague and friend.

~Sandy Cochran

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, A.A. Milne

A.A. Milne, freelance journalist, assistant editor, 
essayist, dramatist, novelist and children's author.  
Most famous for creating Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne 
was born on January 18, 1882.  Photograph 
courtesy of The Independent.
Generations of children have come to know and love the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood.  Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and the rest--it is hard to imagine the world without them.  Born in the imagination of A.A. Milne, these endearing characters have been part and parcel of childhoods across the globe for nearly a century.  

On January 18, 2015 we celebrate the 133rd anniversary of the birth of Alan Alexander Milne.  Best known, of course, for the good-natured, honey-loving toy bear called Pooh and friends, Milne enjoyed a varied career before the birth of his most famous creations.  After earning a mathematics degree in 1903 he was a freelance journalist, assistant editor, essayist, dramatist and novelist.  Many of his plays achieved tremendous success on the stages of Britain and America.  As it happened, however, it was the publication in the 1920s of four famous books for children, all immediate hits, that guaranteed Milne a place in the ranks of classical children’s writers--When We Were Very Young in 1924, followed by Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926; Now We are Six in 1927; and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Translated into dozens of languages, Milne's Pooh books continue to be praised as masterpieces of children’s literature.  Makman, Lisa Hermine. Milne, A. A. (1882-1956).

Where It Began  A signed first edition of  When 
We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, featuring the 
first appearance of Winnie-the-Pooh, auctioned 
for over $12,000 in 1999.  Image courtesy of 
To commemorate Milne's birthday, Reference and Children's Collection Librarian Jimmie Lyn Harris has compiled the following for your enjoyment.

Books by and about A.A. Milne 

10 Fun Facts About Winnie-the-Pooh

8 Pieces of Profoundly Accurate Travel Advice, As Told by Winnie-the-Pooh

Pooh Pilgrimage

A Winnie-the-Pooh Quiz

11 Things You Might Not Know About Winnie-the-Pooh

Which Winnie-the-Pooh Character Are You?

~Sandy Cochran with Jimmie Lyn Harris

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mims' The Word: What's On Reserve?

Jason Mims, Stacks Manager with the TWU Libraries and member of the libraries' social media team.  For
the benefit of TWU students, faculty and staff, Jason will continue to share what he knows about the ins and 

outs of life behind the Circulation Desk.  July 22, 2014.  Photograph by Kristin Wolski.   
Editor's Note:  Mims' The Word is a continuing series by Jason Mims, Stacks Manager with the Texas Woman's University Libraries.  A member of the TWU Libraries Circulation Department for three years, Jason knows his stuff—about the department, what it does, and how it all pertains to the students, faculty and staff of TWU.  A TWU graduate, Jason is an unabashed bibliophile who loves his job, loves to write and is excited to be contributing to the TWU Libraries blog.  When not at the Circulation Desk at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus, he can usually be found somewhere in the stacks.

Another semester has begun.  Welcome back to all of you returning, and just plain welcome to all who have just started at TWU.

A new semester means a lot of things: new classes, new friends, new opportunities.  It also means new textbooks. Should you run out and buy all those expensive tomes?

TWU students have several options for getting the textbooks they need.  First and foremost is the bookstore, where you can purchase or rent textbooks (learn what you need to know here.)  A second option is using an off-campus book retailer (KD Bookstore and Voertman’s, two examples, are located just off the Denton campus.)  Don’t want to purchase your textbooks? This is where the TWU Libraries' Course Reserves may help.

Reserve items are books and other items for which instructors have requested abbreviated, temporary loan periods to help ensure that all students have an opportunity to access them.  These items might belong to a faculty member, a department, or the library itself and are kept at the Circulation Desks in Denton, Dallas and Houston.  All you have to do is stop by with your current TWU ID and ask for one!

Yes, there are limitations to using reserve items.  Most of them must be used in the library.  You can only check them out for a limited period of time (the average checkout time is four hours.)  Reserve items cannot be renewed, but can be checked out again--we simply ask that you wait an entire checkout period before rechecking an item out (for an item with a four-hour checkout period, for example, you would need to wait four hours after returning the item before checking it out again.)

The biggest issue to remember about the Reserve collection is that not every book at the bookstore is on Reserve!  We have a lot but we don’t carry everything.  Although there are a number of high-demand textbooks kept behind the Circulation Desk, not all textbooks are available.  If you think your textbook should be on Reserve but isn't, talk to your professor. Maybe they’ll send us a copy.

More information about Course Reserves can be found here.  As always, just ask if you have questions.  We are, as always, more than happy to help.

Alright T Dub, that’s it for this one.  

Here’s to a great new semester!

~Jason Mims

Monday, January 12, 2015

Professor's Corner: Beckett at Play

Playwright Samuel Beckett.  Photograph by Bob Adelman/Corbis courtesy of The Guardian.
The next session of Professor's Corner, a free discussion group devoted to quality presentations on literary topics, is coming soon.  Join us on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 for Beckett at Play featuring works of playwright Samuel Beckett. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free and open to all.  


Beckett at Play


Samuel Beckett forever changed the landscape of playwriting with the debut of Waiting for Godot.  Representing many of the most important cultural currents of the 20th century, Beckett’s work embraced existentialist philosophy, absurdist drama and high-modernist experimentation.  Among these concepts, though, it is easy to lose track of one of the most important ideas in Beckett’s work: the role of play.  Play for Beckett was so much more than role-play or language games; it was a way of experimenting with the world and the many contingent arrangements that could be found in life.  We will look at two works by Beckett, Endgame and Play, and the way in which Beckett expands our notion of play through his work.  As Hamm says at the start of Endgame, “Me . . . to play.”     


Wednesday, January 14, 2015
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Denton Public Library, South Branch (3228 Teasley, Denton, Texas, 76210.  Just south of the Teasley/Lillian Miller intersection.  A Google map and directions are available here.)

This program is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.

This session's presenter is Dr. Patrick Bynane, Associate Professor of Drama at TWU; he is also the Program Director for Drama there.  Dr. Bynane received his Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from Louisiana State University.  His research focused on Irish and Irish-American identity and the ways in which performance shaped and created such identity.  Dr. Bynane has presented at the Mid-America Theatre Conference; the Southeastern Theatre Conference; and the Associaton of Theatre in Higher Education Conference on varied topics including Irish theatre, improvisation, online pedagogy and Beckett. He is also a professional actor.

Background on Samuel Beckett is available here.  Cascando, and Other Short Dramatic Pieces is recommended but not required.

The purpose of this free series is to meet a public need for high-quality presentations on literary topics by featuring local English professors who talk about their special interests.  The presentations are aimed at the general public and allow for discussion. Readings of modest length are usually available in advance.  Gatherings are usually on the second Wednesday of specified months from 7:00 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m.  Monthly announcements are available by e-mail; to get on the mailing list send a request to Fred Kamman of the Denton Public Library at

February 11, 2015:  Fire in the Sky: The Frightful Appearance of Comets in Literature (Dr. Brian Fehler, Speaker)
March 11, 2015:  Shakespeare's King Lear in Adaptation (Dr. Ashley Bender, Speaker)
April 8, 2015:  The Legends of King Arthur (Dr. Matthew Brown, Speaker)
May 13, 2015:  It's Epic! Derek Walcott’s Omeros (Dr. Carl Smeller, Speaker)


Fred Kamman of the Denton Public Library.  Reach him at or 940-349-8752. 
Dr. Stephen Souris of Texas Woman’s University.  Reach him at or 940-898-2343.

Many thanks to Denton Public LibraryVoertman'sRecycled Books Records CDs, and Cooper’s Copies and Printing for their support.  This program was also made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

We hope to see you there.

~Dr. Stephen Souris

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Welcome to Spring 2015

Welcome to Spring 2015 at Texas Woman's University.  New year, blank slate, fresh start--however you choose to look at this semester, the TWU Libraries are here to help you make the most of it.

As the centers of intellectual life on campus, the TWU Libraries in Denton and Dallas, and the Houston ARC, are here to serve the information needs of new and returning students and faculty members.  From off campus or on, our friendly and dedicated staff members are trained to help you navigate our varied and abundant resources.  Our information professionals help with research, locate materials, answer questions--and that's just the beginning.  If it has to do with information, the TWU Libraries are the places to start.

Year-round, you'll find library information of all kinds in this space--and on the libraries' website and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr pages--to help you make the most of each semester.  For now, though, we hope to hear from you about any information you may need.    

From the TWU Libraries family, a rewarding and successful semester to all.

~Sandy Cochran