Janice Mirikitani Exhibit on Display

Starr Baby is one of twelve women featured in the exhibit.

Starr Baby is one of twelve women featured in the exhibit.

As a Museum Studies Graduate student I was happy to take on an exhibit project when asked by my boss here at Gleeson. It would be a great opportunity to practice my curatorial skills.

The exhibit, titled “Beyond the Mask: Beauty Revealed,” is the result of GLIDE’s Women’s Center workshop led by poet, GLIDE co-founder, and USF’s Diversity Scholar & Visiting Professor Janice Mirikitani. The workshop was an exercise in self-reflection, encouraging women to write a poem about how they see themselves. These twelve courageous women also wrote poems about how they see one another. The juxtaposition of the poems reveal the power of the word; these women do not write about themselves as victims of domestic violence but as survivors who have transformed their lives, inspiring us to persevere.

Be sure to hear Mirikitani speak at Diversity Talks: The Power of Human Connection on October 7th.

The exhibit is on display in the north stairwell between the first and second floors of Gleeson Library.

What Are the Students Reading? (part 2)

A couple weeks ago I shared what some of the students workers in the library read over the summer. Here is the next batch to inspire some extracurricular reading for you as well!

snow-flower-and-the-secret-fanSnow Flower and the Secret Fan, reviewed by Hannah Bunting 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See is based in nineteenth-century China in Hunan county. At the age of 7, Lily and Snow Flower are paired together as laotong’s, which means “old sames”. This laotong match lasts a lifetime and bonds the two together as best friends, sisters, and each others-other half. Lily and Snow Flower communicated in writing through the nu shu language, which Chinese women used in order to talk secretly without men understanding. Together the two endure the gruesome foot binding process, interesting arranged marriages, and the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood.Throughout the entirety of their life they remain close until a misunderstanding late into adulthood could destroy the bond they have nurtured for years.

The Orphan Master’s Son
, reviewed by Grace Amburgey

The Orphan Master’s Son, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Adam Johnson, is the daring and extraordinary fictional story of a young boy’s journey to adulthood in one of the most enigmatic, dangerous nations in the world, North Korea. Pak Jun Do, the protagonist of the novel, is born into extreme famine, a mysteriously missing mother, and a man so abusive and cruel he can hardly be called a father. The novel follows Jun Do through his arduous childhood, into his conscription into the military, and on his many adventures including kidnapping, secret identities, torture, and even love and sacrifice. The novel offers an excellent insight into what it is truly like to be a citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. To hear the incessant propaganda played over the loudspeakers every moment of the day, to exist in a near constant state of anxiety and uncertainty, and to live in a country so cut-off and controlled that truth is an impossibility and lies are a way of life. This novel challenged my very own notions of the true meanings of freedom and oppression, and left me feeling more uncertain and confused than when I started, an indicator of a truly thought-provoking and excellent novel.

Link+ service interuption 9/15/14

Hi Linkers,

The Link+ central catalog went down this morning and unfortunately all Link+ transactions made on Sept 15th between 11:00 PM PST through approximately 8:00 AM Sept 16 were lost. Sadly there is no way of retrieving these lost transactions. If possible, we ask that kindly resubmit your requests. We do apologize for any inconvenience this service interruption might have caused you.

What are the students reading?

I asked the student assistants in the Reference and Research Services Department of Gleeson Library what they read this past summer, and got some very thoughtful book reviews to share with ya’ll! Enjoy the first installment here.

 the goldfinchThe Goldfinch, reviewed by Kelsey Weise

I read some great books over the summer, and even over the past couple years, but none of them hold a candle to the masterpiece that is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. With her descriptive and absorbing writing, Tartt tells the fascinating​ story of Theodore Decker through his first-person narration, from his pre-teenage years up through adulthood. While the writing and plot itself are both fantastic, my favorite part of this Dickensian novel is how Tartt portrays the characters. No character, no matter how seemingly insignificant or unlikable, is unsympathetic; each one is so thoroughly developed that they could just as easily be people you have known personally for your entire life. At the same time, the plot is riveting enough that Tartt’s careful attention to imagery and detail don’t ever get boring or dry. Overall, this emotional, dark, and often even philosophical novel truly does have something in it for everyone. The Goldfinch is both the kind of novel you stay up all night (maybe even two) reading, and the kind that will be eventually taught in schools for its modest brilliance.

All Quiet on the Western Front, reviewed by Andrew Gonzalesall quiet on the western front

Over this summer I read many books, from Cormack McCarthy’s The Road to Marx’s Communist Manifesto, but by far one of the most stimulating books was All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Now, I have a specific spot for generally dark and/or war novels, maybe it’s because my English teacher in high school had me read the genre all the time, maybe cause I like the harshness of a cynical reality rather than rosy endings. Either way, I had heard of this book being a strong retelling of World War One from the perspective of a front line soldier. I was not disappointed in this regard.

All Quiet on the Western Front tells a rapturous tale from almost the beginning of the book. First allowing for sufficient character rapport, the book then delves into the harsh realities of the World’s first modern war, a war which tore asunder the optimism surrounding modernism/progress of the last half century as all that progress was co-opted to make better killing machines. The book is told from the point of view of a German solider, which is a nice in contrast to the Ally-centric view in which we Americans tend to see WWI and WWII. But besides some names and jokes, this could be the story of any young boy on the front. It beautifully exhibits the stresses of war on the soldier’s mind, as well as how war alone came to define the legacy of these soldiers, these young men whose lives are now lost. I highly recommend it to anyone and will read it again sometime soon.

Donohue Rare Book Room Reopening Celebration

The Thomas Jefferson Collection at the Library of Congress

The Thomas Jefferson Collection at the Library of Congress

Please join the Gleeson Library on September 8 as it celebrates the reopening of the Donohue Rare Book Room following a fifteen-month renovation. The University will welcome Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, who will give an illustrated talk on “Jefferson’s Enlightenment: Reconstructing the Thomas Jefferson Collection at the Library of Congress.” Mark Dimunation is responsible for the development and management of the largest collection of rare books in North America. At the Library of Congress he acquires materials, develops programs, and oversees the operations of the Division. Prior to arriving at the Library of Congress he was Curator of Rare Books and Associate Director for Collections in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University. He specializes in eighteenth and nineteenth-century English and American printing history and is featured often on National Public Radio.


The program will take place on Monday, September 8, at 4:00 p.m. in Fromm Hall and will be followed by an open house in the Donohue Rare Book Room. It is free and open to the public. For further information, please call (415) 422-2036.

John Hawk
Head Librarian, Special Collections and University Archives

Looking for a Textbook?


We know textbooks can break the bank! Here are some options to getting them for free or on the cheap.

• Search by title, author, or ISBN in the library’s catalog to see if USF owns a copy.

• Check to see if your instructor has put a copy on reserve in the library. Search here by instructor’s name or by course number. If you don’t see it, ask your instructor to put a copy on reserve.

• Purchase or rent a textbook from the USF Bookstore.

• Request a copy from another library via Link+ for free. Copies arrive to USF within 4 business days.

• Submit an interlibrary loan request to borrow a copy from a different library (can take longer than using Link+).

• Compare prices at different retailers with the Textbook Deal Finder.

Have any other tips? Leave them in the comments!