Archive for September, 2016

Who was St. Jerome?

September 30th, 2016

Friday September 30th is the feast day of St. Jerome.

Why, you wonder, should you care?

Who was he? Jerome, who was born around 347 and died in 420, was a priest, scholar, historian, and translator. And he is the patron saint of librarians and libraries. We’ve blogged about him in the past on his feast day.

Why does he matter? Have you ever thought much about libraries and librarians? We are living in a time when we are surrounded by information, but much of that information is being privatized, where companies like Facebook and Google understand the value of information and try to dominate how you access it. Libraries give you access to information without shaping it or filtering it or censoring it.

How does this relate to being a student, faculty, or staff person at USF? Gleeson Library plays an important role in the life of USF. Last year, our turnstiles were used 433,325 times as people were coming in and out of the library. The Access Desk checked out 47,809 items. We lent 2,700 items to other libraries. We had 419 library classes, we answered 4,504 reference questions (2,742 were Instant Messages) Our collection is always growing. Last year we added 4,715 print books so Gleeson now has over half a million books and journals in print, another half a million ebooks and ejournals, and 46,490 streaming videos. All of this is available to you to help you in your research.

When the church made Jerome the patron saint of libraries, it was saying that information and research are important, they matter. And so do the institutions that save, maintain, and make the information available.

Celebrate libraries on the feast of St. Jerome!

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Stained glass at St. Vincent de Paul Church in San Francisco


Student Book Reviews

September 28th, 2016

Looking for some reading recs? The Reference & Research Services student assistants have a few for you!

22738563We Should All Be Feminists, reviewed by Malia Okoh

Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists is a slim volume containing an essay based on her 2013 TED Talk. The essay exposes Adichie’s experiences with racism growing up in Nigeria and how such situations affected her; furthermore, it hopes to convince readers that everyone should be a feminist, and gives reasons why. Considering feminism and gender inequality is such a pressing and prominent issue, it is fair to say that the essay is required reading for all ages, genders, and nationalities. We Should All Be Feminists possesses a theme that not only resides at the heart of feminism but also that all can agree with: absolute equality, which in itself is a reason to read Adichie’s work.

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_coverHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, reviewed by Molly Creagar

Set 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Albus, Harry’s middle child, as he begins his first year at the magical academy. Albus encounters immediate predicaments and befriends an unlikely candidate. Written in the style of an onstage play (because it is!), the story lends insight into the difficulties of following in someone’s footsteps. In Albus’s desire to be his own person, he creates troubles and danger—and it’s up to Rowling’s crew of old to save the wizarding world. I personally did not think this installment was up to the high standards set by the original seven books, though it would be hard to parallel those in any sense. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child indulges the wizard or witch in all of us and would be phenomenal to see performed.

all-the-light-we-cannot-see-9781476746586_hrAll the Light We Cannot See, reviewed by Malia Okoh

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr centers around a blind French girl – Marie – who, during World War II, is forced to take refuge with distant relatives in a coastal city. Eventually, Marie’s path crosses with a German boy named Werner in 1944 when he saves her in more ways than one. This novel truly is a poignant and historically accurate depiction of a very personal experience concerning one of the world’s most famous wars.

41txhpda8qlA is for Alibi, reviewed by Molly Creagar

Old fans of Nancy Drew and Cam Jensen will fall in love with this series. Sue Grafton’s adventure through the alphabet with a 32-year-old private detective, Kinsey Millhone, is part mystery, part comedy, and wholly engaging. Kinsey, an ex-cop, is hired by a woman who has served time for murdering her husband but swears she was wrongly convicted. Kinsey’s investigation opens up many more questions that bring danger along with the answer. After reading this series’ debut, you won’t be able to quit until you reach Z.


Happy Birthday National Park Service!

September 16th, 2016

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National Parks and public lands — like libraries — are resources that we all share. The National Park Service, which is responsible for the preservation and conservation of our national parks, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

In conjunction with National Park Service’s Centennial Year and National Public Lands Day (September 24th), Gleeson Library is highlighting information related to these important local and national spaces.

  • From 9/19-9/25, visit Gleeson’s living wall and water fountain area to see our display about National Parks and Public Lands. Travel virtually to national parks using Google Cardboard devices and your smart phone, or take a break to color images from local parks’ natural fauna and wildlife.
  • On Thursday, 9/22, from 1-3pm, stop by Gleeson Plaza to check out Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Roving Ranger – “a mobile trailhead designed to serve as a visitor contact and information center both within our national parks and outside the park.” Conservancy staff will be on hand to provide information about park sites, topics of interest, park events, internships, and volunteer programs. They’ve promised to bring some cool show-and-tell items, too!
  • On Friday, 9/23 at 1pm in the Library’s 1st floor lobby, attend a pop-up show of Rare Book Room materials related to National Parks and landmarks, and curated by the Rare Book Room’s Student Assistant.

Also, consult these Gleeson Library resources to learn and think critically about the National Park Service and its history:

– Watch films related to the National Parks and National Parks Service

– Browse National Parks, a journal that focuses “solely on national parks in the United States. Articles explore efforts to protect and properly manage America’s national parks.”

– Search Ignacio, the library catalog, for books and ebooks about the History of National Parks

Last, but certainly not least, make time to experience and support the National Parks and National Public Lands that surround us. As students living and working in San Francisco, we’re lucky to have many national parks and public lands nearby (Alcatraz, Fort Point, Golden Gate, Muir WoodsPoint Reyes, Presidio of San Francisco to name just a few!) that are available for to us to enjoy, and learn through.


Super Neat Library Centennial Envelopes

September 14th, 2016

As those who follow this blog know, I collect library related envelopes (called covers by collectors) of all types.  My largest collection of these envelopes consists of those which have actually been sent either to or from libraries.  I also collect envelopes, however, that have been specially created for collectors to celebrate the issuance of a new stamp (first day covers) or to celebrate a special event. I have recently acquired a collection of envelopes that were created by Joshua McGee to celebrate the centennials of libraries. So far McGee has created envelopes for 25 libraries and plans to continue creating them in the future.  I’m impressed by the effort McGee, a non-librarian, has undertaken to create the envelopes.  The envelope shown above is an example that features the Paulding County Carnegie Library in Paulding, OH which was established on March 3, 1916.  After research to identify the centennial date of establishment for the library, McGee had to design the envelope, add appropriate stamps, and get the envelope to the post office in Paulding, OH to postmark the envelope on the date of establishment.  I especially like the use of the 1982 America’s Libraries postage stamp, one of my favorites.  McGee only creates six envelopes for each library. He sends one of the envelopes as a gift to the library and keeps one for himself.  The other four are available for sale on eBay or by subscription which is how I acquired my collection. The creation of the library centennial envelopes and other illustrated envelopes is a sideline for McGee who is a software engineer. All of the library centennial envelopes are shown on McGee’s website and more information about each library can be found by clicking on the images of the envelope.

Super Neat Library Centennial Envelopes

September 14th, 2016

As those who follow this blog know, I collect library related envelopes (called covers by collectors) of all types.  My largest collection of these envelopes consists of those which have actually been sent either to or from libraries.  I also collect envelopes, however, that have been specially created for collectors to celebrate the issuance of a new stamp (first day covers) or to celebrate a special event. I have recently acquired a collection of envelopes that were created by Joshua McGee to celebrate the centennials of libraries. So far McGee has created envelopes for 25 libraries and plans to continue creating them in the future.  I’m impressed by the effort McGee, a non-librarian, has undertaken to create the envelopes.  The envelope shown above is an example that features the Paulding County Carnegie Library in Paulding, OH which was established on March 3, 1916.  After research to identify the centennial date of establishment for the library, McGee had to design the envelope, add appropriate stamps, and get the envelope to the post office in Paulding, OH to postmark the envelope on the date of establishment.  I especially like the use of the 1982 America’s Libraries postage stamp, one of my favorites.  McGee only creates six envelopes for each library. He sends one of the envelopes as a gift to the library and keeps one for himself.  The other four are available for sale on eBay or by subscription which is how I acquired my collection. The creation of the library centennial envelopes and other illustrated envelopes is a sideline for McGee who is a software engineer. All of the library centennial envelopes are shown on McGee’s website and more information about each library can be found by clicking on the images of the envelope.

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