The Time of Your Life

Are you experiencing FOMO watching all your friends travel to distant places for their summer vacation?  Too broke or too busy to fly?  The library has just purchased two first-class tickets to the most exotic and hard-to-reach destination of all: the past.  Travel back in time with our new archive collection: Time Magazine Archive and Life Magazine Archive.

These two American magazines covered news events, popular culture, and daily life for Americans during most of the twentieth century.   They were the most popular weekly news and entertainment magazines of their time, and both were noteable for their award-winning photography and writing.

Cover of Time Magazine featuring portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cover of Time Magazine, January 3rd, 1964.

Time Magazine began in 1923 as a weekly magazine, and may be familiar to many for their most famous feature story: “Person of the Year.”  It is still in print today, but the archive database provides full cover-to-cover PDFs for every issue published between 1923 and 2000. Between its pages, you’ll find interviews from the most famous celebrities, world leaders, authors, scientists, and thinkers of the past 100 years.


Photograph of navy sailor kissing woman in a nurse uniform on VJ day, 1941 in Times Square

“Victory Celebrations.” Life Magazine. August 27, 1945. p. 27

Life Magazine, published from 1883 until 2000, is best known for its photographic excellence in documenting American life and world events during the 1930s through the 1970s.  If you’ve ever seen the iconic World War II victory photograph of a nurse being kissed by a sailor, it was first published in Life magazine.

That photograph and many others are fully searchable and delivered through the archive database.  You can browse and keyword search all available issues from 1936-2000.

The landing page for both databases features the familiar search box of an Ebscohost Database.

Screenshot of main search box for the database, featuring "Arkansas Tech University" as a search term in quotation marks

You can search by keyword, author, subjects, or article title.  You can limit results by illustrations, as well as date and subject.  If you would rather browse issues by date, click “Publications” at the top of the search page in the blue border.  Then click the title of the magazine to navigate by issue.

Screenshot of a browse publication menu for Life magazine, list all available issues.

If you search for “Arkansas Tech University” in the Life Magazine Archive, you’ll find a feature story on the university published February 3rd, 1941.  The magazine was photographing a farewell party the university organized for 104 students who were leaving for National Guard training—not knowing at the time if they would be sent to the war raging overseas.  Pearl Harbor had not yet been bombed, and the article remarked, “Of all sections, the South is ready to fight Hitler, readiest to risk war to save Britain.”

Photograph of students in 1941 dancing a jitterbug

Unlike other article databases that only display text in html, results for Life Magazine and Time come complete with fully rendered PDFs of the original pages—ads and all.

Photograph of students sitting in football bleachers from 1941 beside an advertisement for Vicks inhalers, featuring an illustratrion of a 1950's man and woman holding what looks like lipstick containers to their noses.

A photograph of a group of male students dressed in military uniform sitting on the grass, gazing at female student standing under a tree. From 1941.

Want to learn more about these databases and others?  Ask Us via chat, email, phone, text, or some ancient form of letter writing.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to learn about more new collections or events as we return to our present destination on the sacred timeline.

Safe travels this summer—wherever or whenever you go!

photograph of Neil Armstrong on the moon wearing full astronaut suit

“A Giant Leap for Mankind.” Life Magazine, July 20, 1969, p. 7

Understanding and Action

As the United States grapples with waves of protests after the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer, many are reflecting on our collective history of racism, civil unrest, police violence, and civic action.  It can be hard to understand how we got here and where we go from here.

To help us, great writers, thinkers, and educators have given us books, videos, and resources that are available right now at your library.  If you are struggling right now to make sense of it all, here are some recommendations that might provide you with some perspective, some understanding, and some healing.

Cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates book, Between the World and MeBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Winner of the National Book Award and hailed by Toni Morrison as “essential reading”, this letter from a father to his son describes his revelations growing up and moving through U.S. history as a black man.  He takes readers along on his journey through America’s history of race and his series of personal awakenings — moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago’s South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America’s ‘long war on black people,’ or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.

Cover of Colson Whitehead's Book, The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Cover of John Lewis's book, MarchMarch by Congressman John Lewis, Nate Powell, Andrew Aydin, and others

Winner of the National Book Award, this graphic novel trilogy depicts the story of the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of the man who lived it.  In 1965, John Lewis and was savagely beaten by police as he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. across the Selma bridge on what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”  The novels not only depict this incident, but they tell the story of other pivotal events in the movement including the Freedom Riders, the Birmingham Church bombing, and the activities of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Cover of Angie Thomas's book, The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This young adult novel, now a film (also available at the library), gives us a first-person account of 16-year old black woman who watches her friend, also black, killed by a police officer right in front of her eyes.  The death becomes national news, and she struggles to find her path through personal and abstract problems like systemic racism.  It won numerous awards for young adult fiction and was long-listed for the National Book Award.


Movie poster for 3 1/3 minutes depicting black and white photo of black teenager with an american flag tshirt.3 ½ Minutes and 10 Bullets

On Black Friday 2012, four African American teenagers stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. One of them, Jordan Davis, argued with Michael Dunn, a white man parked beside them, over the volume of music playing in their car. The altercation turned to tragedy when Dunn fired 10 bullets at the unarmed boys, killing Davis almost instantly. This streaming documentary film explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida’s Stand Your Ground self – defense laws by weaving Dunn’s trial with a chorus of citizen and pundit opinions, alongside the wrenching experiences of Jordan Davis’ parents.  It was short-listed for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Movie poster of three toy police soldiers standing in front of the CapitolDo Not Resist

This streaming documentary explores the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, this film offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future. This Tribeca Film Festival winner for Best Documentary puts viewers in the center of the action, from a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team to inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of “righteous violence.”

Movie poster depicting an black and white american flag bleeding into a black figure wearing prison strips in shackles13th

This documentary, freely available on Youtube, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and a Primetime Emmy.  Named for the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, it features interviews with scholars, activists and politicians analyzing the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.


Banner featuring database search box in Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints

If you are looking for up-to-date, reputable sources of information, facts, statistics, academic journal articles, video, audio, primary sources, and opinions about current events, this database is your one-stop shop.  It is searchable by keyword, but you can browse all 478+ topic pages on current events like Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter, Hate Groups, Civil Rights, Social Justice, Community Policing, Racial Profiling, Riots in the US, and more.

cover page of Final reportFinal Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

This government-produced document from 2015 provides the recommendations of a federally appointed task force created to strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.  Assembled by then President Barack Obama, its members included law enforcement, community activists, educators, and policy experts.  It includes six pillars of action including building trust with community, protecting the safety of officers, providing effective training, policy and oversight, effectively using technology, and community policing.

Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized the Country by Shelby Steel

In this conservative take on race-relations, author Shelby Steele asserts that the greatest barrier to racial equality today is not overt racism, but white liberals. Under the guise of benevolence, liberals today maintain their position of power over blacks by continuing to cast them as victims in need of saving. This ideology underlies liberal social policies from affirmative action to welfare, which actually exacerbate racial inequality rather than mitigating it. Drawing on empirical data as well as his own personal experience, Steele argues that these policies have not only failed, but have made it impossible to address the problems that plague the modern black community, and have ensured that black Americans will never be truly equal to their white countrymen, in their own minds or in practice.  Shelby Steele is a Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and his earlier book, Content of Our Character, won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

If you have found yourself wondering else you can do to help change the world, the library has another option: voter registration.  There are voter registration forms located at the Circulation Desk and at the Reference Desk.  They are free for anyone.  Once you fill out your registration form, you can either turn it in to the County Clerk’s office or mail it in.  To participate in local, state, and federal elections, you must have your voter registration form turned at least 30 days prior to those elections.  For more information about voting in Arkansas, visit the Secretary of State’s website.  You can also sign up for election reminders at

Remember your library is open this summer with social distancing guidelines in place. Stay safe, stay informed, and stay connected to us—virtually—via chat, textphone, social media (InstagramFacebook, or Twitter), or email.

5 Free Things at the Tech Library

The new fall semester has begun, and for many of you, this will be the most expensive four years of your life. To alleviate the wallet stress, the Library is here to help stretch your dollar and expand your mind with five free things you can borrow from the Ross Pendergraft Library.

1. Gen. Ed. Textbooks

Through a pilot program launched last year, the Library been obtaining copies of textbooks required for the General Education classes offered at Tech.  Currently, any student can borrow a general education textbook for up to two hours of in-library use.  To see if we your required book, search our online database under Course Reserves:

Screenshot of browsing the word Textbooks in our online database to find all course reserve textbooks

To see ALL the textbooks in the program, search for the word “Textbooks.”  You can also ask the friendly faces at the Circulation Desk for help.

2. Calculators

Need a TI-30X for an upcoming test?  Borrow one for 24 hours at the Library.  Not only do we have the TI-30X, we also have TI-83’s, TI-84’s, and other graphing calculators which have inexplicably not gotten cheaper in twenty years.

Images of three calculators including a TI-30XS, a TI-84 Plus, and a TI-84 Plus CE all available to check out at the library

Stop by the Circulation Desk for help with all your calculating needs.

3. Games (NEW!)

A new collection has been added to the Ross Pendergraft Library over the summer: Games!  Table-top, board, role-playing, strategy, and old-fashioned family fun games.  The Games section is located around the corner from the Young Adult Fiction collection, on the north side of the library’s first floor.

Shelf of games

You can check them out as you would a book at the Circulation Desk.  To browse them all, search our online catalog for “Games” in Location “Games”.

4. Space

You can reserve some space.  Not outer space, but meeting space within Tech Library.  To reserve a room, go to our homepage, and find the giant button at the bottom of our website called “Reserve a Study Room.”

Reserve a Study Room

Select up to two green boxes for a 2 hour stay, per day, per person.  You can reserve a small study space, a larger room for up to 4 for group meetings, or the Tegrity Room for audio recordings or exams.

Schedule indicating study rooms to reserve and which are full.

5. Help

You can also, at any time, borrow help from any one of the kind, helpful, and super-awesome library staff of experts who are available at the Reference Desk, Circulation Desk, 2nd Floor Help Desk, and wandering the stacks like information roombas.

I swear to you it is a cat, dressed as a shark, on a roomba chasing a small duckling.

We just want to help you find books, stop running away!

We can help you find quality research resources, provide citation guidance, suggest good research topics, locate full-text articles, or show you how to print your assignment from your phone.  We are also a text, email, phone call, DM, PM, or online chat away:

Best wishes for Fall 2019!

New Databases

The Ross Pendergraft Library is pleased to announce 40 new databases from Gale accessible right now from our list of A-to-Z Databases:

The full list can be seen by visiting our A-to-Z Databases page and scanning all the titles to the right marked “NEW”.

These new databases cover a little bit of everything: business, literature, U.S. history, culinary arts, gardening, criminal justice, and even car maintenance.  While there’s not enough space here to talk about all of them, here’s the highlights for subjects that weren’t previously covered by our older databases:

This database represents the most authoritative automotive repair information available to car owners. If you or someone you know is a gearhead, a Chilton’s manual would have been a required accessory in the garage.  With access to Chiltonlibrary, say goodbye to grease-stained manuals (though, perhaps hello to grease-stained laptops and ipads).  Includes (for some vehicles) labor estimating, maintenance schedules, repair, and recalls.  Some sections include video tutorials. ASE Test prep quizzes are also available.

Diagram of the fuel injection system to a 1972 Ford Pinto

Culinary Arts Collection

Culinary Arts Collection provides access to academic journals and magazines on all aspects of cooking and nutrition. The database includes thousands of searchable recipes, restaurant reviews, and industry information.

Fine Arts and Music Collection

This database provides access to scholarly journals and magazines that support research in areas including drama, music, art history, and film-making. The database emphasizes full-text content for publications included in the Wilson Art Index and RILM bibliography.

Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture Collection

Gardening, Landscape & Horticulture Collection serves horticultural enthusiasts of all levels with more than 3.6 million articles from more than 100 journals, as well as more than 20 reference titles from Delmar, including Handbook of Flowers; Foliage and Creative Design; Computer Graphics for Landscape Architects; and more.


A red tulip blooms under the St. Louis Arch under blue skies

Gender Studies Collection

Gender Studies Collection provides balanced coverage of this significant aspect of culture and society. The database offers access to scholarly journals and magazines covering topics including gender studies, family and marital issues, and more.

Student Resources in Context

While primarily geared towards high school students, this resource is rich in curriculum resources for students in secondary education programs. Browse curriculum standards at the state and federal level and find educator resources including lesson plans and worksheets for high school students conducting research and writing papers.

A screenshot of a list of student resources in Context Teacher resources

This list makes up only a small fraction of the resources and databases now available online at our website.  For more information on these databases and how to search them to find what you need, ask us!  Keep checking us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates as we continue to bulk up our collections and services.



Back to School

Welcome home and welcome back!  The Library is open and ready for new and returning students & faculty.  Over the summer, we’ve really bulked up with new services, new hours, and new databases designed to help everyone keep calm and carry on through the academic life of Tech.  Here’s the top five things you should know about Tech’s most popular destination for studying, printing, and researching.

We’re Open Late…Really Late

The Library is the best and ONLY place on campus open for studying, printing, and meeting after midnight at Tech.  From Sunday through Thursday, we remain open until 1:00 AM and continue to offer excellent and slightly over-caffeinated service long after other offices and buildings close.

In addition, the Library will now offer extended hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Beginning Friday, August 25th, the library will remain open until 8:00 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays during the regular fall semester.  Additionally, we will open early on Sunday’s at 1:00 PM beginning Sunday, August 27th.

hours for the library in a chart.

Check our website for full schedules, special hours during holidays, and our upcoming 24-hour schedule at finals.  Feel free to bring in a coffee (with a lid) and burn the midnight oil with us.

We Got the Prints

We know many students at Tech only come to the library for the printers.  And that’s ok!  But if you are new, the act of printing can be a little confusing.  Here’s a step-by-step introduction on how to print:

  1. Login to a computer in the General Lab.
  2. Press Ctrl + P or find a Printer Icon to print your academic paper, course schedule, or cute cat pics.
  3. Choose “Dell Universal Print Queue” as your printer and select “Print”
  4. Get up and look for the printer stations. These are separate computers next to a large laser printer.
  5. Login with your Tech Username/Password or simply swipe your ID at the station.  You should see your document ready to print.  You’ll also see the balance on your account and the cost of the job.
  6. If everything looks right, press print.

Prints costs $0.10 a page in black and white, but we also have a color printer that eats up $0.30 a page.  Every student starts with $20 on their account each semester.  But if you run out of money on your account, you can always top it off with cash at the PHIL station, next to Circulation Desk.

If something goes wrong or you can’t find the right printer, friendly staff are standing by on all floors to help with this very thing.

You Can Get a Room

image of bookit chart with red squares indicating booked rooms and green squares indicating free rooms

The Library offers study rooms, multimedia-use rooms, and even an audio lab to record songs, mix music, or narrate video.  Reserve space using our online reservation system, Book It.   The Library has 5 study rooms that can be reserved by any Tech faculty, staff, or student on a first come, first serve basis.

If you need to make a Tegrity recording, reserve one of our Multimedia rooms.  These all-purpose rooms allow you to record yourself taking an exam for instructors, create video or audio presentations, or use interactive software such as Read & Write Gold or Pronunciator.

screenshot of how to book a tegrity room from the Book It dropdown.

If you need to make a podcast or lay down some sick beats, you might want to book some time in our new Audio Lab.  Open to all students, faculty, and staff, the audio lab contains sophisticated software and hardware designed to create professional recordings.   Professional staff are standing by to help you learn the software and make something amazing.

a picture of a woman's hands manipulating a Mini mixing board

We’re All About That (Data)base

Need research?  We have all that in one easy-to-use search:

Screenshot of our find it search engine. There's a blank to search articles, books, and moreSearch and find scholarly articles, books, DVDs, streaming video, or calculators using our search engine for all things Tech Library.  Not sure how to find something in Find It?  See this handy guide for getting the most out of your searches:

If you need something more specialized, see our list of A-to-Z databases, containing over 200 topical databases for every subject or format need.

We’re Better Than Google

google search result indicating that librarians are the secret masters of the universe.

A search engine will never replace the listening, knowledgeable, and compassionate humans at the Library (at least…not yet).  We have dedicated, friendly staff poised to drop anything to help you succeed.  We thrive on questions, and chase after answers like the professional information hunters that we are.  When you are in need of an answer and don’t know who to call, call us: (855) 761-0006.  We may not always know the answer, but we know the right place to find it.  You can also ask us a question via Ask-A-Librarian or text us at (479) 802-4876.

So come by this semester, either online or in-person, and let us help you find the answers, book a study room, or print your cat pictures.  In the meantime, welcome (back) to Tech and good luck!


Stuff @ Circulation

Did you know that DVDs are not the only thing you can check-out at the Ross Pendergraft Library?  The Circulation Desk, located on the first floor, keeps an entire collection of supplies and materials that you can freely borrow for a few hours to power up your late-night study sessions and keep more money in your pocket.

Here’s a few of the things you might want to acquire during the long study nights ahead:

Dry Erase Boards

Dry Erase Boards are Remarkable!

These are brand new, 4 x 3 feet, mobile, magnetic, reversible, and remarkable dry erase boards that you can check out for the low, low price of nothing.  Borrow for two hours, then renew for another two hours, if needed.  They offer large writing space to draw out all your molecular diagrams, musical arrangements, mathematical formulas, and next year’s NCAA basketball brackets.  Pairs well with our dry erase markers.

Dry Erase Markers

set of dry erase markers

What can you do with a dry erase board without dry erase markers?  Don’t find out by borrowing a set of markers at the Circulation Desk.  Each set of markers includes 8, multi-colored thick point markers, 4 black fine-point markers, an eraser, and a bottle of cleaner.  You can check them out for two hours and renew them for another two.

Graphing Calculators

Graphing calculators

Why have computers come down in price, but a graphing calculator still costs the same as it did twenty years ago?  Some mysteries may never be solved, but if you still haven’t saved up the bucks to buy one, and just need a loaner for a few hours, the Library has the TI-83, TI-83 Plus, and the TI-83 Plus Silver available for four hour check-out.  Four hours!  You can renew it for another four, as well, which is probably more time with a graphing calculator than is recommended by the American Psychological Association.


Experience two hours of moderately okay sound with our sturdy, pre-sanitized, and surprisingly comfortable headphones.  These headphones have circulated hundreds of times, making them the most popular item available in the library.  Don’t you want to be popular too?  Wear the same headphones as everyone else in the library, and you’re well on your way.

Now, I know what you must be thinking: Free stuff is great, but is there a way I can spend money, too?  There is!  Here are some of the items currently offered at cost to help you avoid a trip to the bookstore or a large 24-hour big-box chain.  (Cash only!)

  • Small Scantrons: $0.20
  • Large Scantrons: $0.40
  • Earbuds: $1.50
  • Helpful customer service from friendly people: Priceless

The Circulation desk—your source for the treasures above and more—operates as long as the library is open (though some of the services are reduced during the wee hours of the open-24-hours-for-finals period).  So when the bookstore is closed, and you don’t have a friend to take you to the store, come see us!  We won’t be your friend or anything (we barely know you), but we can sell you a Scantron and let you borrow our headphones.  Which is kind of like something a friend would do.

Olympic Throwback

Tucked away in the rare book collection of the Ross Pendergraft Library is a curious piece of Olympic history.  Inside the library’s Special Collections is a volume documenting the history of the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles,  Die Olympischen Spiele in Los Angeles 1932


Published in Germany in 1932, shortly after the games have ended, the book contains 200 black and white and hand-colored photographs.  What makes this particular book so special is the fact that it is a completed cigarette card album.


Cigarette cards originated in the 1870’s to stiffen cigarette packs.   Advertisers quickly realized the potential, and they started printing pictures and other information on the cards for people to collect.[1]  The most famous example of this were baseball cards, which first became popular in the 1880’s and continue to be collectors’ items today.[2]  The tobacco companies would sell special albums for particular sets into which you could paste your collection of cards.


Not only is this book unusual in form, it is also worth noting that the text was produced in Germany—by a German cigarette company, Reemstma—during the build-up to World War II and the rise of Nazism.   This is a primary source of their impression of these multi-cultural games held in the United States.  Germany was to host the next Olympic games in 1936.


In this volume, the cards have been securely pasted onto the yellowing pages, and feature beautiful glimpses of athletes, dignitaries, events, and venues in stunning detail.


Read more about the 1932 Olympics, Cigarette Cards, the astonishing story of the 1932 women’s 100 meter gold medalist, Stanislawa Walasiewicz, in our history database, Historical Abstracts with Full Text.


Special Collections contain the library’s rare books, Arkansas materials, Arkansas Tech publications, and the master’s theses produced at ATU.  You can discover this collection in our online catalog by limiting to location “Special Collections”.


These materials do not check-out, but you may read, touch, and smell these rare items within the library by making an appointment.  To do this, send an email to the keepers of the Olympic torch at or pole-vault over to the reference desk where our friendly staff still hold the world record for 100 meter customer service while wearing a cardigan.



[1]Archer, C. (2004, Apr 22). PRINT’S PAST: Cigarette cards. Printweek, , 62. Retrieved from
[2] “Library of Congress Web Site Offers More than 2,100 Early Baseball Cards on-Line.” U.S.Newswire, Sep 30, 1998.

Pardon Our Progress

It’s now high summer.  The campus is mostly quiet, and the geese are taking full advantage of the lull in student population.


But inside the Ross Pendergraft Library, things are shifting and shuffling around.    Big changes are in store for the upcoming fall semester, and the staff here are hard at work managing the multiple projects going on this summer.

One of those projects involves the migration of the Curriculum Materials Library from Crabaugh Hall to the Ross Pendergraft Library.  Over 6,000 volumes of children’s books, teaching materials, and young adult fiction will be integrated into our existing book collection.

The new addition will also include a die-cutter tool for making bulletin boards, a laminating machine, butcher paper, kits, oversize story-books, and more.  A Young Adult Fiction section will be created, as well as a separate collection for teacher preparatory materials, called the Curriculum Library Collection.

In the fall, this space will be ideal for the future teachers of Arkansas to explore a diverse and modern children’s book collection along with a wealth of resources for classroom preparation.

Right now, however, we have some work to do.

clstuffWhen the migration is complete, a full celebration of the new Curriculum Library will be held later in the semester.  But for now, we want to highlight just some of the people doing the hard work to make all of this possible.


Circulation workers, Amanda and Mackenzie, trying to avoid paper-cuts.

It takes skilled, dedicated, and resourceful people to merge two library collections together in less than a few weeks.  Boxes have to be moved, sorted, unpacked.  Shelves have to be moved and put together.   Heavy boxes, heaved.


Cheyenne at the Circulation Desk, undaunted by the unlabeled

Incorporating the new books involves cataloging, barcoding, stamping, labeling, re-labeling, shelving, and shifting.  Ultimately, it involves teamwork, precision, patience, and sometimes band-aids.

Beverly Cooper, probably the best ever.

Beverly Cooper—Reference Desk rock star, keeper of the good band-aids—getting another batch ready for the shelves.

It can be tedious, monotonous, and outright boring work.  But the end result is all worth it:


If you are looking for children’s books this summer, they are located in the areas directly behind and adjacent to the Periodicals Collection.  As the new books become available, you can find them in our online catalog by refining results on the location, “Youth and Children’s Book Collection.”

Search results for Caldecott in the library collection, limited by Location: Youth and Children's Book Collection.

Kids are always welcome in the library, especially the kid inside us all.  For more information about this new collection, including advice on great children’s books, contact your young-at-heart librarians at   We’re here all summer to assist you with your research and reading requests, and we’re sure you’ll find a rainbow of materials to inspire and interest you.  But you don’t have to take *my* word for it…



Film Festival Wrap-Up

The inaugural international film festival, held with the cooperative efforts of the Ross Pendergraft Library and the Department of English and World Languages, has drawn to a close. The eight films presented were chosen based on the four languages taught at Arkansas Tech University: Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. Here is a list of films in case you missed them. If these films have peaked your interest in seeing more movies in these languages—perhaps to sharpen your language-speaking skills, to watch more of a director’s movies, or to widen your cinematic viewing know-how—look no further than the RPL DVD selections. Located on the first floor of the library, the DVD collection has expanded in its popular viewing and international selections, and is available to check out to students, faculty, staff, and alumni (information on loan privileges for each patron is available here). Here are a few of my picks, in each language, of movies available in the library:


Germany gets a bad rap for being unfunny, but you may find yourself chuckling at a few of our selections, or caught up in the drama and intrigue of others. Many of the choices here relate to activism and anarchy brought about by Germany’s tumultuous times following World War II and the Cold War.

What to Do In Case of Fire? (Was tun, wenn’s brennt?): (2001) An old bomb in a building has just exploded, and six former anarchists have to scramble together to hide the evidence. Hilarity ensues as they get through this less-than-ideal reunion.

Good Bye, Lenin!: (2003) A young man’s mother goes in a coma during the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In an effort to keep her from suffering a fatal shock once she awakens, he goes to great lengths to make it seem as though nothing has changed. It’s a heartwarming mother-son flick, and one of my favorite films we viewed in a German Film seminar I took long ago.

Downfall (Der Untergang): (2004) A gripping drama capturing the final days of the Nazi regime, and one theory to Adolf Hitler’s demise. One particular scene was made infamous on YouTube as a gamer rant. Masterfully filmed, it is an uncommon perspective on World War II.

The Edukators: (2004) A combination of the anarchist film and German Heimatfilm (or nature film set in or near the Alps), The Edukators is like a German-language version of The Bling Ring, except the young people who star in the film are poor students who protest the rich. A young girl and her friends decide to kidnap a wealthy businessman after strapping her with a mountain of debt following a car wreck.



Remember watching old Don Bluth films like The Land Before Time, or any of his other whimsical but deceptively heartbreaking animated films, and having a good cry at the overbearing realness of mortality, brought to you with cutesy animal characters and songs? Luckily for you, esteemed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miazaki and others in the Studio Ghibli universe know full well that the impact of powerful, emotional storytelling doesn’t have to exclude animated films. RPL has an extensive collection of Miazaki’s films, a boon for patrons as these movies are often costly or difficult to find. If animated feels are not your thing, we also have quite a collection of films by Akira Kurosawa, whose feature Yojimbo played at one of the movie nights. Kurosawa’s movies have been a major influence on several American films; for example, the western The Magnificent Seven was inspired by Seven Samurai:

Rashômon: (1950) Following the murder of a samurai, the story of his death is told from the perspective of a bandit, the samurai’s widow, and (through a medium) the victim himself. The film causes viewers to question everyone, as unreliable narrators are everywhere.

Ran(1985) Inspired by samurai legends and and resonant with Shakespeare’s King Lear, a Japanese warlord decides to retire from his position and divide his kingdom among his three sons. If you are familiar with the Shakespeare version, you know that this does not end well. The film is widely held to be a classic and one to see before you die. If you are a fan of long shots and epic battle scenes, look no further.

Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka): (1988) A young boy tries to survive in Japan with his sister in World War II. After the death of their mother, and unsure if their father will ever return from his duties as a soldier, they must endure starvation and other wartime horrors together, finding sole comfort in watching fireflies at night.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari): (2013) Based on a Japanese folk tale, the film begins with a bamboo cutter who finds a tiny girl sleeping inside the plant. The beautiful and rebellious young girl, at first the size of a finger, will remind viewers of Thumbelina and other Disney princesses. The film journal Sight and Sound wrote a review of the film last year.



Many years ago I was introduced to the works of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar while channel surfing. I immediately fell in love with the scenery of the country and the complex relationships in which he peopled these stories. RPL has an extensive collection of these films:

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de “nervios”): (1988) Many of Almodóvar’s movies feature characters of various backgrounds whose love lives cause their paths to cross. In this case, a woman’s lover turns out to be the lover’s lover to another woman.

All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre): (1996) Following the death of her son, a woman travels to Barcelona to tell the father, who never knew about him.

Talk to Her (Hable con Ella): (2002) Two men are in love—one with a famous bullfighter and the other with a dancer—both of which are in a coma. The two men form a friendship, but their closeness is tested when one of them commits a terrible crime.

Bad Education (Mala educatión): (2004) The film centers on the lives of two boys who meet in a Catholic school, and their complicated emotional and sexual relationship in the span of 30 years.

Volver: (2006) Spanish for “to return,” a mother who had died years ago comes back to the land of the living to resolve unfinished business with her surviving family. The film stars Penelope Cruz, who appears in another Almodóvar film, Broken Embraces. 



French movies are more than just romantic, scenic frolics around the Eiffel Tower; in fact, French cinema is well known for its contribution to the horror genre. Here is a list of a few of my favorite titles:

Diabolique: (1955) From the Internet Movie Database (IMDB): “The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.” It is considered a classic horror masterpiece.

Delicatessen: (1991) A French horror film set in the future where a shopkeeper serves up people as meat. Not for the faint of heart and queasy of stomach.

Man Bites Dog (C’est arrivé prèz de chez vous): (1992) This intersting mockumentary begins with an interview with a local serial killer, who explains, “Usually, I start the month with a postman.” The title is translated to English as “It Happened in Your Neighborhood.” Set in black and white, it is a meta-film about three directors (starring the directors!) filming a serial killer, who wind up getting their hands dirty in the process.

High Tension (Haute Tension): (2003) An excellent selection if you like your horror with a little psychoanalysis and feminist resonance. Although not available at RPL, director Alexandre Aja helped write this fairly recent horror film that plays with point of view, which you should definitely add to your Netflix queue if you enjoy the classic slasher film style of 80’s and 90’s horror.


If this list of suggestions has further whet your appetite for more international titles, use our Find It… tool to search for more! The library’s film collection continues to grow, so keep an eye out for new titles.

Special Announcement


The Ross Pendergraft Library of Arkansas Tech University recently announced its plans to phase out all print materials from its facility. Beginning April 1, 2016, all books, periodicals, newspapers, law books, maps, dictionaries, microforms, and other physical items will be systematically de-shelved and destroyed. Library Director Brent Etzel stated to the bored local and national press, “Everything you could ever want is online or digitized now, and patrons rarely use these physical copies anyway, so we might as well get rid of them. Students and courtesy patrons only come here to use the computers, anyway.” Following his announcement, held outside the library steps, he glanced wearily at the face of Ross Pendergraft and muttered solemnly, “All in all, we’re just another brick in the wall,” before trudging indoors, avoiding further comment.

Chareen Austin, Circulation Manager of RPL, voiced her approval of the decision. “Once all the books, DVD’s and reference items are out of the building, student workers  and library staff can devote more time to helping patrons with the computers, since they won’t have to check in, check out, or re-shelve items anymore. With all this free time, I think we’re gonna start lending out student workers for ditch-digging duty. I hear the university approved plans to build a reservoir for Lake Tech.”

trashed library

Progress has been swift following the library’s announcement

The removal of said items, admits Circulation staff, will be no easy feat. Among these items are over 160,000 bound volumes of books, over 4,000 CD’s, 6,000+ DVD’s, 110,000 government documents, and the current and backlogged issues of over 300 scholarly journals. Special collections, popular reading, and children’s reading will also be “done away with,” stated Etzel. The library director did not provide details on what was to become of these items, but some reporters caught subtle references to a Ray Bradbury novel; anonymous insider information recently leaked online revealed a top-secret library staff “retreat” to be held following initial removal of items. Although the itinerary was composed of code writing consisting mostly of call numbers in both Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress, so far Internet code breakers have managed to piece together the call numbers on books in the recreation section that includes recipes to campfire s’mores. RPL library staff could not be reached for comment.

When asked about the dozens of artwork housed in the library, Etzel paused, then answered, “Yeah, we could probably trash those, too.”

Feedback from students on campus was mixed; some responses included “Meh,” and “The library has books?”

Click here to see the proposed schedule of physical items leaving the library.



Gotcha! Happy April Fool’s, everyone!