Gleeson Zine Library: a new collection

The Gleeson Library has a new, small (but growing!) collection of zines.  What are zines?  Zines are self published magazines.  They are a great means of self expression for artists, writers, and anyone passionate about a topic.  Zines are created in a variety of ways with drawings, comics, collage, hand written, or typed text.  They are typically produced with a limited number of copies and are often just run off on a photocopier.  Because they are self published they can make a space for marginalized voices to be heard.  Common themes include art, poetry, comics, short stories, memoir, cultural criticism, politics, and social commentary.


The new Gleeson Zine Library is located on the second floor in the big reading room near the front of the Library.  We have zines on a variety of topics with some emphasis on social justice and critical theory.  Anyone in the USF community can check out the zines for 30 days, and they can be renewed up to 3 times.

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We are planning a few workshops on zine making and are looking for ways to partner with USF classes and groups. Keep a lookout here for upcoming events! We encourage submissions by members of the USF community.

More information at the Gleeson Zine Library Guide

A new look for the database list

The database list at Gleeson Library has a new look! Find it from the home page:
Search > Databases and on the Databases page, click “A to Z List of Databases.” Here you will see the treasure trove of electronic resources.

click to see a larger view

Search by subject

Discover a subject-specific database beyond your old favorites.

click to see a larger view

Search by type

Looking for a particular kind of content? Narrow in on specific types of research studies, data, and other resources.

Click to see a larger view

Search for a keyword

Do you remember part of a title or something about a database’s contents? Use the search box.

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** Perhaps you can’t remember what it’s called but you know who publishes it. Give the Vendor menu a try.

The A to Z list augments the research guides created by librarians to assist you in finding resources on your subject. You’ll see the research guides getting spruced up as well over the next few months. Check them out from the home page:
Guides & Tools > Research Guides.

We welcome suggestions via our Email the Reference Department form.

Image: Pasta Alphabet by Sandy

Library Liaisons Are Here to Help You

Have you ever wondered which subject-specific databases the library has? There’s a librarian for that! Interested in bringing in your class to learn some research skills? There’s a librarian for that too! Is there a book missing in our collection that is essential to your subject? We can purchase it! These are just some examples of the magic behind library liaisons. Unfamiliar with the program? Then read on!

The Library Liaison program is a service that connects you with a librarian who has expertise in your subject area. To learn more about this resource I spoke with two librarians, Erika Johnson, the Head of Acquisitions and Collection Management, and Joe Garity, a Reference Librarian and the Coordinator of Library Instruction.

I asked them to describe the liaison program in terms of its benefits as a library service. Erika put it this way: “Liaisons are the conduit between academic programs and the library. This critical outreach function ensures that we are best serving the specific research and information literacy needs of students and faculty in each discipline.”

Often people have questions or need help with research and don’t know who to ask. A goal of the liaison program is for faculty, staff, and students to get to know a librarian…

Joe said: “Often people have questions or need help with research and don’t know who to ask. A goal of the liaison program is for faculty, staff, and students to get to know a librarian who knows their subject area and can work with them. So when classes come to the library for research instruction or when students make one-to-one appointments for help, their subject liaison librarian is the person who meets with them.” This translates to resources available outside the classroom that are meant to help faculty and their students thrive and ensure academic excellence.  

So what are these resources? Well, for starters, it’s one-on-one meetings with a librarian. Here, faculty meet with their liaison to help with research needs. Students can also utilize this service. Then there’s information literacy classes, Joe’s domain, where the goal is to get students comfortable with the library’s research services. In this classroom-like session students learn about library resources, including how to navigate our catalog and databases. Students also learn how to research specific subject areas. You can also take a tour of the library and hear about the building itself and its many services beyond the liaison program. For more on library instruction and tours, click here.

And then there’s the collection development portion, which is one of Erika’s primary roles. The library, in line with the University’s mission, strives to acquire materials that will help faculty and students achieve successful academic careers. We therefore need the input of faculty when it comes to the library’s collection. Erica helps faculty “with ordering or cancelling library materials and soliciting their feedback on other collection management projects.”

Library Liaisons are here for you! Whether it’s for research support, library instruction classes, or recommending materials for our collection, we’d love to hear from you.

Some final thoughts on the program: Joe feels the goal “is to give the library a human face, someone who is available to engage with when doing research,” while Erika implores: “Library Liaisons are here for you! Whether it’s for research support, library instruction classes, or recommending materials for our collection, we’d love to hear from you. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our liaison services, please email me at or get in touch with your liaison.”

Next time you are putting together your syllabus, don’t forget your liaison! When searching our catalog and your required book isn’t there, don’t forget your liaison! When students ask questions about citing sources, don’t forget your liaison!  

Be sure to check out all the benefits of the liaison program and find your liaison on our website. I invite you to meet your liaison, and hope to see you in the library.

Study More on the New Second Floor!

Click through to check out the newly renovated 2nd floor of Gleeson Library. Book the new group study rooms online. Come visit and check it out!

Continue reading Study More on the New Second Floor!

Altmetrics and PlumX: More Ways to Measure Your Scholarly Work

Discussions of measuring scholarly work often revolve around the “Impact Factor” for journals, and counting—in various ways—how many times your work has been cited in other scholarly works (see h-index, for example).

If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling! Citation counts may not be a very useful measure if you’re not publishing in fast-moving STEM fields.

If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling!

Citations as the primary assessment measure for scholarship is something of a historical accident — for decades being not the best, but simply the only way to quantitatively measure scholarly impact.

Today there are growing numbers of alternative metrics, or altmetrics, that can be used to both supplement traditional citation metrics, and measure alternative formats (from the peer-reviewed article) such as books and book chapters, videos, blog posts, slide presentations, etc. Examples of altmetrics include number of article downloads or full-text views in databases; books held in library collections; and view counts of videos.

Altmetrics can also include social media metrics such as tweets and Facebook likes which can help measure the attention a piece of research is getting, or indicate how well it is being promoted.

How To Get Altmetrics for Your Work

Plum Print

Gleeson Library subscribes to PlumX, which is a major provider of altmetrics (as well as traditional citation metrics). The best way to get altmetrics for your work is to make sure you are depositing your work in the library’s Scholarship Repository. You’ll see the “Plum Print” on your work’s landing page, and expanding the Plum Print will display all of PlumX’s metrics for your work. You’ll also see Plum Prints showing up for many works in major databases such as Scopus, CINAHL, and Fusion!

Image: Plum Bowl by Alan Levine

Student Social Justice Exhibits

Last year the library launched an innovative project to promote peer to peer learning around social justice topics. The Student Social Justice eXhibits (SSJX) project involves students selecting and researching a social justice topic of their choosing, and then creating a display using Gleeson Library materials such as books, videos, and journal articles.


Librarian Carol Spector developed the idea of SSJX after a pioneering Urban Affairs graduate student volunteered to create a library display simply to share his research. Carol collaborated with fellow librarians Vicki Rosen and Claire Sharifi to expand this idea, working with students and faculty across multiple disciplines to create 7 student led displays over the last academic year. Displays throughout the year were on topics as varied as gentrification in the Western Addition of San Francisco, human trafficking, and reproductive rights. The displays exceeded all expectations – they were informative, creative, and very well received by library patrons.


Individual students who care deeply about a topic and would like to create a display to educate their peers are welcome to contact Carol. SSJX could also be formally included in a curriculum for a class. Options include the creation of a display as a novel deliverable for either a final research project or a research prospectus, or simply for extra credit. For example, last year a student in Performing Arts & Social Justice created an exhibit as part of her capstone project. Professor Devers jumped on board with the idea and assigned Student Social Justice eXhibits as a group project to her students in Female Biology.

For more information on Student Social Justice eXhibits, please contact librarian Carol Spector at, (415) 422-2040