Fondren Library study space quiz

Encompassing a large swath to the east of Dallas Hall, Fondren Library is a space of many nooks and crannies. With all of these different places to study, it might be hard to choose exactly which one works best for you.  

Behold the study space quiz that will solve the answer to this riddle. 

Post and quiz created by SMU Libraries Marketing Student Worker, Wren Lee ’22

Help Shape Support for SMU Academic and Research Goals

Check your email!

SMU Libraries is conducting the first comprehensive campus-wide survey since 2011, in collaboration with OIT.  The survey opened via email invitation on Thursday February 14th and will run until Monday February 25th.  All Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students, as well as 2nd and 3rd year Undergraduate students have been invited to participate.

The general purpose of the survey is to understand how faculty, students, and staff use the SMU libraries, and how their academic and research goals might be better supported by library and related technology services.  This endeavor is in support of SMU strategic goals aimed at advancing the overall academic quality to the level of a premier research and teaching university with global impact.  Results from the survey will be available near the end of Spring 2019. Findings from the survey will be incorporated into the SMU Libraries strategic planning process currently underway.

Questions?  Email Zoltán Szentkirályi, SMU Libraries’ Director of Assessment at

Copyright Questions? We Can Help!

SMU Libraries Copyright helps you navigate copyright law. Our site covers legal basics, including fair use, teaching provisions, and public performance rights.

Copyright and Licensing Is Everywhere.

Whether sharing files through Canvas, using photographs in publications, or setting your latest cat video to music then posting to YouTube, copyright law plays a role in determining how creative works are protected and how those works can be used by others. We can help you find your way.

E-mail us, , for additional assistance.

Feature photo source: Large copyright graffiti sign on cream colored wall by Horia Varlan, used under CC BY 2.0

New Research Data Management Support Available from SMU Libraries

Recognizing the growing need to support SMU researchers’ data management needs, SMU Libraries offers consultation for research data management support. Librarians are available to discuss different aspects of the research data life cycle in the following areas:

  • Data Access: explanation of the various options available to make your data accessible online
  • Data Management Planning: assistance in accessing and completing data management plans using the DMPTool
  • Metadata Advice: instruction on creating metadata that make your data more findable
  • Data Storage and Preservation: advice on best practices for storing and preserving your data
  • Instruction and Training: in-class training and workshops on topics related to data management

Research data management is becoming increasingly important for faculty and researchers who need to manage their data through the entire data life cycle, from planning through preservation. In addition, research data management plans are a crucial component of most federally-funded grants.

For more information on any of the areas for which we provide support, please read the SMU Libraries Research Data Management Support Policy or contact our data support team at


Food for Fines: Help Stock “The Shop”

In the spirit of holiday sharing, SMU Libraries is collecting food donations for The Shop in return for waiving library fines. The Shop, located in Fondren Library, is an initiative for SMU students who are food insecure coordinated by Student Success in the Office of Student Affairs.

For every donation of a can or package of non-perishable food, SMU students, faculty, and staff will receive a $2.00 credit off their library fines. This applies to materials from all SMU libraries. Bring your food donations to the Main Desk of any SMU library beginning Monday, November 26 through Wednesday, December 12.

Join library staff in celebrating the season and have your fines reduced by exchanging food for fines.

Happy Holidays from the SMU Libraries!

*This waiver does not apply to lost book charges fees.

Seven Tips for Spotting False Information and Bias

Trying to determine if that news or social media story you are reading is biased? Check your emotional response, says SMU Information Literacy Librarian Megan Heuer.

“A strong emotional response to a news story, positive or negative, is a sign that a story may need verification,” she says. Heuer regularly shares tips like this in her free public workshops on the SMU campus, “Finding Balanced News in a Biased World.

For librarians, helping students and patrons understand how to evaluate sources of information has long been a key part of their mission. Their code of ethics supports intellectual freedom. “Our personal beliefs do not impact the resources we collect or recommend” Heuer says.

“Instead, professional librarians teach students and library patrons to develop information literacy – the ability to find and evaluate information, to understand how and why it is produced and to use it ethically.”




Use fact-checking sites: When in doubt, verify stories on these sites, Snopes,, Politifact, Hoax Slayer, Truth or Fiction.


Conduct lateral searching instead of vertical searching: Scan a website, then open additional websites on the same topic seeking context and perspective. Don’t limit search to in-depth vertical analysis of one website.


Check age of domain: Use WHOIS to see when the web domain for the story was created. Be wary if the domain is brand new. It may have been created to host fake news.


Conduct a reverse image source: Use Google Images to see how an image has been used in the past and to confirm if the image originated with the story.


Beware of misleading media: Question selective sourcing, opinion-writing and advertising that masquerade as news, as well as quick-fix science news.


Recognize good reporting: Good reporting is ethical, represents multiple viewpoints, identifies sources and uses commonly accepted sources and authorities.


Is your news source biased? Several nonprofit organizations evaluate news bias and fact check news stories. To evaluate a news source or particular story, visit AllSides

Politifact, Factcheck or MediaBiasFactcheck.

See a schedule of all SMU Library workshops.

Article produced by SMU Media Relations for an Official Press Release

Get Familiar with Open Access Publishing

What is open access publishing?

Open access (OA) is the online publication of scholarly articles, at no cost to readers. With unsustainable increases in journal costs, OA could provide the answer to maintaining access to academic journals.


How “open” is open access publishing?

  • Gold journal: completely open access. Though content is freely available to readers, some journals may require the author to pay an article processing charge (APC).
  • Hybrid journal: some content is open access, while other parts are not.
  • Green journal: pre- and/or post-prints to an online repository, such as SMU Scholar.


Why would I choose open access?

Authors want to publish in reputable journals and get cited frequently. Open access allows worldwide access to your work. There is some evidence that OA publishing increases citation counts, and posting your work to a repository ensures indexing by Google Scholar.

Some grants require making your research publicly available, so OA publishing can satisfy the terms of this agreement.


Where do I find open access publications?

There are many highly regarded OA gold journals. Use the Directory of Open Access Journals to find journals in your discipline.

Post your work to an institutional or a disciplinary repository, if your publisher allows it. Look up publisher policies at Sherpa/Romeo. Note: networking sites like Research Gate are not the same as a repository.


What else should I know?

Your librarian can help with questions about OA publishing.

If you have a choice between a gold and a green journal, you are better off publishing in a gold journal.

Some universities have local OA policies. When you join a new institution, check their guidelines.

Actively avoid predatory journals that lure authors into paying to publish. Check the reputation of a journal if you have doubts.

You can maintain copyright, even for OA articles. Most platforms allow you to apply a Creative Commons license, so others use your work only in the ways you deem acceptable.

Interdisciplinary research and collaboration are the focus of the 2018 Prism Panel

What is the Prism Panel?

The current focus on interdisciplinary research and teaching at SMU and universities around the world is producing a range of innovative approaches, which are now shaping curricula, research agendas, and policies. Objective One of Goal Three of the SMU Strategic Plan, 2016-2025, Launching SMU’s Second Century, is to:
-“Encourage widespread development of campus-wide interdisciplinary research projects and programs for graduate and undergraduate students and faculty” (page 15).

In 2017, the SMU Libraries launched an exciting new series, the Prism Panel, designed to foster interdisciplinary conversations on the SMU campus. We are excited to announce the 2018 Prism Panel, which is scheduled for October 23rd, 5-6:30pm, in the Texana Room. Featured panelists are:

Christopher Roos, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dedman College

Zachary Wallmark, Assistant Professor of Musicology and Assistant Professor of Psychology, Meadows School of the Arts and Dedman College, with Benjamin Tabak, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dedman College

Jessie Marshall Zarazaga, Program Director of MA Sustainability and Development, Lyle School of Engineering, with Owen Lynch, Associate Professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts

See the SMU Libraries website for full details of the event including descriptions of the presentation topics.

Why call it a “Prism” Panel?

A prism disperses clear light into wavelengths of many colors, much as disciplinary understandings may be understood in newly illuminating ways when viewed from other perspectives. Seeking to foster such interdisciplinary conversations, SMU Libraries brings scholars together who draw from different disciplines to enhance their research. This series, developed by SMU librarians, is fashioned after the TED Radio Hour on NPR. We love the idea of approaching one theme from various perspectives and by experts in various fields, and our version strives to facilitate interdisciplinary connections between faculty at SMU. We view a library as a space for ideas to formulate and grow: fostering knowledge-creation, communication and innovation.

The panel discussion includes 3-4 members of the faculty speaking for about 10 minutes each on an interdisciplinary collaboration of their choosing. We then open it up to Q&A and casual social interaction where attendees can make connections with members of other departments as well as with members of the audience. The series is meant to be casual and, we hope, fun!

Modern Masters Tapestries in Fondren

The Modern Masters Tapestries series, which hung in the DeGolyer Library Reading Room before Fondren’s completed renovation in 2016, is now on view in Fondren’s Collaborative Commons and other areas of the library.

Mondrian Tapestries on wall
A few of the Modern Masters Tapestries on view at Fondren Library
Another view of a Modern Masters Tapestry at Fondren
Another view of a Modern Masters Tapestry at Fondren


“The Unicorn is Found,” from the Unicorn Tapestries; Wool warp with wool, silk, silver, and gilt wefts
“The Unicorn is Found,” from the Unicorn Tapestries; Wool warp with wool, silk, silver, and gilt wefts Overall: 145 x 149 in. (368.3 x 378.5 cm), South Netherlandish, 1495-1505. Image courtesy the MET Museum, NY

A Bit of History about Tapestries

During the Middle Ages through the Renaissance (14th to 16th centuries), tapestries became commonplace in homes. In buildings with little insulation or heat, tapestries served the functional purpose – keeping the elements out and the heat in. Tapestries also served a secondary purpose – to display a sign of wealth and beauty. Like paintings, tapestries adorned the walls for those with financial means. Commissioned artisans were employed to design intricately woven designs in many of these tapestries, often creating beautiful mis-en-scènes or arranged scenery, that transported viewers to otherworldly lands. One of the most well-known series of such tapestries is the ornate seven-piece series, Hunt of the Unicorn, on display at the Cloisters in New York City. Even after centuries of exposure to sunlight and temperature, these 15th-century tapestries remain remarkably striking.

The Modern Masters Series

What was once considered craft is now seen as fine art. Since the 70s, many weaving companies began marketing their pieces to a wider audience, selling tapestries as the more affordable counterparts to paintings. One company that successfully merged the two was Modern Masters Tapestries. Modern Masters created large-scale reproductions of modernist paintings by artists including Joan Miró, Willem De Kooning, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso. Modern Masters enlisted artisans to create tapestries that would find their way into commercial spaces and homes. Like the designs and motifs of the paintings created by these modern artists, the tapestries imbued color and personality in each room at a much lower cost than original paintings. People who wouldn’t normally have the means to afford a modernist painting could still have artwork reflective of their tastes. In Ruth J. Katz’s 1970s article on tapestries, she describes how textile design grew in popularity due to architects and designers finding new ways to incorporate textiles into both corporate and public spaces. Aesthetically pleasing designs and accents were no longer reserved for private spaces. The other spaces people frequented each day grew to feel like extensions of the home.

Phyllis Lynn, former curator of the art collection of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company describes the effect of fiber, “Fiber humanizes modern architecture…It softens all the hard edges and makes an atmosphere cozy.” The tapestries in Fondren Library do just that: they create a welcoming environment for students and visitors, making a normally bare, institutional space feel like a warm gathering space. The tapestries are also significant in that they may act as an introduction to modern 20th-century artists. Rather than existing in a gallery space, the tapestries hang in a common area where people converse, study, and move through. They do not need to go out of their way to view artwork; rather they may live with it, incorporating artwork into their everyday experience.
Thirteen of the Modern Masters tapestries originally found their way to SMU as a donation in the 1970s to the SMU and were installed in DeGolyer Library. Recently, the tapestries were stored during the renovation of Fondren Library. Faced with either disposing of the tapestries or finding new homes, Russell Martin, Director of the DeGolyer Library, shared pictures of the tapestries to then Interim Director of Fondren Library, Jolene de Verges. She contacted the Collections Manager at the Meadows Museum, Anne Lenhart, and together they found new spaces in Fondren to install them. Thus, the Collaborative Commons and other areas in Fondren are the newly enriched home to these tapestries.

After Joan Miró, "Circus", 1970s Wall-hanging tapestry,Wool Modern Masters Tapestries
After Joan Miró, “Circus”, 1970s Wall-hanging tapestry,Wool Modern Masters Tapestries 78 1/2 × 59 in; 199.4 × 149.9 cm


North view of some Modern Masters Tapestries
North view of some Modern Masters Tapestries


Grant, Daniel. A Good Yarn: Artists’ Tapestries Are Popping Up in Museums, but They’re Not Yet Woven Into the Market. August 20, 2013.

Katz, Ruth. The Swiftly Growing Field of Tapestries and Fiber Arts. 1981.
The Unicorn Tapestries

October 3rd is #AskAnArchivist Day!

Every wonder what archivists do? Do you have questions about rare items in our collections? Well here is your opportunity to ask all the questions! October 3th is Ask An Archivist Day. Archivists around the United States will be on Twitter to respond to all your questions.

SMU Libraries Archivists and Curators Joan Gosnell (University Archives), Christina Jenson (DeGolyer Library), Emily George Grubbs (Bywaters Special Collections), Jeremy Spracklin (Jones Film Collection), Tim Binkley (Bridwell Library), and James Williamson (Norwick Center for Digital Solutions) will be on hand to answer your questions on Twitter. Here is your chance to ask us anything. If you just want to know what archives are and the things we do in our day to day job, ask us for advice on how to preserve your important items, or learn about some of the interesting material we have worked with, all you have to do is just tag us on Twitter.

How to participate:

To participate in the national conversation, tag your question with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. If you want your question answered by someone at SMU, just tag one of our archivist along with the hashtag.

Got questions about SMU history? Tag Joan Gosnell (@joanofgos or @SMUArchives)

Joan Gosnell

Got questions on archives and DeGolyer Library? Tag Christina Jensen (@c_jensen_)

Christina Jensen

Got questions about art and performing arts material? Tag Emily George Grubbs (@artsarchivist)

Emily George Grubbs

Got questions about film and film restoration? Tag Jeremy Spracklin (@SMUJonesFilm)


Go questions on theological archives? Tag Tim Binkley (@BridwellLibrary)


Got questions about digital material? Tag James Williamson (@metalarchivist)

James Williamson

Or tag all of them if you just have questions about archives in general.

We hope to hear from you on October 3th!