Archive for May, 2012

Gleeson has Nooks!

May 24th, 2012

In addition to our iPads and Kindle, Gleeson now has two Nook Color e-readers that can be checked out.  Uploaded on our Nooks, you’ll find a wide selection of books – all ready to dive right into!

Nook loans are for one week.
Visit the Access Services desk at Gleeson to borrow one today!

Diving board image from

Postal Librariana Exhibits Win Awards

May 22nd, 2012

My 10 frame public library exhibit

As I mentioned in a previous post I had three postal librariana exhibits on display at last week's Rocky Mountain Stamp Show in Denver. There are two audiences for philatelic exhibits at stamp shows. One audience is the general attendees of the stamp show who range from casual collectors to serious philatelists. The other audience is a team of exhibit judges who are certified by the American Philatelic Society. It is the later group which evaluate each exhibit based on established standards and determine whether the exhibit is worthy of a gold, vermeil, silver, silver/bronze, bronze, or certificate award. The judges can give multiple award of each type. The judges also give out special awards made available by national and local stamp organizations. Finally, they determine the best (grand) exhibit and the second best (reserve grand) exhibit. All of my exhibits are related to the history of libraries and as a promoter of library history I am most interested in telling the story of libraries to a general audience. However, that doesn't mean that I am adverse to having my exhibits judged highly from a philatelic perspective, and my exhibits are also prepared with this in mind. I was pleased that my multi-frame exhibit titled "America's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners 1731-1956" received a gold award at the Denver stamp show. It also received an award from the Collectors Club of Denver as the Best Multi-frame Display Division Exhibit and the Collectors Club of Chicago Philatelic Exhibitor's Award (this award came with a collection of 4 philatelic monographs published by the club). My one frame exhibit "Library Uses of Melvil Dewey's Postal Card" received a vermeil medal (between gold and silver) and an award from the United Postal Stationery Society as the Best One Frame Stationery Exhibit. Finally, for some unknown reason my one frame exhibit on the American Philatelic Research Library which I submitted as a non-competitive exhibit received a silver-bronze award. All the exhibit award winners for the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show are listed in a document called "Palmares".  While it's nice to receive awards from the judges, it was especially nice to receive positive feedback from the general attendees of the stamp show. (Note: I want this blog to be about library history and not about me, but every now and then I can't help but toot my own horn.)

USF Book Club: June & July Selections

May 15th, 2012

The USF Book Club will meet to discuss the following two books in the upcoming months:

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. Friday, June 8, 2012. Room 209 of Gleeson Library, 12 noon – 1 pm. Request this one through Link+ or get it at SFPL.

Lacey Yeager appears on New York’s art scene as a clever, funny young Sotheby’s intern. With charm, ambition, and occasionally illegal tactics, she climbs the city’s cultural ladder to success in the labyrinthine art world. Her knowledge of art and its collectors quickly grows alongside a list of men she enchants and inevitably destroys. Her rise to society’s highest tiers parallels the soaring heights – and, at times, the dark lows – of the art world and the country from the early ’90s through today. –

Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick. Friday, July 6, 2012. Room 209 of Gleeson Library, 12 noon – 1 pm. Request this one through Link+ or get it at SFPL.

Ozick reworks Henry James’s The Ambassadors, setting it in 1950s Paris, a seedy, impractical place for well-to-do and disaffected youth. Bea is a divorcee, long shut off from her feelings, who is bullied by her unbearable brother into traveling to Paris to bring back his errant son, Julian. While Bea begins to break through her emotional morass, her actions lead to dreadful results for her niece, her nephew, and his Jewish wife with a tragic past. While it is difficult to comprehend why everyone is so obsessed with Julian, the other characters are beautifully delineated with great sensitivity. Tandy Cronyn is the perfect reader here. Her portrayal of Bea’s emotional fog, the ennui of the Americans in Paris, and the bully Marvin is simply superb, and the pacing is excellent. –Library Journal

The Laughing Librarian, A New Book Preview

May 15th, 2012
McFarland & Company has just published The Laughing Librarian: A History of American Library Humor by Jeanette C. Smith. The book is a must have for anyone interested in library history and/or library humor. The book has forewords by the two greatest living library humorists - Will Manley and Norman D. Stevens which is more than enough to recommend the book. Smith is a New Mexico State University Library faculty member and a collector of library humor for almost four decades. My copy of the book is on order from Amazon, but Amazon provides a surprising amount of content via its "search inside this book" feature. Before ordering I was able to look at the table of contents and the index, read the two forewords and the introduction, and also read parts of some of the chapters. The book documents the history of library humor from 1876 up to the present. Some of the chapters include: Humors and Blunders; Batgirl Was a Librarian - Library Superheroes; Librarian Types and Stereotypes - She's a Keeper; Library Staff - They Also Serve; Shhh! - The Unforgivable Sin; The Fear Factor; For SEX, See the Librarian; and Joyfully Subversive. There are also chapters on Will Manley and Norman D. Stevens as well as on Edmund Lester Pearson, "The Main Guy".  Smith is a Fellow of the Molesworth Institute and the first recipient of the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award. I have to say that I am biased in recommending this books since I am also a Fellow of the Molesworth Institute and a recipient of the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award. I can't wait to get my hands on the actual book!

Postal Librariana Exhibits in Denver

May 15th, 2012

The Rocky Mountain Stamp Show will take place later in the week in Denver, CO, and I will have three exhibits of my postal librariana collection on display. For the last month I have been busy revising my 10 frame, 160 page exhibit that is now titled "American's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners 1731-1956". It has been three years since I displayed the previous version of this exhibit. It includes more than 300 individual postal and supportive artifacts related to the topic of the exhibit. The title page for the exhibit is shown above. I will also show my one frame exhibit titled "Library Uses of Melvil Dewey's Postal Card", and a non-competitive one frame exhibit on the American Philatelic Research Library