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Bay Area Library and Information Network

BayNet Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 4

Summer 2015

ALA Annual Conference, San Francisco 2015


The BayNet Grant Committee
kindly awarded me with an extremely generous $500 Professional Development Grant which I
was very grateful to receive. I
applied it toward registration fees
for the 2015 American Library
Association Annual Conference in
San Francisco that took place at
the end of June. The grant also
partially covered a preconference
RDA cataloging workshop,
Cataloging Special Formats for
the Child in All of Us. This was
my third time attending ALAs
annual conference and I hadnt
been since 2011. It was very exciting to have it situated in wonderful nearby San Francisco. The fact
that it coincided with SFs Pride
Weekend was also pretty exciting
considering Roberta Kaplan was
fortuitously selected as the Opening Keynote Speaker. The morning of the day Kaplan was scheduled to speak, the Supreme Court
affirmed same-sex couples the
right to marry, thus history was in
the making and I got to witness
Kaplans victory speech! Here is a
recap of my conference experience.
I spent all of Thursday at a preconference put on by the Association for Library Collections &
Technical Services. It was about

cataloging uncommon childrens


items with RDA and MARC21.
The presenters were Julie Renee
Moore and Jay Weitz. I work at
Livermore Public Library as an
electronic resources librarian in
the technical services department.
We are a small staff and do not
have a cataloging librarian. With
the relatively recent arrival of the
new cataloging standard, Resource
Description & Access, (meant to
replace AACR2) I thought it would
be a good idea to try to become
knowledgeable about RDA. Let me
start off by saying that I was the
sole non-cataloging librarian
there. That, in and of itself, was
probably a good indicator that I
had no business being there, but
hey, I was feeling up to a challenge. Or so I thought. We covered: an overview of RDA; new
MARC bibliographic fields; various 3-D objects (teacher resource
materials) similar to what Julie
catalogs for education specialists;
2-D items; video games; video
recordings. I measured and tried
to describe plastic pizza slices,
board game pieces, bubble gum
collector card packets, animal xrays, kits, you name it. There is a
whole section in the RDA documentation about 3-Dis it realia,
a toy, or a model, etc.? What are
the content type, the media type,

this thesis in a presentation to


SFAI Alumni, which was to
take place in November
2014. It is understandable
how administrative folk here
on campusthe President, the
fundraisers, the public relations people and othershad
gotten this idea of the SFAI as
refuge as I had always made
sure when the topic came up
to rattle off names of wellknown and terrific LGBTQ

Our Grant Awardee


gives a run-down of ALA
Annual 2015

Detail of Big Conference @


Moscone center Original photo
by CedricSF
and the carrier type? Lets face
itI was in over my head, but I
gave it the old college try. I now
know everything there is to know
about DVD description from Jay. I
learned RDA is an ever-evolving
beast of a standard. (Remind me
how is this making things
better? Just kidding!) I met some
kind folks with good suggestions
who probably wont mind if I send
them a frantic email begging for
help. Admittedly, this course was
not exactly what I thought it
would be, but all in all it was a
good experience and I obtained
helpful information to relay to our
paraprofessional cataloging staff.

Combing Archives to Document Queer San Francisco Art Institute


Jeff: Last Fall I was asked by
Charles Demarais, the President of the San Francisco Art
Institute to present a talk
about the Schools relationship
with the LGBTQ community. I think it was his, and
others understanding that the
SFAI had been a safe haven
and fertile ground for LGBTQ
artists during the schools
140+ year history. Charles
wanted me to give evidence of

Special points
of interest:

artists who had attended and


or taught at the school. This
included Jess, Minor White,
Bernice Bing, Jerome Caja,
Annie Leibowitz, etc. But I
am afraid I had promoted the
impression that these artists
as well as many other LGBTQ
artists had thrived here at the
SFAI campus when I am sure
many of them must have
struggled mightily amidst
prejudice and homophobia and

Ever wondered what


goes into researching an
entire movement? Jim Van
Buskirk and Jeff Gunderson explain their process.

The Mix brings cutting


edge tech to San Francisco
Public Librarys teen users

Inside this issue:

ALA Annual 2
Run-down
Queer SF Art 2
Institute
The Mix at
SF Public
Library

Page 2

BayNet Newsletter

Combing Archives cont.


Our process,
I think we
can safely
say, was
organic.

view from SFAI by Trever Buket

Detail of Marriage Equality Rally,


November 15, 2008, San Francisco
Photo by Frank Farm

succeeded in spite of obstacles


hurled at them from fellow students, faculty and staff. So I
needed to warn these administrators that the true story might
well include many aspects of
LGBTQ life on campus that
would not show the SFAI in a
flattering light. I also mentioned to these staff that having
me do the presentation
although certainly well-versed
and knowledgeable of SFAI
historywas evidence of the
schools continued possible disconnect as I am not of the
LGBTQ community. My own
confusion with how to approach
this was cleared up in correspondence with Lenore Chinn
who said, It begs the question:
Where is the first voice? Where
is the authentic expression from
a community, not just about a
community? Lenore went on to
write about artists photographing outside of their communities, For some this may not be
particularly significant but it
conjures up ongoing issues of
artistic expression from original
sources. That is, from ones own
experience and not, as could be
construed, an anthropological or
sociological peep show. All the
while in mulling over the logistics of this talk, as well as it
content, I wanted to enlist a
more knowledgeable first person to do it! I contacted my
friend Jim Van Buskirk
Jim: My first library job was as
a paraprofessional at the SFAI
library from 1978 to 1981, where
I was active in the newly formed
and short-lived Gay League.
When I finished my MLIS at UC
Berkeley I accepted a professional position at the SFPL. Jeff
was hired to fill my vacancy and
we immediately became friends
and supportive colleagues. Over
the years Jeff had impressively
maintained and developed the
archives as well as having written many important articles, in
addition to the monograph The
Moment of Seeing: Minor White
at the California School of Fine
Arts.
I was intrigued by the prospect
of documenting SFAIs queer

history, having helped co-found


the Gay and Lesbian Interests
Round Tables of both California
Library Association and Art
Libraries Society of North America, serving as an editor of the
Bibliography of Gay and Lesbian Art published in 1994 by
the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of
the College Art Association, and
co-authoring Gay By the Bay: A
History of Queer Culture in the
San Francisco Bay Area
(Chronicle Books, 1996). I maintained fond memories of the
place and it would be great fun
to work on this project with Jeff.
Our process, I think we can
safely say, was organic. Jeff
showed me what he had come up
with so far and we began brainstorming more names. Did soand-so identify as queer? Did
such-and-such artist have an
association with SFAI, either as
an instructor, student, or staff
member? We combed through
exhibition catalogs, books, websites, and the archives. We realized that it would be wise to get
as much opinion from current
faculty as possible. Whenever
we mentioned the project to
someone, they became excited
and often offered another potential name. Julie Blankenship, a
former SFAI student, artist, and
Executive Director of Visual
AID, was a particularly helpful
resource. Realizing that this
needed to be a visual presentation (SFAI is an art school!), we
searched for images of each
artist as well as a representative
sample of their work. Jeff
scanned images from books and
documents, and Jim contacted
possible participants. Knowing
we could never be comprehensive, we nevertheless tried to
follow up on every suggested
name. Moments of sadness
punctured our enthusiasm as we
realized many of the names had
been lost to AIDS.
No one could quite believe that
this important aspect of both
local queer and institutional
history had not previously been
documented. We also recognized potential pitfalls of the
project. To what extent did we
risk misrepresenting and/or

outing individuals? For example, Minor White, now celebrated as a pioneering gay
photographer, was likely not
out during his tenure at the
SFAI. Reinforcing the its complicated phenomenon: Angela
Davis came out as a lesbian in a
1997 interview, but had earlier
married one of her male SFAI
students. We continued to ask
ourselves: were we uncovering
underdocumented material or
just fueling the flames of gossip
under the guise of historical
research?
In some ways the research was a
trip down memory lane. I
tracked down Harry Mulford,
the gay library staffer who had
begun organizing the archives in
the 1970s. He seemed pleased to
hear about the project, though
his health prevented him from
attending our talk. I spoke to my
friend Margaret Cleaver, the
SFAI reference librarian in the
mid-1970s for her personal and
professional reminiscences of
the era. I contacted Matty Oneperson and Sharon Tannenbaum, who met at a meeting
of the Gay League and have
been together ever since. We
spoke, e-mailed, and queried
other SFAI alumni, faculty, and
staff which resulted in a haphazard but nevertheless invaluable oral history record that
gave us a sense of the range of
attitudes, obstacles, triumphs,
events, and actions witnessed by
LBGTQ folk attached to the
SFAI and Bay Area art community.
We enlisted the thoughts and
research assistance of queeridentified students Anna Garski,
Ryan Darley, and Aaron Kissman. For example, Ryan patiently scrutinized many issues
of Artweek looking for documentation of a 1980s group exhibition held at SFAI organized by
then-student John DeFazio. As
we assembled names and images, Jeff continually updated
the PowerPoint presentation.
Each time we ran through it
another idea would occur to one
of us. We were adding and revising right up until the evening of

Page 3

Volume 1, Issue 4

ALA Annual cont.


Friday through Sunday I went from
session to session, pavilion to pavilion, walked past vendor after vendor, and had the opportunity to
listen to some incredibly important
women speak. My job duties and
professional interests are quite
varied so I was all over the place in
terms of sessions. Example topic
areas (in no particular order) of
sessions I attended included: cataloging; intellectual freedom; emerging leaders; technology trends; outreach; STEM; public libraries; robotics. There were plenty of great sessions but two standout ones that
caught my attention were: the PLA
Rip us Off: Six Marketing Ideas You
Can Steal and Use at Your Library
on Saturday and the Ignite Session
OutreachKeep it Simple, Stupid
on Sunday. They were both chock
full of marketing, promo, and outreach ideas, and had eager presenters that make you feel motivated to
advocate for your library.
I made sure to attend LITAs Top
Tech Trends panel on Sunday with
Carson Block, Andrea Davis, Grace
Dunbar, and Bonnie Tijerina. Good
thing I arrived early as it was stand-

ing room only by the time it got


started. Here are the topical themes
which stood out: technology infrastructure and privacy issues. Discourse on increasing library bandwidth and making scalable internal
connections because wifi is at capacity with all of the devices accessing
it. There is also a continual push to
make internet access ubiquitous and
free. Not just mentioned in this
roundtable, but brought up at other
sessions as well are the two sides of
the patron privacy coin. On one side
there is a trend for libraries to provide secure websites and browser
privacy as a whole. Alternatively,
there is also a consumer-related
move towards linked data and tracking patron habits in order to provide
better service. The duality of patron
privacy is an interesting conundrum
for library staff.
Where else but at an ALA conference
can you come together and share
ideas with the best peoplelibrary
professionals, authors, activists
combined with inspirational celebrity speakers? Not only did I listen
to Roberta Kaplan on her victorious

day, but also U.S. House Minority


Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke following
the keynote speech. The Enoch Pratt
Free Library Branch Manager,
Melanie Townsend Diggs, gave a
moving speech too. Bright and early
on the following Saturday morning, I
was awed by Gloria Steinhem while
I sipped coffee. And as if ALA werent bustling and exciting enough on
its own, the pride parade and events
about town made for some extra
fantastic eye candy and people
watching. It also meant a million
plus record number of people converging around Moscone and on
BART. Suffice it to say I was pretty
exhausted and dare I say ready to
return to work to catch up and convey all that I learned at ALA 2015.
My mind buzzing with a plethora of
innovative marketing and programming ideas, feeling invigorated,
albeit tired. I highly recommend
anyone who has not yet been to
ALAs annual conference go at least
once. Thank you BayNet!!!

Where else
but at an ALA
conference
can you come
together and
share ideas
with the best
people

By Monica Cromarty, Electronic


Resources Librarian at Livermore
Public Library

Lake Macquarie Shire mobile


library, 20 October 1950 Photo by
Sam Hood Courtesy of State
Library of New South Wales

Combing Archives cont.


the event.
We attempted to attract any and
all interested attendees by asking everyone to advertise the
program. We never really finished our research, rather the
date of the presentation arrived.
Attending a practice runthrough Jims boyfriend, Allen,
immediately identified the recently deceased Arturo Galster
in a 1970s photograph from the
SFAI Archives. We had been
looking at that image for weeks
without recognizing the performance artist, who had become a beloved chameleon of
drag personas. This was definitely a communal project.

The night of the event, we attempted to alleviate our nervousness by inviting the audience
to chime in with any comments.
Aaron Kissman provided the
concluding remarks by underscoring how important knowing
about queer forbearers was to
contemporary students. They
were incredibly appreciative,
and congratulated us heartily
afterward at a special reception,
where more stories were
shared. They seemed thrilled
that their history was being
documented and disseminated.
Just as this project was a mix of
excavating the archives, oral
history, digging through newspapers, and prowling through
artists files, it was also a true

We never
collaboration with many voices
and we hope many more people
will add to the discussion to
make for a more comprehensive
history. While we recognize
there is much more to unearth
we realized that our program
might appeal to a larger audience and are delighted to be
presenting it on Wednesday,
June 3 at the San Francisco
Public Library under the auspices of the James C. Hormel
Gay & Lesbian Center.
By Jim Van Buskirk and Jeff
Gunderson

really
finished our
research,
rather the
date of our
presentation
arrived.

Bay Area Library and


Information Network

As a multi-type library association, BayNet represents librarians


and information professionals from all varieties of organizations.
Our mission is to strengthen connections among all types of San
Francisco Bay Area Libraries and Information Centers, and to
promote communication, professional development, cooperation,
and innovative resource sharing.
If you would like to know more about what we do, contact us via
email at baynetlibs@gmail.com

J OIN B AYN ET ONLINE:


WWW. BAYNETLIBS. ORG

Submit a story:
http://baynetlibs.org/news/
submission-guidelines/

The Mix Brings Cutting Edge Tech to SF Teens Fingertips


When I heard way back in 2013
that the San Francisco Public
Library (SFPL) was building a
dedicated teen digital media
space, I was thrilled. The city of
San Francisco is the home of
many technology companies,
such as Twitter and Adobe, and
many residents work for tech
companies in the surrounding
Bay Area.
But like other urban areas, a
digital divide exists in San
Francisco; many residents,
including teens, don't have
access to broadband or even
basic computers at home or
school.
How can San Francisco teens
have a chance to work at the
companies in their hometown
when they don't have access to
the latest and greatest technology? And how can they learn
the skills they need to join the
tech workforce? The new digital
media space, dubbed The Mix

at SFPL, gives them a head


start.
The Mix is a 4,770-square-foot
space packed with high-end
equipment, including a makerspace (complete with a 3D
printer), a recording studio, and
a video production space. The
space also has shelves with new
teen-focused books, such as
comic books and YA fiction,
with an inviting area to read,
study, or just hang out.
The project was managed by
the San Francisco Department
of Public Works with design
input from the library's Board
of Advising Youth (BAY). The
library plans to work with the
San Francisco Unified School
District to facilitate regular
classroom visits and workshops.
A few upcoming workshops
include Social Media Secrets,
3D Printer Maker Lab, and
an orientation to the awesome
music recording studio.

While The Mix is super cool, we


need to be a bit realistic here:
not every city has a $6 million
budget for its library's tech
space or the generous support
of companies like Microsoft.
But you can still support making at your library and even
start a makerspace on a (much
smaller) budget. [Ed: Check out
the original article on TechSoup
for Libraries for resources to
help: http://
www.techsoupforlibraries.org/
blog/the-mix-brings-cuttingedge-tech-to-san-francisco-teens
-fingertips]
By Ginny Miles from TechSoup
for Libraries

Detail of The Mix entrance


Photo Courtesy of Ginny Miles