Archive for January, 2018

Gleeson’s Newest Technological Additions

January 25th, 2018

The Reference Department computer lab by the entrance of the library now features brand new iMacs and Windows 10 computers, both of which are powered by super-fast solid state drives. If you’re looking to use Photoshop, head up to the iMac classroom on the 2nd floor — you can use it whenever there is not a class in there.

Riot Grrrl in the Library: Employing Critical Active Learning

January 24th, 2018

Zuloak en concierto en el año 2012: Don't Touch Zuloak
By [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
During library instruction sessions, Education Librarian Amy Gilgan employs a variety of methods to spark student curiosity, catapulting the research process from rote searching into active learning. Some of these methods involve discussion of the Wasco Clown and the Riot Grrrl punk movement and they usually focus on investigating the construction of authority, shining a light on the value of different types of expertise.

Amy, who describes herself as a “white, able-bodied, queer, genderfluid, woman-ish person from a working-class background,” co-chairs the University Council on Diversity & Inclusion (UCDI) and is a member of the Bias Education Resource Team (BERT).

Amy teaches a lot of library instruction sessions and describes her teaching style as being largely informed by her past work as a speakers’ bureau member of Community United Against Violence (CUAV), a grassroots community organization committed to ending violence within and against the LGBTQQI community.

Image of Issue 10 of the punk zine Ablaze!
Karren Ablaze! [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In a chapter in the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook, Amy details her pioneering lesson plan called Teaching with Riot Grrrl: An Active Learning Session at the Intersections of Authenticity and Social Justice. The lesson plan describes a 60 minute workshop Amy developed in which first year USF college students used cultural artifacts and library resources to investigate the Riot Grrrl feminist movement in the punk rock music subculture. In the first half of the session, students worked in groups to explore personal, cultural and scholarly expertise while applying basic search concepts. In the latter half, the groups shared their findings and provided their peers with search tips. Inspired by hip hop pedagogy, Amy’s lesson plan was an attempt to model exploring subculture and identity through research.

The goal of this lesson plan is to allow students to “move beyond the popular/scholarly source binary to hold the complexity of multiple types of expertise” in addition to resulting in students learning new search techniques. Amy says, “I enjoy hearing about how students apply the skills from the session to research their own personal and academic interests.” Furthermore, by using active learning techniques, Amy finds it possible to “not only increase student engagement, but also foster an environment where the knowledge and curiosity of the students is valued.”

The Riot Grrrls Lucky Malice from Norway at Club W71, Weikersheim
By Schorle (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Born from the #CritLib movement within the library field, active learning scenarios that use subculture and curiosity as jumping off points act to integrate critical pedagogy with librarianship. Amy has been involved with #CritLib conferences and conversations, and she was excited when she saw the call for proposals for the handbook in which her chapter on Riot Grrrl appears. She hopes her lesson plan inspires librarian and faculty colleagues to explore active learning techniques, while she personally commits to making space for students to name, probe, and develop their own interests during library instruction sessions.

Header Image: By Feral78 [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Updated Study Zones

January 24th, 2018

With all the renovations that occurred in the library in the past 12 months, we updated the designations for study zones, more clearly indicating where you are allowed to converse, study quietly, and where to expect silence.


Silent study zones:
• 1st floor, room behind the Reference Desk
• 3rd floor South (front half of the building)

Quiet study zones:
• 1st floor, Atrium
• 3rd floor North (back half of the building)

Conversation study zones:
• Lower Level
• 1st floor — all areas except the silent study room and Atrium
• 2nd floor
• 4th floor

What is “silent,” what is “quiet,” and what is “conversation”? See our website for the definitions of each zone.

Let us know how you like it in the comments, and stay tuned for when we survey library users mid-semester.

Film & Video for classroom & more

January 22nd, 2018

Twenty years ago, students and faculty relied almost exclusively on text-based resources, but these days, people increasingly turn to video content for learning and teaching.

Besides a wealth of educational, how-to, and documentary films and video clips available,  fiction films let us travel through time to explore how people looked, dressed, spoke, worked and played in the past, and how cities and landscapes have evolved.

Millions of videos and clips are available on free platforms like YouTube, but the content is of inconsistent quality, sometimes pirated and subject to removal.

YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, but the content is of varying quality, sometimes pirated and subject to removal from the platform.
YouTube is one of the most visited websites in the world, but the content is often of poor quality and subject to removal.

Fortunately Gleeson Library provides thousands of videos and clips that support USF coursework, all available to the campus community. (MyUSF logins are required for streaming video if you’re off-campus.)

You’ll find our available video collections listed here. To see the scope of the video collections, try searching the catalog by genre <Documentary films> or <Feature films>. Some DVDs and even VHS are included, as there are still thousands of titles not available in streaming video.

Just a few of the key streaming video collections held at Gleeson Library are:

Films on Demand delivers more than 27,000 titles in a wide variety of subjects ideal for students and faculty.

MEF The Remote Control video imageMedia Education Foundation collection is particularly strong in representations of gender and race, identity and culture, consumerism, and globalization.

Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries with relevance across the curriculum.

Dance Online: Dance in Video and Music Online: OpWitnessera in Video contain hundreds of hours of performances and documentaries by the world’s most influential performers and companies.

Art and Architecture in Video delivers over 500 hours of documentaries and interviews illustrating theory and practice, and providing the context necessary for critical analysis.


Asian Film Online offers a view of Asian culture as seen through the lens of independent Asian filmmakers.

For information on using copyrighted film in classroom and distance learning/online teaching, please see the Copyright and Teaching guide.


Faculty: Try Using Course Reserves

January 22nd, 2018

As the Spring semester comes to a start, the library service known as Course Reserves is in full swing. Course Reserves are required and recommended reading materials set aside, or reserved, in the library by faculty for their students. Materials on course reserve are loaned out for short loan periods, usually 2 hours. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for reading assignments–a student can stop by to check out reserved text books or log online to download PDFs of articles.

Any faculty member who is currently teaching a course may place materials on course reserve. What types of materials might you ask? Beyond traditional print materials such as books (textbooks and novels) and DVDs, electronic materials (book chapters, journal articles, ebooks, streaming media) can be placed on course reserve. In short, if it’s part of the library’s collection, we can put it on course reserve, and if you have a copy, we can put your personal copy on course reserve as well. If neither the library nor you has a copy, go ahead and ask your liaison to purchase one so we can place it on course reserve.

Why place items on course reserve? It ensures your students have free access to materials that are essential for academic success. What’s more, it is considered fair use, relieving the fearful dread that comes with questioning if any copyright laws are being violated. Plus, we do the scanning and processing work for you, so it cuts down on time you use to spend uploading files to Canvas.

We spoke with Noriko Milman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, who frequently utilizes course reserves. This semester Professor Milman has items on course reserve for her Research Methods class. Here’s what Professor Milman had to say.

Professor Milman, picture courtesy of USF (

When did you first start using course reserves?

I started using Course Reserves my first semester at USF, Fall 2012.

How did you hear about course reserves?

I heard about reserves from our sociology program assistant, Amy Joseph. She sent an introductory email that mentioned the library offered the service.

It’s great to hear you heard about the service from your PA, because they often place materials on course reserves on behalf of their faculty.

Why do you utilize this library service?

It’s my responsibility as an instructor to make my classes accessible to all students enrolled. Course materials, especially textbooks, are expensive. Having material available on course reserves helps make our classroom community more inclusive and equitable.

Similar to the previous question, what (in your opinion) are the benefits of placing materials on reserve in the library?

Additional benefits: Course reserves are a great option for students who don’t want to fall behind while waiting for their books to arrive. I’ve also put films on reserve which has been helpful for students who might have missed class, or those who want to re-watch the material.

Have you had any feedback from your students (positive or negative) about placing items on reserve in the library?

Over the years several students have commented that they appreciated course reserves, for the reasons listed above. One student, who used public transportation for their long commute and spent entire days on campus, found using course reserves very convenient and a better option than toting around their heavy books.

As a library service, where do you think reserves could improve?

Putting material on reserve is easy to do and benefits students—and our classroom community—in many ways. I’m grateful for the service and will continue using it!

If you would like to learn more about Course Reserves check out our Course Reserves for Faculty page. Or simply contact the Course Reserves Coordinator.

Image: Reserved by Paul Downey