Fast Way to Find and Check Quotations @ the Alkek Library

Here’s the easiest way to find good quotes or check the accuracy and citation of a quote.

The internet isn’t always reliable and there are a lot of good quotes that were never actually said! Hint: if a citation isn’t included on a quote, then it’s a safe bet that the quote is apocryphal.

Go to our Collins Dictionary of Quotations (sign in required), and search by author or quotes on a topic (like freedom)


Hidden Library Gems: The Long Essay Subject Encyclopedia

I’d like to introduce you to something I call the long essay subject encyclopedia. A subject encyclopedia is devoted to a particular discipline or even a specific idea. And the entries are quite different than you might think.

You guessed it, these are long essays (say, 2-10 pages) about narrow but important concepts written by experts. In other words, much longer than just a blurb or definition, but much shorter than an entire book.  It’s the equivalent of sitting down with the professor and asking them for an introduction/summation of a subject.

Examples might be theories of recidivism, an examination of the loose political structure of the Phoenician State, the history of the idea of regulatory capture, what regions of Spain sent emigrants to Mexico when and what professions these emigrants usually did, the effects of foreign direct investment on different economies, and the specific group survival strategies of different animal species.

This is where the library really shines over sources like Wikipedia.

These encyclopedias are located both in the reference section and in the regular stacks.  The ones in the regular stacks can be checked out.

Recommended for grad students, super users, or advanced undergrads.


Wikipedia Article Roundup

Wikipedia has been in the news a lot recently.  Here’s a collection of recent articles about Wikipedia that went viral.

A guy with a vendetta against southern writer Barry Hannah vandalizes his entry.

There are fewer editors on Wikipedia as time goes by.  What does this mean for the diversity of opinion?

An investigation into so called sock-puppets on Wikipedia reveals the existence of a vast network of people writing about themselves.

BP edited its own record in dealing with the Gulf oil spill.


Download the Library Toolbar

Download the LibX toolbar – screenshots and instructions here.

LibX is a Firefox extension that provides lets you search the Alkek Library Catalog or search the database WorldCat. WorldCat searches all the library catalogs in the world. It was created by the Virgina Tech University Libraries and Department of Computer Science and then adapted for Alkek Library by our own librarians.

Read more about LibX

September Library eNews is Out!

What’s the latest at the University Library? Find out in the September Library eNews, hot off the digital press
(also accessible at


 Hey Undergrads!
Library Film Series Debuts with Catfish

 Step Up Your Research 
 Keys to Graduate Student Success

 News from the North 
 Handy Equipment Available at RRC

 Copyright Corner 
 Copyright Office Offers Guidance

 Collections Spotlight
Helpful & Fun Collections at Alkek

 At The Wittliff
Shepard and Álvarez Bravo on Exhibit

 Big News!
Reserves Now on Alkek’s 2nd Floor

 Meet Our Staff 
 Tara Spies Smith: Art & Design Librarian

 Special Event at Alkek
SCVNGR Challenge, with Prize!

 Texas State University History
President Supple’s Vision





Books on Improving Your Memory

Our books on improving your memory skills.

Not only good for studying, but also good for your business skills. Remembering people’s names is very important.

The instant you meet someone, associate their name with a word starting with the same letter.

Bronco Brian. Laughing Laura. Etc. Be nice (!). It’s OK to ask someone for their last name again, in my opinion.

Note: you don’t tell the person the memory word in front of their name! Be positive though.

It works!