Archive for the ‘University of San Francisco’ category

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.

FFF LIst (2)

Letter to Library Santa

December 2nd, 2016

The library decorated our book drop as Santa’s Mailbox and we received our first letter within hours. After reflecting for some time on what we might do in response, we decided that posting here made the most sense. If you wrote the letter (or you didn’t) and feel that we could respond differently, please let us know.

Dear L.B.,

This was the first year we’ve put out a mailbox for the library Santa and we are grateful that you took time to deliver our first Christmas letter to Library-Santa.letter-to-library-santa_31379712425_o

We share your heartfelt concerns for the homeless. There are few things that bring us as much sorrow as knowing that there are people young and old in our world who have so little and must often rely on the good hearts of others for daily survival.

Your letter bringing the apparent plight of one person to our attention brings us joy – certainly not in the situation of the person seeking shelter and care – but in that you show the compassion to reach out on their behalf. Thank you.

As much as the library would like to offer services to folks who need assistance, we are not positioned with the experience and the resources to do what you ask. That said, we want you to know that there are resources in The City that this person can call upon. Our suggestion is that, if you feel so moved, consider sharing the contact information for The San Francisco City and County’s Human Services Agency. HSA is a reputable and reliable place for anyone who needs assistance or is looking for more information about support services.

All of that said, we encourage you to carefully consider if approaching this individual is the best thing for you to do. We rarely ever know for certain what someone’s story is or that things are as they appear to be. If you do not feel comfortable reaching out to the person who appears to be seeking shelter on campus, please feel free to contact a USF staff member or USF Public Safety. Of course, we completely trust that you will discern how you will proceed.

Now, to your point about serving coffee in the library. We hear you. There is now a café in the Atrium serving coffee, pastries and a few other treats. The Atrium Café is open M-F 8:00A– 1:00P (spring and fall semesters) and we are in conversation with Bon Appétit to expand the service hours and menu. Hopefully we’ll soon have good news for the entire campus community on the coffee front.

Thank you again for your letter L.B. and we hope you have a peaceful Christmas holiday overflowing with joy, family and friends.

Sincerely,  Gleeson Library




The Foghorn: A Student History of USF

August 29th, 2016

If newspapers publish the “first rough draft of history,” it is fascinating indeed to view those rough drafts from the perspective of USF students. Gleeson Library is in the process of digitizing back issues of the “Foghorn,” and the first major batch is available now.

The parallels between some articles from nearly 50 years ago and similarly-themed contemporary articles (from the San Francisco Foghorn website) are striking, and invite many questions …


Black student Union issues demands
From the November 8, 1968 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn, part of Gleeson Library’s Digital Collections.
BSU list of demands
From the March 10, 2016 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn on the newspaper’s website.
Black Student Union hosts USF Black Out in solidarity with Mizzou
From the November 19, 2015 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn on the newspaper’s website.
Blacks rap, whites listen in Black Power town hall
May 3, 1968 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn (go to page 5 to view), part of Gleeson LIbrary’s Digital Collections
  • What has changed between 1968 and 2015-16, and what has not?
  • Do these articles give you the “whole picture”?
  • What was happening at USF in 1968? In the Bay Area, the nation, and the world?
  • Is the context significantly different in 2015-16? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
  • How are the students’ strategies for change different?
  • Were these events/issues also reported in the professional newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle? If so, how is the reporting different? If not, why not?

You might begin to answer some of theses questions by browsing issues of the Foghorn, and seeing the world of 1968 from a USF student perspective.

The USF community can also look into Gleeson Library’s historical and contemporary newspapers and newspaper collections such as these (myUSF login from off-campus):

Historical Newspapers

Contemporary Newspapers

The Foghorn, or San Francisco Foghorn as it is currently titled, is USF’s official student newspaper dating back to 1903.  The earliest issues were published under the title “Ignatian” and “Ignatian News“.  The University Archives currently holds print copies of the earlierst issues of Ignatian from 1926 and onwards. This collection is now digitized and made full-text searchable online.

As of this writing, issues from 1926 through December 1992 are available online.  The rest of the collection will be available in Spring 2017.

Gleeson’s April Action

April 25th, 2016

In living the mission of the University of San Francisco,  living, learning and social justice is part of what April Action embodies. It is a time of giving back to the community. April Action is a hands-on volunteering opportunity available to the USF community and its Alumni, organized by USF Ministry and Office of Alumni Engagement. This year we wanted to take our service beyond the walls of Gleeson.

With the help of University Ministry, your Gleeson Staff Development Committee partnered with San Francisco – Marin Food Bank for a two day volunteering event. The days that lay ahead would turn out to be both a cause of anxiety and rewarding in more ways than one.

Situated on the 900 block of Pennsylvania Ave. and 23rd St. the San Francisco – Marin Food Bank is a spacious warehouse temporarily housing produce, fruit, canned goods and various assorted healthy snacks that are distributed throughout the city of San Francisco and Marin. The friendly staff work along side thousands of volunteers to sort, pack and distribute the daily shipments that are both donated by a wide range of sources and also purchased by the food bank. Staff begin work at 3 AM, volunteers at 9 AM and work runs until 8 PM.

The Monday group, groggily filled with coffee, took to their task at hand. Monday’s items on the list were corn kernels and fruit strips; we were assigned the fruit strips. Not a strenuous task but it proved to require organization, problem-solving skills and an effective collaborating team.

On day one an estimated total of about 2,200 bags containing 24 fruit strips were sorted, bagged and tied. The snack bags would be shipped to schools to support the city’s Morning Snack Program working to provide students with healthy snacks that will help them focus on their school activities.  In the short time that Gleeson’s Monday group hustled and bustled,  we were able to contribute approximately  200+ bags. I’d say not too shabby for four ladies.

Before Monday could come to an end, some recon work had to be done to get a feel for what the second group would except on their afternoon shift on Tuesday. Instead of fruit strips, there was cabbage…32,256 lbs of cabbage. Group #2 did not back down at the sight of an intimidating mound of leafy greens. With sweat, tears, and hopefully no blood, Tuesday’s volunteers packed approximately 30 pallets.

April 18th and 19th marked Gleeson’s first April Action, and hopefully it will not be the last. Thank you to those who were able to join us. Thank to you University Ministry and to San Francisco-Marin Food Bank for the amazing community work that they do.


Click to view slideshow.


“I had a great time working at the food bank! My group was able to put our well-honed librarian skills of efficiency and organization to process hundreds of snacks for local organizations. It was great to volunteer with Gleeson coworkers who I don’t see often or don’t work beside each day. And I was really grateful for the opportunity to help my SF community for a couple of hours on a Monday.  It started the week off perfectly.” – Colette

“I left the Food Bank feeling happy.  We worked hard, had a good time and left knowing we had made a difference. A lot of people will have healthy food to eat because of the work we did.  I will volunteer again and I plan on bringing my daughter for one of the shifts that they allow kids to participate” -Matt

“It’s always a wonderful experience volunteering at SF-Marin Food Bank. The staff are very sweet and they really care about the work they are doing. It means a lot to be able to help our community, to give back to those who need that extra help and to make a positive difference. This experience not only makes me love this city more, it has also created a stronger camaraderie among our Gleeson family.” – Fabiola

Pop-Up Exhibition

December 8th, 2015


Did you know that the Gleeson Library has a collection of miniature books housed in the Donohue Rare Book Room? Have you ever read or handled a miniature book? Books are classified as miniature books when they are 10 cm. or smaller. Ones in the Rare Book Room range from under a half an inch to nearly four inches in height. The books in the collection represent a range of subjects, including literature, history, religion, bibliography, and book arts.

Please visit this pop-up exhibition of miniature books on Wednesday, December 9th, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Circulation Lobby of the Library. The selection of books has been thoughtfully curated by Louisa Maria Baj, a graduate student in the Museum Studies Program and Student Assistant in the Donohue Rare Book Room.

For further information, please visit or call the Donohue Rare Book Room at (415) 422-2036.

John Hawk
Head Librarian, Special Collections & University Archives