Library and Chill?

Looking for a good film this summer?  With a film collection of over 6,000 DVDs, it can be a struggle to pick that perfect film.  If you have a title in mind, you can always try searching in our online collection of films at Find It.   You can also browse films by genre in the library as well as online, through our lists of films by category:

Still not sure?  Let our film aficionados on staff at the Ross Pendergraft  Library make some recommendations.  Here’s this summer’s staff pick list to get you going on titles ranging from epic classics to smaller films you might have overlooked.  All are available in the library on DVD.

Hacksaw Ridge (2017)

Cover of Hacksaw Ridge and a soldier carrying another soldier on his back.

Tells the extraordinary story of Desmond Doss, a U.S. Army medic who refused to carry a gun but nevertheless saved 75 men during the bloodiest battle of WWII on Okinawa, becoming the first conscientious objector to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“True story and I admired the fact that someone let their turbulent childhood make them instead of break them.  It was interesting to watch the main character arrive at a solution that let him follow his convictions without sacrificing his beliefs.  I was also able to fast forward through the gory parts.” – Beverly Cooper.

Untergang = Downfall (2005)

Cover of DownFall, Hitler looking very worried

Travel into Hitler’s bunker, in 1945, during the brutal and harrowing last days of the Third Reich. Seen through the eyes of Hitler’s infamous secretary Gertraud (Traudl) Junge, optimism crumbles into grim realization and terror as it becomes clear that Germany’s defeat is inevitable. As the Russian army circles the city, the dimly lit halls of the underground refuge become an execution chamber for the Führer and his closest advisors.  In German with English subtitles.

“The film provides a window into the madness of  — and devotion to — the Nazi cause, from Hitler, to his generals, to even the women and children in the bunker and on the streets of Berlin.  I appreciated being able to see how the events came to a close once Soviet troops had taken the city.” –Brent Etzel.

Gigi (1958)  

Cover of Gigi. There's a painting of a girl winking and some dapper people below it.

A musical set in Paris in which a girl trained as a high society courtesan falls in love with a rich and handsome boulevardier.

”The music is wonderful, and the story is an overall amusing tale of not only growing up, but also that finding love is sometimes closer than you think.” –Phillip McCaslin.

Songcatcher (1999)

Cover of SongCatcher. There's an image of a couple looking pensive

When musicologist Doctor Lily Penleric is passed over, again, for a prominent teaching position, she decides to leave the city to visit her sister in the rugged mountains of Appalachia. While there, Lily, discovers a well spring of emotional “love songs” (ballads) that have been passed down through generations from the original Irish and Scottish immigrants who have settled in the area. Determined to document the history of the songs, and the recording of them as well, she is profoundly changed by the generosity, strength and freedom of the fiercely proud mountain people.

“I chose this film because it is a hidden gem. It is an authentic portrayal of the musical folk traditions of mountain peoples in the United States. It is an extraordinary illustration of how music has been preserved. It emphasizes the role of music as part of life and a way of life. It’s what people did after dinner and on Saturday nights before television, radio, or reliable transportation. Great things happen when these traditions meet and are shared.” –Sherry Tinerella.

What the Health (2017) 

Cover of What the Health where this is a burger but with pills and money instead of beef patty.

A surprising, and at times hilarious, investigative documentary that will be an eye-opener for everyone concerned about our nation’s health and how big business influences it.

“This investigative documentary exposes the many connections between government, big business, and some of the major health advocacy organizations that are supposed to protect us from unhealthful food.” –Lowell Lybarger.

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 

Cover of E. T.

A ten-year-old boy befriends a creature from another planet that has been stranded on earth.

“It’s my favorite childhood movie, with one of the most amazing soundtracks in the world. John Williams and Spielberg are an amazing team. The reason for this movie’s longevity is its soundtrack. In fact, the soundtrack was written first and the movie edited to fit the soundtrack. Usually it’s the opposite way around – edited first, then the soundtrack is written to fit.” –Slade Dupuy.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) 

cover of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey, a desperate and suicidal man, is visited by a guardian angel who shows him how important he has been to those around him in his life.

“I think it appropriate for these times.” –Frances Hager.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Cover of Citizen Kane.

All-powerful press magnate Kane dies in his fabulous castle Xanadu, his last word being ‘Rosebud’, leading a reporter to seek the meaning behind the word and find the meaning of Kane.

“A movie about a newspaper tycoon who tries to manipulate the masses is as relevant today as it was in 1941. Citizen Kane with its extended flashback scenes and retelling of the main character’s life from multiple viewpoints, keeps the viewer’s attention from the start. Reflecting on unbridled ambition and its consequences, in the end, the most important thing to Kane was actually….You need to check out the movie to find out (and debate)!” –Luke Heffley.

Spirited Away (2001) 

Cover of Miyazaki's spirited away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

“I love Spirited Away because the animation and the story gives you a different view inside the world of Studio Ghibli.  It’s a different side of Disney!” –Chareen Austin.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Cover of napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon spends his days drawing mythical beasts, duking it out with his older brother, Kip, and trying to avoid his scheming Uncle Rico. When two new friends enter Napoleon’s life – shy Deb and mustachioed Pedro – the trio launches a campaign to elect Pedro for class president and make the student body’s wildest dreams come true.

“It’s my spirit animal and there’s a llama!” –MacKenzie Roberts.

Alien (1979)

Cover of Alien with Sigourney Weaver and tagline, In space No one can hear you scream.

Mindless, savage, and merciless alien is attacking the crew of an intergalactic freighter and it must be stopped before they are all killed.

“It mixes sci-fi and horror in just a fantastic way.” –Justin Wilkinson.

Memento (2000)

Cover of Memento.

An intricate crime story about a man who has lost his short term memory due to a rare brain disorder. Now he is out to catch his wife’s murderer, whose identity he cannot ever know for sure. The more he tries to figure out what is true and real, the more he sinks deeper into a multi-layered abyss of uncertainty and surprises.

“I like anything to do with crazies.” –Anna Pyron.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Cover of the Big Lebowski, one of the greatest films of all time.


A lazy, unemployed Southern Californian stoner who loves bowling gets mistaken for a millionaire with the same name. He’s beaten up by men looking for money from the rich man’s wife and gets drawn into the kidnapping of the millionaire’s wife.

“I watch it every summer in a bathrobe, with a cold beverage.” –Jacob Wardlaw.

My Dinner with André (1981)

DVD cover of My Dinner with Andre.

Two friends, an intense, experimental theater director and a down-to-earth actor, meet over dinner in a New York restaurant and discuss their innermost feelings.

“It really is just two guys talking about reality and life, but I found it captivating.  It reminds me of late night conversations in front of a campfire with a few friends…and Wallace Shawn.”  –Angela Black.


Got a favorite film not on this list and not in our collection?  Make a suggestion at AskALibrarian.  Thanks to all the staff who submitted their favorites.  Until next time, the balcony is closed.


International Film Fest

From February 28th through March 16th, the Ross Pendergraft Library will be hosting the second annual International Film Festival.  For the next three weeks, join us every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300N to watch a critically acclaimed film from around the world.   Each film counts as an On Track event in the Global Focus area, and was sponsored by the English & World Languages Department and the Ross Pendergraft Library.  Who says world travel has to be expensive?  Take a trip and never leave campus with these exotic foreign language films:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Luther (2003, English)

During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation.  Filmed in Germany and the U.S., this film is entirely in English—no subtitles necessary.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

El Orfanato / The Orphanage (2007, Spanish)

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.  This thriller was filmed in Spain and includes English subtitles.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Les Intouchables / The Intouchables (2012, French)

In this comedic drama, a quadriplegic aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver, and ends up getting much more.  Nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA award in 2013, this critically acclaimed French film explores issues of class differences, disability, notions of family, and cultural divides.  The opening also includes arguably the best car chase scene ever filmed with a Maserati.  French with English subtitles

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Children of Heaven (1997, Persian)

After a boy loses his sister’s pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can’t, he tries a new way to “win” a new pair.  Director Majid Majidi focuses on the details of everyday life to touch on universal themes of family, empathy, friendship, sibling loyalty, and childhood joy.  This film was originally filmed in Iran, and was the first Iranian film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.   In Persian with English subtitles.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dreams (1990, Japanese)

A collection of eight short tales based upon the actual dreams of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.  Elements of the film include surrealistic images and stories about nuclear disasters, World War II, childhood memories, and demon-filled nightmares.  Watch for a younger Martin Scorsese portraying Vincent Van Gogh with George Lucas providing some of the visual effects.  In Japanese with English subtitles.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

English Vinglish (2012, English & Hindi)

Get your dose of Bollywood in this comedy about a quiet, sweet tempered housewife who endures small slights from her well-educated husband and daughter every day because of her inability to speak and understand English.  Featuring popular Indian actress Sridevi, this film marks her successful comeback to the world of Bollywood film.  In English and Hindi, with English subtitles.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

La Misma Luna / Under the Same Moon  (2007, Spanish)

A young Mexican boy travels to the U.S. to find his mother after his grandmother passes away, while his mother makes the same desperate attempt to reunite.  This heart-warming adventure story shows how love can break through any border and any wall.  Nominated for an Image Award in 2009.  In Spanish with English subtitles.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Babel (2006, 8 languages)

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.  Starring Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Gael García Bernal & Elle Fanning, this drama features voices speaking in languages from all over the world–English, Japanese, Spanish, French, Russian, Berber, Arabic, and even Japanese sign language.  It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, and received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and two for Best Supporting Actress.  It also won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Remember, every film starts at 7:00 P.M. at the Ross Pendergraft Library, room 300 North.  While you cannot bring food, drinks are welcome with a lid.

Have more questions about the films?  Contactez vos bibliothécaires or comuníquese con sus bibliotecarios or contact your librarians at   If you like these films and want to see more, be sure to browse our vast DVD collection, featuring many French, Spanish, and other foreign language films using our DVD genre guide:

In the meantime, we’ll see you at the movies!

End of Year Listicle

As the year winds down, it’s time to take a closer look at what everyone is reading, watching, or checking out over and over just to mess with our circulation numbers.  The following includes the top circulating items over the past year, providing a useful glimpse into the minds of your fellow students and perhaps suggestions for how to spend all that free time you’ll have over the break.

Top 10 DVDs

Game of thrones season five cover

These represent the top ten circulated DVDs of the year.

  1. Game of Thrones (all seasons)
  2. Finding Nemo
  3. My Neighbor Totoro
  4. Up
  5. Frozen
  6. Identity Thief
  7. Nausicaä of the valley of the wind
  8. Jurassic World
  9. Maleficent
  10. Monsters, Inc.

Top 10 Fiction

Cover of Red Queen

These were the top circulated novels.

  1. Red Queen / Victoria Aveyard
  2. Breaking Dawn / Stephenie Meyer
  3. Fifty Shades Darker / E. L. James
  4. The First Time She Drowned / Kerry Kletter
  5. The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey / E. L. James
  7. Positive / David Wellington
  8. The Goldfinch / Donna Tartt
  9. The Good Girl / Mary Kubica
  10. Winter / Marissa Meyer

Top 10 Non-Fiction

Cover of book: What If?

Here’s the top non-fiction that were checked-out this year (excluding material assigned by professors).

  1. What if? : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions / Randall Munroe
  2. Yes Please / Amy Poehler
  3. #Girlboss / Sophia Amoruso
  4. Elon Musk : Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future / Ashlee Vance
  5. How to Be a Person : The Stranger’s Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself
  6. Out of the Cage : Women’s Experiences in Two World Wars / Gail Braybon
  7. Problems in the History of Modern Africa / Robert O. Collins
  8. The Drunkard’s Walk : How Randomness Rules Our Lives / Leonard Mlodinow
  9. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace : a Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League / Jeff Hobbs
  10. The Witches : Salem, 1692

And finally….the number one circulated item of the year—with a whopping 271 check-outs—is:

Circulation Headphones #14.

We’re certainly excited it edged out Dry Erase Markers Set 5 and the calculators.  But the year is not over—come by the circulation desk and give the calculators another chance to catch up.  Reduced interim hours begin soon so check our schedule first.

Feel like we left something off the list?  Wondering why everyone is watching cartoons?  We do, too.  Let’s chat about it at  Have a fun and animated holiday and a happy new year!

‘Freedom Riders’ Screening

Please join us Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center as we present the documentary film Freedom Riders, an event that is free and open to the public. This film is part of the series Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The event will take place in room 300B.

In addition to the screening, Arkansas Tech alum Barbara Lackey, a 1960 graduate of Horace Mann High School in Little Rock, will share her experiences on life in the natural state during the civil rights movement and on her experience as a student at ATU.

For more information, please contact us at or call us at 479-964-0569. You may also contact Luke Heffley at 479- 964-0546.

We’re Open!

Since the inauguration has moved to Tucker Coliseum on Friday, April 17th, the library will remain open during our regular hours, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. After you finish attending the inauguration, come by the library and check out our new arrivals…literally!


Here’s a brief snapshot of the titles most recently inaugurated into our collection:




Want to stay on top of new items?  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also check out our growing list of new items by clicking the “Open Your Mind” logo in the top right corner of the library homepage.  We also have a breakdown of new titles by department & month on our Libguide for new books (including e-books).  If you happen to be in the library, proceed immediately to the first floor, south entrance where you’ll find the latest & greatest new books:


Keep checking back for more new stuff, new “news”, as well as old, awful puns.


Netflix not enough?  Try grabbing a movie or a television series from the Ross Pendergraft Library Music Lab.  We have new releases, award-winning documentaries, hit TV shows,  as well as foreign and independent films you cannot find on most streaming movie sites.  Start your search with our revised Music Lab website.

music lab


We now have a new way to browse movies using our DVD Collection page.  Browse the latest DVDs by language or category.  Our collection includes animated, action & adventure films, musicals, romantic comedies, horror, science fiction, and more.

You can also browse ALL our newly acquired DVDs at the New DVD Titles page.  Binge watch the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, Homeland, Modern Family, True Blood, & the Walking Dead.  Skip the Red Box and check-out new releases like the Fault in Our Stars, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Cosmos, the Lego Movie, Maleficent, & Warm Bodies for free from the Library. Search our Online Library Catalog for specific titles, directors, actors, keyword, or subject.

Can’t make it out to the library?  Check out our new Video Streaming Collections page.  Each link contains collections of streaming video, short films, television shows, interviews, and clips.   Enjoy award-winning documentaries from PBS Video Collection, travel back in time through the Archive of American Television, or attempt to stomach the surgical videos available from the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.


Have a video or video collection you want to suggest for the library?  Send us your flick picks at

Film on Tuesday

Could you get on the bus?  In 1961, a group of  people, both black and white, decided to travel through the segregated South on a Greyhound bus challenging Jim Crow laws prohibiting racial mixing.  Their radical strategy?  Walk through the door of a “white’s-only” establishment and sit together.

Their fearless idealism and commitment to non-violence in the face of arrests, brutal mobs, and attempted murder challenged America to see the inhumanity of segregation and pushed the Civil Rights Movement to the forefront of national conversation.

On Tuesday, April 22nd at 7:00 p.m., join our conversation about the Civil Rights at the screening of the PBS documentary, The Freedom Riders.  Before the film, Barbara Lackey (Horace Mann HS-LittleRock ’60, ATU ’68) and Dr. V. Carole Smith (Russellville HS ’65), will also discuss their life experiences in the River Valley and beyond.

Even if you can’t stay for the film, you won’t want to miss opening panel discussion for a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear history from the people who lived through it right here in the River Valley.  There will be a short break after the discussion before the movie begins.  You can also find the film at the library or online for viewing at home.

The film is the last of our Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series produced in partnership with the National Endowment for Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, created to encourage public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America.

For more information about this film, the panel discussion, or the Civil Rights Movement, give us a ring at 479-964-0569 or send us an email at

The Loving Story

Imagine living in a time when it was considered illegal to marry the person you loved.  Imagine knowing that your wedding ceremony could be followed by a trial, conviction, and imprisonment for the simple act of tying the knot.   Sixty years ago, Richard and Mildred Loving changed history when they said “I do” in defiance of the law against inter-racial marriage and faced prosecution and jail-time in a state penitentiary, culminating in the landmark Supreme Court Case, Loving v. Virginia.

Join us this Thursday, April 10th, for the screening of the documentary film, The Loving Story, at 7:00 p.m. in Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center, room 300 south.  Following the film, Dr. James Moses, professor of history at Arkansas Tech University, will lead a discussion about this pivotal Supreme Court decision.  Admission is free and open to the public.

This film is presented as part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series, which represents a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The Loving Story represents the third part of a four-film series documenting the Civil Rights struggle in America, ending with the screening of The Freedom Riders on April 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

If you can’t make it to Thursday’s event, never fear—you can always come by the library and check out the film for home viewing.

For more information about this film or the film series, give us a call at 479-964-0569 or email us at




Slavery By Another Name

On Tuesday, March 18th, at 7:00 P.M. in RPL room 300, join us for a screening of the PBS documentary, Slavery by Another Name.

Based on the Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Douglas Blackmon, this documentary explores the period from the end of the Civil War until World War II, when tens of thousands of African Americans in the South were incarcerated, often arbitrarily, from laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks.  As prisoners, they were then sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries, and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized and compelled into years of involuntary servitude.

Immediately following the movie, Dr. Pete Dykema, professor of history at ATU, will lead a discussion of this overlooked and sinister history of the American South.  The film and lecture are free and open to the public.

If you can’t make it to the movie, you can always check out the film from the Library, or watch online through  For more information about this film or the screening, contact us at 479-964-0569 or



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