My collection of postal libraiana consists primarily of envelopes that have no contents. Occasionally, however, I will come across the contents with no envelope, and sometimes those contents contain an interesting story. Such is the case with a three page letter (partially shown above) written by George T. Clark to his cousin Ida on November 10, 1891. At the time he wrote this letter, Clark was Deputy Librarian for the California State Library in Sacramento. The most interesting part of the letter is a paragraph in which he discusses the 1891 Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco. It reads in part:
"Last month the American Library Association held its annual conference in San Francisco, one of the same kind that I attended at the Thousand Islands [1887 ALA Conference]. But California is so far away that not so many attended this year as usual. Only about fifty came from afar but they represented states all along the line from Massachusetts to Colorado. A Worcester man, S. S. Green, was president. The week they were here I spent with them in San Francisco, and enjoyed witnessing the effect upon them of a little experience of California. Local committees had arranged for their reception here in Sacramento, San Francisco and at other places they visited so I hope they carried pleasant memories of their visit home with them. Even nature exerted herself to entertain them and the very first night showed her appreciation of their presence by touching us up with the liveliest earthquake we have had in years.”
Clark went on to become Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library in 1894 where he served for thirteen years. In a strange flashback to his mention of the 1891 San Francisco earthquake in the letter above, he was Librarian of the SFPL during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that destroyed the central library along with two of its branches. He became Librarian of Stanford University in 1907 where he completed his career. Clark helped found the California Library Association and served as its second president in 1898.
Here’s the next installment of summer reading suggestions and discussions from library staff. Got any books piled next to your bed that you’re going to dive into? Tell us in the comments!
What: Dead Wake; the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Lawson.
Where: On a beach in Hawaii
Why: It’s the centennial of World War I and I want to read the latest on why we should “Remember the Lusitania.” Lawson is a terrific writer of narrative non-fiction (Devil in the White City). And I like my disaster stories grounded in reality. Move over, San Andreas.
— Kathy Woo, Librarian Emeritus
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
Gleeson Library’s Hours for Summer 2015
are now posted on our website here: http://www.usfca.edu/Library/Hours/.
It’s a mass of black gowns and caps in front of the library today, so we’re going to kick off summer with our first installment of Staff Summer Reading posts! We’ll tell you what we’re looking forward to reading this summer, or what we’ve read that you might like. Grab a book and get cozy. Summer’s just beginning.
A Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon
I want to read about this girl’s life. How she went from lounging by her typewriter to making art and experimental, post-punk, noise rock on a stage in front of thousands. Kim Gordon’s new memoir, A Girl in a Band, takes us from her art school days in Los Angeles to the No Wave music scene in New York, to the break up of her marriage and Sonic Youth. To me, Kim Gordon has always seemed to be unapologetically herself. She’s creative, noisy, and answers to no one. I think I’m gonna pop in my cassette tape of Sonic Youth’s 1994 album “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star,” and Kim’s gonna be my anthem for the summer.
— Gina Solares, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Management
Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook by David Meltzer
David Meltzer’s Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook has long been a favorite book of mine. Hearing in the last year that City Lights would soon be reissuing an expanded and updated edition was one of the best poetry surprises to come my way. This is a book that decidedly more people should be reading; digging and appreciating all it has to offer. City Lights Books and editor Garrett Caples have without doubt done the poetry world a full on solid by bringing Meltzer’s book back in print. While today’s twitter-fed MFA communities may at first be puzzled by how righteously Meltzer celebrates the printed text as object this book is destined to become a regularly utilized classroom text. At the very least every creative writing program office would benefit from having a copy on hand. Poets & Writers should be all over it. The book’s value as an educational tool was after all in part the original impetus behind its initial publication. Read more at The Rumpus.
— Patrick Dunagan, Periodicals & Bindery Specialist
The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
For folks seeking to understand the historical context preceding the BlackLivesMatter moment, this book is essential! Michelle Alexander provides an overview of the inherent racism built into the U.S. “justice” system.
— Amy Gilgan, Reference Librarian and liaison to the School of Education
.This coming Friday take a break from finals and take a picture with a Book-Face!!!
Here’s what to do:
1. Find a book with a face on the cover and take a picture with it as your own
2. Post your picture to Instagram and hashtag #Bookfacefriday and #Gleesonlibrary
3. Tell a Friend!!!
Come check out our display of possible book-face books or wander through our stacks and find your own!!