Wednesday, October 31, 2018

November is National Aviation History Month

Image:  Charles Lindbergh, Portrait phot, 1927.  Britannia Image Quest.

 In addition to the other events that we recognize, November is also known as National Aviation History Month.

According to the Government Book Talk website:  

    “National Aviation History Month is dedicated to exploring, recognizing and celebrating America’s great contributions and achievements in the development of aviation. Aviation history refers to the history of development of mechanical flight — from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and space flights.”

National Aviation History Month provides us an opportunity to reflect upon the high points of aviation history.  To assist with this reflection, the Al Harris Library has created a book display representing our many books on aviation.  They provide information about the men and women from all countries who have made contributions to aviation.  The books illustrate the beginnings of aviation, its use during 20th century warfare, commercial development, and space exploration.

This focus on National Aviation History Month is appropriate for Weatherford, Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) because Weatherford is the birthplace of retired astronaut General Thomas Stafford and SWOSU has experienced a successful long-time relationship with NASA.  Many SWOSU students have held internships with NASA and some SWOSU graduates have held successful careers at NASA.

Please come by and check out books from our display!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Banned Books Week 2018

Many libraries, including the SWOSU Libraries, will celebrate the 2018 Banned Books Week and the freedom to read during the week of September 23-29.  Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.  Hundreds of books are challenged or removed from libraries each year.  A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group, but a banning is the actual removal of those materials. 

More information on banned/challenged books can be found on the American Library Association's frequently challenged books pages.

We hope you will come by and see our displays of just some of the hundreds of books that have been banned or challenged over the years.

Come help us celebrate our freedom to read!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Travel One Book at a Time!

Are you planning a vacation this summer? This could mean staying in Oklahoma, traveling across the United States, or even seeing other parts of the world. If you’re not sure where you want to go, checking out a book may help you make that decision. 

If your time or budget is limited, you may consider vacationing in Oklahoma, because there are several interesting places in Oklahoma to visit. You can travel Oklahoma by reading Weird Oklahoma: Your Travel Guide to Oklahoma’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, or a variety of books on Route 66 and others aspects of Oklahoma.  Perhaps you have always dreamed of going to New York City or leaving the country and seeing the world. If you have, reading a book can help you plan your vacation. To get better snapshots from your travels, be sure to check out Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Whether you have a vacation or a staycation this summer, there are many excellent books that will help you plan your vacation or make your staycation seem like you have actually visited exotic places. Take a look at the books that are available for you to check out here at the Al Harris Library and plan a great travel adventure! 

Monday, April 09, 2018

National Library Week 2018

This week (April 8-14) the Al Harris Library is celebrating National Library Week by sponsoring a display of “Favorite Books of SWOSU Library Staff”Come and check out the variety of books that are on the "Favorite Books" display and check out the numerous other available library resources.  

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.  It is a time to celebrate the contributions of  our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.  

We hope to see you at the Library soon!   

Monday, January 08, 2018

Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunmen of the American West


The history of the American West includes that of the people who lived, worked, and traveled there.  Among these people were three groups which often went hand in hand.  They were the lawmen, outlaws and gamblers.

Western lawmen were in several forms.  There was the law enforcement who kept the peace inside city limits, such as Virgil Earp in Tombstone, Arizona.  More well-known was Virgil’s younger brother, Wyatt Earp, who worked in law enforcement positions in such places as Wichita, Kansas, and as a deputy sheriff in the Tombstone area.  The Federal government had its own law enforcement in the form of the U.S. Marshals Service.  One of the most famous U.S. deputy marshals was African American Bass Reeves, but other people were part of law enforcement in the West, including Judge Isaac C. Parker whose court was located at Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Judge Parker’s nickname was the “Hanging Judge” for sending at least seventy-nine people to the gallows.  While not all lawmen were honorable, more than once these men put their lives on the line to see justice done. 

Of course, the people that lawmen often pursued were the outlaws.  Perhaps the most famous outlaw was the Missourian Jesse James who with his brother, Frank James, and the James gang robbed trains and banks, as well as killing several people.  There were also Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid who rode in the Wild Bunch.  Some outlaws were women, and one of the most famous was Belle Starr whose only crimes might have been one or two cases of horse thievery.  Some lawmen were even considered outlaws, or at least came from questionable criminal backgrounds.  During his younger days, Wyatt Earp had been charged with horse stealing and possible theft of money.  If caught, outlaws faced jail time or even execution. 

The third group, the gamblers, consisted of men and women who gambled with money in hopes of making their fortune.  Some of them were indeed successful, although some probably gained and lost several fortunes during their lives.  There were all types of ways to gamble,  whether it be roulette, poker, faro, horse racing, etc.  John Henry Holiday, better known today as “Doc” Holiday, was a trained dentist who turned to gambling and became famous for backing up the Earp brothers at the famous O.K. Corral gunfight in October, 1881.  Although there were some successful gamblers, there were some who died penniless. 

If you have an interest in any or all of these groups, visit the book display located just northwest of the circulation desk in the Al Harris Library. Whether you have a personal interest or a class research project, step back in time and find out about the Old West lawmen, outlaws and gamblers.  Feel free to check out any of the books or DVDs!