Thursday, December 08, 2016

Fall '16 DeStress Fest starts Friday, Dec. 9th

Extended hours Friday, Dec. 9 - Thursday, Dec. 15

The Al Harris Library will be open extended hours Dec. 9-15. View our full Finals Week schedule …


We'll have cookies, crackers, and drinks from 8:00pm until closing.

Let's get physical!

Sweat the stress out with our jump ropes and hula hoops.

Take a reality break!

The Dept. of Business and Computer Science will share their HTC VIVE virtual reality goggles on Tuesday, Dec. 13th and Wednesday, Dec. 14th from 5:00pm-7:00pm.

Woof! Chill with Cooky the Therapy Dog

Cooky will visit the Al Harris Library from 4:00pm-5:0pm Monday, Dec. 12th through Wednesday, Dec. 14th.

The art of taking a break

Color, draw, paint, and craft -- whatever takes your mind off studying. We provide the materials -- you provide the creativity!

Exercise your brain!

We'll have games, puzzles, and other activities to reset your brain.

Destress at the library!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Cooking During the Holidays

During the holidays, we gather together with our friends and families and share foods made from our favorite recipes.  It may also be a time when we pull out our favorite cookbooks and browse their pages for the perfect new recipe to try.  Come see our display of favorite cookbooks at the Al Harris Library and check one out!  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Intermittent Network Outages on Wed., Nov. 23rd, 2016

The SWOSU campus network will be down intermittently on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016. The library's website and online databases will not be available while the network is down.

During the network outage, off-campus students can access Canvas at this URL:

The libraries will be closed Nov. 23-26 for Thanksgiving Break. The Al Harris Library will reopen on Sunday, Nov. 27th at 3:00pm. The McMahan Library will reopen on Monday, Nov. 28th at 9:00am.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

National Book Awards for 2016

Come and check out the 2016 National Book Awards Finalists and Winners display at the Al Harris Library!  The finalists were announced on October 6, and the 2016 winners were announced on November 16 at an awards ceremony in New York City.  The winners by category are: Fiction: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead; Nonfiction: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi; Young People's Literature: March Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell; Poetry: The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky.

Sponsored by the National Book Foundation, the National Book Award winners are selected in these four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. The 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. Their goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans and to increase the popularity of reading in general. If you would like to find out more about the National Book Awards, please go to

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

SWOSU Network Outage on Saturday, Nov. 19th from 10:00am-2:00pm

The SWOSU campus network will be down on Saturday, Nov. 19th from 10:00am-2:00pm. The Al Harris Library be open from 12:00pm-5:00pm on Nov. 19th, but the library's website and online databases will not be available until after 2:00pm.

During the outage you'll be able to use MS Office on the library's PCs and laptops, but you'll need to save your work to a flash drive. Network printing will probably not be available until after 2:00pm.

During the outage, off-campus students can access Canvas at this URL:

Monday, November 07, 2016

Ending or Beginning: World War I

The year was 1914; the place was Sarajevo, Bosnia.  The event that occurred in late June—the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria—led to the outbreak of a war that involved many nations of the world.  Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Central Powers making up the Ottoman Empire were in conflict with the Allied Powers that included Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan.  The Allies were joined by the United States in 1917.

            Why did the United States enter this conflict that involved moving abroad to fight on foreign soil? Based upon events that occurred in 1915 and 1916 which involved violations of international law and warnings that were made to German authorities, U.S. President Wilson went to Congress and asked for permission to go to war. Wilson stated in his address to Congress, “The world must be made safe for democracy.”  War was officially declared by Congress on April 6, 1917.  Because the nation was not prepared for participating in combat, American soldiers were not deployed to France until 1918.  The two million American soldiers who were sent to France played a vital role in the final six months of the war.  Because their numbers were significant and they were not worn out from years of intense combat, they made a tremendous difference when fighting an exhausted and battle-worn enemy force.

            During the four years of what is known as the Great War, battlefield advances included the use of trench warfare and the introduction of modern weaponry including machine guns, tanks, and chemical weapons. As a result, the casualties were many.

            By the end of the war, approximately eighty-five million soldiers had been killed while twenty-one million more were wounded.  During the six months that American soldiers fought, fifty-three thousand died on the battlefield.  Around half of that number of troops died in the concluding battle of the war, the Meuse-Argonne.  Fighting ended on November 11, 1918, the day which became Armistice Day and is now Veterans’ Day.

The so-called war to end all wars ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. This event began another chapter in world history because the wounds that brought on war were not healed, and as a result, another world conflict would begin within the next twenty years.

            To learn more about the Great War, the battles, the locations, and the involvement of the United States and other nations, take a look at the books here on the display as well as others in the Al Harris Library.  All are available for you to check out and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

From Entertainment to Heritage: The Many Forms of Dance

Dance is part of many people’s lives.  It is celebrated in many forms and is performed for many reasons. The art of dance is often a form of entertainment.  For example, the ballet is a very sophisticated and graceful form of dance entertainment.  People have often attended the ballet to watch such performances as The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.  Even the theater/movie productions of Oklahoma contain forms of ballet.   Another dance style seen in live performances is the tap dance, in which the dancer’s shoes make a “tap” noise as they come in contact with the floor.  Tap dancing can be seen in a variety of movie productions, such Yankee Doodle Dandy starring James Cagney and Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds.  Perhaps one of the most elegant tap dancing movie couples was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
            Dance also has a romantic side to it.  Many people enjoy dancing with somebody they care about romantically.  There are many styles of dances for couples, including the somewhat simple Country-Western Two-Step to the more graceful ballroom waltz. 
            The heritage of many cultures includes dancing.  Native Americans have many dances they often perform at ceremonies called Pow Wows.  These dances can have a variety of meanings such as to honor somebody or to seek help from a higher power.  Folk dancing, in fact, is a significant part of many cultures. These dances are part of celebrations that honor all types of events such as crop harvests and even fire.  A culture’s dances are an important part of their history and reflect who these people are.
            Dance is also an excellent aid to good health and therapy.  The associated movement can burn calories while aiding with strength and even weight loss.  Even mistakes made on the dance floor can lead to laughter which is good for the heart and mind. Dancing can also be used for therapeutic work. Styles such as break dancing can provide a way for social workers to engage youth and get them moving. 
Make a visit to the dance book display located next to the front doors of the Al Harris Library. While you are there, you can grab a book or a movie and decide what sort of dance interests you today!

Friday, September 09, 2016

'Star Trek' Lives Long, Prospers, and Continues to Inspire Us on Its 50th Anniversary

Quick! Finish these sentences:
“Live long and _________.”
“Beam me up, _______.”
“To boldly go where no man _________.”

Chances are you can finish these sentences, even if you have never seen the television show from which they originated.  'Star Trek' premiered in 1966 and, in the 50 years since, the show and its spin-offs have indelibly influenced culture and technology.

To observe the anniversary, SWOSU Libraries is displaying books from its collections that demonstrate the global phenomenon’s effect.  While cultural influences abound – such as spawning the appellation “red shirt” – the more profound changes wrought by 'Star Trek' are in the field of technology, inspiring generations of young scientists and their research.  The science of the series often predicted or suggested many technological advances that are commonplace today.

Featured in the display are:
•    Star Trek as MythEssays on Symbol and Archetype at the Final Frontier, edited by Matthew     Wilhelm Kapell.
•    The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture, edited by Lincoln Geraghty
•    Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy’s Greatest Science Fiction, edited by Guy Haley
•    Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe: The True Science Behind the Starship Voyages, by Andrew Frazekas
•    The Star Trek Book: Strange New Worlds Boldly Explained, edited by Kathryn Hill, Esther Ripley, and Sarah Tomley

And many more…

The original 'Star Trek' was cancelled after only three seasons and found new fans a few years later in syndication.   After that came four more 'Trek' series, an animated series, several movies with the original cast, a re-boot of the characters in a new set of movies, and countless books and conventions.  A new '

The display can be seen on the first floor of the Al Harris Library.  All books are available for to check out.

Trek' series is in production for 2017.  'Star Trek' will continue to boldly go where no one has gone before, and culture and technology will go along for the ride.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Exploring the World One Page at a Time

                 Are you planning a vacation this summer? This could mean staying in Oklahoma, going across the United States, or even seeing other parts of the World. If you can’t get away, you might be planning a staycation.

If this is the case, you can still visit other places by checking out some amazing books. You can travel Oklahoma by reading Weird Oklahoma: Your Travel Guide to Oklahoma’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. Perhaps you have always dreamed of going to New York City.  You can get there by reading Humans of New York. Maybe you want to leave the country and see the world. This can be done by reading Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

There are so many excellent books that will make your staycation seem like you have actually visited exotic places and experienced an amazing voyage.

          Take a look at the vacation reading ideas that are available for you to check out here at the Al Harris Library and plan a great travel adventure even if you cannot leave SWOSU.            

Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service!

Happy 100th Birthday!  No, this is not to a person turning that age, but rather the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) which will celebrate its centennial anniversary on August 25, 2016.  The organization’s ten decades have been invaluable to this country and important in preserving the environment and our country’s history while providing careers for individuals. 

          One of the NPS’s main focuses is preserving the environment.  Many animals, such as the American bison, have at times almost gone extinct.  But thanks to the actions of groups such as the NPS, these animals continue to not only exist but live in a natural environment.  Yellowstone National Park is an excellent example.  Even ancient history has been preserved by the NPS at parks such as Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park.  There, fossils of trees look as if they had just been cut down and the limbs removed.  It is wonderful that the NPS preserves the environment for future generations to enjoy.

          The NPS also works to preserve history in many different forms.  Mesa Verde National Park features the areas where Ancestral Pueblo once lived, and Shiloh National Military Park commemorates a bloody battle of the American Civil War.  NPS employees also work to preserve historical artifacts used at sites and museums.  These include artwork that shows the first 100 years of the organization and the sites the NPS safeguards.  Through preserving sites and artifacts, the NPS helps to preserve the stories of the people who lived in the past.

          Also, the NPS provides careers for individuals.  A person who loves caring for animals would have a chance to take care of wildlife that very few people get to handle.  People who love history can help preserve it for future generations.  Also, anybody who enjoys presenting information, whether it be about the environment or about history, could work as a tour guide or a ranger.
Oklahoma has its share of NPS sites.  The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site is about 70 miles northwest of SWOSU.

Interested in visiting or working at a national park?  Start with a visit to the National Park Service book display located in the Al Harris Library where you can check out books to aid you in making a decision.
Enjoy the birthday celebration by visiting a park or reading about the various locations around the country. For online information concerning the National Park Service, visit