Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 - It Was a Very Good Year


It’s been a very good year. In spite of the city coming to a stand-still because of ice on Dec. 15 and 17, the Grand Opening for the first building on the permanent campus took place on Jan. 16, the first day of classes for the spring semester. Students and dignitaries from around the city and the state were here to celebrate the beginning of a new stage in the life of the future UNT at Dallas. Throughout the next several months, visitors would come to see the new campus and the transformation from a business park atmosphere to the beginnings of a real college campus. During the summer and fall, the surrounding grounds were improved significantly with the addition of grass, ornamental trees, plants, and banners. We continue to get positive feedback from our students and our visitors.

Major changes took place for the library. With the placement of the only computer lab on the 3rd floor and the library on the 1st floor, the library staff was not longer providing the staffing that we had done for 7 years in our previous facility. Even before moving to this location, we knew that we would need to take library services outside our 4 walls. We instituted a “Roving Librarian” program where we sent one of our library student assistants with a laptop to the 3rd floor during the busiest times of the week (4:00-8:00, Monday-Thursday) to be available to assist students with their research. The program has grown in popularity as students have understood that there is someone available near the lab computers to help them. The IT staff has now provided a desk top computer for the Roving Librarian, so the laptop is no longer necessary.

The library has been designated as “the quiet study space” in the building because of the level of noise throughout the building. It’s impossible to keep it completely quiet because of the instruction that often takes place at the library service desk. We have 2 group study rooms inside the library and, although they are enclosed, they are not sound proof. We do try to keep students fairly quiet as they work together, but there’s still some level of noise.

One of our main services continues to be “Library Instruction,” both in-class and one-on-one. Our virtual library, while not a traditional library, is a full service library. It’s absolutely necessary that we teach our students and faculty how to access the thousands of resources that are available to them. Our faculty members are our greatest cheerleaders! With their constant help and encouragement, we do whatever it takes to help their students be successful in their studies.

Many other activities go on “behind the scenes.” We’re here to serve you as you work to accomplish your educational goals. Come visit us in the Library on the first floor or our “rovers” at the 3rd floor service desk.

Our goal is not customer service – it’s OUTRAGEOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Your Library staff: Librarians Leora Kemp and Cindy Batman
Library student assistants: Ryan, Jack, John, Cassandra, Larry, Mandie,
Anna, and Beth

Leora Kemp, Library Dept. Head

Monday, December 17, 2007


Hello all! Our schedule is going to be a little different from usual. Since we are in the holiday season, we have special hours. They are as follows:

December 17-21: Open 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

December 22-January 1: CLOSED

January 2-4: Open 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

January 7-11: Open 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

January 12: Open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

January 14: Open regular semester hours.

Also, there are links attached to a calendar view of our hours during the semester break.

Have a wonderful holiday break!




Holidays + New Materials = Fun Times!

Just in time for the holidays, the library has received new materials! We have a brand new novel titled “When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963” by Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer George Phenix, and Wes Wise. This book describes all the different facets of news and media in front of the camera and behind the scenes. It covers all kinds of material from radio to criminals, it is definitely a good read. Next we have a new book of American poetry! It is titled “A Time In Eternity” and the poet is David Galler. We have also received a new book by John C. Cothran called “A Search of African American Life, Achievement, and Culture”. It has over 1,800 facts, questions and answers and over 400 photographs and illustrations. It covers topics ranging from art, children, military history and sports. In addition to the books, we have a new edition of the periodical Dimensions of Early Childhood. It is volume 35, Number 3 and in the issue it discusses Brazelton infant and toddler touchpoints, professional development, emotional intelligence, infants on the move and many more topics!

For all of you psychology majors out there, we have the latest edition to Current Psychotherapies. It is the eighth edition, edited by Raymond J. Corsini and Danny Wedding. This book is used quite often in today’s top counseling, psychology, and social work programs. It is the ideal resource to help you not only excel in the course but also to learn, compare, and apply the major systems of psychotherapy in a way that will be meaningful in your own practice. Also new to the library are new editions of Hoover’s MasterList of U.S. Companies. This comprehensive selection of the 10,000 most important companies in America includes: 5,704 publicly traded companies, including all companies on the New York, American, and NASDAQ Global and Global Select Market exchanges, plus a selection of over-the-counter stocks; 2,536 private companies, partnerships, and mutual companies; 1,667 subsidiaries and business segments of large corporations; and 103 associations, foundations, cooperatives, universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

Two more novels that we are now in possession of are titled "The Communication Coach" by Janet Sue Rush and "The Lucky Bastard Club" by Roy Fisher. Don't those sound very interesting and enticing? Come into the library to see what they are all about!

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Feature: Reviews by UNT Dallas Campus Faculty and Staff

We want to share with you reviews of books and other resources that are written by our own UNT Dallas Campus community members. This idea came from Greg Tomlin, our Director of Marketing, News and Information. It is therefore appropriate that we begin with a review he recently did about: "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - And Doesn’t."

Further information: http://www.worldcat.org/ (Borrow the book from a library near you; don't have a card for that library? Get your FREE TexShare card from the Dallas Campus Library to borrow materials from participating libraries throughout Texas.)
http://www.amazon.com/ (Buy the book from Amazon; of course, you can buy it from other book outlets or the publisher.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Stephen Prothero, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - And Doesn’t. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007. 296 pp. $24.95. Hardcover.

America is the most religious nation on earth, but American citizens - even the most pious - know almost nothing about religion, Stephen Prothero contends in this novel examination of the decline of familial and public religious education in the United States.

A nominal Anglican and chair of the religion department at Boston University, Prothero calls religion "the most volatile constituent of culture" and the greatest force for good (and evil) in the world. And with the world becoming more religious, contrary to the early secularization theory of Prothero’s sociologist colleague Peter Berger, the author argues that American ignorance of religion is not merely a spiritual problem - it is a civic problem that can lead to tragic consequences.

Prothero claims that America never acquiesced to the secular paradigm, despite the secularists’ call for a "naked public square," and today religious language appears in virtually every inauguration speech, State of the Union address, public policy squabble in Congress, and in every discussion of military-foreign policy. Religion is a factor in the abortion debate, in discussions about illegal immigration and even in inquiries about the qualifications of Supreme Court nominees. It makes sense then, Prothero writes, to know something specifically about the Christian faith, but also about other religions as well.

One of the most valuable contributions in Prothero’s work is an appended dictionary of essential terms and concepts within the four major religions in America (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism) and their related sects. The dictionary also provides definitions of theological concepts (such as "inerrant" and "dispensational premillennialism") and terms related to expressions of faith in the political realm (such as "Moral Majority"). The four major religions in America receive significant attention, but the bulk of terms are drawn from Catholic, Protestant and Free Church Christianity.

Prothero’s central thesis about why America has become starkly ignorant of religion may startle some readers; he provides no indictment of activist judges who abolished prayer in school or struck down public displays of the Ten Commandments. Instead, Prothero posits that it was "the nation’s most fervent people of faith who steered us down the road to religious illiteracy."
In this sense, Prothero’s observation is not entirely new. Norte Dame historian Mark Noll probed the problem of a lack of critical thinking among evangelicals in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. There, Noll, addressing the question of why evangelicals seemed reluctant to engage culture, suggested that the "scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." Prothero’s approach, on the other hand, is different. More than merely lamenting religious ignorance or intellectual inaction, he provides explanation for why there is a lack of religious learning among Christians and among the culture at large.

In the Colonial era, when Americans were largely a people of the Book, knowledge of the Bible permeated every aspect of life. Children were named for biblical characters, towns were named for biblical sites such as Jericho and Bethlehem, and sayings from the four Gospels surfaced in the rhetoric of the Revolution. Even Thomas Jefferson - regarded by many ministers as an American Absalom - believed that knowledge of the Bible was of paramount importance. And so learning during the period was never divorced from biblical inquests. Religious teachings were expressed in the New England Primer, where words such as"damnify," "holiness," "beatitude," "benediction," "fornication" and "abomination" appeared. Noah Webster’s The American Spelling Book and even the popular McGuffey readers, the products of a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian minister, laid the groundwork in public education for religious literacy. The reader and other educational books contained basic treatises about man’s Fall into sin, his need for redemption, and about the person and work of Christ.

But by the early 19th century, when the great influx of European immigration began, Prothero writes that the "acids of non-denominationalism were starting to erode religious content." Add to that the fact that Roman Catholics became the largest percentage of the population by the end of the 19th century, and Protestants had little hope that there could be a common school with a common Judeo-Christian religion. Because the citizens of the new nation (Catholic and Protestant) needed to live together amicably, sectarian theology was emphasized less in education in favor of morality. On moral issues, after all, most Catholics and Protestants could agree.

With America on her way to non-sectarian (read non-Roman Catholic), less doctrinal, and more emotional religion in the form of pure moralism, Americans found themselves far from the ideal, perhaps even somewhere East of Eden, within a century.

The fall into religious illiteracy is amply documented by Prothero. However, lest the problem be seen as the result of Protestant responses to Roman Catholicism, Prothero cites the subversion of the Puritan intellect by the emotional excesses of the Second Great Awakening as another principle reason for the decline of religious knowledge in America. Baptists and Methodists, he claims, made much sport of criticizing the old Mainline denominations for their emphases on doctrine, and instead advocated experiencing a "religion of the heart." Among these groups preaching changed, with many ministers (who had never seen the inside of the academy) practicing more storytelling than doctrinal exposition. This lack of doctrinal preaching ironically contributed to Evangelical’s ignorance about the core tenets of evangelical religion.

In 1954, Prothero writes, virtually no American could name the founder of another religion besides Christianity. Ignorance of the religion of many new Americans from India, China, and Africa, however, was more understandable than ignorance of the basic Judeo-Christian tradition. Today, as evidenced by the classes he teaches and a simple religion quiz given to each student, Prothero finds near nothing of the Protestant character of American life remaining. Students cannot name the four Gospels, the Ten Commandments, the twelve disciples or even a single beatitude.

Admittedly, Prothero does not believe that America can return to its Protestant paradise, characterized best by New England Primer and McGuffey’s readers. But he does believe that redemption of some sort is available by the reintroduction of religious education in public schools. This measure, most often debunked by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union as unconstitutional, is in fact constitutional, the author believes. In the same case that outlawed devotional Bible reading in schools (Abington v. Schempp) in 1963, the Supreme Court approved the academic study of religion.

Just how to accomplish this without violating the separation of church and state or without descending inevitably into sectarian instruction is a more thorny question, which Prothero attempts to answer. Since the Bible and Christianity are essential to understanding American civic life and political history, students should have the opportunity of electively studying the Book, he writes. In conjunction with the course on the Bible, a separate course on world religions could provide insight into the five pillars of Islam, the content of the Hindu vedas, and the four noble truths of Buddhism. In short, Prothero advocates the reinstatement of a fourth "R" in American education so students will be exposed to reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion.
Liberals will reject Prothero’s suggestion out of hand in favor of a continued, though failed, program of secularization in public schools. Conservatives are likely to laud Prothero’s proposal for its effort to educate a religiously illiterate people. But they are likely to reject it for the same reason, raising questions about who is best qualified to teach religion to the young and impressionable. Would most evangelical Christians be comforted by the thought of a conservative Muslim teaching the tenets of Christianity or the doctrines of the Bible? An affirmative answer is as unlikely from the Evangelical as it would be from a Muslim whose children would be instructed about the Quran by a Southern Baptist. Prothero’s work is nonetheless of immense importance for the history of American religion.

Dr. Gregory Tomlin
Director of Marketing, News and Information
University of North Texas
Dallas Campus
7300 Houston School Road
Dallas, Texas 75241
(972) 780-3615 (Direct)
(972) 780-3606 (Fax)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

IRS Forms

Are you getting ready to file your taxes and don't know where to get the forms? Do you want to make sure everything is in order before you file?

Check out the official website for the Internal Revenue Service. A link to the site is located on this blog under the helpful links section which is on the right. Just click on IRS Forms. On their site you can access all the forms you need whether you are filing for yourself, your business, a non-profit organization or some other entity.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Materials

The Library has gotten a slew of new books. Check these out and we hope that one piques your interest.

Mastering APA Style: Student’s Workbook and Training Guide. American Psychological Association, Washington D.C. This is a workbook for APA style and it is especially directed towards students. This book facilitates “learning instead of memorization by including hands-on learning tools” such as exercises and test. This user-friendly workbook is written to allow you to work at your own pace. A great resource for those who wish to have a better understanding of APA style.

Dynamic Dallas: An Illustrated History. Heritage Media Corp. Carlsbad, CA. This book is an illustrated history of Dallas. This volume seeks to give another view of Dallas by presenting often forgotten history to combat the many stereotypes that abound (somewhere in the world the television show Dallas is in syndication).

The Communication Coach: Business Communication Tips from the Pros. Jeffrey Tobe, Monroeville, PA. Communication is very important in business but how do we communicate effectively in a climate of information overload? In this book business leaders give advice about different aspects of business communication.

The Criminal Justice Student Writer’s Manual Prentice Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ. This writer’s manual is designed to help the student with two things: 1) improve writing ability, and 2) begin working to improve research skills in the criminal justice field. This text is primarily written for the beginning student but also has areas for experienced criminal justice students. A historical orientation goes along with a overview of the criminal justice system. This is a great reference source not only for students but for instructor’s who need guidance in the types papers to assign their students.

The Criminal Justice Student Writer’s Manual 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ. This updated edition features the same goals as the previous version which is teaching criminal justice students to write clearly. This edition does not include an historical overiew.

Library Hours: Winter 2007-2008

During the holidays the Library will have limited hours.

If you plan to use the Library during the Christmas and New Year's break, make sure to stop by the Library and pick up a Winter 2007-2008 calendar. They are available at the circulation desk and have a complete listing of all our hours and closures planned for December and January.
We also have Spring 2008 calendars available if you're planning ahead.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fall Library Newsletter!!

The library has published the Fall 2007 edition of our Virtual Library Newsletter!! The newsletter include information about our new faculty, library staff members, interesting facts, calendars, and a feature article by the librarians. Check out the following link for news from your virtual library!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Free your books!

You've probably heard us mention the Paperback Book Exchange that we have here on campus (if you haven't, read this Library Blog Post to learn more).

For those of you that have donated or picked-up a book, have you ever thought, "Gee, I wonder where this book has been?" or "Gee, I wonder where this book will go?" Well, before you drop off that book at the exchange, register it at bookcrossing.com!

bookcrossing.com is a website dedicated to a global book exchange. All you do is register the book, tell where you are going to leave it, and then check back periodically to see where it has gone.

There are many other things you can do at bookcrossing: rate books, discuss them with other users, or hunt down a new book to read! When someone "releases" a book, it has the status of being "in the wild" and someone else can hunt it down, read it, and then release it somewhere else.

You can look for books by title, author, and subject, or you can look for books released by specific members or even what books are currently "in the wild" near you! Dallas, for example, as of today has 13 books listed and they are in such varied places as DFW airport, the American Airlines Center, a Starbucks, a Sonic restaurant, and even an Ace Hardware location!

Check it out! Who knows what you might find.