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

May 6th, 2017 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

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).  

Female Body Image Display

May 1st, 2017 by Carol Spector No comments »

Our newest Student Social Justice Exhibit is entitled “Female Body Image,” and was created by USF students Jessica Joyner, Dong Ma, and Aaron Wong.  The display focuses on the biology and appearances of different kinds of bodies, ranging from how a woman’s body develops to the pressure society places on women to have a perfect body image. All the books on display are available to be checked-out. Thanks to Jessie, Dong, and Aaron for their work!


Gleeson Library invites USF students to create library displays on social justice issues near and dear to you. You come up with the idea and design your own signage. The library will supply the space and the books. Sound intriguing? We’d love to hear from you. Please email to collaborate on a student social justice exhibit.


Wolfgang Lederer in the Rare Book Room

April 28th, 2017 by varelaariana No comments »

Wolfgang Lederer was an influential designer, illustrator, and educator who shaped the future of design practice in the Bay Area. Gleeson’s Rare Book Room is lucky enough to hold Lederer’s personal archive and is beginning to catalog some of the items from the archive. Before the catalog records go live, I thought I’d give you some background and a sneak peak into the collection.

Lederer was born in Manneheim, Germany in 1912. He studied book design and graphic arts throughout various schools in Europe until 1939 when he was forced to flee Nazi Germany. According to a memo issued by the California College of Arts (formerly known as the California School of Arts and Crafts and the California College of Arts and Crafts), Lederer arrived in New York with only eight dollars in his pocket. In 1941 he became a professor at the California School of Arts and Crafts. He developed the design department and made it one of the major design programs in the country. He was also a book designer for the University of California Press.

Scanned from a Xerox Multifunction Printer(30)

Designed by Lederer

The Rare Book Room here at Gleeson Library holds Lederer’s personal archive, which features awards he received for book design, original artwork from book illustrations, copies of journals he designed, wine bottle labels, and memorabilia from the retrospective of his work held at the San Francisco Center of the Book. This collection also features various Christmas and greeting cards that Lederer designed.

We also have various books featuring Lederer’s illustrations including African Figures, The Two Islands: A Tale, and The Prisoner of Chillon: A Fable. Stop by the Rare Book Room to check out this collection! We’re open 9 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday.

Ignatian Literary Magazine Release Party

April 20th, 2017 by Kelci Baughman McDowell No comments »

We still have a bit over a week to celebrate National Poetry Month. One way you can do that is by joining us to celebrate the release of the new issue of the Ignatian Literary Magazine!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

5:30 – 7 pm

Del Santo Reading Room, Lone Mountain 270


The celebration will feature:

• Readings by contributors to the new issue: Emma Thomason, Eric Mueller, Miiraf Arefeainen, Preeti Vangani, and others

• Keep sake poems for Poem in Your Pocket Day

• Gleeson’s traveling library of books curated by the Ignatian staff and available for check out

• Refreshments

• Good people and good times!

Games in the Rare Book Room, Thursday 4/19!

April 17th, 2017 by bryanduran No comments »

Have you been to our Rare Book Room lately??

This Wednesday come on out to the Donohue Rare Book Room in Gleeson Library and play some table top games!!

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 1.55.35 PM

Classics like….

  • Monopoly 

  • Chess

  • Backgammon

  • Apples to Apples

  • Battleship

                          and many more!!

11:30am – 1:30pm

April 19th, 2017

Gleeson Library, Donohue Rare Book Room