Saturday, April 13, 2024

Baseball Season at the Magazines and Newspapers Center

Believe it or not, many librarians on the 5th floor of the Main Library are avid baseball fans. Our allegiances range from the Giants to the A's to the Angels (sorry Dodgers fans). We're sort of like Marianne Moore in that way (influential modernist poet, librarian at NYPL, and avid baseball fan)--you wouldn't expect librarians to be baseball fans, would you? (Leave a comment to correct us if we're wrong!) Nonetheless we were jazzed about opening day a few weeks ago and look forward to the new season.

Here are our recommendations for keeping up with the baseball season with sports journalists: 

The Athletic 

This is a proprietary website that requires a subscription to access a lot of their features, but it is the leading standard in sports reporting. Word from our librarians is that the Athletic poached the top sports reporting talent from the legacy print media a couple years ago. From their website: "The Athletic’s 400+ person, full-time newsroom delivers premium coverage of hundreds of pro and college teams across 47+ North American markets and all 20 European football clubs in the English Premier League." The New York Times acquired The Athletic in 2022 but they have specific rules about what types of NYT subscriptions include access to content on The Athletic. Unfortunately the NYT website subscriptions we offer through SFPL do not include this access, but if you have your own subscription, you may qualify

The Athletic is a good bet if you have some disposable income to throw at another subscription and if you are into sports in general, beyond baseball. If you're primarily concerned with baseball, look no further than our very own San Francisco Chronicle... 

The San Francisco Chronicle 

Sports section, baseball beat: The SF Chronicle online has a dedicated tag for the Giants, where you can find all their reporting on the team. If you don't have your own subscription to the SF Chron's website, then this isn't much help. 

Not to fear, at SFPL we do provide a database that gives you access to the content of the SF Chronicle. 

San Francisco Chronicle - Most Recent Issues

From that page, you can read the daily paper exactly as it appears in print by clicking on the date that you'd like to read. 

You can also do a search to bring back Giants-centric content. 

The journalists who cover the baseball beat are John Shea, Shayna Rubin, and Susan Slusser primarily. You can copy and paste this search string into the search box to bring back their reporting:  

 ("John Shea" or "Shayna Rubin" or "Susan Slusser") and Giants

(search is not case sensitive)

The database will sort your results by date, so you'll see articles about the most recent games at the top of the list. 

You can try this same search swapping out Giants for Athletics or A's, etc. 

The Players' Tribune, Querida San Francisco by Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo threw one last pitch for the Giants about one year ago after helping lead the team to three world series titles for the nine years he wore SF orange. Although he had departed the Giants in 2016 and had retried from baseball in 2022, he returned in March 2023 for the last pitch at Oracle Park. The letter, published the day of Romo's last pitch, appears in Spanish and in English and offers a sentimental reflection on the power of the game within families and within communities--our misfit community of San Francisco in specific. Anyone else remember that 2010 world series win? I remember watching part of it from the emergency room at Saint Mary's on Stanyan. We so very much appreciate this stroll down memory lane with Romo, even one year on.

Los Angeles Times

What do we know about that other city down south that has a pretty famous baseball team? We know enough to know they think Dodgers fans are crawling out of the cracks even in San Francisco.

"The hat came about because I'm a Dodger fan," said shop owner Anthony Madrid, who said he opened the shop in 2013. "You live anywhere in L.A., anywhere in California, you are going to be a Dodger fan."

Anywhere in California?

"Even in San Francisco," he said. "You'd be surprised."

From "Dodgers should embrace locals who love them," LA Times April 13, 2024 

Regardless of some people's opinions they print in the newspaper, the Los Angeles Times remains a great source for California baseball reporting and SFPL provides access to a database with that content as well. 

Los Angeles Times - Most Recent Issues

A simple search from here with your favorite team's name (ahem, cough, Dodgers) may be sufficient to get you the good stuff, but if your fave is the Angels, you may need to pair your keyword angels with the keyword baseball because angels is used to describe much more than a baseball team in everyday nomenclature. Just remember to sort your results by date so you get the most recent news at the top. Look for the sorting menu at the top left corner of your results screen. 

Dave Zirin, The Nation 

Zirin is a sports journalist reporting for The Nation, and his writings follow a political bend germane to the publication. SFPL subscribes to the print magazine and the digital version on Flipster, but you'll find most of Zirin's pieces on the Nation's website.

He often has interesting things to say about baseball in addition to the other sports he covers. Most recently he dipped his toes into the drama with the A's (formerly known as the Oakland A's) in an April 5, 2024 piece calling the GAP heir and A's owner John Fisher a "petty authoritarian" and shining a light on his retaliation against outspoken team members Ruiz and Rooker. 

Speaking of the A's holdover in Sacramento before making their final move to Las Vegas in 2028, Zirin says, "To see Fisher humiliate this franchise and the city of Oakland on his way out the door demands a rebuke" and goes on to pointedly say, "This isn’t about baseball. It’s about capital flight from our cities. It’s about the subjugation of our history. It’s about the 1 percent picking the meat off the bones of our cities."

Do you agree, and if so, what would your rebuke be?

Other Newspapers 

If you're like our bud Marianne Moore, you're probably itching for that Yankees content!

Marianne Moore throws the first pitch at Yankees stadium 1968. Library of America: Poetry in Motion by Larry Merchant

San Francisco Public Library provides access to newspapers from other geographic areas as well, namely the New York Times in many formats. Explore more newspapers under eNews on our webpage. 

Magazines and Newspapers - Access eNews Collections

What's your favorite team and how do you keep up with their record? Leave a comment to let us know.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Film: The Dissident


Film: The Dissident 

Friday, 4/12/2024
1:30 - 3:30

Koret Auditorium

Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was critical of his beloved Saudi Arabia and of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies. On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and never came out. His fiancée and dissidents around the world are left to piece together clues to his brutal murder—and in their dogged quest for truth, they expose a global cover-up perpetrated by the very country he loved. 

With exclusive access to the Turkish government’s evidence to Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz; and to Khashoggi’s close friend and fellow Saudi insurgent, Omar Abdulaziz, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Bryan Fogel unearths hidden secrets in this real-life international thriller that will continue to rock the world long after the headlines have faded away. 

Chillingly powerful and heartbreakingly candid, The Dissident is an intimate portrait of a man who sacrificed everything for freedom of speech. With this cogent film, Fogel joins a cadre of dreamers across the globe who refuse to squelch the life’s work of an intrepid rebel, who, even after death, is defying those who sought to silence him forever.”  –

View trailer

PG-13, 117 mins., 2020. Closed captions (CC) in English.  

Read excerpts of Khashoggi’s Washington Post opinion column: Public Website Link | SFPL Database Link

See event listing on the SFPL master calendar.

View other Magazines and Newspapers Center programs on the SFPL event calendar under the What's News heading

Saturday, March 30, 2024

What We're Reading: March 2024

As usual we've been grazing through periodically produced media this March, delighting in and puzzling over the many ways to access some articles. Enjoy some of the highlights below!
New York Times, March 3, 2024

While we've been following this story ever since the mesmerizing drone footage of the graffiti tags went viral on Instagram a few months ago, we're including this New York Times article as a subtle way to promote the many different methods you can use to access the newspaper through SFPL resources. The newest method is viewing the paper replica in PressReader, which gives you digital access to the paper the exact way it appears in print. You can also use the 72-hour access method to read this story on the NYT website, which features a lot of that mesmerizing drone footage. 

What do you think about the graffiti on the towers--is it capitvatingly cool, or vandalism? 

We Tried Oscar Mayer’s New Vegan Hot Dogs

Bon Appétit, March 22, 2024

All the vegans in the house: are fake meats WIRED or TIRED? Would you take a chance to chomp the Oscar Mayer vegan dog? What if we told you Jeff Bezos was involved? (p.s. SFPL offers Bon Appétit magazine in print and online, but this article is web-only content.)


A Chronicle reporter went undercover in high school. Everyone is still weighing the fallout

San Francisco Chronicle, March 26, 2024

Chronicle writer Peter Hartlaub revisits the time a 26 year old Chronicle reporter went undercover at George Washington High School in the Richmond District, a unique event that happened in 1992 and will probably never happen again. The archival photos from the original report make us nostalgic for High School... makes us almost want to go back, except for the part where the school was making due with the absolute minimum of funding due to prop 13 passing some fifteen years before and the rats that were running through the halls. 

Did you go to Washington High? What memories does the piece espouse in you?

Note, the title links to the unlocked article on the SF Chronicle website. The piece also ran in the March 31 Sunday edition which you can access through SFPL.


A Beautiful Mind

In an age of conformity, Solange is the rare artist who relishes following her own creative intuition

Harper's Bazaar, March 2024 

Solange graces the cover of this month's Harper's Bazaar, and through the interview we learn she loves history, archives, and libraries, finding inspiration for her varied projects in these vaults of information. She even directed the journalist profiling her to meet at the local public library for their interview. We love this sound byte from Solange in the piece: "'I love the internet,' she says, then adds slyly, 'I be on that bitch too much.'" We feel you, Solange. Us too.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Snapshots from 150 years of Women's Magazines

Following up on the success of all the women's magazines activities last week, we're sharing snapshots of ads, covers, and features from the spread of magazines we had out for browsing. The content represented in these photos was identified as interesting by the activity participants. Seeing all the photos together gives you an idea of the fun we had engaging with apparel how-tos, fashion and cigarette ads, cartoon advice, interior decorating, and personal essays. It gives you an idea of the variety of what can be called "women's magazines." 

Made with Padlet

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tutorial: Consumer Reports



Tutorial: Consumer Reports

Thursday, March 21, 2024
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Virtual Library

Learn how to access and search Consumer Reports and the Buying Guide online with your library card. 

Presented by a Magazines & Newspapers Center librarian. 

This tutorial will be recorded. Register on Zoom to receive a link to the recording if you cannot come to the live presentation.  

See event listing on the SFPL master calendar.

View other Magazines and Newspapers Center programs on the SFPL event calendar under the What's News heading

UPDATE 3/22/24:

Video Recording 

Access the recording of the tutorial by clicking the screenshot below. 


PDF Handout

View and download the handout from the tutorial:


PDF Slides

View and download the slides from the tutorial:

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Women's Magazines for Women's History Month

Around these parts we call it HERstory--the SFPL term used to describe Women's History Month. This week the Magazines and Newspapers Center hosted two in-person programs inviting patrons to come together to read women's magazines spanning 150 years. 

Pssst... the magazine spread included Playgirl, which was no small fact. Instagram audiences went wild for the big reveal, and the San Francisco Standard, a local news website, sent their culture reporters to paw through the volumes. 

SF Standard article about Women's Magazines and Playgirl at SFPL


We hope you can join us on Friday, March 15 for the final installment of the women's magazines and feminism program, but if you can't, see below for the title list, access options, and a short bibliography.


There's also a pop-up exhibit of Playgirl magazines by the 5th floor elevators. Check it out before the end of March when it will be de-installed.