Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stay Cool

Mental note--refill the ice bin before the humans get home.  Photo courtesy of
This stuff is AWESOME!  Cooling Off by Randy Sprout.  Photo courtesy of
Heat wave? What heat wave?  A man cools off in the Berounka River in the village of Dobrichovice near 
Prague as temperatures hover over 34 degrees Celsius.  July 12, 2010.  Photo courtesy of
Yeah, baby!  Photo courtesy of
Cooling off the retro way.  Life Magazine, 1953.  Photo courtesy of
Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Fireman Tony Reiter takes a break from the heat in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo courtesy of
Can't a bear get some privacy around here?  Photo courtesy of Calgary Nature on
I wish summer would last FOREVER!  Photo courtesy of Cooling off . . . Detroit RiverWalk by NoneOther
...{Captured In Lights}...
I am a multitasking king.  Staying cool in Russia's Tus Lake.  Photo courtesy of
I can only see to the right, but who cares?  The Basset Hound and the Breeze.  Photo courtesy of desktop-
Cooling off with a friend is the BEST.  Photo courtesy of 
Chillin' at the library.  Lots of cool stuff here--computers, printers and scanners; cushy chairs and floor 
space; tables and rooms where I can spread out my stuff and work--or not; plenty of books, popular magazines 
and other reading material; DVDs; vending machines--and air conditioning!  I see no reason to go anywhere 
else.  Photograph by Sandy Cochran.

However you do it . . . stay cool.

Republished from Check It Out: The TWU Libraries Blog, August 13, 2014.

~Sandy Cochran

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy 239th Birthday, USA!

Fireworks over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Texas.  Image courtesy of
239 years ago this Saturday, the United States signed and ratified the Declaration of Independence, breaking away from Great Britain and becoming a sovereign nation.  Ever since, celebrations commemorating the Fourth of July have occurred all over the country.  

So, TWU, how do you intend to celebrate?

If you are in Denton, there are more than a few events happening on Saturday, July 4th.  Here are just a few:
Liberty Run 5k  Maybe you want to be active on the USA’s birthday.  Stop by the North Lakes Rec Center for this fun run at 6:30 a.m.!  Registration is $15 before race day, and $20 at the gate.
● Fourth of July Free Family Jubilee  More activities than you’ll know what to do with!  The festivities begin at 9 a.m. and run until 11 a.m.  Lunch at 11 a.m. costs $3 per person, and a pool party from noon to 6 p.m. only costs $1 a head!
Kiwanis Fireworks Show  It wouldn’t be the Fourth without fireworks!  Stop by Apogee Stadium at UNT for the show that begins at 6:30 p.m.

Dallas is also hosting a slew of events within or around city limits.  Take a look:
●  July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza  Grapevine is moving its weekly fireworks display to Saturday in honor of the Fourth. Stop by the Gaylord Texan Resort for live music and plenty of space to view the show!
●  Kaboom Town  A North Texas tradition, Addison’s Kaboom Town will take place on Friday, July 3 starting at 5 p.m.  There will be more than fireworks, though, at the annual party at Addison Circle Park.
●  A Star Spangled Spectacular  There are few better ways to beat the heat than with a concert.  Join the Dallas Winds at the Meyerson Center for this patriotic tribute to the USA.
●  For all things Fourth of July in Dallas, here is a handy guide.

Houston is no stranger to Fourth of July events.  Here is a small sample of the city’s offerings:
●  Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas  This annual 6-hour party in Houston’s downtown is a must-see. With tickets just $8 ($10 on the Fourth), it’s a great way to spend the day.
●  ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights—Star-Spangled Salute  This free outdoor concert held at Miller Outdoor Theatre features the Houston Symphony playing patriotic classics.  Free tickets are available (first come, first served) for the seating area, so be quick and pick yours up (though open seating is available on the hill)!  Concert starts at 8:30 p.m.
●  17th Annual Red, Hot, & Blue Festival  Make your way to the Woodlands for this four-hour party. There will be activities for all ages at two convenient locations!
●  A full list of Houston Fourth of July events can be found here.

Remember, all TWU Libraries will be closed on the Fourth of July (but we will be open regular hours on the 3rd and 5th).  For details, see the calendars of the Denton and Dallas libraries, and the Houston ARC

Enjoy your Fourth!

~Jason Mims

Mind Mapping the Declaration of Independence

Mind map  Declaration of Independence (2015). In Columbia University and P. Lagasse, The Columbia Ency-
clopedia. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Retrieved from Credo
The Declaration of Independence, the formal declaration adopted on July 4, 1776 by representatives of the Thirteen Colonies in North America, announced the separation of those colonies from Great Britain and formed the United States.  Credo

Some of the databases accessible through the TWU Libraries, including Credo, offer a mind mapping feature to use with search terms/topics such as Declaration of Independence.  Mind mapping is the use of a diagram to illustrate information; it is useful for generating and visualizing ideas and has a long history of aiding brainstorming and problem solving.  Wikipedia

To try out Credo's mind mapping feature, access the Credo database via the TWU Libraries homepage/Databases A-Z list/C/Credo Reference (sign in using your Pioneer Portal username and password.)  Type Declaration of Independence in the search box and click the search button.  Under Topic Pages, click on Declaration of Independence.  In the upper right corner will be a box labeled Create a Mind Map for Declaration of Independence.  Click anywhere on the map, and your mind map will be generated.  On it you will notice important names associated with the Declaration; clicking on any one of them will generate a new mind map.  Repeat the process as many times as desired to generate a collection of associated words and phrases.

Questions?  Please contact us.  We are, as always, happy to assist you.

~Jimmie Lyn Harris

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

That's A Mouthful: Camp NaNoWriMo

Everyone has stories to tell.  Narratives locked inside minds.  Words itching to escape through fingertips.  The prospect of writing it all down, though, can be daunting.  Some people never get around to telling their stories, because the time and energy required to craft a novel seem like insurmountable obstacles.  Clearly, these people have never heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo is "a fun seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing” that takes place every November.  Between 12:01 a.m. November 1st and 11:59 p.m. November 30th, the goal is to finish a 50,000-word draft of a novel.  Impossible, right?  Actually, with the organization’s network of online support and helpful tools, it is a goal within reach of most people (provided they work well under pressure).  Take a look at this helpful step-by-step guide to see how the process works.

National Novel Writing Month is in November, though.  Why are we talking about it at the end of June?  Because Camp NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo's laid-back cousin, starts July 1st and runs until the end of the month.  Promoted as “an idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life," CampNaNoWriMo is focused on more than just novels, welcoming projects that range from one thousand to one million words long.

While not an official sponsor of Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo’s Come Write In project, the TWU Libraries do have plenty of space available, on all three campuses, for writers who need a quiet place to hammer out that masterpiece.  The Denton and Dallas libraries have study rooms you can reserve online (make sure to create an account first), and the Houston ARC has study rooms available on a first come, first served basis.

Sometimes a deadline is all you need to get that story in your head onto paper.  If this appeals to you, why not sign up?

Who knows?  One day your novel could make it into the TWU Libraries’ collections!

~Jason Mims

Monday, June 29, 2015

From Beyond Library Walls: An Intro to Embase

Image courtesy of
Editor's Note:  In addition to their myriad responsibilities at the libraries in Denton and Dallas, and at the Houston ARC, staff members of the TWU Libraries place a high priority on professional development--including training, conference attendance, and self-directed skills advancement.

Library Assistant Yandee Vazquez of the Houston ARC shares her takeaways from a recent class on Embase, a comprehensive biomedical literature database accessible to TWU Houston Center students and faculty and staff members through the Texas Medical Center Library.

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) Library conducts a number of classes throughout the academic year which are open to faculty, staff and students of the TMC. In Spring 2015 the library offered an hour-long class entitled Introduction to Embase, hosted by TMC Librarian Emily Couvillon.

Embase, like Scopus, is an Elsevier product. Where Scopus provides greater searching depth regarding author metrics, however, Embase focuses on indexing depth through the medical thesaurus Emtree. Principally for pharmaceutical and disease-specific searches, Emtree allows for greater precision and accuracy in searches which some of our students, particularly in nursing and physical therapy, may prefer. Embase also includes indexed conference proceedings, easily filtered out, which are often difficult to locate.

While there is a small learning curve regarding the use of Embase terminology and conducting Embase searches, it is comparable to learning PubMed. In addition, Embase is simpler to navigate than CINAHL, in my opinion. The clean design of the Embase home page makes the use of filters simple; it is obvious to see what is added or removed.

Embase provides a viable search alternative to PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus, while remaining connected to these databases and the information they contain. Embase will be one of the resources from the Texas Medical Center Library that I highly recommend to students, and one which I will begin using for my own searches.

~Yandee Vazquez

Friday, June 26, 2015

Art Works In Red, White & Blue

This untitled painting by Gail Williamson Cope is just one of many 
pieces in various mediums on display in the Blagg-Huey Library 
on the Denton campus of TWU.  Photograph by Chance Maggard.  
June 25, 2015.  
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 the task at hand.  Art works to inspire our inner artists, encouraging the advancement of our own works of art--whatever forms those may take.  It raises our quality of life.  Art 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.

In all-American colors, this untitled painting  by Gail Williamson Cope, Texas Woman's University Class of 2013, is just one of many pieces on display in the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU.

See this painting in mixed media, oils and acrylics just outside the Woman's Collection offices on the library's second floor, and enjoy works in a variety of mediums displayed on the library's four levels whenever the building is open (a friendly reminder--a current TWU ID card is required for entrance after 9 p.m.)  
For assistance, please visit the Information Desk (on the right as you enter the building.)

~Sandy Cochran 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Susan Whitmer On a Library Career

Susan Whitmer (R), Humanities Librarian at the Blagg-Huey
Library on the Denton campus, answers a question from an
audience member during a panel discussion on careers in
the field of library and information sciences presented by
the University of North Texas Department of Library & In-
formation Sciences Web Institute.  Pictured with Whitmer is
Donna Arnold, Music Librarian at the University of North
Texas.  Photograph by Dr. Xin Wang.  June 11, 2015. 
Susan Whitmer, Humanities Librarian at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU, was among a panel of North Texas-area library professionals who gathered recently to discuss careers in the library and information sciences (LIS).

The Library Careers panel discussion, presented on June 11, 2015 by the University of North Texas Department of Library & Information Sciences Web Institute, was organized by the department's Dr. Xin Wang to inform the career planning of graduate students new to the field by educating them about aspects of a career in LIS.

The panel, consisting of librarians in various phases of their professional careers, included Donna Arnold, Music Librarian at the University of North TexasThomas Finley, Adult Services Librarian at the Frisco Public LibraryMyriam Martinez-Banuelos, Outreach Librarian at the University of North Texas Health Science CenterDerek Reece, Digital Project Librarian at the University of Texas at ArlingtonMitch Stepanovich, Architecture Librarian at the University of Texas at ArlingtonBarbara Thompson, Director of the Haslet Public Library; and Susan Whitmer, Humanities Librarian at Texas Woman’s University.

The panelists discussed their educational and professional backgrounds, how and why they became librarians, the responsibilities of their positions, the future of libraries, overcoming obstacles, and the benefits of librarianship.

North Texas-area library professionals take part in a panel discussion of careers in library and information sciences presented by the University of North Texas Department of Library & Information Sciences Web Institute.  Panelists included (L-R) Thomas Finley, Adult Services Librarian at the Frisco Public Library; Barbara Thompson, Director of the Haslet Public Library; Donna Arnold, Music Librarian at the University of North Texas; Susan Whitmer, Humanities Librarian at Texas Woman’s University; Myriam Martinez-Banuelos, Outreach Librarian at the University of North Texas Health Science Center; Mitch Stepanovich, Architecture Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington; and Derek Reece, Digital Project Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Photograph by Dr. Xin Wang.  June 11, 2015.

As the Humanities Librarian in 
the TWU Libraries' Reference Department, Whitmer's research specialties are in the fields of Criminal Justice, Government & Political Science, History, Law, and Literature & Language.  She is available for individual and group research consultations, as well as library instruction sessions within courses, and can be reached at or 940-898-3739. 
~Susan Whitmer

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Severe Weather Threatens. Now What?

When severe weather threatens, being prepared is the best defense.  Image courtesy of the Dallas-Hiram Patch.
If the weather of the past few weeks in Denton, Dallas and Houston has taught us anything, it's that serious weather conditions can develop at any time--and when they do, being prepared is the best defense. 

According to TWU's Department of Public Safety (DPS), as soon as you are notified of approaching severe weather you should seek shelter (using an interior room away from doors and windows if possible) and wait for an all clear message (either directly from DPS via Pioneer Alert text, email or phone call; or verbally from a university employee.)

See below for specific advice should you be in the (Denton) Blagg-Huey Library, the Dallas Center Library, or the Houston ARC when severe weather threatens.  Taking a few seconds now to familiarize yourself with these instructions is your best defense against severe weather while you are in one of the TWU Libraries.  Sidenote:  If nothing else, please read Your TWU Safety Toolbox below. 

DENTON CAMPUS' Blagg-Huey Library
•  Listen for instructions from DPS/library employees
•  Seek shelter, using interior rooms away from doors and windows (the Garden Level hallways, restrooms and Remote Storage area are good places to go)
•  Wait for an all clear message from DPS/library employees 

DALLAS CAMPUS' Dallas Center Library
•  Listen for instructions from DPS/library employees
•  Seek shelter, using interior rooms away from doors and windows (the first-floor auditorium is a good place to go)
•  Wait for an all clear message from DPS/library employees


•  Listen for instructions from DPS/library employees
  Seek shelter, using interior rooms away from doors and windows (stairwell B--with its fire doors and windowless, reinforced walls--is a good place to go)
•  Wait for an all clear message from DPS/library employees
  After a weather emergency, those off campus are encouraged to call the TWU Houston Severe Weather Closure Hotline (713-794-2310) to see if the campus is open


  The TWU Department of Public Safety uses the Pioneer Alert system to alert students and faculty and staff members in the case of a significant on-campus emergency, or a campus closing.  Sign up to receive alerts on this page.
  It's a good idea to keep the DPS emergency number for your campus in your phone (Denton: 940-898-2911; Dallas: 214-689-6666; Houston: 713-794-2222).
  A printable copy of the DPS flyer Know What To Do--with instructions on what to do in various types of emergency situations--is available here.
  Phone numbers and other information related to bad weather closings at TWU can be found on the TWU Bad Weather Info page.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tech Tuesday: Graphing Calculators Now Available

TI 84 Plus graphing calculators are now available at the Blagg-
Huey Library in Denton and the TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of
Health Sciences-Dallas Center Library.  Photograph by Sandy
Cochran.  June 22, 2015.
The TWU Libraries in Denton and Dallas now carry graphing calculators.

For exams and other times when a calculator is needed--but smartphones are prohibited or unavailable--a student with a valid TWU ID can check out one of the TI 84 Plus graphing calculators now available at the circulation desks of the Blagg-Huey Library in Denton and the TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center Library.  Calculators have 4-hour checkout periods and may be removed from library premises.

Questions?  Call our Circulation Department at 940-898-3719.

~Sandy Cochran

Monday, June 22, 2015

Smokin': BBQ & Grilling Cookbooks

Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from the Pit
 by Robb Walsh is one of many titles on barbecue and grilling contained 

in the Cookbook Collection of the TWU Libraries. 
Now that the summer solstice has passed, can your next barbecue be far behind?   

The Cookbook Collection of the TWU Libraries--part of the Woman's Collection housed on the second floor of the Denton campus' Blagg Huey Library--contains a selection of cookbooks (including the following) to fill your every barbecue and grilling need.

Cookbooks are not available for checkout, but free scanning is available at several locations throughout the building.  For assistance please visit the Information Desk on the first floor.

From abundance to diets, and prohibition to war, the TWU Libraries' collection of cookbooks richly illustrates decades of America's changing relationship with food.  Visit the Gateway to Women's History to view Cookbook Collection materials online.

~Sandy Cochran with Michele Miller