Featured Author: Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree, Shaft)

All Gordon Parks books here.

Gordon Parks was a multi-talented photographer, writer, film director, and more.  Not only does Gordon Parks have a critical reputation as a photographer, he also directed the movie Shaft, wrote The Learning Tree, and co-founded the magazine Essence.

Here’s a more detailed biography from Ebscohost:

His first books were the instruction manuals Flash Photography (1947) and Camera Portraits (1948). His books also include five collections of his photos accompanied by verse, including Gordon Parks: A Poet and His Camera (1968) and Eyes with Winged Thoughts (2005). Born Black (1971) is a collection of his biographical essays, with photographs. One of his photo essays for Life led to his book Flavio (1978), about a poor, gravely ill Brazilian boy for whom he was instrumental in obtaining lifesaving medical treatment.

Parks wrote three novels: The Learning Tree (1963), a best-seller based on his childhood in Kansas, the historical novel Shannon (1981), about Irish immigrants in the early 1900s, and The Sun Stalker (1981), a fictionalization of the life of the British painter J. M. W. Turner. He published the memoirs A Choice of Weapons (1966), To Smile in Autumn (1979), Voices in the Mirror (1990), and A Hungry Heart (2005) and the quasi-memoir Half Past Autumn (1997), published in conjunction with a touring exhibition of his photos.

Parks became the first African-American to write, produce, and direct a feature film for a major Hollywood studio when he made the screen version of The Learning Tree (1969). In Hollywood he later directed the hit blaxploitation action-thriller Shaft (1971) and its sequel Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), the action-comedy The Super Cops (1974), and the film Leadbelly (1976), about the folk singer/guitarist Huddie Ledbetter. On TV he directed several hour-long documentaries, including The World of Piri Thomas (1968) and the Emmy Award-winning Diary of a Harlem Family (1968), as well as the made-for-TV movie Solomon Northrup’s Odyssey (1985), about a northern-born black man kidnapped into slavery in the 1840s. He himself was the subject of the TV documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (2000). In 1970 he helped to found the monthly magazine Essence.



Faculty: Submit Your Online Resource Proposal

Online Resource Grants

The purpose of the online  resource grants is to enable the purchasing of larger one-time online resources no one department can easily afford with its library allocation. In academic year 2015-2016, $160,000 is budgeted for such online collections.

One-time purchases typically include but are not limited to primary source databases, journal backfile collections, e-book collections, audio or streaming media collections. Some possibilities are listed on our one-time resource page. Please contact Scott Pope (pope@txstate.edu) to get pricing for any products outside this list. Acquisitions will verify eligibility and pricing, and can set up trials as needed.



  • The resource should be online, accessible by the entire campus, and come with persistent access rights. The review committee can make an exception for an extraordinary print/microform collection not available online.
  • The resource must  be a one-time purchase. Grant funds cannot be used to support ongoing subscriptions or temporary access to a subscription resource. If the resource requires an annual access fee, the requestor’s department or other department will need to approve the ongoing cost from their library allocation.
  • The resource should enhance the library collection and strengthen research initiatives.
  • All things being equal, priority is given to higher ticket items over inexpensive ones. The library may be able to purchase less expensive items with end-of-year funds.


Review Criteria

  • Value/Anticipated Use of the Resource: Priority is given to resources that benefit many departments or programs or greatly benefit one area. More than one source of personal/departmental support may be important. The resource does not necessarily need to be multi-disciplinary. The intent is that all subject areas be represented over the years.
  • Uniqueness: Priority is given to resources that enhance the library’s collection rather than duplicate or overlap with existing collections.

Submit a proposal here

Submission deadline: Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5pm.


Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

The review committee consists of two members of the Library Committee, two previous recipients, and two librarians.



Dec 8 – Feb 19: Applications are accepted
Feb 19 – March 13: Application review
End of March: Grants are announced
April – May: Resources are ordered

New Juvenile Books

Many New Books have recently been added to the Juvenile Collection and many of those are currently on exhibit. Visit the exhibit cases on the 3rd floor of the library to see what we have.  Challenger Deep was named the 2015 winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Alkek Library’s Juvenile Collection offers all winning, finalist, and longlist titles of the National Book Award as well as many other awards.







New! Scopus Database Lets You Search By Most Cited Articles

Very cool – we now have Scopus!

Scopus   http://catalog.library.txstate.edu/record=e1000956~S1a

Subjects Science, Technology, Medicine, Social Science, Arts & Humanities. Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, features smart tools to track, analyze and visualize scholarly research. With Scopus you can to locate the most highly cited items and the articles that cite them. Tutorials and quick reference guides will help you get started.
Coverage Journals: 1823 – present; Books: 2005-present; Conference proceedings 1980-present
Format Citation analysis tool. This resource does not contain articles or other content.
Type Other Database
Updated Daily

Maximum Users   Unlimited

Available to           Faculty, Staff, Students, Walk-in users

Permitted Uses    Download, copy, print out for academic non-commercial purposes; Print limited portions ;Download limited portions;

Categories: Citation Analysis , Multi-Subject , Research Tools , Science , Engineering and Technology , Humanities




How to Find Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents that are direct records of an event, raw data, documents, magazines or newspapers from the time, photos or other material created at the time of an event. Even audio recordings, buildings, or just about anything could be considered primary sources.

Our historical primary source databases are located here.

Again, if you’re working in the field of history, you can search our catalog for published collections of primary sources.

Our history maven Margaret Vavarek suggests the searching the following key words in the catalog: Correspondence, Description and Travel, Diaries, Interviews, Personal Narratives, Sources, Letters or Speeches

Another way to identify primary sources is to go to Dissertation Theses Full Text, find relevant dissertations (they are fulltext online) and read their bibliographies.  You could then search to see if we our other libraries have the primary sources mentioned in these bibliographies.

Primary sources in other disciplines can mean studies, experiment results or original research. These can be found by searching the appropriate databases and finding articles that contain primary research results.

FabJob Books Help You Start Your Career Or Business

All FabJob books here.

FabJob books are well-written, easy-to-read guides to how to get a job or start a business in your chosen field. There are books on becoming a coffee shop owner, a fashion designer, a secondhand close retailer and more. Covers everything from the credentials you might need, to capital requirements and the nuts and bolts of running that business.

Highly recommended.

Harry Potter Night: A Night of Spells

Attention Parents and Teachers! If you know a Harry Potter fan, let them know about an exciting upcoming online event hosted by Bloomsbury Publishing … and don’t forget Alkek Library has many Harry Potter related material including the new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as well as the series in English, Spanish, Readalong CD and movie DVDs:


Bloomsbury Publishing Event Announcement:

“We are very excited to announce A Night of Spells as the theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2016. Whether it is the disarming Expelliarmus or the dreaded Avada Kedavra, spells are at the very heart of the Harry Potter books so it’s the perfect theme to inspire a spellbinding event!

If you haven’t already, make a date in your diary for Thursday, 4th February 2016! Once again, fans of all ages will have the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful novels – and pass the magic on to young readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books.

For the first Harry Potter Book Night in February 2015, there were an amazing 10,500 parties and celebrations held all over the world, and we were overwhelmed by your fabulous pictures – so we can’t wait to see where your imaginations take you next.

There will be masses of magical ideas, events and activities for you to get involved with, which we will be announcing over the coming months, so please do accept this as your official invitation to join the fun and start your own planning. Sign up to make sure you’re one of the first to hear all the latest Harry Potter Book Night news and new Event Kit – the deadline to receive a printed Event Kit is 23rd October 2015. Available to the first 4,000 sign-ups.

And remember to share your ideas and plans for Harry Potter Book Night on Twitter and Facebook using #HarryPotterBookNight