Archives for October 2014

Farewell, Bill Parton

10557240_754582724607683_2174617170705522115_n (1)Bill Parton, Library Director for Arkansas Tech University, will be retiring after 24 years of being with the Arkansas Tech family.  Friday, October 31st, marks Parton’s last day as Director for the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, and fellow library staff will host a small reception honoring Parton and his retirement.

“When I started at Tech, I felt like it would be a good place to retire,” Parton says.

The Parton family originally hails from Texas, where Parton’s oldest daughter now lives. Parton himself grew up in the Houston area, playing trumpet for his rock band, teaching others how the play the trumpet, and playing in the bands at Astroworld amusement park during the summers. “I was dependent upon performing and teaching to earn money through college and after college,” Parton said. In 1977, an economic bust hit Houston, temporarily halting Parton’s musical career. “There were no jobs for live musicians.”


Bill, top center, with his band, “Doppleganger.”

Looking for work, Parton applied for a job at the Houston Public Library. Upon getting hired, he shelved books for about a month before learning about a music reference position. He applied for the position and was hired with little experience, primarily due to his music education. The position mainly involved answering and solving music-related questions and puzzles, and he found that he loved it.  He knew he wanted to further himself in this career path.

The job eventually took him to graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle where he went on to earn his master’s degree in librarianship.

“When I graduated, I needed to find full time work,” Parton said. “Waco, Texas, had the best job offer, with a full time reference position and benefits, so we packed up from Seattle and moved to Texas.”

There, Parton and his wife welcomed their two daughters and began their careers, he working as reference librarian at the public library and she as a graphic designer for the local community college. However, the benefits, pay, and lifestyle weren’t suitable for a growing family of four. While looking for work suitable for the family, Parton stumbled upon an open position at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, and became university librarian there in 1986.

After four years in Brownwood, Parton saw the library director position at Arkansas Tech University opened; he applied, was selected, and he and his family made the move to Arkansas.

The family moved during the winter of 1990. “We packed up and left the day after Christmas,” Parton said. “We drove through twelve to fourteen inches of snow, I believe. It was the most snow I have seen while being in Arkansas.”

Parton’s family not only grew up in Arkansas, but grew up through Arkansas Tech.

“Both my daughters hold degrees from Arkansas Tech, and my wife was an adjunct professor here for about five to six years.” Parton said.  His wife, Ellen, also holds a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech.

Parton has not only weathered the elements of Arkansas, but he has weathered many seasons of change during his 24 years here at Tech. “The change has been really remarkable,” Parton commented. “The physical plant with its new buildings – it’s almost unrecognizable.” Parton went on to mention the growth in faculty, student size, and accredited academic programs. “We had around 4,000 students when I started, and now we have 12,000. That’s three times bigger than when I came to Tech.”

Upon leaving Tech and its continuing change and growth, Parton looks forward to spending more time with his two grandchildren, traveling, and breathing a little life back into his music career. “I want to get a jazz jam going downtown …maybe invite some Tech students.”

The drop-in reception for Bill Parton will be held Friday, October 31, from 1:30-3:30 pm in the library on the first floor, room 102.

[This interview was conducted and submitted by special guest writer, Sierra Murphy,  news editor of the Arka Tech.  Thank you, Sierra!]

On Trial

The Library is hosting several new databases and collections for a limited time only.  Should we purchase one database over the other?  You decide!!!  Test drive these collections and databases today:

Ivory-billed Woodpecker by J.J. Audubon. From Birds of North America Online.

Birds of North America Online: Ornithologists rejoice!  You have access to the comprehensive life histories of over 700 species of birds breeding in the U.S. and Canada.  Search for birds by keyword or species to get a treasure of information including photos, illustrations, migratory patterns, distribution, and other basic information.  The database also includes video and audio recordings of birds, as well as data tables.  The collection is the enhanced, online version of the paper version now roosting in the Reference collection.  You have until 12/15/14 to enjoy.

From Digitalis Film Library

Digitalia Film Library Collection: This streaming film collection includes classic films in English, Spanish, and other languages from around the world.  Enjoy Betty Boop, Carey Grant, and the Wild Women of Wongo (coming soon) from the comfort of your internet connection.  You must log in with the user name: and password: amigos for full access.  This trial ends on 10/31/14

Digitalia Hispanic Academic Collection: Lees español?  If you want more academic sources in Spanish, try this collection of Spanish language ebooks and ejournals.  These are resources whose original language is Spanish; they not translated English materials.  Here you will find reputable academic full-text resources which may not be currently available in the Library.  As with the resource above, you will have to log in with user name and password: amigos for full access.  This trial ends on 10/31/14.

PsychTHERAPY: Produced by the American Psychological Association, this resource is comprised of more than 300 videos featuring therapy demonstrations of clinicians working with individuals, couples, and families.  Useful for students, faculty, and practitioners interested in watching therapy sessions.  Browse or search by therapist name, topic, or therapeutic approach. Each video includes a searchable transcript which will auto-scroll as you watch the video.  Users can easily share existing or create their own clips from each video and save them into a playlist.  This trial ends on 10/31/14.

So let us know what you think through  Your comments, criticisms, witticisms, praise, or blame help make the Library a better place for you, other students, and for the whole campus.  Email your friendly neighborhood librarian today!

Thursday Night

On Thurday, take a break from campus and head over to Russellville City Hall where our good friend and local celebrity author, Slade Dupuy, will help unveil the new Pope County Library System logo.  Slade has been with the library for a number of years as the Administrative Assistant to the Director.  A graduate of Tech with a degree in International Studies, he is also the author of the popular science fiction novel, Colorblind, which is available on the Library shelf here, on the Pope County Library shelf, and on Amazon.

He will be at Russellville City Hall on Thursday, October 16th, from 5-7 P.M.  For more information about the event or the Pope County Library System, visit or call their number at (479) 968-4368.

Going, going, gone

You only have two more days to test the new BP Global Energy Data Visualization Tool.  The Library is currently conducting a trial of this product which maps major energy developments from the last 27 years.  The trial ends on Wednesday.


Explore oil, natural gas, coal, and alternative energy production by country or region.  Chart how production, capacity, or consumption has changed over time with a sliding timeline bar.  An interactive globe will take you around the world with a swipe of a mouse.  The tool includes a separate chronology section to explore major energy developments over time with pictures and a commodities filter to narrow or broaden your results display.

The page also include links to the Statistical Review of World Energy for 2014.  From there, view PDFs and Powerpoint slides on the major facts and figures for energy production in the last year.

Take it for a test drive and let us know what you think at