Archive for May, 2017

The Summer of Love at the Rare Book Room

May 8th, 2017

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” But what exactly was the Summer of Love in San Francisco? There continues to be much debate over what this time in history was and the implications of its legacy.

The De Young museum is hosting an exhibit entitled “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock and Roll” to probe this question and to commemorate the confluence of the visual and musical aspect of the time period. This exhibit showcases rock posters, photographs, films, fashion, and light shows to celebrate and remember the way the movement disrupted culture in a time  of social and political upheaval. It runs from April 8th to August 20th.

Here in the Rare Book Room we have a facsimile edition of the San Francisco Oracle (issues September 1966 through February 1968), an underground newspaper based out of Haight Ashbury at the height of the Summer of Love. In the preface, editor Allen Cohen describes the SF Oracle as a “psychedelic, multicolored tabloid… [a contemporary] version of the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages.” The Gathering of the Tribes, a.k.a. the Human Be-In, which was  held on January 14th, 1967 at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park, is publicized in the fifth issue of the SF Oracle. This event is seen as the kickoff point for the Summer of Love with attendance in the tens of thousands. The Oracle describes the Be-In as a “union of love and activism previously separated by categorical dogma and label mongering.”

 

We also have the first issues of Rolling Stone Magazine which features news on the prominent musicians of the era and other social events related to the counter culture movement.

Stop by the Rare Book Room Monday – Friday 9am-5pm to check out these awesome sources!


Library Hours – Summer 2017 Hours

May 7th, 2017

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Gleeson April Action

May 7th, 2017

On Wednesday, April 19th and Thursday, April 27th Gleeson Library participated in its second community outreach event. Staff from different departments joined to take part in Gleeson’s April Action at St. Anthony’s. There were a few hiccups along the way but the staff at St. Anthony’s were very accommodating and kind with everyone who participated.

St. Anthony’s is located in the heart of the Tenderloin, neighboring the hustle and bustle of Market Street. Opening its doors to the St. Anthony’s Dining Room on October 4, 1950 by Franciscan Friar Fr. Alfred Boeddeker, the dining room was expected to serve 150 meals to low-income and homeless guest. On its first day, St. Anthony’s Dining Room ended up serving 400 meals.

“Today, we continue to thrive on serving hope daily and providing essential support to our Guests in need. We bring people together in this work because we know it takes a community to break down barriers and create a society where all people flourish. Find out how you can help.” — https://www.stanthonysf.org/our-history/

Franciscan Friars continue to play a vital role in the organization to promote justice, peace, and helping those in poverty. A lot of the work that St. Anthony’s provides runs on the help of volunteers and donations. The organization has expanded to include Health Care services, a Free Clothing Program, Addiction Recovery assistance, Technology Access & Training, and even Social Work.

Our Gleeson volunteer groups participated in their Free Clothing Program. Clothing donations are dropped off daily, 10 AM – 2 PM. Everything goes through three sorting processes, before garments and accessories are place in the store front. The second floor of the 150 Golden Gate Avenue building houses the store front and the back room where the sorting takes place.

Volunteers go through all donated material, sorting each piece into bins with labels such as “Women,” “Men,” “Children,” and “Outer Wear.” They are then sorted into more general categories, before being prepped on hangers to make a debut.  Anything that doesn’t make these selections are tossed into a green bin for recycling. The great part about St. Anthony’s is that nothing goes to waste. All recycled items are re-purposed giving it a new life perhaps as a kitchen towels and such. The best way of deciding whether something is store worthy was nicely put by our staff guide, Sophie, stating that “If it is something that you wouldn’t want to give to a friend or loved one, it doesn’t go out to the store for our guests.”

Both Gleeson Library groups helped out front in the store, assisting guests in finding sizes, styles or certain garments what weren’t on the clothing racks. Guest arrive based on their time appointment. During their appointment guests shop and choose the items that they want. There is a daily board that lists how the number of certain garments that guests are allotted. The Free Clothing Program provides each guests with 30 outfits. As volunteers we provide each guest with the “shopper experience” that will a positive and dignified shopping experience to all guests, regardless of where they come from.

Anxious with the familiar feeling of knots in my stomach, I found myself on the store floor relying on my previous retail experience to calm to my nerves. My first interaction was with a woman looking for a pair of shorts. I inquired if she preferred a certain color, cut or style before I dashed off to the back where the extra clothes were kept. As I searched I was unable to find any women’s shorts among the racks. I return with the bad news and although I wasn’t able to fulfill the customers request they were very understanding and grateful that I tried. She continued to browse through the clothes and find something else. Another customer who I remember more vividly was looking through the assortment of dresses. She asked for my opinion on whether to choose a solid color dress or a floral pattern. That day I was wearing a floral shirt myself, so I mentioned that perhaps I would be biased but ask what were her typical wardrobe choices and built worked from there. She was very happy to find so many options in her size.

Not only are we making a difference in their lives but we are changing our own through our compassion and our actions. Change can begin with one person. We may not always know what a person may be going through or how they got to where they are in their life, but no matter what we are all people.

“St. Anthony’s provides fantastic services that place an emphasis on the dignity of individuals. Volunteering with them is a truly rewarding experience.” – Anders

“I really loved the personal interactions with the people I was helping.  I was really moved when I was given a big hug for finding a woman a comb that would work for her hair and I felt joy with the fellow who yelled “I love these!” when I brought out a pair of very bright green tennis shoes.” – Matt

“I am grateful for the opportunity to interact with each customer as an individual. Beyond the basic necessities, their unique needs were instructive — for example, reading glasses or a bathrobe — and trying to meet them was enlightening.” – Justine

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Furriends For Finals Begins This Week!

May 7th, 2017

Four days of puppy love, because one day is not enough. Each session runs from 1 PM – 3 PM here at Gleeson Library | Geschke Center, 1st Floor Lobby. In between studying and final exams take a breather with us. Our SPCA friends will be here with their trained therapy dogs just for you.

If you’d like to learn more about SPCA AAT or how to volunteer, click here.

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The Great Falls (MT) Public Library and Alma Smith Jacobs

May 6th, 2017


Researching a recent acquisition to my postal librariana collection I discovered the story of African American librarian Alma Smith Jacobs (1916-1997) of Montana.  The postal artifact is an envelope (shown above) with an image of the interior of the Carnegie Library in Great Falls, MT covering the entire face of the envelope.  The back of the envelope which was mailed on December 2, 1917 has the address information.  The Great Falls Public Library has an excellent history of the library on its website. It was there that I learned that after serving as a catalog librarian for eight years Alma Jacobs became head librarian in 1954, a post she held until 1973. She left Great Falls to become the Montana State Librarian in Helena where she ended her library career in 1981.  She was the first African American to hold that post. While in Great Falls she led the effort which resulted in the replacement of the Carnegie Library with a new library building in 1967.  The Women’s History Matters website has an excellent overview of Jacobs’ contributions to library and community service in Montana.  In an unusual coincidence of timing I discovered that on April 28, 2017 the Great Falls Public Library dedicated a mural of Jacobs. The library had previously named the library plaza in her honor.  Alma Jacobs was the first African American elected as President of the Montana Library Association, the first elected as President of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, and the first to serve on the Executive Board of the American Library Association. Jacobs’ sister Lucille Smith Thompson was also a prominent African American librarian (Little Known Black Librarian Facts Blog).  

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