Friday, October 31, 2014

Tales From the Clipped: The X Files

Without A Trace  On June 1, 1948, Virginia 
Carpenter (center) took a cab to the Denton cam-
pus of Texas State College for Women (now 
Texas Woman's University), got out of the cab 
near her dorm--and vanished without a trace.  
Although Virginia's disappearance was heavily 
investigated, and various sitings of her have been 
reported over the years, the case was never solved.  
Virginia's story is prominently featured in the
Files, a collection of newspaper clippings and notes 
about some of the chilling tales from TWU history.   
Daedalian, 1946. Texas State College for Women. 
Digital modification by Matthew Miller.
On the Denton campus of TWU, three unassuming file folders rest on a shelf in the Woman's Collection vault of the Blagg-Huey Library.  At first glance one might assume they were left there by mistake.  From a distance, there is no clue that the files contain anything out of the ordinary--and certainly not material requiring the secure, climate-controlled protection the vault affords.  The contents appear to be reports, letters--perhaps photographs.  

A closer inspection reveals the eerie truth.  Campus Mysteries/Ghost Stories reads one label.  Campus Mysteries/Missing Student reads another. Campus Mysteries/X Files says the third.  These plain manila folders with the distinctly unusual labels are known as the X Files, a collection of newspaper clippings and notes about some of the tales--some mysterious, some tragic, all chilling--that are part of TWU history. 


One of the files' more enduring tales is the story of Virginia Carpenter, a student who arrived by cab on the Denton campus of Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman's University) in the summer of 1948, got out of the cab near her dorm--and vanished without a trace.  In The Case of The Missing Co-Ed author Shelly Tucker sums up the case.

"She stepped off the train in Denton, Texas on Tuesday, June 1, 1948, after a six-hour trip from her home in Texarkana, wearing a striped chambray dress, red platform shoes (with a matching red bag), and a white hat perched on her head.  Virginia Carpenter was twenty-one years old.  The 5’3" young lady had long brown hair, brown eyes, and a lovely smile.  She took a cab from the train station to Brackenridge Hall, which would be her dormitory, at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University).  She planned to take summer classes for her future career as either a nurse or a lab technician.  She didn’t get a chance to be either.  Virginia disappeared that night without a trace."
Learn the lengths some went to in the search for Virginia, and of other tales of mystery and mayhem from TWU history, in the pages of the X Files.  Very popular with students, these files can be requested in the Woman's Collection Information Office (Room 205) on the library's second floor.  While the files must remain on the premises, patrons are invited to use the library's beautiful Reading Room to peruse them to their hearts' content. 

Skip the haunted houses, ask for the X Files--and learn about some of the chilling episodes from our university's past.

If you dare.


~Sandy Cochran

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Time to Fall Back: DST Ends Sunday, 11/2

On the one hand, it will get dark earlier.  On the other, you'll have an extra hour to study sleep.  However you choose to look at it, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 2nd at 2 a.m.--so remember to set those clocks back one hour.

The TWU Libraries will observe normal operating hours this weekend. The Blagg-Huey Library in Denton will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. to midnight on Sunday; the Dallas Center Library will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday; and the Houston ARC will be closed both Saturday and Sunday.

Enjoy that extra hour.


~Sandy Cochran

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Safety Tips Just In Time For Halloween

Graphic design by Kristin Wolski, TWU Libraries staff member with the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton 
campus of TWU.  
CONSUMER HEALTH NEWS

Keep your Halloween safe, not scary, with tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  From planning your costume to trick-or-treating to hosting a party, the FDA has you covered--just in time for a safe and happy Halloween. 

  
Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents

Painting Your Face: Special Effects Without Aftereffects

Improper Use of Decorative Contact Lenses May Haunt You 


Lucky 13 Tips for a Safe Halloween  




~Sandy Cochran with Elaine Cox

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Opening Up To Open Access

October 20-26, 2014 is Open Access Week, a global event promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research.

WHAT IS OPEN ACCESS?
Open access refers to the practice of making scholarly research available online for free upon publication (or soon after).  Implemented by academics, institutions, journals and major funding bodies, open access policies allow everyone across the globe to benefit from the latest findings and discoveries--whether it's assessing Ebola risk in West Africa or studying the effect of cute kitten pictures on people's attention spans.  Electronic Frontier Foundation

THE PROBLEM WITH THE STATUS QUO
University libraries, including those at Texas Woman’s University, have for years faced an increasingly untenable situation.  The cost of some major journal subscriptions, vital to scholarly discourse, have risen exponentially—while budgets remain static or are decreased.  T
his trend shows no signs of abating.

THE SERIAL EXPENDITURE MATH
Access to scholarly journals doesn’t come cheap, with many databases priced in the tens of thousands of dollars annually.  In FY2014 alone, the TWU Libraries spent over $1.3 million 
(or a whopping 93% of our materials budget) on journals/continuations in 212 databases.  This was substantially more than just two years previous (in FY2012 the libraries spent 84% of our materials budget on journals/continuations in 226 databases.)  This three-year snapshot makes clear the unsettling position in which we find ourselves.  Even with regular cuts to keep costs down, each year the TWU Libraries estimate a 10% increase in serial (journals and databases) costs due to inflation--and sometimes this estimate is low. One thing is certain, however.  When it comes to serials over time, we are spending more relative to our budget--and getting less.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Given the current trajectory of prices charged by some journal publishers, it’s not a matter of if, but when something must give.  Rising journal subscription costs, coupled with static or shrinking library budgets, are bringing university libraries—including those at TWU—inexorably closer to the point where difficult choices will be necessary regarding the serials—and by extension other library resources such as books and media--we can afford for our students and faculty members.

WHAT WE CAN DO
As the growing popularity of open access illustrates, the concept of free and open access to information resonates with many. You yourself may have been in the audience for the recent library forum on open access and other topics, and may support open access in the abstract.  While opening our minds to open access is a fine and necessary first step, we can do more.

Investigate and Experiment with the Open Access Button

Tools like the Open Access Button can help catalyze change and create a world where science has more impact; is more efficient; and most importantly, is available to everyone.

~Professor Randy Schekman, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013

Educate Ourselves About Open Access

*  For videos on the benefits of open access, see More About Open Access on the Open Access at Duke University site
*  Open Minds, Open Access
*  Directory of Open Access Journals
*  Open Access Matters: Shockey Presentation on Video
*  Pioneer Open Access Repository (POAR)
*  Questions?  Contact David Schuster, Director of IT & Technical Support, at dschuster@twu.edu.

~Sandy Cochran

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Globe We Call Home: Celebrating Global Awareness Month

A Global Connection  Former TWU President Dr. Shirley Crater (R), 
accompanied by a Japanese student, in a kimono presented to her by 
Mukogawa Women’s University, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan, in 1989.  
The kimono is featured in the Global Connections display (on the second 
floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU) curated 
by Woman's Collection staff members in conjunction with the TWU Global 
Connections Mission of a university climate of global awareness and 
understanding.  Courtesy of The Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's 
University, Denton,Texas.        
By a variety of measures, the Texas Woman's University community is a diverse group.  Whatever our race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship, residence or field of study, however, each of us shares something with every other soul on the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses of TWU.  We are all citizens of this planet we call home.  

As you may be aware, October is Global Awareness Month at TWU--31 days of events, speakers, activities and displays dedicated to the TWU Global Connections Mission of a university climate of global awareness and understanding.  The TWU Libraries are honored to play a part in this initiative with two displays curated by dedicated Woman's Collection staff members. 

Berlin Wall and Global Connections are located on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus, side by side near the library's Administrative Offices (Room 208). Berlin Wall, along with pieces of the wall itself, contains photographs and a sampling of relevant library resources.  A photograph of the Berlin Wall pieces in this permanent display, along with a description of their 5,000-mile journey to Denton, Texas, appears in The Berlin Wall: A Part of World History in Denton, Texas.   

Next to Berlin Wall is Global Connections, a collection of library materials on issues affecting women around the world.  Global Connections is anchored in spectacular fashion by a vibrantly-colored kimono which was presented to Dr. Shirley Crater, TWU President from 1986 to 1993, during her 1989 visit to our sister university in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan (TWU developed a reciprocal alliance with Mukogawa Women's University in the early 1980s.) Global Connections is available for viewing through October 31, 2014 during regular library hours.

During Global Awareness Month and beyond, TWU community members have many opportunities to increase their awareness of the world around them.  Pay attention to world events. Discuss current events with your friends, family members, colleagues and classmates.  See the TWU Global Connections Calendar of Events for items of interest, and visit Berlin Wall and Global Connections at the Blagg-Huey Library.  Consider the many places and events across the globe which are intertwined with daily life as we know it.

Because this is the globe we all call home.

~Sandy Cochran

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Alcohol Awareness Fun, Facts & Freebies

In conjunction with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (October 19-25, 2014) our friends in TWU Student Health Services (SHS) are hosting several events on the TWU Denton campus to raise awareness of the consequences of college drinking

Join SHS Health Promotion and PATH (Peer Advocates Teaching Health) for fun, facts and freebies!


Tuesday, 10/21/14
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
PATH Peer Pong in the Student Union Free Speech Area

A life-size game with PRIZES

Wednesday, 10/22/14

11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
U in the Driver Seat Pedal Car Obstacle Course AND Mocktail Recipe Contest in the Purple Lobby on the Student Union's second floor

For more information, like TWU Student Health Services on Facebook and follow @HealthyTWU on Twitter and Instagram. Still have questions?  Contact Student Health Services at 940-898-3826.


~Sandy Cochran

Monday, October 20, 2014

Breathing Room: The Every Night Show

The Every Night Show  A view of the sunset from the balcony of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton 
campus of TWU.  Access the balcony at the west end of the first floor from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or until the 
library closes, whichever is earlier.)  Show repeats nightly.  October 16, 2014.  Photograph by Kristin
Wolski.       
Insert sigh here.

~Sandy Cochran

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Monster of a Book Sale

It's a monster of a book sale, at spooktacular prices.

The Friends of the Libraries Book Sale, with a Halloween theme for the month of October, is happening at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU.  With prices ranging from a quarter to four dollars, stocking up on calorie-free treats to use and enjoy this holiday season is frightfully easy. 

Located on the library's first floor near the Reference Collection, the sale features a broad range of titles to serve your entertaining, celebrating, cooking and recreational reading needs.  A highlight is the extraordinary selection of cookbooks available.  Microwave, grilling, dessert, holiday, gourmet, entertaining, salads, vegetables, candy, stews, bread, poultry, appetizers, potluck, international cuisine, vegetarian/vegan, blender and food processor, seasonal, seafood, steak, comfort food--and many more--cookbooks line the shelves.  If you can eat it, chances are a book at the Friends of the Libraries Halloween Book Sale tells you how to cook and serve it--and this monster of a book sale doesn't stop there.  Biographies and novels to craft, diet, children's, mystery, science, religion, history, travel, feminist, poetry, genealogy, decorating and drama books--and too many more to list--fill the shelves for your browsing pleasure.  To make a purchase, simply take your selections to the first-floor Circulation Desk (exact cash, checks and major credit cards accepted.)

With the holiday season just around the corner, there couldn't be a better time to browse the monster selection, at spooktacular prices, of the Friends of the Libraries Halloween Book Sale. 

The sale is open to all during regular library hours.  For assistance visit the Circulation or Information Desks on the library's first floor.

Enjoy.

~Sandy Cochran 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mims' The Word: More Than Books

A Hardworking Crew  Pitching in on TWU Move In Day 2014 were TWU Libraries Access Services staff 
members (L-R) Johnathan Wilson, Access Services Librarian; Lisa Galletta, Reserves Supervisor; and Jason 
Mims, Stacks Supervisor.  Johnathan, Lisa and Jason are part of the group of hardworking women and men 
who make up the staff of the TWU Libraries.  Photograph by Caitlin Rodgers. 
The TWU Libraries are full of books and technology and all sorts of services designed to help you--the students, staff and faculty of TWU--succeed in your academic endeavors. But there is something else these libraries offer: people. There are hardworking women and men that provide those services; that maintain those books and technology; that are here to help you.  I would like to take this opportunity to introduce just a few of those people, specifically those I work with in the Circulation Department.

Were you aware that the Circulation Department is actually part of a larger entity known as Access Services? Circulation and Interlibrary Loan fall under the umbrella of Access Services. Holding that umbrella is Johnathan Wilson, the aptly titled Access Services Librarian. 

Under Johnathan's supervision are LaMargo Branch, Interlibrary Loan Specialist (perhaps you read this post about LaMargo), and Caitlin Rodgers, Coordinator of Circulation Services.  You may have noticed Caitlin’s fiery red hair (there’s a pattern of strange hair colors in this department).  Working our way down the ladder, we have Lisa Galletta, Reserves Supervisor (who is currently rocking green hair and is responsible for all those textbooks behind the Circulation Desk.)  On Lisa’s right is Chance Maggard, the new Fines and Fees Supervisor.  Still holding onto his natural hair color, Chance is responsible for the financials (and also happens to be quite adept at interlibrary loan procedures.)  To Lisa’s left is me, Jason Mims, blue-haired Stacks Supervisor and writer extraordinaire.

Knowing our names doesn’t really tell you who we are, though.  We are the Access Services Department, but we are also members of the TWU community.  We may work in the library, but our campus involvement takes us beyond library walls. Maybe you saw Lisa at one of the information tables during the first week of class.  There’s a chance you've run into Johnathan or me at the gym on the Denton campus.  And who could forget Move In Day, when most of the department was out at one time or another helping some of you get moved into your dorms?

There is more to the TWU Libraries than Access Services, though--much more.  There are the wonderful librarians in the Reference Department who are fantastic at providing our patrons with the finest research instruction and guidance.  There are Systems staff members who keep the libraries' technology running smoothly.  There is Technical Services, a group of people who maintain the libraries' catalogs and physical holdings.  There is library Administration and the staffs of the Children's and Woman's Collections.  And don’t even get me started on the superb staffs of both the TWU Dallas and Houston locations.  For the names and faces that go with each of our departments, here is the TWU Libraries staff directory.

A library is first and foremost a repository of knowledge, a physical location where scholarship resides.  But it is also the product of the hardworking people who staff it.  On behalf of Circulation, Access Services and the TWU Libraries, I would just like to say "hi".  We are happy to serve you, the TWU community, and to be a part of you. 

That’s it for this one.

~Jason Mims

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Would Improve Your Library Experience?

The TWU Libraries want to know what you think.

While our suggestion box is always open, we'd really like to know . . . 

What would improve your library experience at TWU?

You decide how to submit your suggestion--by commenting below, or by using our online suggestion box, Facebook or Twitter--and you can submit your comments anonymously or not.  It's up to you.  

If you have a moment, please let us know what you think.  We'd really like to know.

~Sandy Cochran