The Path of an Indie Author

Cover of book, Caroline's LighthouseHave you ever dreamed about writing your own book?  Learn how to make your dream a reality by joining us this Monday, March 12th at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300B for a special presentation about the writing and publishing process from Brandi Collins, author of the recently published book, Caroline’s Lighthouse

Brandi will discuss her inspiration for writing, her path to independent publishing, and her current and future projects.  A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

This event, sponsored by the Ross Pendergraft Library, is the latest in our “Second Monday” local author series where we invite authors from Tech to share their books with the community.  All of these events are free and open to the public.

Caroline’s Lighthouse, published by Archway Publishing from Simon & Schuster, is a mystery/thriller novel centered on a young woman who has inherited a Virginia lighthouse—the sight of a century-old lovers’ suicide and rumored to be the most haunted place in town.

Aside from being a published author, Brandi Collins is also the licensing, branding, and editorial manager in the University Relations department at Arkansas Tech.  Caroline’s Lighthouse is her first novel.

For more information about the event or the Second Monday series, contact Luke Heffley at 479-964-0569 or


International Film Festival

The 3rd Annual International Film Festival kicks this Wednesday, Feb. 28th, with a showing of the Nueve Reinas at 7:00 P.M. in Doc Bryan Lecture Hall.  Nueve Reinas (Nine Queesn) is a 2000 Argentine crime drama centering on two con artists who decide to pull off a major scam in stamp collecting.  The film won 21 awards and is considered a classic of Argentina’s film history.

The screening Wednesday night is the first in a month-long celebration of films from around the globe.  The purpose of the festival is to foster an open-minded global cultural identity.

The film festival is sponsored by the Ross Pendergraft Library and the department of English & World Languages.  Principle organizers include Dr. Nelson Ramìrez, associate professor of Spanish, Coordinator of World Languages; Dr. Lowell Lybarger, multimedia librarian and instructor of music; and Philippe Van Houtte, systems librarian and instructor of French.

Each film is registered as an OnTrack event.  For a full schedule of showtimes, visit our website at   Each film begins at 7:00 P.M. in Doc Bryan Hall and is free to all.  For more information about the film festival, contact Philippe Van Houtte at

Schedule listing of film festival schedule

Textbooks in the Library

Every year, at the beginning of every semester, it happens: students approach the Ross Pendergraft Library service desks asking if we have their textbooks.  And every year, it’s usually the same response:

This year, it will be different.  At the request of the Arkansas Tech administration, the library purchased 27 general education textbooks for a new initiative to provide textbook access for general education courses.  The purpose of this program is to help students in dire financial straits or those students whose textbooks are late in arriving for the start of classes.

They are available at the Circulation desk for 2 hour check-out within the library ONLY–they cannot leave the building.

To see our current selection, search our online catalog Find It and select the drop-down “Course Reserves”

screenshot of find it course reserves

Then type “Textbooks”.

screenshot of textbooks list available for checkout.

This will display textbooks available in the course reserves available for checkout.  You can also limit selections by course information using the left filter “Course Information”

screenshot of textbooks filters

If a professor has arranged for a specific book to be placed on course reserve at the library, you can also search by instructor’s name, course code, or course name.

Book checked out?  No worries.  Sign-in to Find It and use your your Tech ID and password, and place a Request:

gif of signing in to find it

Once signed in, use the Request feature to place a hold request on items checked out.  When the item returns, you will get an email to let you know the book is available at the circulation desk.

screenshot of request

If you are a professor and wish to place an extra faculty copy on course reserve for the benefit of students who may be strapped for cash or unable to acquire the book in time for class, consider lending it to the library.  Faculty personal copies are always returned at the end of the semester, and it is a great way to guarantee student access to required course materials.  Learn more about this program by visiting our website or contact us for more questions about the program and how you can help us.

Remember–not every class will have a textbook available at the library!  However, this new initiative will help make obtaining a college degree slightly more affordable and easier.  If the program is a success, we will purchase more.  So if you need a textbook, come check us out!



A Change Is Gonna Come

Twas the two weeks before Christmas, and all through the library, not a creature was stirring…except for the half a dozen library and physical plant staff working hard to get a brand new study space ready for next semester.

The Technology Learning Center (TLC), set to open sometime in January, represents the latest effort to create comfortable, useful spaces to study, collaborate, and learn.  The new space, located on the first floor in the microforms room, will feature whiteboards, couches, comfortable chairs, stools, ottomans, desks, and group tables.  During certain hours, this space will also host a satellite version of the Doc Bryan Tutoring Center.

Projected look at the new TLC space featuring chairs and couches and whiteboards

Projected view of new TLC with stools, ottomans, couches, and whiteboards

The library hinted at the new space during finals when we asked for student input on the new name for the center.  While the name suggested by student Collin Honeycutt, “Technology Learning Center” won out, a few noteable runner-ups included the North Commons, the Thinkatorium, Club Pendy, Spacey McSpace Space, and—of course—Study McStudyface.

Projected view of new space with couches and a chair

Projected view of the new study space with two green couches, an ottoman, and a whiteboard

To make room for the new student space, however, sacrifices had to be made.  Room 129 has held the library’s collection of microfilm and microfiche since the building was opened.  The format was considered ground-breaking in the last century for libraries trying to free up space by photographing large swaths of print journals, newspapers, and books and reducing their size to thumbprint sized images on film—requiring only light and magnification to read.  In recent years, resource databases like American Periodical Series, JSTOR, GreenFile, and ERIC have rendered much of this collection redundant.  Why fumble around with microfiche when you can easily access the same content from home with a computer?

To make room for the TLC, a massive weeding project occurred to remove selected titles and collections so that the remaining microfilm and microfiche collection can be consolidated in the adjacent room.  Many microfilmed titles and historical newspapers like the Arka Tech, the Courier, and the Arkansas Gazette remain available, but large sets duplicated by our online resources have been sent to a recycling facility.  If you stretched the recycled fiche end to end, it would total 67 miles—almost enough to reach Little Rock.

Box of fiche

rows and rows of microfiche cabinets

None of this would be possible without the hard and back-breaking work of ATU’s Physical Plant staff who shifted and schlepped heavy cabinets out of and all around the library.  Library staff, too, worked tirelessly throughout the interim period to create lists, estimate space, count withdrawn fiche and film, and empty cabinets.

Marcus McCormick, Mason Sims, Slade Dupuy, and Brent Etzel share the task of emptying ERIC cabinets of over 509,000 sheets of microfiche.

Marcus McCormick, Mason Sims, Slade Dupuy, and Brent Etzel share the task of emptying ERIC cabinets of over 509,000 sheets of microfiche.

Frances Hager, Acquisitions, Serials, and Government Documents librarian, holds up microfilm being consolidated into fewer cabinets.

Frances Hager, project lead, holds up microfilm being consolidated into fewer cabinets.


Have questions about the new study space?  Want to learn more about the project?  Want to bemoan the loss of physical media to increasingly online-based platforms?  Cry with us through one of our online platforms at Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Remember, the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology will be closed from December 22nd until January 1st.  We will re-open on January 2nd for interim hours, M-F, 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. only until regular hours resume on January 16th.  For full list of hours, see our website.

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and enjoy the well-deserved break.

An empty room 129 where the library's collection of microfilm and microfiche used to be.

On Trial: Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print

From now until Dec. 14, take a look at the best resource for finding the right test and testing instruments for your research: Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print.

This online resource contains a bibliography to all known commercially available English-language tests currently in print.  It also features full-text reviews for more than 13,000 tests in psychology, business, education, and leadership.  This is the most comprehensive, interdisciplinary reference tool for any researcher interested in tests, measurement, and assessment.

To get started, search the database by keyword, test name, test category, purpose, and more.  Results can be limited by whether or not a review is available, subject, date of publication, and publisher.

Screenshot of test results

Each entry will feature a description of the test, prices, scores, population, purpose, and—in most cases—a comprehensive review of the test to help you determine its effectiveness, uses, and potential pitfalls.

screenshot of concussion vital signs entry

Currently, the library has Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print in book form in the Reference Collection.  The online version pairs the listings of all Tests in Print with the reviews of all published volumes of Mental Measurements, making this a one-stop shop for comprehensive test information without ever having to leave your home or office.

With the online version, you can search across all volumes and all 13,000 reviews with keywords and subject searches.  You can also capture and import reviews and content through the familiar set of tools common to all our EBSCOhost products: save, email, permanent link, and import into Refworks.

If you are not sure where to begin in your quest for tests, take a look at this research guide about Tests and Measures.  It includes information about other resources for tests as well as handy hints for finding unpublished & non-commercial tests.

Does Mental Measurements measure up?  You be the judge!  Let us know by texting us at 479-802-4876 or emailing the collection liaison for Behavioral Sciences and Business, Angela Black, at   Hurry, the trial ends on Dec. 14th—help us test out this potential resource!

Mental Measurements Yearbook from EBSCO on Vimeo.

Celebrate International Education Week With Pronounciator

As the Arkansas Tech family celebrates other cultures throughout the world with International Education Week, many of you may find yourselves wondering how to say “More Tikka Masala please” in Hindi.  Before you run out to buy Rosetta Stone, take advantage of the language-learning software called Pronunciator, available free for Arkansas Tech students, faculty, and staff.

screenshot of pronunciator home screen

To get started and help you track your progress, you will need to create your own account at first using your ATU email address.

Once logged in, you have your choice between 80 non-English languages.  If you are a non-native English speaker, no problem–the service also provides ESL courses for speakers of 51 non-English languages including Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Swedish and many more.

Learn at your own pace, have a live conversation, or, for targeted objectives, learn through guided courses.  The guided courses range from early learners (3-6 years old), young learners (7-12 years old), 8-week travel prep, beginner courses, and even a healthcare course.  Choose the main guide to independently roam and explore the language through “postcards” where you can learn common expressions, cultural information, and more.

screenshot of description of courses

Get the most out of Pronunciator using a microphone and headphones, which allow you the ability to practice speaking the language.  Pronunciator will play your recorded phrases back to you in comparison with the native speaker, provide drills to score how well you pronounce certain words and phrases, and offer assistance when you just can’t get the hang of it.

As you progress in each language, Pronunciator will let you review your overall progress and stats.  You can also take practice quizzes, review flashcards, and nail your rolling R’s with drills.

Not only can you learn a language structured in a learning course, Pronunciator doubles as handy phrasebook, giving you instant access to probably the most important phrase you’ll ever need to know:

Remember, there is also a Pronunciator App for mobile devices, capable of syncing to your existing account.  No matter where you are in the lesson, your phone or tablet can take your progress with you on the flight, train, ocean liner, or rickshaw.

screenshot of pronunciator app

Have a question about Pronunciator, the library, or where to find the best brunch in Stockholm?  Ask us!  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

Craft Beer Presentation at Ross Pendergraft Library

cover image of Dr. Chapman's book, "Untapped" featuring a tall glass of beer with glasses, a mustache, and a beard made of hopsJoin us at the Library on Monday, November 13th, at 7:00 P.M., for a tall, frosty glass of knowledge about the cultural dimensions of craft beer as presented by Dr. Nathaniel Chapman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arkansas Tech.  This free event will be held at RPL 300B—all are welcome.

As part of the Library’s Second Monday author series, Dr. Chapman will discuss the rise of craft beer from social and cultural perspectives.  He is the co-editor of Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer, a collection of 12 previously unpublished essays that analyze the rise of craft beer and explore many diverse topics from activism at beer festivals to how craft beer is revitalizing cities and local economies.

Chapman is currently conducting research on gender and consumption in the craft beer industry and the construction of authenticity in craft brewing.  If you are interested in subjects like business, race, gender, politics, or simply craft beer, check out this book from the library or come check out his presentation Monday night.

While no actual craft beer will be on hand at the library, guests are welcome to fill their glass with insight into an increasingly popular cultural phenomenon.  Stay buzzed on other events scheduled in the library, including our next 2nd Monday author series, by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by seeing us on Instagram.  Cheers!


Veterans Appreciation Event November 9th

Colonel (Ret) Nate Todd

Colonel (Ret.) Nate Todd, Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs

Help us salute our nation’s heroes by joining us for a special event hosted by the Ross Pendergraft Library on Thursday, November 9th, in room 300B.  This free and open event will feature several special presentations on veteran services, history, memorials, and more.  The evening will kick off at 7:00 P.M. with our distinguished guest and  keynote speaker, Colonel (Ret.) Nate Todd, current Director of the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs.  All are welcome.

In addition to Colonel Todd’s keynote address, guest speakers will provide presentations on the following:

  • Presentation of the Colors by ATU ROTC
  • Armed Forces Medley
  • Quilt of Valor presentation
  • Veterans Park Walk of Honor Tiles
  • WWI Centennial Memorial
  • and much more…

The following organizations will also be on hand to share information and answer questions about various veteran services:

  • Arkansas Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Pope County Veteran Services/Walk of Honor
  • ATU Student Group ( SMVA)
  • VA/Clergy Partnership (VCP)
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
  • Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces
  • ATU Veterans Upward Bound
  • and more…

Those attending will also have a chance to enter in a drawing for a Walk of Honor Tile at Veterans Park ($150 value) in honor their own service or to honor the service of a loved one in the U.S. Armed Forces.

For more information about this event or to ask questions, please contact Luke Heffley at or call 479-964-0569.

On Trial : SPIE Digital Library

Interested in optics, photonics, energy, and imaging?  Focus in on the Ross Pendergraft Library’s newest database trial: SPIE Digital Library.

screenshot of the SPIE Digital Library

This database includes over 465,000 papers spanning biomedicine, communications, sensors, defense and security, manufacturing, energy, and imaging.  The most extensive research database available on optics and photonics, the SPIE Digital Library includes full-text access to not only peer-reviewed journal articles, but also technical papers, conference proceedings, and ebooks.  Coverage extends from 1962 to the present.

Unlike other scholarly article databases at RPL, SPIE also includes conference presentations—actual videos and presentation slides of the speaker.  The SPIE Digital Library includes 8,000 conference presentations, including many plenary and keynote presentations.

Screenshot of DE-STAR Planetary Defence conference presentation about blasting near earth objects with friggin laser beams


Users of the SPIE Digital Library will find many of the familiar options that other databases provide like Advanced Search and ways to limit search results by year, type of publication, keywords, author, or affiliation.

Search Results from SPIE DIGITAL Library

SPIE also offers clear tools to get citations into Refworks or another bibliographic reference manager.  Unfortunately, there is no direct connection to Refworks at this time, so you will have to download the citation and then import the reference manually.

You can also share the article via email, Facebook, and other social media platforms.  Just remember—this resource is only available to students, faculty, and staff at Arkansas Tech.

Take the SPIE Digital Library for a spin from now until December 18th, 2017.  If you like what you see with this resource, send us a message at Ask Us or alert the library liaison for your department.  Remember, we rely on your feedback to make future database purchasing decisions, so please drop us a line.

How the War Changed American Literature, Painting, Photography, and Film

Join us October 19th at 7:00 P.M. at the Ross Pendergraft Library as we welcome special guest Dr. Stanley Lombardo, professor of English at Arkansas Tech, to give a presentation entitled, “World War I Influence on American Literature, Painting, Photography, and Film.”  This free event will take place in RPL 300B–all are welcome.

Dr. Lombardo will be reading from the book, World War I and America: Told By the Americans Who Lived It, a publication from the Library of America.  In particular, he will discuss the war’s impact on American culture, particularly its influence on writers, painters, photographers, and filmmakers.

Attendees will be treated to a short reading from Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Soldier’s Home,” film clips from the movie The Big Parade (1925), as well as a discussion on some of the embedded artists of World War I and other American artists of the time.  In addition, Dr. Lombardo will also explore the post-war trend toward horror films using James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) as an example of how the war shaped filmmakers conception of horror.

The presentation is the latest in a special series which will run through November, featuring guest lectures and a first floor display commemorating the World War I Centennial.  The last presentation in the series will occur on November 9th and will feature an all veterans appreciation event and discussion panel on veteran’s issues.

You can read the full schedule here or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.  For more information about the World War I speakers and events, contact Luke Heffley at (479) 964-0546 or