Category Archives: Libraries and Reading

National Library Week

April 9-15, 2017

In 1975, the American Library Association took complete charge of National Library Week, which since 1958 had been under the auspices of both the National Book Committee of the American Book Publishers Association and the American Library Association.

City College of San Francisco Librarian Rita Jones spearheaded a drive for endorsements from persons of fame and reputation. Even though “Information Power” served as the national motto, alerting to the nascent information revolution, the emphasis on books, on reading, and the library as a people’s university remained foremost in the sentiments of those whom Ms Jones entreated for support.

Mayor Alioto    Maya Angelou (2)

Thus, Mayor Joseph Alioto, in Proclamation: “Libraries enable people to partake of all the knowledge, facts, culture and tradition that are found in the printed word.”

Maya Angelou: “When a family or community, state, nation or species finds itself in perilous times, that body is most supported when it goes to its heroes, living or dead, for inspiration.”

Willie Brown Shirley Chisolm (2)

Willie Brown: “The City College Library and the San Francisco Public Library represent, in fact, a free university…particularly for low income individuals. A library is one of the resources that I have used to make my case in the classroom, the courtroom and on the floor of the Legislature.”

Shirley Chisolm: “To succeed…you must be able to read and comprehend and to express yourself…Books are the keys to a World of excitement and enlightenment!”

Frances Ford Coppola: “Success and fame mean being able to bring about the things that you dream about.”

Ethel Crockett, California State Librarian: “What a fine idea you have to highlight the library during National Library Week.” Evan as “Libraries … are in the maelstrom of change, adding new dimensions as they respond to our need … for both information and pleasure.”

Bing Crosby Marge Fong Eu

Bing Crosby: “I am deeply concerned over the fact that very few of our young people are inclined to do a great deal of reading. They rather watch television, and I think they are losing a great deal by this inclination.”

Kathryn Crosby: “Keep Reading!”

Mervyn Dymally, Lieutenant Governor: “The unemployed and the millionaire all have the same access to our public libraries.”

Marge Fong Eu, Secretary of State: “The library is ‘the people’s university’… In the library, complete equality of opportunity is a reality. I encourage all … to explore the treasures…”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Jose Feliciano

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “Light Heat & Power to You”

Jose Feliciano: “Although my reading is limited by what has been translated into Braille, I do try to read a bit of everything and I have quite a library.”

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Celebrating 80 Years: City College is STILL Your College

ccsf 80 typewriter ccsf 80 40s 50s g00d  ccsf 80 truth freak ccsf 80 sansei
Click on images to enlarge

May 5, 2015-February 4, 2016
3rd Floor Atrium, Rosenberg Library
Click here for Library hours.

City College of San Francisco has had a college newspaper since it began. This exhibition, a collaboration with CCSF’s Journalism Department, tells the College’s history through articles from The Guardsman archive. “The Guardsman is really the prime source of reporting for the college, both on student matters and on governance. Without it, there would be little narrative of the college past, certainly not with the level and breadth of coverage that The Guardsman has given us,” says Dr. Christopher Kox, Interim Dean of the City College Library.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS
Originally titled Emanon (“no name” spelled backwards), The Guardsman switched to its current title after only a few issues. The push for a centralized campus for the “trolley car college” became a major theme in the paper’s early days before the construction of the landmark science building in 1940. “We got plenty of nothing,” complains a 1937 article on the far-flung City College locations of the time. The dirt and photos in this case show the building of the new campus on “Windy Hill 29” (out of San Francisco’s 49) while an early spread in the paper illustrates the complex printing process of the pre-digital age.

ccsf 80 contemp award better ccsf 80 black theater reflection ccsf 80 70s flag girl ccsf 80 contemp mac
Click on images to enlarge

CITY COLLEGE IS YOUR COLLEGE
The paper’s history reflects City College’s unique niche as an urban community college in one of the country’s most diverse cities.
During World War II, Ruth Kay, whose family fled Nazi Germany, shares her story, while a headline from the same page ruminates on “The Superiority of Negro Street Car Conductors” under a cartoon of
Adolph Hitler. The school’s mission of inclusivity and job training are echoed throughout its pages. Post-World War II, married veterans lived in on-campus Quonset huts built under the GI Bill, while flyers and pamphlets emphasize the range of classes and training programs available to students.

INCLUSION AND RADICALISM
“Transexuality is a reality” proclaims a 1977 Guardsman headline. The article profiles a transgender sex worker and City College student, including quotes from a registrar assuring students that sex had no bearing on admission. In 1968, The Associated Students Council founded an alternative paper, The Free Critic. From La Raza Unida to the Women’s Resource Center to the Black Student’s Union, the Critic featured groups that still play major roles at City College. Hua Sheng, or China Voice, was a handwritten feature published weekly in the Free Critic under the name Han for English speakers. The Associated Students and Chinese students pushed for the project despite initial opposition, and it became a regular part of the student-run Critic.

COMMUNITY AND NEW MEDIA
Today, The Guardsman has expanded its scope under department chair Juan Gonzales to include community-wide news stories, a website and Facebook page, and color photos. Etc. Magazine features longer-form stories from City College’s journalism students. Like The Guardsman, it covers issues affecting the school and its surrounding community, such as the ongoing fight for accreditation. The newspaper and magazine continually take top honors at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state convention, and regularly win general excellence honors each semester. The publications join Forum, the English department’s literary journal (established 1937 and revived in the 2000s) to tell the story of City College through the printed – and digital – word.
——-Marynoel Strope, co-curator

Check out The Guardsman
Check out the CCSF Journalism Department

Download Celebrating 80 Years CCSF the exhibition assignment and list of resources.

Special thanks to Susan Hathaway who designed the running banner at the top of the cases with the many different mastheads The Guardsman has used over the years. Thanks also to Mark Albright and Johanna Rudolph.

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Library Stair Poem

This stair poem, which soars four floors up through the Rosenberg Library’s atrium is read from bottom to top by thousands of members of the College community everyday. The poem accompanies the Project Survive Exhibition. All thirteen quotes come from testimonials by Peer Educators of Project Survive. Traci Wrycza, Project Survive exhibition designer also designed the stair quotes. The idea for the stair poem was inspired by the Chimurenga Library Project at the San Francisco Public Library and resonates with the Groundswell Stairway Project, created by Leslie Simon.

Top Stairs Poem Bottom Stairs Poem 2

Roll back up to read the way students ascending the stairs do!

For more information contact Kate Connell,
Curator, Library Exhibition Program,  kconnell (at) ccsf dot edu

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Books Equal Art

Books

October 2014 – January 2015
4th Floor Reference Case West, Rosenberg Library
Library Hours

Books Equal Art/Books = Art, especially when they’re handmade books from Tara Books, printed books from Nobrow Press, books made of bamboo or an interactive book by young artist Ruby Alaniz-Hamer or I have Seen the Promised Land, a collaboratively created graphic novel by Bengal painter, Manu Chitrakar, African American griot, writer and performer Arthur Flowers and Italian designer Guglielmo Rossi at the provocation of Tara Books.

Tara Books’ blog lead us to another fascinating press:
Los lenateros title

All books on display were lent by the artists or purchased from Bird & Beckett, book lovers and presenters of free concerts in Glen Park, San Francisco, California.

Tara Books’ I Have Seen the Promised Land and Sita’s Ramayana will both be added to the CCSF Library in Spring 2015.

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Between the Leaves… Pictures Nestle on the Pages of Books

4th Floor, Rosenberg Library
City College of San Francisco,
Ocean Campus

Location and Hours

Between the Leaves

Art doesn’t just hang on museum walls. When it appears in books, you can hold it in your hands. The City College Library collection has millions of beautiful images nestled on the pages of books. Like text, pictures are information. Paintings, photographs, etchings, sculpture, collages and illustrations, all convey visual information in unique ways. Within a book, text supplies a context for images, making it even more possible to decipher them. What do the images in these books bring to mind? The work of internationally known artists from the present and last decades is on display: Chris Ware, Ben Shahn, Norman Rockwell and more. The images range from woodcuts in Wild Pilgrimage (1932), a wordless novel by Lynd Ward to drawings by Edith M. Cowles who used colored pencil to draw the frescoes of artist Giotto di Bondone for the 1931 portfolio Giotto, the Legend of St. Francis as Depicted in the Assisi Frescoes. Chris Ware’s multi-publication Building Stories, 2012, is also on display. Can you find the names of artists and illustrators of books as easily as you find the book’s author? Sometimes this depends on what era the book was published in.

Between the Leaves 

Between the Leaves Rockwell cover      Between the Leaves Face pages

Between the Leaves Master of the Day of Judgement

Click here to download the Library assignment on the Between the Leaves exhibition

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White Collar:

A Depression-Era Graphic Novel
About Work

3rd Floor, Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
October 25, 2013-April 12, 2014

White Collar

White Collar, by Giacomo Patri

Artist Giacomo Patri envisioned White Collar as a book that would dramatize, explain and solve the problem of the non-unionized white-collar worker who had been crushed by the poverty of the Great Depression in the 1930s. White Collar contrasts isolated poverty with the alternative: united action of the middle-class worker, it urges white callar workers to join unions and to join with their blue collar fellow workers. Patri had experienced many of the struggles depicted in the book personally. Using the linocut, a technique of carving linoleum attached to wooden blocks, he hand-printed the first edition with the help of his wife Stella, a book designer.  The second and third editions were commercially printed.

The Great Depression was the worst economic crisis of the 20th Century.  After the stock market collapsed in 1929, nearly half the country’s banks failed and some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed – nearly one in four workers. California’s unemployment rate was 28% in 1932, and in San Francisco the number of unemployed nearly doubled in one year from 1930 to 1931, reaching its peak in 1933.  Many people lost their homes and their life savings. The U. S. government, led by President Franklin Roosevelt, responded to the crisis with a series of laws and programs called the New Deal. Banking regulations were passed to prevent the financial speculation that led to the stock market crash, social safety net programs such as Social Security were created to prevent poverty, and protections were put in place that legally allowed workers to organize into unions for the first time.

Using strong graphic illustrations and just two colors, White Collar  depicts the impact of the Great Depression on ordinary people through images rather than words. The novel is a wonderful example of the powerful graphic style of the 1930s and an example of the dynamic collaborations between artists and the labor community during this period.  Shortly before World War II began, Giacomo Patri became the Director of the Art Department at the California Labor School. The Labor School’s curriculum included training in various trades, along with history, philosophy and other humanities courses taught from a working class perspective.  The art programs were among the most popular and any many leading artists, musicians and actors taught at the school. Financial support for the California Labor School came primarily from unions and after the war students were able to use GI Bill funds for tuition. Because the School was ethnically diverse during the Jim Crow era and many of the students and faculty were politically progressive, it was targeted as subversive during the McCarthy anti-communist 1950s, which led to its eventual closure in 1957. 

The exhibition White Collar is a collaboration with the Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC) at San Francisco State University. The LARC collection includes many works by Patri.

For good stories on the labor movement, checkout the LARC on Facebook.

Download the White Collar Assignment and list of books and other resources in the CCSF Library

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CUBA: Two Views

La Familia, Roberto Chile  El mar, Steven Daiber
Esta Rojo, Steven Daiber Palomero by Roberto Chile

Afrodescendientes/Afro Cuban Guanabacoa
Photographer Roberto Chile

El Calor del Sol
Steven Daiber and Red Trillium Press

November 13, 2012-April 13, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
(Campus is closed for winter break December 20, 2012-January 14, 2013)

These two exhibitions offer a chance to see Cuba from two very different perspectives, from both inside and from the outside. Here in the United States we don’t often get to learn about Cuba’s kaleidoscope of unique history, rich culture and powerful role in the history of the Americas. In 1960 the U.S. instituted a trade embargo against the socialist island nation, a blockade that is still in place, having just been re-insituted by a vote in the United Nations General Assembly. Cuba also maintains some travel restrictions although occasionally, musical groups (including Orquesta Aragon and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba recent visiors) and others are able to secure both Cuban and U.S. visas in order to perform here. The U.S. embargo limits travel to Cuba to for U.S. citizens to educational and religous purposes. The City College Travel Abroad program leads trips to Cuba during the winter break, click here to learn more.

For the exhibition Afrodescendientes/Afro-Cuban Guanabacoa , prominent Cuban photographer and documentarian Roberto Chile chose to capture life in the community of Guanabacoa in Havana. This collection of photographs was created for the UNESCO International Year for people of African Descent, 2011. In celebration of that year, Afrodescendientes, has been shown in Havana; Madrid, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Washington DC.

Over his forty year career as a photographer, Chile has served as the staff photographer (1984-2006) for Fidel Castro, President and Minister of Cuba and has produced bodies of work—films and photography collections—on a range of subjects: Cuban dance, children’s theater, Afro-Cuban religion and Alberto Korda, the photographer who created the famous image of Che Guevara that is seen around the world. Chile has been described as a chronicler of his time, in the words of the Historian of the City of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler:

“Roberto Chile has forged a unique image of Cuba, always dignified and luminous. His images make up a universe of faith and spirituality, visible to those who, like him, are able to love. “


El Calor del Sol
features artists books from Steven Daiber’s Red Trillium Press Based in Massachusetts, Red Trillium publishes artists books in collaboration with Cuban artists. Daiber travels back and forth between the United States and Cuba and has worked in eight different silkscreen workshops in the city of Havana. Subjects for his books include daily life in Havana, the Cuban Revolution, U.S./Cuba relations, Baseball, gay and transgender life in Havana and daily food rationing—as Daiber travels in Cuba, his experiences, and those of the people he meets and the artists he collaborates with are all possible subjects for his handmade books. Daiber says:

“My work facilitates dialogue between Cuban and foreign artists. Red Trillium Press books create real, metaphorical objects: palaces of the memory in which each element underscores a meaning. The collaborative books co-created with Cuban artists tell their stories of the lived reality in Cuba during the 21st century.”

Daiber’s recent trips to Havana in 2010 and 2011 included teaching book arts and book collaborations with Cuban artists. Poder (Power), created in 2010, is the first book in a series of three books based on themes Cuban artists feel describe their social and political relationships: power, privacy and waiting. These ideas developed during a number of meetings and conversations in 2007 with the artists. The second book, Privacidad (Privacy), was created in 2011 and the third book, Esperando (Waiting), is planned for  2013.

Almedrones y Roberto Chile Roberto Chile at CCSF CCSF Student, Cuba Exhibition cuba red trill muro cuba red trill will Afrodescendientes w Lori CCSF Student studies Red Trillium Red Trillium at CCSF CCSF Librarian views Afrodescendientes

Cuba Two Views Assignment and Book List

Check back as we add more links!

Cosponsored by the City College Study Abroad Program and the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Department.

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