Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Witches, black cats, jack o’lanterns, ghosts, and goblins will herald the arrival of Halloween, a holiday whose roots stem from ancient religious Pagan rituals of the Celts. What are the historical origins of this traditional holiday? Is this merely a time for kids to go trick-or-treating? To learn some of the intriguing and folkloric facts surrounding this holiday from a scholarly perspective, check out the JSTOR database:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the Library.

2. Under the “Articles and News” category, select the JSTOR database.

3. Select “Search” and enter the phrase “Halloween in America” (in quotes) into the search box.

Below is a citation and excerpt from one of the articles:

"Halloween in America: Contemporary Customs and Performances," Jack Santino, Western Folklore, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Jan., 1983), pp. 1-20.

“Halloween in America is a very popular holiday marked by a great deal of expressive culture which calls attention to itself and the day to which it belongs.”

The JSTOR database contains full-text articles in various academic disciplines dating back from 1838 to three years ago. Subject areas include art, business, health, language and literature, music, science, and more.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October -- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

On September 28, 2007, President George W. Bush proclaimed October 2007 as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Beginning as a weeklong campaign program in 1985, NBCAM is dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer. For this period, the American Cancer Society along with other national public service organizations--either professional or government--have all joined together, spreading the message that early detection of breast cancer followed with prompt and proper treatment can save lives.

Do you know how often you should get a mammogram? Should both men and women get tested? Is there an increase of breast cancer among men?

The San Francisco Public Library has a variety of resources and materials on breast cancer. Here are some newsletters and magazines on the subject: Breast Cancer: the Journal of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society, The CBHP Report: the Newsletter of the Community Breast Health Project, Mamm, Source/Breast Cancer Action, and Saber Es Poder (Spanish version of Breast Cancer Action).

You can find articles on the subject of breast cancer by visiting the library’s Web site and selecting Articles & Databases. You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the library.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chinese American Genealogy Program

"Four Generations of Family Resemblances"

@1996 by Jeanie Low

The Magazines & Newspapers Center will present a program--Family Legacies: Genealogical Resources for Chinese Americans--hosted by Jeanie Low, author of China Connection: Finding Ancestral Roots for Chinese in America. Topics will include interviewing family members, translating gravestones, accessing 20th century immigration and naturalization case files in English, census research, World War I draft records and research within a historical context. Research management information is for all levels of researchers.

Since 1993, Jeanie has presented workshops at conferences for the National Archives and Records Administration, National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Chinese Historical Society of America, and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department. She is also a local award-winning quilt artist and holds degrees in Library Technology and Chinese Studies.

- Address: 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
- Location: Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room
- Event Date and Time: Saturday, October 27 (10:30 a.m. to noon)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Standard Periodical Directory

You may already know that the Magazines and Newspapers Center holds thousands of magazines and newspapers from the past to the present, along with microfilm, San Francisco City Directories, and telephone books from around the country. But did you know that the Center also has many reference resources to help answer a variety of questions that you may have?

In addition to the skilled library technicians and librarians that staff the Center's reference desk, you should be aware of the many print resources available to you.

One particular useful tool is the The Standard Periodical Directory, a directory of magazines by subject.

The 30th edition holds information for over 58,000 magazines with over 5,500 additions from the last edition. Over 17,000 magazines are noted as a combination of print and online media. Also of note is that corporate in-house magazines have dwindled from 79 pages to 5 while ethnic magazines have grown astronomically. Hispanic magazines have grown from 30 to 245 since 1977. Indicative of the size and motion within the magazine industry, the Directory contains valuable information for each listed periodical that includes websites, email addresses, subscription list rental availability, and other basic information.

This is one example of over 100 reference sources that are held at the Center's main reference desk. If you have a question, the Center may have your answer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New York Times

As of September 19, 2007, the New York Times has eliminated charging fees to certain sections of their Web site, providing free access to a huge portion of their news content. Readers will be able to access articles from 1987 to the present as well as older material from1851 to 1922 with selected content between the years 1923 to 1986.

The San Francisco Public Library continues to provide full-text articles to the New York Times through the New York Times Historical database, covering 1851 to 3 years ago. The Proquest Newspapers database includes more recent articles (text only), covering over 300 U.S. international and national news publications from 1979 to the present. You will need a San Francisco Public library card to access these databases from the “Articles and Databases” link under “Articles & News.”

Here at the Magazines and Newspapers Center, you can access the entire run of the New York Times on microfilm in its original format, complete with graphics and photographs, dating back to 1857.

For more information on this recent change, refer to the following article on the New York Times Web site: http://tinyurl.com/ytkvhs

Saturday, October 13, 2007

State of the Magazine Publishing Industry 2007

The publishing industry is in a state of change, shock, and reformation. The Internet has only begun to change the nature of this print industry. Google has cornered the advertising market.

So how does all this affect you, the library user who loves to read magazines? "Out of Vogue," an article on the magazine industry in the September 29, 2007 issue of The Economist, has a clue. The article reports that "although healthier than newspapers, consumer magazines have problems" (p. 72-73).

The magazine industry simply can no longer survive as a purely print service. Consumers and readers are looking for a full-range of media services that include the printed word, visual, streaming media, interactivity, shopping opportunities, and cross-linkages with relevant but separate media.

Here is an excerpt from the article - which can be found in both our print archive and magazine database resources. You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to get into the databases from outside the library.

"On the advertising side, magazines are faring much better than newspapers, which are losing big chunks of revenue as classified advertising shifts online. Advertisers like the fact that in many genres, such as fashion, readers accept and value magazine ads and even consider them part of the product.

Unfortunately, magazine publishers have been slow to get onto the internet. 'Eighteen months ago the internet was something they worried about after 4pm on Friday,' says Peter Kreisky, a consultant to the media industry, 'but now it's at the heart of their business model.' Meredith, a magazine publisher from the mid-west of America with old-fashioned brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, recently held an internet 'boot-camp' for its executives to teach them internet basics.

To their credit, big magazine firms are doing far more than replicating their print products online. Whereas newspapers have concentrated on transferring print journalism to the internet, magazines offer people useful, fun services online--Lagardère's Car and Driver website, for instance, offers virtual test drives, and Better Homes and Gardens online has a 3D planning tool to help people redesign their homes."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Introduction To Genealogical Research

New to genealogy and wanting to find your connection to the people who brought you into this world? Interested in knowing your parents, their parents, the people they loved, and the people whom they shared their lives with?

Researching into your genealogy is more than a detective story that grows and flowers. It is a story you write backwards, and it includes the struggles, victories, and defeats of the people closest to you.

The Magazines and Newspapers Center holds a variety of helpful resources, but so many tools can be overwhelming. To help guide your research, the Center will offer an introductory class on genealogical research including a brief introduction to genealogical research and a demonstration of the library’s relevant databases. The class will conclude with a short tour of the print and microfilm resources in the Magazines and Newspapers Center.

- Address: 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
- Location: Main Library Training Center (5th Fl.)
- Event Date and Time: Wednesday, October 17 (noon to 1 p.m.)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Christopher Columbus

Did you know a statue of Christopher Columbus has a permanent residence in the city of San Francisco? Perched high atop Telegraph Hill in front of Coit Tower stands the once-reputed Italian explorer who thought he had discovered America. To view photographic images of this statue, check out the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “SFPL-Created Research Tools.”

2. Under the “San Francisco Resources” category, select SF Historical Photograph Collection.”

3. On the left-hand side, select “Search Digitized Images."

4. Enter the keywords “Christopher Columbus” into the search box.

5. From the list of results, select “View Image” to see a larger version of each photograph.

The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, located in the San Francisco History Center, contains over 250,000 rare and historical photographs of San Francisco and California from 1850 to the present. This collection also includes the photo morgue of the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin, a daily San Francisco newspaper published in the early 20th century. The Magazines and Newspapers Center has copies of this newspaper dating back to 1959 on microfilm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Where Do I Find This Magazine?

The Herb Caen Magazines and Newspapers Center holds the bulk of the magazines received by the Main Library. However, there are some exceptions library users should be aware of.

To find the location of a magazine title, check the library’s online catalog or ask a librarian for assistance.

Circulating adult magazines, temporarily not available during the Main Library First Floor Renovation, will be available again upon the completion of this project.

Magazines for the deaf and/or hard-of-hearing are available to read in the Deaf Services Center on the first floor.

The Children’s Center holds children’s titles for circulation on the second floor.

The Teen Center on the third floor holds teen-interest magazines which also circulate.

Also on the third floor, the International Center holds circulating magazines in languages other than English.

The Government Information Center, located on the fifth floor, holds government-issued and government-related periodicals.

The Little Maga/Zine Collection is in the Book Arts and Special Collections Center on the sixth floor.

And finally, Affinity Centers, like the Filipino American Center, are located throughout the building and offer topically-related magazines.