Posted on November 16, 2016.
Posted on November 16, 2016.
Posted on June 1, 2016.
We have so many great treasures right here in our own backyard. Members of SLA-SD and SANDALL (San Diego Area Law Librarians) took the time to explore a few on Tuesday, May 24, enjoying guided tours of the San Diego History Center (SDHC) Photo Collection, Research Library & Archives and current exhibit, The Lore Behind the Roar.
After gathering in the Atrium, we started down the stairs and into the Research Library and Archives. Curator Tara Centybear shared the work behind The Lore Behind the Roar, an exhibit exploring the 100-year history and evolution of the San Diego Zoo. Curators and staff from the SDHC worked closely with staff from San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), combing through the SDZG Library & Archives, Photo Archives, and the Zoo and Park grounds, including the Institute for Conservation Research and Scripps and Paul Harter veterinary hospitals.
Next, Chris Travers, Director of the Photograph Collection, shared a few highlights from 2.5 million images, which is one of the largest regional photography collections in the United States. The collection dates back to the 1860’s and is well preserved.
We continued our journey back in time with a presentation by Jane Kenealy, Archivist. San Diego “firsts” in the collection include the first three volumes of the San Diego Union and the first book of recorded deeds. The Archives also houses nautical maps and other early, although less accurate, San Diego area maps and interesting ephemera, such as old Padres programs. Jane also shared a document signed by Abraham Lincoln, a news clipping book of suspicious deaths (1921-1926), Panama-California Exposition posters and several other amazing items. With over 45 million documents, it couldn’t have been easy to pick a few favorites.
We could have easily spent the rest of the afternoon in the Research Library and Archives, but instead continued upstairs to view The Lore Behind the Roar. We learned the San Diego Zoo was started by Panama-California Exposition physician Dr. Harry Wegeforth. A San Diego resident and life-long animal lover, he was inspired by the roar of a lion from the Exposition’s menagerie. “Wouldn’t it be splendid it San Diego had a zoo…I think I’ll start one,” he said to his brother. The early years were not easy, and several colorful stories unfold in the exhibit galleries.
The exhibit also takes us to the present day and conservation success stories, such as the California condor. Once reduced to a mere 22 in the wild, there are now over 400. San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) currently works in more than 35 countries across six continents. Next to the Safari Park in Escondido, SDZG’s Institute for Conservation Research is home to the Frozen Zoo®, over 10,000 living cell cultures, oocytes, sperm, and embryos representing nearly 1,000 taxa.
It was a packed afternoon and we continued our exploration of local treasures at a Balboa Park favorite, Panama 66, the outdoor restaurant at the San Diego Museum of Art. We enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the SDHC, the San Diego Zoo and spend time with our SANDALL colleagues.
As always, big thanks to Kristi Ehrig-Burgess and Greg Sorini for organizing, along with Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran from SANDALL. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and appreciate the wonderful hospitality of the SDHC staff.
Posted on March 23, 2016.
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Asafo Flags of Ghana exhibit at the Mingei International Museum. I was very pleasantly surprised to learn about these important parts of the culture of Ghana. We had a nice turnout on a beautiful Tuesday. With free museum Tuesdays and Spring Break, parking was a little more challenging than expected, but everyone found a spot and made it to the museum on time.
We were welcomed to the museum by Christine Knoke Hietbrink, Head Curator/Director of Exhibitions. She explained that the name Mingei is a combination of two Japanese words meaning Art of the People which describes the type of exhibits and art work the museum displays. The Mingei started in UTC with 5000 square feet of space but moved to its beautiful 41,000 square foot facility in Balboa Park in 1996. It now features weaving, rugs, pottery, glass, small sculptures and other arts and crafts from over 140 countries.
Our tour was led by Docent Carol Hinrichs who walked us around the flags, told us of their history and helped us understand what the flags represented. There are 36 Asafo flags in the Mingei’s permanent collection, all hand sewn and used at some point by Ghanaian Asafos. An Asafo is a group or “company” within a village or city. Smaller cities may have one or two Asafos while larger cities may have many more. Each flag tells the story of its Asafo. They feature animals and people, weapons and mythic creatures. Reflecting the fact that the Ghana people often speak in proverbs, the flags carry proverbial messages. In fact, the true meaning of some of the symbols is not always known. However, it is certain that the flags depict the status, wealth and strength of the Asafos.
In Guana, the flags are not hung on poles but actively used, even today, in energetic ceremonial dances to taunt rival Asafos. Their use was evident by frayed edges or patched portions of the flags on exhibit. In Ghanaian culture, only men were and are allowed to make the flags, touch the flags and dance the flags. Carol pointed out the ironic fact that the Mingei’s flags were collected by and are now cared for by women.
After touring the flag exhibit, Kristi Ehrig-Burgess,
Library, Archives and Digitization Manager, took us into her world. As her title indicates, Kristi wears many hats. She runs the Library, which is open to museum members, docents, scholars and volunteers. It houses 10,000 books on folk art, crafts and design and over 30 years of institutional archive materials, documenting past exhibits, site plans, meeting minutes and more. Her goal is to digitally document the archives and the 26,000 objects in the collection and make much of it available online. There are already 5,000 objects available via the Mingei’s website and she hopes to have almost all of the collection completed and online in a year. She has an army of interns and volunteers at her disposal to help in this monumental task.
We ended the evening at Panama 66, the outdoor restaurant at the San Diego Museum of Art where we enjoyed food and conversation under the pleasant glow of their heaters.
Thanks to Kristi for helping to organize the visit and take us inside a wonderful exhibit and Library. We hope to see you on April 21st at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad. Details will be coming soon!
Posted on December 10, 2015.
We’re very pleased to announce that Sharesly Rodriguez is the recipient of the SLA-SD 2015 Scholarship!
Sharesly is pursuing her MLIS degree at the iSchool, San Jose State University. She is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a BA in Legal Studies and Sociology. She has experience working in a variety of library settings, including academic and law libraries, and public records archives.
In addition to a busy school and work schedule, Sharesly has agreed to serve as the SLA-SD Chapter Student Liaison for 2016. Thanks, Sharesly, and welcome!
Posted on December 17, 2014.
Happy Holidays SLA-San Diego! We had a great turnout for a fun holiday dinner and business meeting at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in Del Mar on December 9. The business portion of the meeting centered on a recap of chapter’s activities, awards ceremony, and installation of the 2015 board. I’ll outline the program here as a final President’s Update for 2014. In wrapping up the year, special thanks were given to Executive and Advisory Board members for all their efforts and initiatives in the past year:
Treasurer Jennifer Silverman then presented the budget YTD and balance sheet. If anyone would like to have a copy of those documents, please contact Jennifer.
Next Zemirah Lee presented the Scholarship Award to our newest member and 2015 Student Liaison Marie Myers. Marie is a second-year MLIS student at SJSU and a freelance web developer. Formerly, she worked with the San Diego Web Team, building web applications for the sandiego.gov site. Her interests are special collections and archives, digital curation, and information retrieval and access. Currently she volunteers at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Research Library, assisting in a metadata transcription project for the archives’ historical photographs collections.
I was delighted to present President’s Awards to two chapter members who perform outstanding service to the chapter:
Past President Talitha Matlin next installed the new members of the 2015 incoming board:
The meeting adjourned with the passing of the gavel to 2015 President Amy Jankowski. I know it’s going to be a great new year for SLA-San Diego!
Happy Holidays to all!
Jill Blaemers, SLA-San Diego President, 2014
Posted on April 25, 2014.
The weeks have flown by, and it feels like just yesterday that an enthusiastic group of SLA-SD members and friends headed to the San Diego Central Library for a guided tour of the new space on March 20. Though most public tours of the library are led by volunteers, we were lucky enough to be treated to a tour led by several San Diego Public Library staff members, who gave us the inside scoop on library work and all the planning that went into the state of the art facility.
The building’s architecture, art, inviting spaces, creative programming, and more combine into what is now a welcoming and busy space for San Diegans looking to read, research, use computers, hold and attend special programs, explore, and more. Several spaces stood out to many of our tour-goers, perhaps most notably including the automated book sorting room, equipped with a “smart” conveyer belt mechanism that is able to sort returned books into bins by subject as well as library branches. The children’s and teen’s library spaces were also well received, with bright colors and innovative spaces, including a teen gaming room, children’s craft area, and much more than may be expected from an average library. The library also has an IDEA (Innovation & Digital Expression Activity) Lab, equipped with 10 high-end computers with an array of technical software as well as two 3-D printers available for public use.
Our tour group was also excited to see two library special collections areas. One, the Marilyn and Gene Mark Special Collections room, houses the library’s California Collection, including several display cases exhibiting pieces of San Diego history. The other, the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, includes rotating feature items from what is the second largest baseball research collection in the United States, after the Baseball Hall of Fame. The library is also home to a small art gallery that exhibits work by local artists.
Aside from the innovative and expansive library resources, the group was also impressed to see the building’s various special event facilities, including a state-of-the-art auditorium and theater space, courtyard, rooftop terraces, and sizable Shiley Special Events Suite. Perhaps one of the most iconic spaces in the building, the Helen Price reading room, with study space, vaulted ceilings, and a panoramic view of the city beyond, is also available for events.
Though the tour was thorough, I think we all agreed that it will be best to revisit the Central Library on our own soon to explore its spaces in more depth. There is much more to see than an hour-long tour can offer!
If you weren’t able to make it in person, take a chance to browse through a collection of photo highlights.
Interested in more details? Peruse the SDPL’s own floor by floor description of the Central Library: SDPL_Central Library_Floor by Floor Guide
Posted on November 9, 2012.