Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Google and NASA

Internet search engine giant Google announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with NASA's Ames Research Center to build a research campus at the center and work together on technology projects.
For more information go to Nasa News.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The End of an Era in Four Professions

As 2006 comes to a close, four individuals who had a dramatic impact on their respective career fields and our society passed away. Their presence will be missed in the areas of animation, filmmaking, music and computer science.

Alan Shugart "leading pioneer of the computer disk drive industry and nicknamed the Disk Drive King was recognized for his unconventional thinking in technology and society, in particular, the betterment of society and promoting the public's interest in American politics"

Peter Boyle "40 year veteran of acting, this Emmy Award Winning Actor was known for his memorable roles in movies like Young Frankenstein, Taxi Driver, The Dream Team, and While You Were Sleeping, and more importantly his recent role on Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)"
biography, filmography

Ahmet Ertegun "Atlantic Records founder and music visionary whose company introduced America to such artists as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Sonny & Cher, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, and contemporary artists Kid Rock, Missy Elliott and James Blunt."

Joseph Barbera "Co-founder of Hanna-Barbera Productions, this Emmy Award Winning director and producer introduced America's children to some of the most beloved cartoon characters ever created, such as Tom & Jerry, Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, the Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, Hong Kong Phooey, Space Ghost, the Herculoids, Johnny Quest, and many more."
biography, filmography

Friday, December 15, 2006

High Tech Xmas List

Wired magazine has put together its annual Best of Test list in time for the Holiday Season; so its not to late for some last minute browsing to get that gift that's just right for that special Techie in your life.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Need a Break?

Need a break from Finals? Come to “Whoville” in the basement of the Al Harris Library! The Library will be offering free cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and games 8:00-11:00 p.m. on December 13-14 and 17-19. So you can study in the Library and then take a break for refreshments and relaxation.

Ragtime Website from Library of Congress.

Ragtime music originated in the United States during the 1890s. Ragtime is a unique form of piano music closely related to Jazz, but different. Ragtime music is meant to be listened to, not danced to. This wonderful website contains sheet music, actual recordings (listen online with earphones), album cover graphics, history, and interviews with composers. Some of the early musicians responsible for this medium were Tom Turpin, Scott Joplin, James Scott, and Bob Milne. Biographies are also included. This website is a enjoyable respite from finals as well as being educational. Click on blue title above to link to website.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Freedom of Expression

The website of The Progressive magazine has a running feature called Mcarthyism Watch, a series of brief articles about present-day attacks on freedom of expression in the United States. The Library Bill of Rights states: "Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval....Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas."

Freedom of Information and Freedom of Expression are essential to a healthy Democracy. How free do you feel?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Free Online Concerts: Radio or Theft?

Networking technology is requiring us to rethink and reinterpret existing intellectual property law. Does the nature of the technology require us to change the legal understanding or status of copyright as it stands now? What rights should be associated with Web content?

An upcoming battle over these questions may soon arise over Wolfgang’s Vault, a web site run by Bay Area entrepreneur Bill Sagan. The site is currently streaming free online concerts archived by the late promoter Bill Graham. The site currently has over 300 rare concert recordings – Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and many others. Sagan considers the vault concerts to be an Internet Radio Station and is currently paying performance and songwriting royalties on all the music streamed from the site; in addition Sagan has expressed commitment to IP rights:

“We have done everything we can to protect this music from those who would copy it illegally. Our music files are not easily-copied MP3s and are delivered, solely, through a Secure Flash Audio Stream, only accessible by registered users. As security technology evolves, we will employ it to further protect this music.”

Others believe that only the artist’s label has the right to distribute the music. How should the rights be expressed, and should the expression of the rights be used for notification, enforcement, or payment negotiation?

For more information: Intellectual Property Rights

DVD's at the Al Harris Library

Everything old is new again: The Al Harris Library has recently added to its DVD collection the American Film Institute's top 100 films and the Criterion Collection. Through the collective judgment of leaders from across the American film community, from both in front of and behind the camera, AFI has identified 100 movies which set the standard and mark the excellence of the first century of American cinema.

The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.

So take a break from finals and relax with a great film.

Friday, December 08, 2006

New Iraq Study Group Report Available

Co-chairs James Baker and Lee Hamilton have released a new report which assesses the current situation in Iraq. It examines: Security, Politics, Economics, International Support, and Conclusions. It also gives possible scenarios depending on if we stay or withdraw. Click on the blue title letters above to access. There are several blank pages at the top of this long report. Page down to see contents.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

65th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. The attack sank three other ships and damaged many additional vessels. More than 180 aircraft were destroyed.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Survey: Job Seekers are Stretching the Truth

By Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources,

There's marketing yourself on your résumé, and then there's flat-out lying. Many job seekers are crossing the line.Although just 5 percent of workers actually admit to fibbing on their résumés, 57 percent of hiring managers say they have caught a lie on a candidate's application, according to a survey. Of the hiring managers who caught a lie, 93 percent didn't hire the candidate.When résumé inconsistencies do surface during background checks, they raise concerns about the candidates' overall ethics. Forty-three percent of hiring managers say they would automatically dismiss a candidate who fibbed on their résumé. The rest say it depends on the candidate and situation.Stretched dates to cover up employment gaps is the most commonly-caught résumé lie, with nearly one-in-five hiring managers saying they have noticed this on a candidate's application. Other top résumé lies include:

Past employers (18 percent)
Academic degrees and institutions (16 percent)
Technical skills and certifications (15 percent)
Accomplishments (8 percent)

Reasons for lying range from the innocuous (not being sure of the exact employment dates) to the more sinister (intentionally being deceitful to get the job). To ensure your résumé is accurate but still portrays you in the best light, heed these tips:

If you don't have much formal experience... Highlight any activities or coursework that could be relevant to the position. Volunteer activities, part-time jobs and class projects can all provide transferable skills and training.

If you didn't quite finish your degree... Do not indicate on your résumé that you graduated. Instead, name the university and list the years in which you attended.

If you were out of work... Don't stretch the employment dates to cover the gap. Instead, keep the dates accurate and address the gap in your cover letter. Be sure to mention any classes you took or volunteer work you performed during this time to keep your skills up-to-date.

If your company uses unfamiliar titles... This is one of the only circumstances in which it's acceptable to change your title to something more recognizable. For example if your title was "primary contact," and you performed the duties of an administrative assistant, you can clarify your title by writing "Primary Contact/Administrative Assistant." Giving yourself a promotion to "office manager," however, crosses the ethical line.

Rosemary Haefner is the Vice President of Human Resources for She is an expert in recruitment trends and tactics, job seeker behavior, workplace issues, employee attitudes and HR initiatives.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Archives Library for Native Americans.

November is Native American/Alaskan Heritage Month. Click the blue title above to see attached link on Native Americans. There are some great resouces available at this site, including Genealogy, National Parks, Laws and Treaties, and Tribal Resources. Photos are from the Library of Congress's American Memory Project. There is a digital list of names from rolls from those with Indian blood. Do try out the Geography and Maps and Government Documents in the Reference section. This website is especially important for Oklahoma since a large percentage of our population has a Native American heritage.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Break Hours

Tues., Nov. 21, open 7:30am - 5:00pm

Closed Wed., Nov. 22 - Sat., Nov. 25

Normal hours resume Sun., Nov. 26

The Faculty and Staff of the Al Harris Library would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Oklahoma Crossroads website

Click on the blue lettered title above to browse the new Crossroads website from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries & state government publications. There are virtual exhibits such as: Bonnie & Clyde; Oklahoma State Capital: In the Beginning; Construction of Oklahoma Governor's Mansion. A couple of subjects from the Collections are: 46 Federal Publications About Oklahoma: Tulsa Race Riot Documentation. This website has something interesting for everyone.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Are you Ready to Exercise Your Right to Vote?

State and national elections will take place next Tuesday, November 7th, and with the current issues and problems facing the United States, it has never been more important to vote and let your voice be heard.

Not sure what the political platforms are? Unclear what issues candidates support? Then you still have a few days to educate yourself. Here are some websites that can help you determine who gets your vote.

Project Vote Smart


Election 2006: Candidates & Info

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies: Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality

With all the reality shows addressing the paranormal and ghosthunting, and the large number of horror movies being generated by Hollywood, it was only a matter of time before scientists start adding their two cents to the debate. Physicist Costas Efthimiou, Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, utilizes physics to address inconsistencies associated with mythical creatures of cinema and pop culture. Click here to read his research.

Clocks Fall Back One Hour This Weekend!

This weekend at 2:00am on Sunday, everyone will gain an hour of sleep as we transition from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. Remember to set your clocks before going to bed on Saturday night!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Holiday Trivia Contest

The Circulation desk is hosting a Holiday Trivia Contest.

There will be 3 questions posted at the desk throughout the day. The first person to answer all 3 correctly each hour will win a home baked prize. In honor of Halloween, pumpkin bread will be given out as a prize.

There will also be candy all day for anyone who stops by the desk.

Cell phone policy revisions

We have revised the cell phone policy.

You will now be allowed to use your cell phones in all areas of the library except bathrooms, stairwells and the silent study area.

You are of course expected to be polite and not disturb others, otherwise we may have to ask you to keep it down or go someplace else.

Silence is golden

We have created a NEW Silent Study area in the southeast corner of the 2nd floor. Signs have been posted designating the area.

In this area cell phones, music, and talking will not be allowed. For those of you who need quiet to study, this is an area especially designed for you.

Please use the area and tell us what you think.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

We want to hear from you!

The library has put out Comments and Suggestions boxes in key locations for you to tell us what you think. They are at the Circulation desk, by the printer for the computers (under the Comments and Suggestions board), and at the Reference desk.

We have suggestion cards next to the boxes or you can write something up on your own paper.

The boxes will be checked on a weekly basis. Responses will be posted on the Comments and Suggestions board.

So please let us know what we can do to better serve you.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Government Internet Use in Libraries

The August edition of Library Journal has several very good points about how the United States Government is putting libraries under pressure. Specifically, libraries are expected to provide public access to Government and State information and onliness services, but are not given increased funding to keep up with demands.

Between 1994 and 2004, library internet "connectivity" increased from 20.9% to 99.6%. In 1998, only 3.4 percent of public libraries had 10 or more public internet workstations, now the national average is 10.7 workstations. In 1998, two-thirds of public libraries had dial-up or direct connections. Now, only 2.1 percent have such slow connections. Wireless access in libraries has increased from 17.9% in 2004 to 36.4% in 2006. 72.8% of libraries are planning on replacing workstations.

Libraries are now expected to provide access for disaster victims, Medicare drug plans, benefits for children and families. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) sends people to public libraries to sign-up for assistance.

Along with these requests come more technical problems for libraries: Florida DCF applicants signing up on computers are told that "they must be using the Internet Explorer browser 5.5 service pack 1 or above." "The Firefox Browser won't work with this application, and popup blockers must be disabled." People go to libraries for assistance.

If the government wants people to participate in e-government, it is essential that new support be provided for libraries. The government should encourage an understanding of the important contributions which libraries can and do make for our citizens.

About 90 percent of library funding comes from local government. The best way to help libraries would be an amendment of the E-government Act of 2002 showing how libraries fit into the new mesh of federal e-government and also the introduction/revision of state and local directives on e-government.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We Have a Winner!

Several students stopped by the Organizational Fair on August 24 to find out what's happening at the Al Harris Library and to register for the gift certificate from Hooked on Books. Congratulations to Brady Surber who is the winner of the gift certificate! And a special thanks to all of you who stopped by to visit with us, have some candy, and sign up for the drawing. Visit the Library soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

IDIS/Web (Iowa Drug) update

Starting today, you no longer need a special IDIS/Web username and password. Instead, click the "Login by IP" button on the IDIS/Web site and you'll have immediate access to the database.

If you're logging into IDIS/Web from off-campus, you'll be asked to login to the library's databases with either your student webmail ID or your SWOSU ID number prior to seeing the IDIS/Web site. (Please note: you must use the IDIS/Web link on the library's Pharmacy Resources page -- other links and bookmarks to IDIS/Web won't work.)

If you have any problems logging onto IDIS/Web or need help finding articles, call the Reference Desk at (580)774-7082 or contact us via Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Facebook to Open to All Internet Users

ABC News | Facebook to Open to All Internet Users
Facebook, an online community now restricted mostly to high school and college students, will soon throw its doors wide open and welcome millions of Internet users currently left standing at the gates.

The move will allow existing users to invite their now-ineligible friends, but it also risks changing the tone of a community where trust and privacy are key. Just last week, users revolted when Facebook introduced a feature that allows easier tracking of changes their friends make to personal profile pages.

The change in eligibility will come soon, although Facebook officials were still deciding exactly when.

Friday, August 25, 2006

100 Years of Oklahoma Governors

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries website has a new link to "100 Years of Oklahoma Governors." (Click on title above, then again look for "100 Years of Governor" on actual site, and click on Lasso ODL's round-up of the state's chief executives.) This site includes a photograph and brief biography of all of Oklahoma's governors. Pictured is "Alfalfa Bill" Murray (my favorite Governor) who served from January 12, 1931 until January 15, 1935.

He is known for helping feed the hungry during the Great Depression and donated his own salary for that purpose. He also married the neice of the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, started a ranch in Bolivia, and called out the National Guard to reopen an Oklahoma constructed bridge on the Red River, which had been closed by the Governor of Texas. He also helped raise the price of oil to increase production and gain revenue for the state during a time when we really needed the money. Check out all of the great biographies on this website.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Buying or Selling a House in Oklahoma?

Most students, faculty or staff at SWOSU will purchase or sell a house at some point in their lives. If this occurs in Oklahoma, you may be interesting in an Oklahoma Document (R 500.5 U58p) entitled State of Oklahoma Uniform Contract Information Pamphlet. This 20 page jewel explains many legal terms in simple, easy to understand language. Terms include: contract, purchase price, earnest money, financing supplemental agreement, closing, funding, and possession, accessories, time periods, residential property condition disclosure act, investigations, inspections, and reviews, risk of loss, acceptance of property, title evidence, mediation, breach and failure to close.
Also listed are details about pitfalls of home buying - such as flood notice laws. For instance, the City of Tulsa makes it the buyers responsiblity to find out about floodng from storm run off, sewer backup or water history. A report may be purchased from the Corps of Eningeers by phone. Termite damage and inspections are also included, along with lead-paint disclosure. Megan's Law is an oklahoma law which requires sex offenders to register their address. Is the home you're looking at on the offender list? It would be a good idea to check these things out before purchasing a home. An hour of reading time might save you thousands of dollars in repair bills and a lot of headache later on.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Intellectual Property Rights

The Department of Justice has just published a new (2006) report about Intellectual Property in the United States (J 1.2: IN 8/11/2006 in Government Documents). This book explains: what intellectual property actually is and how laws in the United States protect the owners of intellectual property. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is shown in the photo above with report. Click on the title above to link to online source.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Night Sky Atlas

If you are interested in astronomy, then you need to take a look at Night Sky Atlas: The Moon, Planets, Stars, and Deep Sky Objects ( Call #: 520 S278n). This colorful and practical atlas for binocular and small telescope observing was published by Firefly Press in 2005. Because it is a comprehensive atlas that is also simple to use, it is useful for the person just beginning to observe the night sky or for the more experienced observer. The constellation maps attempt to match as much as possible what a person actually sees in the sky. The maps, illustrations and accompanying text make this a worthwhile and enjoyable resource. Check it out at the Al Harris Library!

Friday, July 21, 2006

"Preventing Medication Errors"

"... on average a hospital patient is subject to at least one medication error per day ... " (p. 1) Medication errors harm 1.5 million people and kill several thousand each year in the United States, costing the nation at least $3.5 billion annually, the Institute of Medicine concluded in a report released July 20th. The IOM's report, "Preventing Medication Errors", details the costs of these errors and recommends strategies for preventing them. Read the report.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Old Ships

Government Documents just received a copy of Comet: submerged Cultural Resources Site Report, Channel Islands National Park. (I 29.143/2:17) It's an amazing story of how an old lumber schooner (named the Comet) came to be shipwrecked on a beach in Simonton Cove, San Miguel Island, Channel Islands National Park in 1911. This is an island off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Click on the title above to access the United States Parks Service website of submerged cultural resources (shipwrecks).

Thursday, July 06, 2006


TB is not something most Americans worry about, but it probably should be.
According to the Worldwide Health Sourcebook (R 362.1 W893), nearly 2 billion people have tuberculosis, or are carriers. This is one-third of all the people on earth. This number includes the 10 to 15 million people who have the disease in the United States.

According to the above source, TB is the world's leading cause of death from a single organism, killing more adults than AIDS and malaria combined. The bad news is that the disease is becoming more resistant to drugs. The good news is NIAID scientists are trying to isolate the complete sequence of the TB bacterium's genome.

Click on the title above to visit the World Health Organization website on TB.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tudor Sedans Popular in England in 1500s?

Ever take an exam and get similar words confused? Some words which seem kind of the same have totally different meanings: Gaza, Ginza, and Giza. You could even throw in the word Ginzu if you wanted to.

Gaza is the strip of Palestinian land between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. Ginza is the rich shopping district in Japan. Giza is the location of the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Ginzu is the brand of knives shown on shopping channels late at night, which can be purchased for only 3 easy payments of $29.95. And now you know the rest of the story.

Click on title above to see dictionary definition of Tudor.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Job Outlook

For the undergraduate who can't decide what field to enter... Take a look at the 2006-07 Occupational Handbook located at the reference desk in the Al Harris Library . You might be surprised at the number of job openings predicted between 2004 and 2014 for certain professions. Click on title above to see labor force projections up to 2014 from additional source (Monthly Labor Force Review.)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Field Guide to Oklahoma's Amphibians and Reptiles

The 2005 version of "A Field Guide to Oklahoma's Amphibians and Reptiles" (by Greg and Lynnette Sievert) is now at the Al Harris Library in Government Documents
(W 2800.5 F453a 2005.) This is a very interesting book - even for people who hate snakes! Think that you know a lot about Oklahoma reptiles? Take this 6 question True or False quiz:

1. There are more than 4 types of rattlesnakes in Oklahoma.
2. Some Oklahoma snakes kill their prey by constricting.
3. The Texas horned toad is in decline and is a protected species.
4. The Texas horned toad can squirt blood from their eyes when disturbed.
5. There are 17 types of turtles in Oklahoma!
6. The American Alligator is native to parts of Oklahoma.

5/6 correct = you're an expert. 4 correct = very good. 3 correct = average. 2 correct = fair. 1 correct = time to move to Rodeo Drive. Answers: all T.

Click on the Title above to link to the Oklahoma Snakes website.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

2004 National Youth Gang Survey

The U.S. Department of Justice Programs distributes a monthly government documents publication entitled the "OJJDP Fact Sheet" (J 32.21:) which is short for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The latest issue (2004/01) has good news about gang activity - it's becoming less prevalent in the United States.

In rural counties the average percentage of respondents reporting gang problems went from 24.3 in 1996-1998 down to 12.3 for the time period 2002-2004. Smaller cites had numbers which went from 36.5 down to 28.4 for the same time period.

Although smaller cities and larger cities had a reduction in gang problems in general, two cities (Los Angeles and Chicago) reported that more than half of the combined nearly 1,000 homicides were considered to be gang related. In the next 171 cities with smaller populations, about one fourth of the homicides were considered to be gang related. More than 80 percent of agencies with gang problems in both smaller cities and rural counties reported zero homicides.

Click on title above to visit a website about street gangs.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yellowstone National Park

America's first National Park was created in 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park by Congress. This one single park has over 2 million acres of land and was a favorite camping area for Teddy Roosevelt. President Roosevelt dedicated the park entrance arch above in 1903.

Several of the books on Yellowstone available from the Al Harris Library are located in Government Documents (most have maps included):
"Yellowstone River Floater's Guide" (I 53.7/2: 3/4).
"American Indians and Yellowstone National Park: a documentary overview" (I 29.2: IN 2/20).
"Yellowstone in the afterglow: lessons from the fires" (I 29.2: Y 3/16).
"Enchanted enclosure: the Army Engineers and Yellowstone National Park: a documentary History" (D 103.2: En 1).

One book is: "Tracking Changes in Yellowstone's Restless Volcanic System" (I 19.127: 100-03). It details Yellowstone's creation by a large volcanic blowout about 640,000 years ago. 240 cubic miles of magma were blown into the atmosphere, creating a 53 mile long caldara under the current park. This explosion moved 1,000 times the amount of material as Mount St. Helens did in 1980. Much later, lava flows covered the caldera floor up to 400 feet thick, making a solid cap over a magma reservoir.

Recent studies have shown that the floor of yellowstone is moving continuously. This movement and the occurance of earthquakes in the area is related to the slight rupturing of a impermeable layer of rock on top of the caldera by the hot magma below. It will take years before scientists understand exactly how the two interact.

Click on the title above to link to the Wyoming/Yellowstone National Park website.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Congress Contemplates Facebook & MySpace Ban for Minors

"MySpace and other social-networking sites like and Facebook are the potential targets for a proposed federal law that would effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the category's most ardent users." (C|Net News) Read more ...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Library Intersession Hours Begin Thursday, May 11

Library intersession hours begin on Thursday, May 11. The Al Harris Library will be open from 8am - 5pm Monday through Friday and closed on weekends. For the complete intersession schedule see the library hours page.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Kerr vs. Schulz Election Results

The unofficial results of the May 9th special general election for Oklahoma State Senate District 38 are posted on the Oklahoma State Election Board's web site. The results show Schulz with 56.8% to Kerr's 43.2% with all precincts reporting.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Spring Forward, Pass Finals, Proceed Directly to Summer

Don't leave your A to chance--study at the library!

During finals week, the Al Harris Library is monopolizing your time with fun activities in the library. Select a Chance card from the Circulation Desk and see what awaits you! In the basement, fill out a card for the Community Chest bulletinboard and tell us where you plan to spend your summer vacation.

From 8:00 to 11:00pm on May 3, 4, 7, and 8, the Library Basement will offer a fun atmosphere that will include free food and drinks, board games and space for students to socialize and relax from studying.

Good luck to everyone taking finals and enjoy your summer break!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

Many Americans believe that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Independence Day. However, Mexico declared it's independence from Spain on midnight, September 15, 1810.

Some Americans might also be surprised to learn that during America's Civil War, France claimed Mexico under the pretext of unpaid loans by Benito Juarez. After the French army invaded Mexico, Napoleon III set up an Austrian prince named Maximilian to rule Mexico. You can still find Mexican coins with Maximilian's portrait. The one above (cast in solid gold) was found on ebay.

The French foreign legion left the port city of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west. The French assumed that Mexico would surrender once their capital was seized. The Mexican militia totaled 4,000 and the French were estimated to be from 6,500 to 8,000. The date was May 5, 1862 and this battle was fought in Puebla, Mexico which is located 100 miles east of Mexico City.

Colonel Diaz lead the Mexican calvalry out to the flanks of the French. The French sent their calvary off to chase Diaz and his men through stampeding cattle in thick mud. The result was that the French were defeated in a great victory for Mexico. Napoleon III brought in more reinforements and the war lasted longer, but this battle victory brought unity to Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of that battle in Puebla 144 years ago and is also a yearly celebration of Liberty in Mexico. It is celebrated both in Mexico and the United States wherever Mexican-Americans reside. Festivities consisist of parades, music, folklore, dancing, and food. See our Cinco de Mayo book display at the Al Harris Library this week!

Hispanic-Latino Heritage Week at SWOSU is also from May 1-5.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina, Lessons Learned

The Federal Depository Library Program announced in March, 2006 the completion of "The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina, Lessons Learned", which is online.

The title tells the subject of this publication. It's about the mistakes the Government made and what they plan on doing differently if the problem comes up again. One of the most interesting items is the comparison chart located in the back which gives the dollar value (in billions) of various hurricanes and natural disasters. While most hurricanes in recent years cost about $12 billion each, hurricane Katrina came in at a whopping $97 billion! While Katrina resulted in 1,330 deaths, the 1900 hurricane in Galveston (before hurricane were given names) was responsible for 8,000 deaths. Click on the title above to access the full 200+ page article!

The printed versions (of the subject above) have just arrived in Government Documents: Y 1.1/8: 109-377 is "A Failure of Initiative - Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurrican Katrina." The companion to this book is Y 1.1/8: 109-396 "A Failure of Initiative, Supplementary Report and Document Annex".

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Learn How to Win a Da Vinci Code Movie Poster

Da Vinci Code Revealed!

To celebrate the popularity of Dan Brown's novel, the Da Vinci Code, and the upcoming release of the motion picture by Sony Pictures, the Al Harris Library is displaying materials that highlight the novel, the movie, the video game, Da Vinci's achievements, and the mysteries of codes and hidden messages.

For the duration of this library display, faculty, staff and students can submit contest forms for a chance to win a movie theatre quality poster for the motion picture, the Da Vinci Code.

There are no restrictions on how many chances you submit. Contest chances will be available at the library display only.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Neither cast ye your PURLs...

Okay, Matthew was talking about pearls, not PURLs.
For those of you in the know, a PURL is a persistent uniform resource locator. This means it's a kind of URL which doesn't disappear when you need it most.

There are thousands of PURLs linked to the Government Documents in our library catalog. If you'd like to quickly skim through these and get an idea of the the vast number and variety of titles, go to the SWOSU Library website. Simply click on "Find books, reserves, and journals" located under the word catalog. Then, under "Search for", type in PURL and hit the enter button. You'll see several thousand PURL titles. Click on one, scroll down and select "Click here for online access."

Just a few of the titles:
13. Anabolic Steroids, 23. Central and Southern Iraq, 46. DNA in Minor Crimes, 59. Healthy start, grow smart. Your 3 month-old, 70. Highway 12: A long and winding road, 271. Federal Law Enforcement at the Borders and Ports of Entry, 380. NADS: National Advanced Driving Simulator, 975. NAEP Writing State Report for Oklahoma National Assessment Educational Progress, 1171. Online Scams: potholes on the information highway, 1180. Residential Solar Heating Collector.

This is just a fun way to quickly get an idea of the vast amount of information available to students and the public from Government Documents free of charge.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Change a Child's World @ Your Library

In celebration of National Library Week, the Al Harris Library and Multi-County Youth Services are co-sponsoring a children’s book drive: Change a Child’s World @Your Library. The book drive will run from March 20 to April 7, 2006.

For more details on how you can give to this cause, click on the title above.

Monday, March 27, 2006

American Memory Workshop at SWOSU on April 4

Steve Beleu from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries will conduct a free workshop in the Al Harris Library on April 4, 2006 in the Instruction Room on 2nd floor. The morning session will be from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. The class will teach you how to access data from the Census Bureau's American Factfinder and American Community Survey web pages. You will also learn about the Census Bureau's homepage and School District Demographics web page. The focus will be on data and maps which feature Oklahoma.

The afternoon workshop (1:00- 4:00 PM - same day) will cover the American Memory website provided by the Library of Congress. The afternoon session will explain three of the most popular sites: Native Americans, Literature, & Music. These will be two very interesting workshops. You don't have to sign up or reserve a computer, but you need to show up early for each session to ensure a place. The photographs in American Memory are truly amazing and unforgettable. There are also thousands of copies of sheet music available free from this website - if you know where to look! If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Dale Evans at 774-7069.

Click on title above to link to American Memory website.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Books That Changed Your World Exhibit

Have you seen the new exhibit, Books That Have Changed Your World, at the Al Harris Library? The purpose of the exhibit is to celebrate National Library Week which is April 2-8 and to focus attention upon the important role that books have played in the lives of SWOSU faculty. Come and discover what books your faculty have been reading and how these books have influenced them and changed their worlds!

Thursday, March 09, 2006 - What you say online could haunt you

"As more and more students turn to websites such as Facebook and MySpace to chronicle their lives and socialize with friends, they also are learning that their words and pictures are reaching way beyond the peers for whom they were intended."

See how universities, employers, students, and law enforcement officials view Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, and other social networking sites via this article from USA Today.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Building the Bombs - A History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

You will truly be amazed by this Government Documents book (E 1.2:B 86/9/2005) which spells out all the interlocking steps which lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb. It began with Albert Einsteins' theory of relativity, but scientific contributions were made by many others including Ernest Rutherford (first artificial transmutation of an element by bombarding with alpha particles) and Niels Bohr (quantum physics creator who showed that electrons exist in discrete chemical levels.) The contributions of our military leaders are also given along with the history of Los Alamos and White Sands, New Mexico.
This book also shows how the Germans in World War II were simultaneously working on nuclear weapons. If the Allied forces hadn't destroyed German supplies of Heavy Water in Vemork (Norway), the Germans might have developed the bomb before the U.S.)

The work of Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall (spies working in Los Alamos who supplied nuclear secrets to the Soviets) is carefully detailed as well as others such as Harry Gold, David Greenglass, and the Rosenbergs.

Photographs of everything from the Little Boy bomb to the Stealth bomber are in this concise little book.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Edna Lewis, Pioneering Chef and Author Dies

Edna Lewis, one of the first famed black chefs whose 1976 book "The Taste of Country Cooking" helped spark interest in Southern cuisine, died at the age of 89 last week.

Born in Freetown, Virginia, in 1916, the granddaughter of slaves moved to New York and started working at a time when female chefs were rare. She worked at restaurants including the former Gage & Tollner of Brooklyn. In 1999, Lewis was designated as Grande Dame by Les Dames d'Escoffier, a worldwide organization of female chefs. In her books, Lewis offered cooking shortcuts and shared childhood stories in giving her recipes.

To read the full article, click on the title above.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Presidents of the United States of America

This great new book from government documents (Sudoc number Y 3.H 62/4: 2 P 92) gives us an overview of the lives of all US Presidents - from George Wahington to George W. Bush. One page of this book outlines the history of each President with comments about important events in United States history. A lot of the leadership qualities and knowledge for each comes through along with major accomplishments or problems each faced during their presidency. A few of the Presidents made bad decisions (James Buchanan urged Congress to allow Kansas to be in the Union as a slave state); and 8 never lived to complete their 4 years in office.
Each President is deplicted during his presidency by a painting or photograph. All are shown in paintings except for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Just for fun, take a long look the portraits. On page 37, James Buchanan (above) looks astonishingly like Anthony Hopkins as he appeared in the movie "Hannibal". Some people may not really remember what all the Presidents looked like, except for those deplicted on currency. This book offers a quick glimpse into their personal and public lives. Click on the title above for Internet link.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Top Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day:

65%-greeting cards, 44%-date night, 38%-candy, 32%-flowers, 29%-gift cards, 12%-perfume/cologne and 11%-jewelry
  • 180 million Valentine's card exchanged annually
  • 24.7 lbs of candy are consumed by Americans annually
  • $422 million in domestically produced cut flowers
  • $43 million in domestically produced cut roses
  • $2.7 billion in jewelry are purchased during the month of February

For more information, click on the title above.

Monday, February 13, 2006

'Jaws' Author Peter Benchley Passes Away

Peter Benchley, whose novel "Jaws" made millions think twice about stepping into the water even as the author himself became an advocate for the conservation of sharks, has died at age 65. Thanks to Benchley's 1974 novel, and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie of the same name, the simple pastime of ocean swimming became synonymous with fatal horror, of still water followed by ominous, pumping music, then teeth and blood and panic.

For the complete article, click on the title above.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams

After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams.

On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:
"Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."

For the full article, click the title above.

For the actual message, click here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fujita Scale for Tornadoes Revised

The National Weather Service said it had changed the Fujita Scale, a three-decade-old system of ranking a tornado's strength, to align wind speeds more closely with actual damage. To read the full article, click the title above.

For the full Fujita Scale Enhancement Project report, follow this link:

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Carrie Underwood - Oklahoman of the Year - 2005

Carrie Underwood from Checotah, Oklahoma was named Oklahoman of the Year for 2005. Her accomplishment was documented in the January/February issue of "Oklahoma Today". This magazine from Oklahoma Documents in the Al Harris Library has a big article with lots of photos starting on page 38. (T 800.6 O41t Vol. 56, No. 1) Click on the title above for online info regarding Carrie.

Oklahoma Today is also celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year by reprinting every single cover from the last 50 years (in miniature) in this issue. Oklahoma Today is an amazing magazine with great stories and photos that even Simon Cowell would love.

Monday, January 30, 2006

In Honor of Senator Robert M. Kerr

Flags will be flown at half-staff Monday to honor state Sen. Robert M. Kerr, who died Wednesday at the age of 73.

Gov. Brad Henry made the order Friday, and it includes any flag on state property. Henry said Kerr was a "consummate professional" who worked to better Oklahoma and the state Senate.
Kerr was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 1987. He advocated for rural Oklahoma and authored major agriculture, economic development and transportation legislation.

Funeral services for Kerr are scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday at the Altus High School Auditorium.

Content courtesy of The Oklahoman

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mozart2006! 250th Anniversary of a Musical Genius

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the most famous Austrian, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. To celebrate his musical genius throughout the year, Austria will be honoring his memory with a variety of events, ranging from festivals, operas, concerts, and museum exhibitions. Enjoy the celebration!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Campus phone problems

SWOSU is having problems receiving some phone calls. The Telecommunications Office has sent this message to employees:

"Currently, the campus is experiencing high volumes of the following phone problems:
  • Incoming phone calls sometimes ring where you cannot hear the caller but the caller can hear you.
  • Cingular cellphone calls from the 405 area code and other cellphone service providers from any area code hear a recording stating that 'this is not a working number'."
If you're unable to reach the library by phone, use the Ask a Librarian form to send us an email. To email a specific library employee check the employee directory for addresses.

Friday, January 20, 2006

New Displays: Future Pandemics; Also 2006 Winter Olympics

The Al Harris has two new displays this month.

The first is about Pandemics and Epidemics. One little known fact: During World War I influenza killed more of our young soldiers overseas than the battles did. For some reason 19 years olds were just as likely to die as babies and 100 year olds from that flu strain. This display shows books, videos and websites about AIDS, Cholera, and the new avian flu - H5N1. Click on the title above (New Displays) for avian flu data from the Centers for Disease Control. Yes you can also check the books out.

The second display is about the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The first Winter Olympics was held in 1924 in Charmonix with a total of 294 athletes. The 2006 Winter Olympics will host an amazing 2,500 athletes. Fact: Only 2 countries south of the equator have ever won medals at all Winter Olympics. Any quesses? Australia won gold medals in short-track speed skating and freestyle skiing at Salt Lake City in 2002. New Zealand won a silver medal in the women's slalom in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Inside Higher Ed :: Rate Your Students

Inside Higher Ed :: Rate Your Students: "For some professors who have had to cringe at scathing personal attacks posted by students on, a new blog — Rate Your Students — is providing a bit of catharsis., launched in 1999, has come to be the bane of some professors’ semesters. The public site allows students to anonymously rate instructors on categories like clarity, helpfulness, ease and even some qualities that arguably aren’t critical to learning, such as hotness.

“We love our jobs,” said “The Professor,” an associate professor at a small college in the South who started Rate Your Students anonymously in November. “But we are reacting to something we see as unfair,” he said in an interview. The Professor makes sure that neither people who submit a post to the blog nor the students they rail against are identifiable.

Several students pointed out that, ostensibly,, which lists over 700,000 professors, has a function: to provide information for students trying to choose courses, whereas Rate Your Students does not. The Professor, however, sees utility. “When we have the occasional moment of frustration,” he said, “to vent — that makes me a better teacher.” Judging from the posts, plenty of professors need a cyber ear to bend. The Professor said he was getting in the vicinity of 100 hits a day at first, but since a mention in a recent Village Voice article, that number has been around 3,000. The Professor said he can’t get through all the rants that are being submitted anymore, but he still hopes to get the cream of the crop on the site."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Facts on the Holiday Season

Whether you've been naughty or nice, the following information might give you pause when reflecting on the holiday season.
  • Americans sent approximately 1.9 billion Christmas cards this season
  • Americans spent approximately $20.8 million on Christmas trees that are located on 21,904 farms spread out across 447, 000 acres of land
  • China is the leading foriegn source of artificial Christmas trees and provides $561 million in imported Christmas tree ornaments
  • $3.9 billion was the total value of shipments of dolls, toys and games by manufacturers
  • 20 billion letters, packages and cards are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fire Danger in Oklahoma

Tomorrow is another day of high fire danger in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Fire, and Forestry (ADAFF) has created a website with daily updates, maps, aerial information, and fire terminology to keep the public informed during this dangerous time.

Thanks to Clif Broadworth of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries for distributing the link to this website to all the Oklahoma Publications Clearinghouse Depository Libraries.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Transylvania U. Book Thieves Sentenced to Seven Years

Kentucky U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman sentenced four men convicted of stealing rare manuscripts from the Transylvania University Library to more than seven years in prison, the AP reported. The four, Eric Borsuk, Charles Allen II, Warren C. Lipka, and Spencer W, Reinhard, all age 20, begin their sentences January 16. On December 27, 2004, two of the suspects were alleged to have physically assaulted and restrained a special collections librarian, then fled with two others in a gray minivan. Among the volumes stolen were an 1859 first edition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Click on title above for more information) and a number of sketches by John James Audubon. They later attempted to sell the books through auction house Christie's, whose staff tipped off investigators leading to the arrests.