Human Rights Film Festival this week

We’re proud that Gleeson Library is a co-sponsor of USF’s 8th Human Rights Film Festival, free and open to the public this Thursday through Saturday.

From USF students’ short films screening Thursday afternoon, to presentations of documentaries co-sponsored by USF’s LGBT Caucus and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women… from the U.S. military to the International Criminal Court, from the sweatshops of Los Angeles to a squatter settlement in South Africa, the power of film can educate viewers and show the way to action for human rights locally and around the world.

From the website:

This year, the Festival will take place on February 18, 19, and 20. It will include films focusing on Ecuador, Haiti. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and the U.S., as well as other countries and regions in a couple of documentaries that illustrate the scope of global poverty and the crimes against humanity that prompted the formation of the International Criminal Court. For the second year, the festival offers a selection of shorts produced by USF students. In addition to the screenings, we are delighted to present a musical performance by Kalbass Kreyol, A Bay Area Haitian Band.

The festival will be held at the Presentation Theater, on Turk St. near Masonic Ave.

Books by Librarians

You know lots of librarians turn to writing, right? That Jorge Luis Borges was a librarian is pretty well-known but this list of the Top 10 Books Written By Librarians from online bookseller AbeBooks might surprise you. I didn’t know Madeleine L’Engle was a librarian. But another of my very favorite children’s book authors, Beverly Cleary, was a librarian for many years. Do you have other fave librarian-authors?

Bonus: at the bottom of the list is a link to songs about libraries and librarians. They left out my favorite library song though.

The World at our Doorstep– with a photo contest

Here at the library we’re proud to co-sponsor USF’s celebration of International Education Week 2009. Now in the lobby we’re featuring film, recent fiction and poetry by international newcomers to the Bay Area and across the U.S., in honor of IEW and our international students.

You might have already spotted photos from the IEW photo contest around campus or on Facebook. You can view them online here and on the monitor in the library lobby as well. The campus community is invited to vote for the three that best depict international education and cultural exchange. Cast your vote online or in Parina Lounge when it’s transformed into the USF World Village next Tuesday, Nov. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. Voting will be open through Tuesday at 2. The photo contest winners will be announced at the fabulous Culturescape. Don’t miss it!

IEW Display 2009

Photo by Rob Guillen

Can scary be scholarly? You decide!

Jane Austen with zombies.

Monster litPhotos by Rob Guillen

Frankenstein’s monster living on in the twenty-first century.

Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter?

And then there are the classics: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the legendary Golem of the Prague ghetto, the heroic tale of Beowulf and Grendel.

So-called “genre literature” is often the subject of debate in the academy. Mysteries, romance, science fiction, children’s books – all are sometimes stigmatized though often studied by literary snobs and scholars. The emerging genre or sub-genre of “monster lit” is no exception. Some may sniff but there are college courses and lots of erudite criticism of books that feature monsters.

Whatever your take on the question, monster books and movies are definitely a lot of fun! So check out the Library’s collection, featured this month in the lobby.

Here’s a list of some of the books and DVDs we’ve gathered.

I can hardly wait for Little Women with werewolves!

Photo Contest for International Education Week


To kick off USF’s celebration of International Education Week 2009, USF students, staff, and faculty are invited to enter the IEW photo contest.  Last year we had two fabulous entries from Gleeson Library staff! To enter, send a photo from your experiences abroad to by Friday, October 30th. Include a brief (one or two sentences) caption explaining or describing the photo circumstances.

Co-sponsored by Gleeson Library along with International Student and Scholar Services, the ESL program, Residence Life, the Center for Global Education, and Bon Appetit, the IEW theme this year is “The World At Our Doorstep.”

Photo contest entries will be posted around campus and the campus community will vote on the photo that best depicts aspects of international educational or cultural exchange . You can see last year’s photos on the IEW@USF Facebook page. And here’s a taste of Culturescape, the signature event of International Education Week to be held on Friday, November 20 this year.

Library service to USF staff in tough economic times

A version of this post is in the Fall 2009 issue of the library newsletter Global Update.

If you work at USF, one of your benefits is free access to library services and materials for personal and professional use. The library has lots of ways to help you get through these trying economic times.  It’s all provided free to USF staff. Besides books and DVDs to check out, the library gives you access to thousands of online journals, research guides, and professional assistance in getting the information you need.

Are you taking a class and have some homework to finish? Polishing up your resume for a promotion? Do you have to find some information for your job, or for a volunteer activity? Use library resources online or go to the Reference Desk on the first floor to find what you need.

Looking for some recreational reading, or a DVD for home viewing? Search Ignacio, the library catalog, or come in and browse the new book shelves on the first floor or new magazines on the second floor.

Swipe your ID card at our front door to enter the library, and then use it to check out books or DVDs for free. But if you’re too busy or rushed to spend time in the library, you can enjoy many of our offerings from your office or home computer:

It’s good to get away from computers once in a while. Meet colleagues and talk about books in our campus-wide, drop-in book club. The group meets monthly in the library or the beautiful campus garden on Lone Mountain. Books are chosen by the attendees and genres vary monthly from novels to memoir, from sobering history to Bay Area mystery.

Inside the library, the light and airy Monihan Atrium is a peaceful spot for reading, studying, or catching up on your email or research. Wireless Internet access is available in the Atrium as in the entire building. During the school year, the Atrium is open around the clock, even when the rest of the library’s closed.

The library website at is your gateway to library resources online, and key to more information about library hours, policies, and contacts. For more information about library services for USF staff, please see the Library Guide for USF Employees or give us a call at 422-2039.

Library tours (updated)

Updated with new Saturday tour date. See Joe’s comment below.

Library Tours

Tours of Gleeson Library | Geschke Center are given at the beginning of the semester, and on the first Monday of each month. These tours introduce you to the building and many of our services. Meet in front of the Circulation Desk at the entrance of the Library.  All students, faculty and staff are welcome!

Tour Schedule
Wed, August 26, 10:30 am
Thu, August 27, 12:30 pm
Fri, August 28, 2 pm
Sat, September 12, 3 pm

Get More Graphic: Recent Graphic Novel Acquisitions

Since the book club is venturing into the world of graphic novels this month*, we decided to highlight some the library has acquired in the last couple of years. The last time we featured our graphic novel collection, the exhibit resulted in positive attention and suggestions that were used to guide our collection development. So, featured in the lobby this summer are selections from the library’s recent acquisitions. Here’s the list. All the books are available to check out for your summer reading pleasure.

Get more graphic

The books include everything from The Cartoon History of the Universe to a comic book version of the Mahabharata, from The Sweeter Side of R. Crumb to The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom to Che: A Graphic Biography. The graphic novel with the longest title on display is The Fatal Bullet: a True Account of the Assassination, Lingering Pain, Death, and Burial of James A. Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States, also Including the Inglorious Life and Career of the Despised Assassin Guiteau. And the book with the most pages must be Gravity’s Rainbow Illustrated: One Picture For Every Page.

To find more graphic novels in Ignacio, the library catalog, search for the subject “graphic novels”. Or browse the 3rd floor stacks in the vicinity of PN 6727 and PN 6728 — many, but not all, are shelved there.

*If you’ve been hesitant to read a graphic novel, don’t worry, “graphic” just  refers to the use of illustrations. “Graphic novel” is a format in which pictures and text work together to carry a narrative.

E-textbooks experiment — wave of the future?

In 6 Lessons One Campus Learned About E-Textbooks the Chronicle of Higher Education provides an intriguing report on Northwest Missouri State University’s experiment with e-textbooks. In a move to cut costs of the campus textbook-rental program, the university provided 240 students with textbooks on Sony Reader devices. Frustrated with the software and format, the next semester they switched to PC-based e-book software. The results were mixed. About 17 percent of the students said the e-format helped them study more; twice as many said they studied less. But they seemed to like the format better after they had a chance to get used to it. “The more I have used it, the more I have discovered what I can do with it.” wrote one student.

In the fall, six colleges will be testing a new Kindle version designed with textbooks in mind. Northwest Missouri’s president thinks e-textbooks will be common on campuses in 5 years. What say you?

Clothesline Project in the library


It took 1 year before I ever said anything.

I never actually said yes.

You took a lot away from me, but I’m still here & you can’t hurt me any more.

This week the Office of Residence Life and Students Taking Action Against Sexual Violence are shining a spotlight on sexual assault in a series of events including installations around campus of The Clothesline Project. USF community members have decorated these and many more shirts as testimony to the problem of violence against women. Some are hanging in the library, first floor north behind the Thacher Gallery.


svaw-erin-looks2 We pulled books and videos/DVDs from the shelves that you can check out, and compiled them in a list that you can take. You can also pick up a resource packet, with information, legal definitions, and advice on what to do if you or someone you know is attacked.svaw-when-i-was-153

More of the Clothesline Project and resource packets can be found in the residence halls and around the campus.

Please take some time to learn about the problem and how to help people who have experienced sexual violence.

President Lincoln’s fingerprint

Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. Interestingly a student at Miami University in Ohio recently discovered a rather rare example of Lincoln’s fingerprint on a letter housed in Miami’s library. Thinking about Lincoln’s hands sent me looking for a picture of them from the Lincoln Memorial statue. It turns out there are casts of his hands in museum collections all over the place, made from original casts made in Springfield, Illinois in May 1860, right after Lincoln’s presidential nomination. Tangible tokens of a president in whom so many have invested their hopes — reminds me of all the Obama memorabilia.

You can see some fantastic Lincoln materials in the digital collections of the Library of Congress. They’ve uploaded some of the photos to their Flickr stream. (Read more about the Library’s “The Commons” project on Flickr here.)

A bit blurry but the images help bring history to life don’t you think?

Abraham Lincoln, 1846 or 1847. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-2439

Abraham Lincoln, 1846 or 1847. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-2439

Abraham Lincoln, circa 1864. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ6-2094

Abraham Lincoln, circa 1864. From Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ6-2094

Spotlight on world cinema for International Education Week

The World Unveiled Through Cinema

photo by Daniela Contreras

IEW @ Gleeson Library

photo by Daniela Contreras

Gleeson’s video collection is an eclectic mix of documentaries and feature films on DVD and VHS. Although they’re all in the catalog, they’re somewhat hidden because you have to ask for them at the circulation desk. We’re featuring some of them in connection with USF’s celebration of International Education Week. Along with films from Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia, there are books on international cinema, and art objects collected by Professor Johnnie Johnson Hafernik. Please feel free to take an IEW bookmark and check out any of the books or videos.

International students are offering the USF community a wealth of cultural treasure this week. There’s video of course: African Awareness Club hosts This is Nollywood about the Nigerian film industry on Tuesday night, and Amnesty International presents Maquilapolis Wednesday evening. Tuesday afternoon there are dance lessons in Brazilian Forró. Tuesday and Thursday evening, stop by the tables in the World Market to practice another language. Spend your lunchtime Wednesday in McLaren 252 listening to stories and folktales from around the world. And don’t miss Culturescape Friday night! IEW’s signature event features an amazing array of global cultures including dance, music and international food. Tickets are on sale this week in front of University Center at lunch and dinnertime. Here’s a sample to whet your appetite.

About the library videos: Most have been acquired at the request of faculty who wish to use a particular title for classes. Unless it’s on reserve for a class, any video can be checked out by USF students, staff or faculty. To find international video in the library catalog, search the subject terms feature films or documentary films.

Library staffers compete in International Education Week photo contest — updated

Two of our library staff members and 32 other USF students, staff, and faculty have entered USF’s IEW 2008 photo contest. Depicting “Global Citizens in Action,” the photos illustrate how the USF community has been touched by cultural exchange.

All USF staff, faculty and students are invited to vote this week on your favorites. See them on the IEW website, on this PowerPoint presentation, or on Facebook. Then vote for your top three here, before Friday Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.

I’m having a hard time deciding on three favorites. There are a lot of good pictures here.

Stay tuned for more on International Education Week, sponsored by ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services), the Center for Global Education, the ESL department, Residence Life, and a bunch of other campus departments including Gleeson/Geschke.

Go Kelci and Fabi!

Update: the votes are in and the winners are posted here. See a slideshow of all the entries on the monitor in the library lobby.

Register to vote in Calif. by today – Oct 20 – check registration online – updated

10/21/08 update: The deadline for voter registration in California has passed. See below for info on registering in other states.

Voter registration forms are available at the library for San Francisco County. Forms for other counties are availabile here — fill one out, print, and take it to your county elections office.

San Francisco and Alameda County elections’ offices are open til midnight tonight to accept registration forms. Contra Costa County has several locations to register til 10 pm or midnight. Register in San Mateo County or Marin County before 8 pm. Santa Clara County has a dropbox in case you get there after they close at 7 pm.

Check here to make sure you’re registered in San Francisco County.

Here’s where you can check to make sure you’re registered in Alameda County.

Check your San Mateo County registration here.

Your Santa Clara County registration can be checked here.

Some other states have later deadlines though the deadlines for many are already past. Get info for other states and register online at or

By the way, early voting has started in California and many other states. You can vote now at your county elections office.