Finding Books Outside Alkek Library

Here’s how to find books and other materials that the Alkek Library doesn’t own.

Use Worldcat to search the world’s libraries at once. Request the item you want through interlibrary loan (for books, expect the process to take a minimum of 6 to 8 days). The tutorial below also shows you how to search area libraries if you want to get the item immediately (if you have a Texshare card).

Other Books Tutorial CLICK HERE

Featured Author: Karel Capek (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

All Karel Capek books here.

From Literary Reference Center

Karel Čapek is remembered today for his popularization of the word “robot,” actually first used by his brother Josef in his short story “Opilec” (1917) and used by Karel in R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots, which was first produced in Prague in January, 1921. The word is from the Czech robota, meaning compulsory service or work. Popularizing this word, however, was certainly not Čapek’s most notable professional achievement. A deeply philosophical man, professionally trained as a philosopher, Čapek was the first Czech writer to attract a broad international audience for his works, particularly for his expressionist drama, which has been translated into many languages and has been performed all over the world.

A versatile intellectual, Čapek, during his years on the staff of Lidové noviny, the most influential Czech newspaper, demonstrated by the excellence of his writing that journalism can be an art. He wrote on a broad range of subjects, from Persian rugs to gardening to drama and art. Čapek was also an incisive political thinker who wrote stirring political essays, but his political sentiments achieve a more universal expression in his plays and novels, particularly in such plays as R.U.R., The Insect Play, and Power and Glory and in the novels of his trilogy comprising Hordubal, Meteor, and An Ordinary Life. His novel most familiar to English-speaking audiences is The War with the Newts, which builds directly on much of the social criticism found in R.U.R. and in The Insect Play and which presents one of the earliest direct literary attacks on Hitler. His trilogy has attracted considerable interest for its manner of dealing with the infinite diversity of the human personality.

Protecting Traditional Knowledge From Copyright

Corporations occasionally try to copyright traditional knowledge, culture, and/or technology.

India has taken the step of creating the traditional digital library which documents traditional knowledge.  This makes it more difficult for corporations to take traditional knowledge and claim that purely for themselves. 

Case in point: the recent case where Colgate Palmolive attempted to copyright a product that used traditional Indian spices – and apparently nothing else. Read about the case here, in which Colgate did not prevail.

Texas Authors: Robert E Howard, Creator of Conan the Barbarian

All Robert E Howard books here

Bet you didn’t know that Conan the Barbarian was actually from Texas.The creator of Conan was Robert E. Howard, who spent most of his life in Cross Plains Texas, just outside of Abilene.

Also: Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger were in a movie called the Whole Wide World which is about Robert E. Howard’s life in Cross Plains.

We Have Screenplays

Find all screenplays here.

Did you know that we have screenplays at the Alkek Library? Technically, they are housed at the Southwest Writers, Wittliff Collections Reading Room, on the seventh floor of the library.

While the screenplays cannot leave the building, stop by and spend a few minutes reading everything from major Hollywood productions to critically acclaimed small films.

Looking Deeper Into Simply Map

Databases like Simply Map can give you a lot of economic and demographic data about a location.  But what do those numbers really mean?  Wouldn’t it be great to have the inside track as to what patterns and variables to look for?

I can think of a couple books that will help you interpret this data.

Enrico Moretti’s The New Geography Of Jobs can help you understand the significance of demographic and economic data like you would find in a database like Simply Map.

You’ll find what to look for – the type of work, size of firms (this matters), nature of those industries, and more interesting ideas that you can use as an analytical tools. Some types of workers and industries can retool very quickly or take on new kinds of work.  Obviously this leads to much greater economic successful transitions.  The opposite is true in some cases, which leads to less successful transition and stagnation.You’ll be able to predict how a city might react to an economic transformation or what the future might hold for the city.Another interesting thinker to check out is Jane Jacobs.Jane Jacobs was a fascinating thinker, economist, urban studies and public policy theorist. Her work addresses the growth of cities and their economies.

Here are some interesting ideas she poses in her work The Economy of Cities.

Why adding new work to old work is crucial to growing an economy (instead of merely dividing existing work more)

Why loosely structured and inefficient economies are better suited to survive change.
Why cities predated agriculture as we know it.
How cities can replace imported goods with their own industries.
Why some villages grow into cities and some do not.
How the design of urban spacies can either promote order or hinder it.

If you are studying urban studies, public policy or economics you need to read her.

For some reason, she has two entries in the catalog. One here, the other here.

Getting Book Reviews And Why They’re Important

Don’t forget book reviews! Most databases will allow you to select book reviews as a source type. Reason: find out a book’s reputation, any hidden context, its significance among experts, and any problems with the book. Most authors are pretty persuasive and you need a second opinion.

Be sure to limit results to “review” or “book review,” depending on the interface.

Complete list of book review databases here

Favorites:

New York Times archives is a good option for nonacademic books published before 2006.

JSTOR is another good one for many subjects.

Wilson OmniFile FullText. A good grabbag. You can limit it to search “book reviews” by a particular discipline.

These are not your only options but are some of the best. You can always check your favorite database to see if it has book reviews.

Staff Picks: Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley)

Patricia Highsmith is best known for her crime novels The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers On A Train – both made into classic films. But she also wrote a lot of other novels and short stories that feature such disparate subjects as animals taking revenge on cruel people, giant snails, and icy and claustrophobic tales of daily life.

In fact, it was the giant snails that got me as a kid. A professor goes in search of legendary giants snails on a Pacific Island and, well, he does find them.

There’s also the dinner party at which the host’s cat brings in a finger, a mysterious furry thing that lives in the birdhouse that may or may not have gotten into the narrator’s house and lots more stories guaranteed to put a chill in your heart.

All Highsmith books here..