Updated Study Zones

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

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.

Header image: Watching a blank screen by Kenneth Lu

Faculty: Try Using Course Reserves

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 (https://www.usfca.edu/faculty/noriko-milman)

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

Tours of Gleeson Library

There have been lots of changes in Gleeson Library in the last year. Want a quick tour of Gleeson and see what’s new in the building? Join us for a Spring Semester tour. They last about 30 minutes and a Library staff person will take you around the building and show you what’s here that can help you as students. There’s no need to sign up, just meet us in the lobby of Gleeson.

Tours are given on

  • Monday January 22nd at 3pm
  • Tuesday January 23rd at 12 noon
  • Wednesday January 24th at 10am
  • Thursday January 25th at 12 noon
  • Friday January 26th at 2pm
  • Saturday January 27th at 12 noon

Header image: Reading by Richard

Merry Christmas from San Francisco

To wish you a Merry Christmas from USF Library I share some season’s greetings from the Rare Book Room.

Christmas in California
by Edward Rowland Sill
printed for Caroline and Hudson Poole by John Henry Nash, 1928

San Francisco at Christmas
by Sherwood Anderson
printed for Eleanor Anderson by Ted Lilienthal at Quercus Press, 1941
(excerpted from the San Francisco Chronicle, 1939)

I am asked to write a little paean to Christmas, for peoples of San Francisco.  Christianity as a system of thought, of feeling. Time to remember what it's all about.  Oscar Wilde said there had been some Christians before Christ, but none since.  A man is half tempted to believe that, realizing all this is going on in a bitter, bitten world.  Killings, brutally adopted by governments as a system of government, men aplenty here, in our own rich fat land going hungry, men unable to get that thing any decent man most wants, a job, a chance to work and be a man, to stand on his own feet, as a man.  Christianity, as we get it, too much and too often just an abstract thought. "I'll give it lip service if you'll give me immortality." A pretty one-sided bargain that.  San Francisco with the broad Pacific below its hills, the sheer beauty of the city, as it strikes a stranger, a visitor, on a sunshiny day as he stands on one of its hills, or when the fog rolls in ...  The majestic mountains back of it ...  The sunshine, the rich fruit, sea wealth, land wealth, good food, good wine.  A man coming here, lingering a few days, as I have loved to do, drinking it all in, noting the tall beauty of so many of its women, friendliness of its men, getting, while he stays, a feeling of being far away from the ugliness and brutality of war -- world tiredness going out of him ...  All he wants to say to San Francisco is, be gay. Dance in your streets, up and down your hills.  Be glad, glad that you are San Franciscans and that San Francisco is a part of America. In a seemingly damned world we Americans may still, someday, if we can stay off wars, get into our daily lives with one another a bit more of what the figure of Christ really stands for.


Two poems for Christmas
by Kenneth Patchen
printed by John Hunter Thomas and sent by USPS to Dr. Albert Shumate in San Francisco by Mr. and Mrs. Patchen in Palo Alto, December 16, 1958

I HAVE LIGHTED THE CANDLES, MARY // I have lighted the candles, Mary... / How softly breathes your little Son / My wife has spread the table / With our best cloth. There are apples, / Bright as red clocks, upon the mantel. / The snow is a weary face at the window. / How sweetly does He sleep // "Into this bitter world, O Terrible Huntsman!" / I say, and she takes my hand -- "Hush, / You will wake Him." // The taste of tears is on her mouth / When I kiss her. I take an apple / And hold it tightly in my fist; / The cold, swollen face of war leans in the window. // They are blowing out the candles, Mary... / The world is a thing gone mad tonight. / O hold Him tenderly, dear Mother, / For his is a kingdom in the hearts of men. (1941) NOTHING HAS CHANGED // And nothing is the same... / those who then willed death / To all men, / Now have it to wield. // Those who light candles / In this darkness tonight, / Know that time is running out. / It is clear now / That the danger for mankind / Exists not so much in instruments of destruction / Not so much in monstrous new devices for mass-murder; / As in the possibility / That a Christmas Eve will come / When no man / Anywhere in the world / Will again commit the mad folly / Of lightning candles / For the table of his house... / As an instance of his love, and of his good will, / To all men, and to all creatures, everywhere. // Then, indeed, will their madness be joined... / And darkness, at last, cover all things. (1958)

If you would like to view any of these materials in person, we invite you to visit the Rare Book Room in Gleeson Library. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Please make note of the library’s holiday schedule, and call ahead to the Rare Book Librarian to make sure of his availability.