Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Exam Prep: It's Never Too Early!

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Whether you study weeks in advance or cram the night before an exam, one of the most effective ways to study is by using flashcards! Check out this infographic to see why flashcards work and how to use them effectively!

If pen and paper aren't your thing, check out Quizlet, a FREE online flashcard creator. Here, you can create flashcards about virtually anything and Quizlet automatically generates tests and study games from your flashcards! Quizlet allows users to import images, data sets, and use multiple languages in their flashcards and provides standard definitions or answers for thousands of terms and concepts!

Quizlet is also available on your mobile devices for free! Download the iOS or Android app to study anywhere!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 'Terrible Swift Sword' of the Depression: Enter John Steinbeck

The year 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath.  The book won the National Book Award in 1939 and, a year later, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  Many Americans only know this great American classic because of John Ford’s 1940 film that starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad.

The book has inspired folk songs, theatrical adaptations, the film, and much discussion.   Steinbeck’s title is taken from Revelations 14:19 and the 1861 song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  It provides a symbolic connection with the story as Steinbeck moves his characters to “the promised land” of California. This movement provides an excellent connection because the author created The Grapes of Wrath to focus on economic exploitation in Depression-era California.

As a result, the book angered and moved Americans when it appeared in 1939 and has since remained one of the most widely debated novels in American letters. It has been called “painstakingly accurate, utterly false, obscene, utopian, apolitical, and profoundly political.” When it was written, the text brought about questions regarding the apparent failure of the American Dream.  It was banned from schools and libraries in Steinbeck’s home county of Salinas California  until 1941.

The Grapes of Wrath leaves us with much to discuss and consider regarding the events of the Depression.  Come by the library to examine the display and take a look at the resources that relate to Steinbeck and his work as well as resources about the Great Depression in America.  Check out one of these resources and discover that there is much to be learned from the events of America’s past.

Friday, November 07, 2014

National Book Awards Finalists

Sponsored by the National Book Foundation, the National Book Award winners are selected in four categories:  Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature.  This annual award began in 1950 when a consortium of book publishing groups sponsored the 1st annual National Book Awards Ceremony and  Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans and to increase the popularity of reading in general. 

On October 15th, the National Book Award finalists for each category were announced, and the winners will be announced on November 19th.  If you would like to find out more about the National Book Awards or if you want to watch the awards ceremony live on November 19th, please go to

Come and check out the National Book Award Finalists display at the Al Harris Library and see if you can predict the winners!  The display will be updated with winner information when it becomes available. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead also called "Dia de los Muertos," is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and Latin America. The Day of the Dead is also celebrated in the United States and many cities like Dallas, San Francisco and Chicago, feature prominent parades and festivals. 
José Guadalupe Posada

November 2nd is the official date for Day of the Dead, although it is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. These dates correspond with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This correspondence results from the Catholic Church's efforts to "find similarities between the indigenous and Christian beliefs." This celebration has a complex history that has been transformed through the years.

 Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) is a lasting symbol of the Day of the Dead. His skeletal folk art and political satire combined perfectly to express the attitudes of working class Mexican people. Come by the library this late October to see Posada’s work on display as well as our collection of films and books celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Break--A Good Time to Read for Fun

It's almost Fall Break, so what better time to read a good book? Check out the young adult fiction display to see many great books that won't take you long to read.  Take a trip to Terabithia, join Harry Potter at Hogwarts, visit Narnia, check out the heroes of Olympus with Percy Jackson, or solve mysteries with Theodore Boone.  There are many locations to explore and lots of interesting characters to meet by reading one of these books.

You may not be able to travel far during the break, but you will have the opportunity to visit great places by reading young adult fiction.  All of the titles on the display and many others are available for your reading pleasure at the Al Harris Library.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014

Many libraries, including the Al Harris Library, will be celebrating Banned Books Week and the freedom to read during the week of September 21-27.   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 in the United States each year.  

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 the Library and see our display of just some of the hundreds of books that have been banned or challenged over the years.

Let's celebrate our freedom to read! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall: It's Football Season

American, or gridiron, football was developed by the elite, east coast universities in the 1800s. The first intercollegiate game was played in 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers. Since that time, football games take place at universities all over the country during the fall semester. Many adaptations and rule changes have occurred over the years as the sport has become more popular.It was in the 1920s that college football became recognized as “America’s greatest sporting spectacle.” Based upon the nature of the competition, the architecture of football stadiums was created in the style of Greek stadiums and the Roman Colosseum.

Interestingly enough, college football has become known for the inclusion of bands and cheerleaders, pep rallies, bonfires, cookouts and tailgating, homecoming events, and alumni reunions as much as for the athletic thrills of the competition. Because of the involvement of many members of the student population, it is a ritual that is important in many ways to many people.

Football season is a great time to look at information about the sport, so stop by the display near the front door of the Al Harris Library to examine and check out the books about this American game.

While you are here on campus, enjoy a trip to Fast Lane Field and watch the Bulldogs in action!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Writing Center Hours for Fall '14

The Writing Center (Al Harris Library, B3) will open for the Fall semester on Tuesday, September 2nd  and will close on Wednesday, December 10th. The Writing Center will be closed during Fall and Thanksgiving Breaks.

Fall 2014 Hours
  • Monday: 2:30pm-8:30pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00am-noon and 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Wednesday: 2:00pm-8:30pm
  • Thursday: 10:00am-noon and 6:00pm-9:00pm
  • Friday:  8:30am-11:30am and 2:00pm-5:00pm
To schedule an appointment, please email or call (580)774-7083.

Dr. Denise Landrum-Geyer, the Writing Center Coordinator, will hold office hours in the Center on Wednesdays from 11:30am-1:45pm and Thursdays from 2:30pm-4:00pm.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See Sherlock

Originally created in 1877 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, one of the first great fictional detectives, continues to be a well-known fictional hero.  He is known as well to movie goers and television viewers through the use of Doyle’s original works that have been transferred to the screen in a variety of ways.  Arthur Conan Doyle’s four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and his illustrious sidekick Dr. Watson provide the basis for both reading and viewing pleasure.  Among those who enjoy the stories, Sherlock Holmes is considered to be an extremely adaptable character.  Considering the number of actors who have portrayed him, this must certainly be true.
The BBC television series Sherlock has brought Holmes and Watson to the forefront again for contemporary audiences by moving the original stories to the 21st century.  The contemporary Holmes uses cell phones along with a number of technical tools as aids in solving crimes. Dr. John Watson supports Holmes’ endeavors and authors a blog.  Sherlock uses all of his powers of ratiocination to see inside the minds of the characters and thereby determine their motives.  The great stories that have been written for the screen are adaptations from Doyle’s works of fiction.  His first Holmes and Watson novel,  A Study in Scarlet, was published in 1887.  The complete short story collection was published in 1928.   
The Al Harris Library owns copies of all of the original works, so stop by the display and take a look at the collections of short stories, the novels, and other works that evolved from the original writing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Check out a book and learn about the original characters and how they compare with Sherlock, Elementary, Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr., and Young Sherlock Holmes, as well as the older versions starring Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

““I don’t know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I’m telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it.””

The writer’s block expressed by character Bertie Wooster in the opening chapter of Right Ho, Jeeves never bothered his creator, P.G. Wodehouse.  Wodehouse wrote 96 books during his long career, 10 novels and more than 30 short stories about the rich-but-dim Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman Jeeves, who routinely works behind the scenes to keep his young master out of trouble.   For almost 100 years, readers’ funny bones have been tickled by these tales of the foibles of the British upper-class during the early part of the 20th Century.

The publication of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: an Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks provides a good excuse to revisit the work of Wodehouse.   Faulks’ does a fine job of providing Wodehouse fans with a return to the fumbling of Bertie Wooster  and the stratagems  of Jeeves.  By its end, the story wraps up loose ends for that series of stories.

Another homage to Wodehouse can be seen in two comedic novels by Douglas Adams,   Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  The late Adams was a great admirer of Wodehouse. 

The work of Wodehouse can be viewed in the British television drama  Jeeves and Wooster.  The show appeared on public television from 1985-1999 and starred Hugh Laurie in the role of Wooster.  Laurie loved the role and stated,

" PG Wodehouse is still the funniest writer ever to have put words on paper. Fact number two: with the Jeeves stories, Wodehouse created the best of the best. "

A display the works of P.G. Wodehouse can be seen at the Al Harris Library.  All materials can be checked out. Take a look at these works and see if you agree.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The SWOSU Anime Collection

The SWOSU Libraries are home to a diverse collection of television series and films. For the months of July and August, we have chosen to feature our newly developed Anime collection.

Anime is an art form that provides imaginative and diverse views of the world through the unique cultural lens exclusive to the medium’s Japanese creators.

Anime contains a variety of genres, including: science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical period pieces, drama, comedy and other popular styles of film.

Titles chosen for the SWOSU Anime Collection serve
as representative examples of the genre, and exhibit historical, cultural and artistic significance.

This collection is available to all interested faculty, staff and students, and will be updated periodically to remain relevant and to continuously provide library patrons with a well-rounded film collection.

Please feel free to check out any of the films or books in this display. Just ask for assistance from one of our staff at Circulation Desk.


Friday, June 06, 2014

Take a Look at Female Literary Powerhouses

As part of our personal experiences, there are a number of women who have made positive and lasting impressions on our lives. Not surprisingly, some of the notable women we have encountered are fictional.

When reading a novel, we often feel a certain kinship with, or admiration for, a particular heroine. Perhaps the heroine inspires us because we find her to be very strong willed and capable of moving forward in a positive way to achieve a better life. The women who are represented in this display are excellent examples of inspiring women.

These protagonists cover a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and they have powerful stories to share with readers. Their actions inspire us because these women learn from self-discovery, and they grow stronger through decision making that influences their actions.

The quotations located on the display are either spoken by or about these female powerhouses. Their qualities of strength, love, and determination are part of the what makes them such interesting literary leading ladies.

Take a look at the books and quotations on the display and consider why each of these characters is a powerhouse. These books are great summer reads, so check one out and see what you think about the powerful woman's story.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Swimming and Health

If you're looking for the Fountain of Youth, just remember that drinking the magic water is not the route to better health and longer life.  Swimming is.

Swimming’s health benefits are many: The sport provides aerobic exercise, has low impact upon the body, contributes to weight loss, and gives a break from the heat of the sun.  Each spring the Centers for Disease Control encourages swimming health and safety in the annual Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week, observed this year May 19-25.   For more information see

The Al Harris Library has a display on the first floor about this lifelong sport, including books on the sport’s history, fitness, coaching, and technique.  These books are available to be checked out.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Campus Storm Shelters


With storm season upon us here is a list of designated storm shelters on the SWOSU campus:

For More information: Shelter
  • Administration: east and west basement hallways
  • Art Building: lowest level away from windows
  • Assessment Center: basement
  • Athletic Director: interior hallway
  • Bookstore/Market: first floor then to storm shelter
  • Bulldog Apartments (Mary Savage): neff hall residence life office area
  • Burton House: basement  
  • Campbell: 1st floor interior hallway and offices on west side hallway
  • CEBD: exit to Campbell building 1st floor, central hallway, away from windows and doors
  • Chem/Pharm/Physics: south basement hallway/1st floor physics hallway, classrooms, offices
  • Conference Center: interior hallway
  • Education Building: central basement hallway and first floor hallway
  • Engineering Technology: basement labs and classrooms rock building
  • Fine Arts: lobby stairwells/lobby instrument storage/entrance ramps to auditorium
  • Fitness Center: Neff Hall basement
  • Green House: Rogers and Jefferson storm shelter
  • Hilltop Theater: dressing room and dressing room hallways
  • Library: basement auditorium, hallway and classrooms
  • Music Building: main hallway
  • Neff Hall: Neff Hall residence life hallway/boiler room hallway
  • Nursing: basement
  • Oklahoma Hall (music annex): music hallway/lobby t.v. area
  • Parker Hall:  basement
  • Pharmacy II: basement hallway and classrooms
  • Physical Plant: file storage area northwest room
  • Pioneer Cellular Event Center: basement hallways (west and north sides)
  • Print Shop: interior hallway
  • Rankin Williams Field House: north classroom and hallway
  • Rogers and Jefferson Hall: first floor then to storm shelter
  • Science Building: first floor hallway
  • Stafford: follow signs to basement shelter
  • Stewart Hall: main hallway central basement
  • Student Development: basement area
  • Student Center: central basement hallway and storage area/commuter lounge hallway
  • Theatre Scene Shop: lowest level away from windows
  • Upward Bound: central hallway
  • Wellness Center: men’s or women’s locker room, interior hallway of student health services office area, or the first floor enclosed stairwells

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon on today's date in 1564--450 years ago.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is an American author who came to the attention of the reading public with his ironic memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, published in 2000. His most recent work, A Hologram for the King, was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award in the category of fiction. His narrative of a Syrian-American who stays behind to care for his neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Zeitoun, won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2009.  He is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco.  In 2002 he helped found 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco.

His adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are was made into a feature film starring James Gandolfini.  As a journalist, novelist, editor and publisher Dave Eggers continues to push creative writing into new and surprising directions. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Music Therapy Awareness

During the week of February 24th, the SWOSU Music Therapy Program held their 7th Annual Music Therapy Awareness Expo. Music therapy is a clinical practice designed to use music in a therapeutic process to reach individuals with genetic disorders, brain injuries, alleviate stress and pain, and promote communication and wellness. Licensed practitioners hold an expertise in musical performance and psychology.

In support of this year's expo, the Al Harris Library has organized a book display on music therapy. If you are curious about the profession or interested in becoming a music therapy major, we recommend visiting our display and contacting Dr. Sophia Lee in Music Therapy.

To see music therapy in practice, watch the following video by photojournalist Benjamin Hager capturing the work of music therapist, Moreen Bosch.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Graphic Novels -- Check out some Adventure!

Graphic novels have become wildly popular over the past few years. Prior to this outburst of fandom, it was the die hard fans and collectors that paid attention to comics.

The recent surge of films based upon this genre has led to a larger audience, and with a larger fan base, academic libraries began acquiring and building their own collection of graphic novels.

Here at the Al Harris Library, we have a fantastic variety of graphic novels focused on the super hero genre, everything from The Avengers to Batman to Spider-Man. Not only are these novels a great way to escape reality, but they are also becoming quite popular in the classroom.

Our graphic novel selection is a great resource for elementary and secondary education majors to incorporate into their lesson plans. So take some time and grab a comic.

All of these great books and films are available for checkout!
Just ask for help at the circulation desk.

*The faculty and staff of SWOSU Libraries wish to congratulate all the student employees for their work building this display, particularly Ashley Robertson for her initiative and leadership on the project. - You all did a great job!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Information Creation!

SWOSU Libraries is dedicated to providing our patrons with the best information available, but a library is not just about providing information, a library should also strive to help patrons produce their own creative and scholarly content.

To this end we have a number of digital cameras, video cameras, audio recorders, webcams and other equipment available to facilitate this goal. The devices in this display are available for check out. 

Just ask for assistance at the circulation desk!

In our media creation room we have many other devices that can be used within the library. These range from state of the art to the hard to find! This equipment includes: A flatbed scanner, a digitization scanner, 2 VHS to DVD recorders, a CD duplication unit, LP Record to CD recorders, Audio Cassette duplicators, and a typewriter.

If you are interested in creating a more involved media project requiring HD video creation or green screen photography, make an appointment for a session in our new Media Studio, located in the basement level of the Al Harris Library! 

Make an appointment to use the SWOSU Libraries Media Studio!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Caldecott and Newbery Award Winners

The Caldecott and Newbery Book Awards are the most prestigious of children’s book awards. Both awards are presented annually at the Mid-Winter American Library Association Conference in late January by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator, Randolph Caldecott, the Caldecott Award was begun in 1938 to celebrate the best of children’s picture books. This award is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in the United States during the preceding year. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award in 2013, Brian Selznick, 2008 Caldecott Medal winner, created a special 75th anniversary logo.

The Newbery Award was the first children’s book award in the world and is probably the best known and most discussed children’s book award in the United States. Established in 1922, the Newbery Award was named in honor of eighteenth-century English bookseller, John Newbery. It is given to the author of the most distinguished American children’s book published during the preceding year.

More information about Caldecott Award and a complete list of winners since 1938, can be found online. More information about the Newbery Award and a complete list of winners since 1922 can also be found online.

To celebrate these two prestigious awards, The Al Harris Library has a display of some of the many Caldecott and Newbery winners. Come and see our display and see why these books are winners that will likely be loved and read by children for many years to come. While you're there, please pick up a free Caldecott trivia quiz bookmark.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Robots, Among Us!

Once purely a construct of science fiction, robotics is now a field of study that has forged our future.

Modern robotics are used in various utilitarian venues, from manufacturing plants, to space exploration to the creation of modern art exhibits; and although they have become almost common place in our society, they still remain a staple of the science fiction genre.

The Al Harris Library has many books and media dedicated to the subject of robotics. We have text books that relay the process of designing and building such devices, books that detail their everyday usage, and fictional works from visionaries such as Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick and Fritz Lang.

Whether your interest is in the work they are doing, the principles of their design, or speculative fiction about their future, we are sure to have some interesting information to process!

Feel free to check out any of the materials on this display!