Before the Colbert Report, before Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and before Saturday Night Live, as the United States wrenched its socio-political way through the tail end of the Johnson Presidency and the start of Richard M. Nixon’s term in office, there aired a prime time comedy/variety show that grabbed the rug under this country’s status quo and gave it a firm, playful tug.  The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour wasn’t enough of a tug to cause a bone-breaking fall, but it was enough to rock its balance.

            And rock, it did.  In 1967, Tom and Dick Smothers were a couple of clean cut young men noted for their comedy/folk song stand up routines, so CBS felt safe in signing them into a slot opposite NBC’s wildly popular Western, Bonanza.  With writers such as Steve Martin, Rob Reiner and Roger Mason and top quality guests such as The Doors, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Harry Nilsson, Jonathan Winters, Liberace, Judy Collins and Donovan; The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved to be far more popular than CBS believed it would be, and continued through the spring of 1969.

The Smothers Brothers surprised CBS in other ways too.  Back in those days, it was rare to see African American musicians perform on prime time television.  Racial segregation was enforced in the US Southern States until 1965 and the civil rights movement battled to protect people of color all through the 1960s.  Against CBS’ counsel, the Smothers Brothers repeatedly featured black artists such as the Ike and Tina Turner Review, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte and Nancy Wilson.  The Smothers Brothers regularly challenged bigotry, closed mindedness, the Vietnam War and underfunding for education.  They passionately supported comedian Pat Paulson’s 1968 Presidential bid.

Censorship was a constant challenge for the Smothers Brothers.  As a child, I remember my family gathering in the living room to watch their comedy hour.  We would be enjoying one of David Steinberg or Pat Paulsen’s stand up performances, only to hear it interrupted by a blaring “be-e-ep.”  I’d turn to my Dad, who would roll his eyes and mutter, “Nixon” under his breath.  These comedians weren’t censored due to swearing—but due to their political and social commentary.

The Smothers Brothers, their guests and writers fought back against the CBS censors.  Roger Mason, the show’s lead writer and composer and performer of the instrumental hit Classical Gas, recited his poem The Censor on the show, sitting on a stool, cradling his guitar and pointing a pair of scissors directly at the camera.

In the monologue that led CBS to cancel the program, David Steinberg discussed the Biblical story of Jonah.  He said, “as they have been known to do from time to time, the Gentiles grabbed the Jew by the Old Testament and threw him off the boat.”  This thinly veiled double-barreled reference to male genitalia and historical persecution of the Jews during prime time was the final straw for CBS.  That episode did not air, and the Smothers Brothers show was canceled.

If you would like to see that and some of the other fine (uncensored) episodes from the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’s third and final season, just come to the Sueltenfuss Library where you can check out the four volume DVD set, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, PN1992.8.C66 S66 2008.  You will not only be entertained, but you’ll truly taste the flavor of the 1960s.


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IS Lab Closed Friday

The computer lab on the 2nd floor of the library will be closed all day Friday, July 2, 2010 for maintenance.  Please use the 24 hour lab on the 1st floor of the library.

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New Look – Same Service

Sueltenfuss Library announces WT Cox Subscriptions JOURNAL FINDER. JOURNAL FINDER gives you access to all full-text electronic and print journals, newspapers, and magazines that the OLLU Library subscribes to.  In addition, JOURNAL FINDER also provides over 11,000 open access titles — open access meaning free journals found on the Internet.

As an example of the enhanced features provided by JOURNAL FINDER, you are now able to link from a citation in one database to the library catalog or to the full text article in another database or publisher site. 

Journal Finder was created, designed and has been maintained by the librarians and library technology specialists at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  In other words, Journal Finder was developed by librarians who are most familiar with how students seek information. 

Other than the new look and logo, you should not encounter any major changes to how you have obtained abstracts, full-text articles and interlibrary loan requests in the past.  If you have any questions about the services provided by JOURNAL FINDER, don’t hesitate to contact an OLLU librarian at .

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Upward Bound Participants Visit Sueltenfuss Library

Upward Bound Program

      Sueltenfuss Library welcomed students from the UPWARD BOUND program to the 2nd floor Information Skills Lab from June 9 -18.  Their instructor, OLLU graduate student Vanessa Jimenez, actively engaged the program participants in the writing and reading processes. They learned to think creatively and critically through creating their own text and while reading other material. Students were given an opportunity to tell life stories through personal essays and by finding inspiration in text, their experiences and the world around them.

     The goal of the Upward Bound Program is to increase the number of high school students who will pursue and graduate from a four-year college or university.  Upward Bound assists program participants through the college preparation, application, and financial aid processes.  Additionally, program staff  maintain contact and provide assistance to Upward Bound graduates during their college years to help ensure their college graduation.

     Students visited Sueltenfuss Library from three host high school campuses: Burbank, East Central and Floresville. These high school students have decided to dedicate a portion of their summer in preparation to enter college as first generation college students.   We wish them great success in the program and hope to see them again as OLLU students in coming years.

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Our friend, Debra Castanon, Community Relations Manager at the San Pedro Crossings Barnes and Noble, invites readers to two book signing opportunities:

Date: Friday, June 18 at 7:00 PM

Meet Houston-based author Justin Cronin and learn about the hot read of the summer:  The Passage.  The buzz around this book has been big and just keeps growing with the movie rights having been sold with director Ridley Scott at the helm.  The San Pedro Crossing Barnes and Noble is the only location in San Antonio to host Mr. Cronin for a discussion and signing of this post-apocalyptic American thriller! 

Here is a book review of The Passage from Publishers Weekly:

Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin’s engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies. When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the virals, or dracs—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals’ agelessness, but not the virals’ mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition. PEN/Hemingway Award–winner Cronin (The Summer Guest) uses a number of tropes that may be overly familiar to genre fans, but he manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style. The first of a proposed trilogy, it’s already under development by director Ripley Scott and the subject of much publicity buzz (Retail Nation, Mar. 15). (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Date: Saturday, June 19 at 3:00 PM

Michelle Cuthrell was a 23-year old newlywed expecting her first child and living in Alaska when her husband was deployed to Iraq.  Her journey through a year of tests and trials, heartbreaks and hard times that led to a discovery of the real value of friendship, faith, and unfailing love is chronicled in her book, Behind the Blue-Star Banner: A Memoir from the Home Front

The San Pedro Crossing Barnes and Noble is located at 321 NW Loop 410, #104

Visit Barnes & Noble at or call at (210) 342-2386.

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Gay and Lesbian Pride Month at Sueltenfuss Library

In June, 2000, President Bill Clinton declared the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.   This month was chosen in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a system that persecuted sexual minorities, and have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.  Gay and Lesbian Pride Month strives to inspire a spirit of acceptance of all people and welcomes diversity in communities regardless of sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, and memorials for those lives tragically lost from HIV and AIDS. This month marks a special time to recognize the impact Gay, Lesbian and Transgender individuals have had on the world.

Sueltenfuss Library will display books on gay and lesbian topics throughout the month of June.  Come by the second floor and view some of the selections which include:

THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET:  The life and times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

DE LOS OTROS: Intimacy and Homosexuality among Mexican men by Joseph Carrier

FROM HATE CRIMES TO HUMAN RIGHTS: A tribute to Matthew Shepard by Mary Swigonski

GRINGA:  A Contradictory Girlhood by Melissa Hart

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ALA’s GLBT Round Table Announces new Over the Rainbow Committee

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association announces the establishment of the Over the Rainbow Committee that is charged with creating an annual bibliography of titles of interest to adult and young adult readers that reflect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer experiences.  The first ALA Over the Rainbow books list will be announced in January, 2011.  The committee is currently seeking titles for the 2010 list.  Titles considered for inclusion must:

  • have been published between July, 2009 and December, 2010
  • be suitable for adult and young adult readers
  • show a positive view toward the LGBTQ community through the events and people in the book, whether fiction or nonfiction
  • provide significant LGBTQ content, although the primary focus of the book need not be LGBTQ
  • be of sufficiently high quality that the Over the Rainbow Committee can endorse

The ALA Over the Rainbow lists will provide communities with guidance in selecting commendable books that reflect LGBTQ experiences.  Many LGBTQ titles remain hidden from readers because they are not identified by subject headings and/or the LGBTQ content is excluded from publisher information.  This annual annotated bibliography of commendable books developed by library professionals will help librarians, bookstore managers and readers identify LGBTQ books worthy of a wide audience.

For more information, please visit the website at  Check out the following titles  that were found by the ALA Rainbow Project to be exceptional and highly recommended as well as other titles recommended by readers throughout the United States:

* How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity. Ed. Michael Cart. 2009. 350p. HarperTeen/HarperCollins, $16.99. (9780061154980). Gr. 9+. The tales in this collection present not only the variety of identities in the LGBTQ community—transgendered, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, and gay—but also the variety of experiences of being human—love, regret, betrayal, discovery. (Note: As an ALA Rainbow Project committee member, Michael Cart recused himself from all discussion.)

* Lo, Malinda. Ash. 2009. 264p. Little Brown/Hachette Book Group, $16.99. (9780316040099). Gr. 8+. Torn between her emerging love for the King’s mysterious huntress and the ethereal draw of the world of the fairies, Ash discovers the strength of her own identity.

* Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into the Beautiful North. 2009. 342p. Little, Brown, $24.99. (9780316025270). Gr. 9+. When all the young men and fathers leave the bucolic Sinaloa village of Tres Camarones to find jobs in the United States, three young women and their gay friend Tacho sneak across the border to recruit seven police officers and soldiers (the Magnificent Seven!) who will return home and rescue them from the drug-dealing banditos who threaten their good life.

Submit your recommendations to the Over the Rainbow committee by visiting their webpage at

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