Archive for February, 2020

Collaborations “R” Us

February 4th, 2020

Gleeson Librarians are here to collaborate with faculty! Besides the awesome research instruction that we deliver to your classes in our electronic classroom (or yours), there are lots of ways we love to work with your classes, using the library’s resources and your students’ creativity. Here are three of them:

Special Collections

Frankenstein Bicentenary poster

The Donohue Rare Book Room and its Special Collections provide a lab for exploring books, their history and material culture. Classes in history, sciences, literature, and the arts frequently conduct research in the Rare Book Room. For instance, in 2018 the students of Dr. Omar Miranda’s “Late Romantic Period” course helped to create an exhibit in the Rare Book Room of “Mary Shelley and Her Contemporaries: On the Bicentennial of Frankenstein.”

Uncovered: exhibit poster

Students teach students when our Special Collections are the subject of displays and exhibits created by graduate and undergraduate Museum Studies classes, where students come up with the ideas, selections, interpretations, and publicity, and then execute the installations. You might want to devise your own explorations of our Special Collections. Just this week, an exhibit curated from our collection by Associate Professor of Design Stuart McKee opened in the Rare Book Room: “The Revival of Printing: The Arts and Crafts Aesthetic of the Book.”

Zine Library

The Gleeson Zine Library collects and circulates zines (self-published magazines) with a focus on social justice and on representation of our diverse USF community. The Zine Library Collective (library workers who like zines!) have collaborated with Media Studies, MFA, Sociology, Anthropology, Urban Agriculture, and Muscat Scholars faculty, to name just a few whose students have participated in zine workshops and added to the library collection. In class visits to the Zine Library, students learn about zines and create them.

The Voice of a New Generation, example of a group-made zine

For example, students may work on assignments individually and make different zines or put their creations together to make a single zine, or they might work on group projects and collaborate on one topic. We can work with you on whatever outcomes you want for your classes. (And you can donate zines too!)

Seed Library

Decorated seed packets

Alongside a collection of books and media about seeds, urban agriculture and sustainable food production, the USF Seed Library, housed in Gleeson Library, helps teach students about the connections between people, the food we eat, the labor that goes into it and the land where it grows. Classes regularly visit the Seed Library where Seed Librarians lead discussions of issues around growing food and feeding people. To make their learning tangible the students might create beautiful and informative seed packets to distribute seeds to the community; students take seeds to plant at home or with their classes; and they sometimes cook meals with ingredients that they helped to grow. We also bring the seed library out to the community in collaboration with students and classes for events like community dinners, seed swaps and Earth Day celebrations. Let us know if you want to introduce your students to the Seed Library.

Let’s talk!

To schedule any class in the library, fill out a short Class Instruction Request and we will follow up with you. Of course if you have any questions just see the contact information on the web pages linked above.

Welcome Nicky Andrews – Instruction and First-Year Experience Librarian

February 4th, 2020

You’ve worked in some great libraries, and have accomplished some really great things at these different places. Tell us a little bit about your background — library-related or not — and projects you are proud of or were excited to be a part of.

I am Ngāti Paoa Māori and grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand).  I have lived in the US for the last decade, and went to the University of Washington for my Master of Library & Information Science.  I have worked and volunteered for a range of public libraries, academic libraries, museums, and literacy organizations over the years, and I’m pleased to join everyone at Gleeson Library and shape this new role.

Nicky Andrews photo from Gleeson's staff page.

In my most previous role, I was an NCSU Libraries Fellow at North Carolina State University Libraries; working in the Special Collections Research Center and the Learning Spaces & Services department.  My colleagues there were very dynamic and would actively present opportunities to collaborate together, and Fellows in particular are called upon to lead strategic initiatives and try new things.

A couple of successes I am happy to share are that when I began my Fellowship, library staff would volunteer for Project SAFE or Trans 101 training sessions through the campus GLBT Center, which gave people space and knowledge to talk about LGBTQIA+ issues.  Upon completion of the training, the GLBT Center gives people a paper certificate to display in their office – but many library staff work in spaces where students wouldn’t see such a display. I led a collaborative effort with Libraries Human Resources and the Web Team to develop the web tools for staff to write in their pronouns on their staff web pages if they chose to, as well as display a digital badge to show that they have completed allyship training at the GLBT Center or the Military & Veteran Services Center.  Additionally, job descriptions are now written with gender-inclusive language, and candidates are asked if they would like to share their pronouns when Human Resources is putting together interview schedules. At my suggestion, we also erected signage outside gendered restrooms to inform people where gender-inclusive restrooms were. It might seem like a small thing, but I am proud of facilitating this small cultural shift for a public, land-grant university library in a deeply conservative part of the country.

I was also given the space and resources to create an event series called Raiders of the Lost Arcade, where I curated a selection of video games created for and by people from marginalized communities, and which encouraged critical thought about the media we consume, what stereotypes and narratives we enforce, and how video games can be used as active learning materials.  Some of the themes we explored during the drop-in event included mental health, precarity, and immigrant rights; and we received consistent feedback from students that this drop-in event changed how they felt about libraries, how they felt seen or able to talk about issues which impacted them, and how they thought about the media they engaged with. I’m proud to share that this event is now a permanent part of the NCSU Libraries event calendar, and has grown to include guest speakers from the video game industry and the potential to showcase student work.

Tell us briefly about your new role as FYE librarian at Gleeson, and why you were interested in and excited about this position and/or Gleeson and USF. Since you’ve started at Gleeson, are there student interests, work, groups etc that you’re particularly keen to know more about or work with, etc?

As the Instruction/First-Year Experience Librarian, my role focuses on welcoming Freshman students to the library and ensuring they develop the academic research skills necessary to see their research and academic success to fruition.  You will likely see me on the reference desk, in first-year Rhetoric or Language classes, through initiatives such as USF 101 or the Muscat Scholars Program, or at campus Orientation events. This semester, I am also the interim liaison librarian for Art, Art History, Design, and Museum Studies.  I am most excited by helping facilitate student research, and helping students integrate their own expertise, interests, and lived experience into the scholarly creation and information literacy process.

As I mentioned, my most impactful work at NCSU Libraries focused on creating initiatives around student wellness, representation, and social justice.  One of the things that most excites me about joining the team at Gleeson Library is that much of this groundwork is already well established within cura personalis and the culture of USF in general, so I can focus on expanding on this work and integrating social justice and critical thought into my own information literacy curriculum.

Lastly, to my knowledge, I am the only Indigenous Oceanic faculty member on campus; so I want to ensure that I can lend support to Indigenous and Pasifika students whenever possible.  I am happy to be part of the team working on the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania Commencement Ceremony – if you know anyone who is graduating this year and may be interested in attending, please spread the word!

Any reflections about your own first year experience at university, and how the library may or may not have been a part of that time, that informs your work? If you could give FY students any tips or advice about their first year of college, libraries, and/or research what would you most like to tell them? 

As an undergraduate student, I was balancing multiple jobs and responsibilities, and a lengthy commute to campus – and as such, I was not a prolific library user, even though I had been as a young child and a high school student.  One of my lasting memories as an undergraduate student was when a professor called me out in front of my entire class because I didn’t have the required textbook in the first week of classes. My professor literally said, “are you poor?” in front of everyone – and when I said, “yes, actually” they had no suggestions or assistance to offer me.  So, in my own work, I am often thinking of the virtue signalling that we do, and what that means in terms of what we are actually promising or offering to students. And of course, I do my best to let students know that their fees have already paid for a number of services on campus, including access to specific library services such as course reserves, interlibrary loan, LINK+, and our book scanners.  (Psst, Faculty, have you applied for our USF Open Education Faculty Fund?)

You’ve also researched and published on important topics. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and where you are interested in taking your research interests next? 

As a graduate student, my friend Jessica Humphries and I published and presented a paper on our experiences as Indigenous library students and the absences of Indigenous knowledge in North American library science curricula, I wrote a book chapter exploring historical trauma and library work, and an article on designing Cultural Humility training with my friends and colleagues Sunny Kim and Josie Watanabe.  I am currently working on an article about imposter syndrome, and a research project continuing to explore historical trauma in libraries.  At its core, my research explores the tension between being a minoritized person navigating oppression or historical trauma within society, and working or learning within large institutions which were originally built to replicate colonized or oppressive norms; and how these tensions can change both the worker and the institutional culture.

What are you enjoying about SF? What are some of your personal interests or passions? 

Being from Aotearoa and having lived in Washington State for several years, it is great to be back near the Pacific Ocean again!  Since moving to San Francisco, I have been exploring the many museums and art galleries in the area, and doing a lot of urban hiking.

If we visited New Zealand, what would you tell us to do or see?

Aotearoa is a country which formed without any native mammals, other than bats and marine animals.  Consequently, we have prolific endemic birdlife, including kororā (little blue penguins which nest on the beach), kea (the world’s only alpine parrot), and kākāpō (the world’s only nocturnal flightless parrot).  Sadly, many of our beloved species are endangered, so if you visit Aotearoa please respect the biosecurity measures which are in place – take the Tiaki Promise, and respect rāhui or restrictions on what land is accessible to visitors.  Te Reo Māori is an official language of Aotearoa, and you can easily find Māori perspectives and narratives; both historical and contemporary.  In the meantime, you can take a stroll through the San Francisco Botanical Garden, which has proudly been displaying Aotearoa’s flora since 1915

Gleeson Library hosts 6th annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

February 4th, 2020

To kick off Women’s History Month, Gleeson Library will be hosting the annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon event on Tuesday, March 3rd! Save the date and join us on the 2nd Floor Common area in Gleeson Library from 1p.m.-6p.m. We will be addressing the gender gap on Wikipedia by communally updating Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism. People of all gender identities and expressions welcomed and encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be provided!

What is Art + Feminism? “Art+Feminism is a non-profit organization that directly addresses the inequality of gender, feminism, and the arts on Wikipedia. Through building a global community and hosting edit-a-thons around the world, we strive to close the gaps in content and with editors” (Art + Feminism). To improve coverage of women in the arts, we encourage you to join us and help close this gap. Less female editorship means less female representation, and: “When cis and trans women, non-binary people, people of color, and Indigenous communities are not represented in the writing and editing on the tenth-most-visited site in the world, information about people like us gets skewed and misrepresented. The stories get mistold. We lose out on real history. That’s why we’re here: to change it” (Art + Feminism).

Want to get a head start? Create your Wikipedia account.  On the day of the event, Librarians and staff will guide you through the editing process, provide you with reliable resources and laptops, and provide you with examples of Wikipedia articles that need creation or improvement.

Let’s use Wikipedia as a tool for activism. Hope to see you there!


Contact Fabiola Hernandez-Soto , for more information or questions.

Top fives for 2019

February 3rd, 2020

Time flies, doesn’t it? Let’s take a moment to pause, reflect, and savor our favorites from last year, the year that will go down in history as 2019.

Our Popular Reading section, on the first floor next to New Books, sees a lot of action. Last year, the most checked out books were:

  1. Maid : hard work, low pay, and a mother’s will to survive by Stephanie Land
  2. The night tiger : a novel by Yangsze Choo AND Maybe you should talk to someone : a therapist, HER therapist, and our lives revealed by Lori Gottlieb
  3. The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye
  4. American spy : a novel by Lauren Wilkinson AND The never game by Jeffery Deaver AND Save me the plums : my Gourmet memoir by Ruth Reichl

Always curious, you searched for these topics most often:

  • climate change
  • sports and activism
  • selex
  • financial leverage
  • student debt

You searched for these journals most frequently in Journal Finder:

  • Metascience
  • America
  • The New York Times
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Tablet

You clicked on search results in Fusion most frequently from these resources:

  • The New York Times
  • JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Dissertation Abstracts International Section B: Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • The Washington Post
  • Science

Let’s see what 2020 brings!

FAQ on ordering library resources for faculty

February 3rd, 2020

Q. I heard there’s no more book budget and I can’t request books to be ordered by the library any more. Is that true?

A. While it is true that our materials budget is all earmarked for subscription-based resources, fortunately we have some income from restricted endowments that allow us to order books that support faculty teaching and research. Please feel free to send book requests to your librarian liaison. Sometimes books are available electronically with multiple user access, so let us know if you would prefer ebook format. Make sure to give us plenty of lead time!

Q. Can the library order a subscription to a particular journal?

A. The library keeps a wishlist of journals that have been requested so please let your librarian liaison know your requests. Please be aware that with our limited budget, in order to obtain new subscriptions we have to cancel existing subscriptions to free up funding.

Q. How about ordering videos?

A. Please see our guide to Videos & Streaming media for Faculty and use the form linked there to request video acquisitions. Please be aware that brand-new videos might not be on the market yet, and older titles may be out of distribution. Obtaining streaming rights may take longer, and is not always possible.

Q. Why can’t our students watch videos on Kanopy any more?

A. As of September 2018 we no longer have access to “on demand” videos from Kanopy because, at $150 per title per year, it is not an economically sustainable model for library acquisitions. Instead we can only acquire videos, including Kanopy titles, on faculty request; all video licensing requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. We do have thousands of streaming video titles available on several different platforms. For more information please see our previous post. In addition, much of the Kanopy collection is available from the San Francisco Public Library, for which any California resident including students can have borrowing privileges.