Archives for February 2014

LION of a Database

One of our featured databases this month is ProQuest’s Literature Online, or, as it is sometimes known,“LION”.  If you’ve seen Literature Online in the past, you may want to look again.  The database has undergone a substantial face-lift, shedding years off its dated appearance and looking nothing like its 18 years as one of the leading resources in the study of English literature.

If you are going anywhere near an English class, be sure to bookmark this database as a go-to for literary criticism, author information, and full-text for over 350,000 works of poetry,  drama, and other prose in English language.

But wait—there’s more!  Literature Online also includes 880 video clips of poets reading their own works, 38 fully dramatized, unabridged audio recordings of Shakespeare plays, and 921 links to historic video and audio recordings of poetry readings at The Poetry Archive.  So if you ever find yourself feeling low, head to Literature Online and take a listen to The Wasteland, as read by T.S. Eliot in his own peppy, upbeat voice.

Navigation in Literature Online is nearly effortless with one “Google-esque” search box for quick keyword searching.  Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT will still work in this search, but you can find more advanced search boxes once you choose from one of the large resource categories of Authors, Texts, Criticism, or Reference.

screenshot of LION

In addition to the simplified structure, more emphasis has been added to browsing available texts, author profiles, full text journals, and reference works.  This can be helpful if you can’t quite remember how to spell someone’s name or just want to browse the lists for interesting topics.

If you have more questions about this database, literature, or why T.S. Eliot sounds so dog-gone cheerful, contact your upbeat librarians at

This Thursday

Radicals.  Agitators.  Troublemakers.  Liberators.  These are just some of the words used to describe abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and others who led the fight against slavery during one of the most important Civil Rights crusade in American history.

On Thursday at 2:30 P.M. in RPL room 300, we kick off the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle film series with a screening of the film, The Abolitionists.  Produced as part of the PBS series, The American Experience, this documentary explores the Abolitionist movement from the 1820’s through 1865 through the lives of its most notable figures.

Immediately following the movie,  Dr. Jeff Pearson, Assistant Professor of History at Arkansas Tech University, will lead a discussion.   Admission is free and open to the public.

Can’t make it to the screening?  Check out the film for yourself at the library or watch online through PBS online.

For more information about this film, the film series, or famous abolitionists, contact your librarians at or call us at (479) 964-0569.




New Film Series

During the next few weeks, the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center at Arkansas Tech University will host a film series entitled “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” featuring films and lectures about the beginnings, struggles, and triumphs of the Civil Rights movement in America.

“Created Equal” is part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, produced in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to encourage public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America.

Below is the full schedule and listing for the films in the series:

“The Abolitionists,”
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2:30 p.m.
Discussion led by Dr. Jeff Pearson, Assistant Professor of History.


“Slavery By Another Name,”
Tuesday, March 18, 2:30 p.m.
Discussion led by Dr. Pete Dykema, Professor of History.


“The Loving Story,”
Tuesday, April 8, 2:30 p.m.
Discussion led by Dr. James Moses, Professor of History.


“Freedom Riders,”
Tuesday, April 22, 2:30 p.m.
Followed by a panel discussion with Dr. V. Carole Smith, Associate Professor of Middle Level Education, and other invited panelists.

Each film screening will take place in Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, third floor, room 300 and will include a lecture or discussion to follow.  Admission to all screenings in the “Created Equal” series will be free and open to the public.

If you can’t make it to the screenings, a copy of each film is also available for check-out from the library.  Simply search for the film titles in our online catalog, or click this link for a complete list.  You can also learn more about each film through our special research guide containing summaries, teaching guides, transcripts, and video.

For more information about this film series, Civil Rights, or anything research-related, give us a ring at 479-964-0569 or email us at

Signing Day

Ross Pendergraft Library is now recruiting students, faculty, and staff to stand up for libraries by signing the Declaration for the Rights of Libraries.  Stop by the Reference Desk to add your name to the growing list of library supporters from around the world, affirming the right to free, democratic access to information.

WP_002558 (2)


The initiative, created by the American Library Association, aims to capture the importance of libraries of all types into one document which can be distributed and signed by individuals all over the country. It’s a small way to send a big message, that:

  • Libraries Empower the Individual
  • Libraries Support Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  • Libraries Strengthen Families
  • Libraries Build Communities
  • Libraries Protect our Right to Know
  • Libraries are the Great Equalizer
  • Libraries Strengthen our Nation
  • Libraries Advance Research and Scholarship
  • Libraries Help Us to Better Understand Each Other
  • Libraries Preserve Our Nation’s Cultural Heritage

Why is this important?  When times are tight, libraries make an easy target for school districts, cities, and governments to save a little money.  And it is often easier to cut libraries and library funding when ordinary people do not speak up for their immeasurable worth to this country’s literacy, education, and democracy.

Swing by the Reference Desk to add your John Hancock to the roster of names promoting the value of libraries, or sign virtually here.  Help us increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in our community and country one signature at a time.  Feel free to use your fancy glitter pen–we won’t mind.