Arts Library Exhibits & Special Events

The silent films of La Jolla Cinema League, screened with live music!



Saturday, May 25th at 3:00 p.m.  Seuss Room, Geisel Library, UCSD. FREE!

The La Jolla Cinema League, a silent film club active in the 1920′s, was an amateur group with professional standards. League members wrote their own screenplays and produced, directed, shot, developed and edited films with their own equipment.

Familiar landscapes and landmarks in these movies will surprise you: a handsome early campus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, elegant newly-built Irving Gill architecture, ocean vistas –and acting from local residents of the day!


A small exhibit about La Jolla Cinema League is on display on the lower level, West wing of UC San Diego’s Geisel Library through June 15th.

(Here is a link to a digitized version of a 1929 issue of the official magazine of THE AMATEUR CINEMA LEAGUE….which shows the kind of guidance that club provided to its members)

A free screening of the films of LJCL with live music from UC San Diego alumnus Scott Paulson and his silent film band takes place Saturday, May 25th at 3:00 p.m. in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library.

La Jolla Light Article on event and exhibit. or (858) 822-5758 or







The Kazoo: More than Just an Annoying Party Favor



Kazoo exhibit from January 2-30, 2013--With a Live event at the exhibit on National Kazoo Day!

On Monday, January 28, 2013 at 12:00 noon we'll have a NATIONAL KAZOO DAY EVENT!
All library visitors on National Kazoo Day will get a free kazoo! We'll survey the kazoo's greatest hits and premiere some new chamber works for kazoo. Hosted by Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator of the Arts Library at UC San Diego.

"The Kazoo: More than Just an Annoying Party Favor"
This exhibit will showcase the kazoo's African and African-American roots, plot its place in Americana, reveal its role in the early jazz age, catalog its classical repertoire, and peek at its popular music successes. A collection of intriguing kazoos will be on display.

Some surprising kazoo facts will be explored further at the exhibit:
Speech therapists have had considerable success using the kazoo as a therapy tool.
Richard Wagner, Arnold Schoenberg, Charles Ives, Paul McCartney, and other musical luminaries have used the kazoo in composition, performance, and recording.
An exhibit bonus: the physics behind how the kazoo works will be revealed!

Exhibit runs January 2 through January 30, 2013 on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UC San Diego. For more information: or (858) 822-5758



Annual Turkey Calling Show!

Wednesday, November 21 at noon, Free!

Seuss Room, Geisel Library, UC San Diego Free! Info:  (858) 822-5758,

This annual Turkey Calling Show takes place the day before Thanksgiving and is presented in the style of an old-time live radio broadcast. In this fast-paced show: get instruction on how to use turkey calls and find out how the American turkey became popular in European art. Special note: with all due respect to the East Coast turkey, visit us at this show and find out why the West Coast turkey rules!
Hosted by sound effects expert Scott Paulson (also leader of the Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra and the Outreach Coordinator of the UC San Diego Arts Library).

Special guests include: Melanie Peters (story lady) and Aislinn Sotelo (appearing as "radio ballet teacher").  Also featuring: Glenn Motil & Christian Hertzog As always, the house band is:  The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra.




Late-night Halloween horror film!

Free! October 31, 10:00 p.m. Seuss Room, Geisel Library, UC San Diego

West Coast premiere ofMidwest-based filmmaker Christopher Mihm's, black and white horror film“House of Ghosts.”

Special features of this screening:

The audience will assist with live over-scoring, providing additional horror sounds: play on a real Theremin, if you dare! Also: coax some spooky sounds from ritual percussion instruments and orchestral oddities such as the thunder sheet, flex-a-tone, vibra-slap, waterphone, etc.

This film will be screened in Esperanto! (A frighteningly good linguistic educational opportunity.)

Also, celebrating some of the gimmicks of 1950’s era spooky movies, “horror guards” will be issued for those too squeamish to watch every frame of the film. These horror guards may be placed in front of ones eyes for protection, at your discretion.

About the filmmaker:

Christopher R. Mihm is the writer, director, and producer of feature-length black-and-white films, inspired by 1950’s icons such as William Castle and drive-in cinema. More information about the “Mihmiverse” of Christopher Mihm’s films is available at:

 Your host at this screening is Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator at the UC San Diego Arts Library and director of the Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra, who is leading the audience in the live over-scoring of the film, utilizing a collection of Theremins, ritual percussion instruments and orchestral oddities. Info: or (858) 822-5758




12th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

A family friendly free show! Come early, or else you’ll end up sitting on the floor (the toy piano performers have to sit on the floor, though, so you’ll be in good company!) Hope to see you at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 for the Twelfth Annual Toy Piano Festival!

Serious music for toy piano?

The first composer to write a “serious” piece for toy piano was American composer John Cage. His Suite for Toy Piano, written in 1948, uses nine consecutive white notes of a piano keyboard. This is significant because some toy pianos only have white notes (the black notes are sometimes merely painted on as a reference point so that players will know where “C” and all the other notes are.) Composer George Crumb used toy piano to great effect in his chamber music piece Ancient Voices of Children (1970). The score of this piece even shows a diagram of where to place the toy piano on stage.

Here in San Diego, toy pianos are celebrated with great fanfare in the month of September (because John Cage’s birthday is September 5!!) at UC San D’iego’s Geisel Library. It is there that Scott Paulson and his colleagues at the UCSD Arts Library host an annual toy piano festival. Composers visit the Library and pick a specific toy piano from the collection, and a piece is written specially for that instrument. Some toy pianos only have nine notes, some three octaves—so each piece has its own special charm and special limitations.

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of the Toy Piano Collection’s activities, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69

UCSD has a history with toy pianos that pre-dates the annual toy piano festival. Composer Robert Erickson, a founder of UCSD’s Music Department wrote a piece for toy pianos and bells that was premiered on California’s PBS television stations in 1966, just months before Erickson’s arrival at UCSD.

Featured: new works from local composers, a work from John Cage and songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook.

Performers and composers this year include: Sue Palmer (the Queen of Boogie Woogie!) Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Christian Hertzog, Kenneth Herman, Gail Gipson, Ellen Lawson, Dana Mambourg Zimbric & of course, Scott Paulson!


Steampunk Tea, Lecture, and Small Display


Victorian time travelers are invited to visit the UC San Diego Library, please join us in the year 2012, in the climate controlled comforts of the mother ship called Geisel Library on the campus of UC San Diego, 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 25th.

 Enjoy light refreshments with fellow futurists, explorers and adventurers, attend Anastasia Hunter’s survey of steampunk literature (from Jules Verne onwards), critique a scale-model paper theatre version of Jules Verne’s “Journey Through the Impossible”, drop in for screenings of steampunk-friendly films in our high-def viewing rooms.

 Attention new visitors: steampunk literature re-imagines the Victorian era with a sci-fi aesthetic in a steam-powered, gaslight world filled with wind-up gadgets and clockwork technology.

 On display at the tea: Examples of Victorian era entertainments such as magic lanterns, paper theatres and paper optical toys.
About our guest speaker:
Anastasia Hunter, Director of Programming for the  Gaslight Gathering, San Diego’s premier steampunk convention, will speak about the history of steampunk literature, from its inception in the 19th Century with the works of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, to the 1980's when the term “steampunk” was first coined. Ms. Hunter will also survey more recent examples of the genre from authors such as Scott Westerfeld and Cherie Priest. Anastasia's presentation will highlight the use of steampunk as an inspiration for journeys of discovery both real and imaginary.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is free that day, as well.
For more information, contact Scott Paulson at or call (858) 822-5758, or visit





Stylophone: The Greatest Little [Musical] Instrument of the [Last] Century? *

The UCSD Arts Library presents an exhibit** of Stylophones on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD. Exhibit opens March 28th and closes April 30.

Opening event: Wednesday, March 28th at 12:30 p.m. features a premiere of new works for Stylophone by composer Pea Hicks. Additional event: Sunday, April 15th, 2:30 p.m., features a premiere of a new work for multiple Stylophones by composer Scott Paulson.

About the Stylophone:

In 2002, David Bowie made a surprising Stylophone confession: “It’s the only instrument I take on holiday with me to compose on.” In fact, David Bowie’s 1969 album “Space Oddity” was composed entirely on a Stylophone. The small British company that manufactured the instrument (Dubreq) was surprised to hear this news, as they had invented and marketed the instrument merely as a musical toy.

Invented in 1967. the Stylophone is a pocket electronic musical synthesizer. Originally invented by Brian Jarvis as a toy and made available to the general public in 1968, the little instrument was presented as a novelty electronic organ with an iconic transistor radio look… A small pen (or stylus) was attached to the unit, and touching the metal tip of the stylus upon the engraving of a flat piano-like keyboard allowed single notes to be played. The limited aspects of this single note action made the Stylophone a popular musical toy for amateurs.

Its pocket size and cheap price also made the Stylophone a handy extra tool for experimental musicians of the late 1960’s (as with David Bowie’s 1969 album “Space Oddity”) and through the early 1980’s (as heard in Kraftwerk’s 1981 “Pocket Calculator”.)

A 1968 British television show hosted by novelty songwriter Rolf Harris was the launching pad for introducing the instrument to the public. Harris’ image was often featured on the packaging that one received after placing a mail-order for the instrument. The earliest models had no volume control, a flaw that was later addressed. In 2007 the Stylophone was re-launched by Ben Jarvis, the son of Brian Jarvis, the original inventor. The retro-look of the instrument is intact, as well as the simple, charming, naïve functions.

 Read more at The Reader Online!

* no, the Stylophone is probably not the world’s greatest little musical instrument, but it has a lot of charm in small doses.

** Our exhibit of Stylophones contains items from the Stylophone collections of Sean Ryan (UCSD graduate student), Pea Hicks (composer and UCLA alumnus) and Scott Paulson (UCSD alumnus and outreach coordinator of the UCSD Arts Library).




The Lost Art of Letters

UCSD Arts Library Exhibit: The Lost Art of Letters
January 8 through January 27, 2012

This exhibit provides an opportunity for visitors to browse Library books on the topic of penmanship and cursive writing. Visitors will also browse literature outlining the etiquette of letter-writing (particularly ''thank-you'' notes.) While supplies last, visitors are encouraged to write a letter at the exhibit site using stationery and pens provided.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 3:00 p.m., a free, live event is hosted at the exhibit site: a penmanship expert, local educator Sylvia Rubin, will give quick pointers on how to improve your handwriting. Under this supportive supervision, and with stationery and pens provided by the UCSD Arts Library, visitors will write a neat, tidy letter on-the-spot. At the writer's request, the UCSD Arts Library will have that very letter delivered to the addressee via the U.S. Postal Service.

Exhibit & event: Lower level, West wing, Geisel Library, UCSD
More information: (858) 822-5758 or or





Annual Turkey Calling Show

Wednesday, November 23 at noon in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library at UCSD, free!

Always held the day before Thanksgiving, this Annual Turkey Calling Show is a campus favorite. Turkey call lessons, turkey trivia and much more: the American turkey actually got to Europe in the 1500's and immediately the bird became celebrated in European art and song. Special guests relay some turkey surprises that day. For more information, contact Scott at or call (858) 822-5758



Sci-Fi Radio Drama Premiere: "Passage to Proxima!"

Sunday, October 30,7:00 p.m.
Seuss Room, Geisel Library at UCSD, free!

Join radio sound effects expert Scott Paulson and Union Tribune science writer Gary Robbins for a special premiere performance of a live sci-fi radio drama "Passage to Proxima!" written with specially solicited help from the readers of the science section of the Union Tribune and assistance from the listeners of the Science Talk show on The action is set in 1935 San Diego (with some perilous time travel, as well!) Featuring live actors, live music & lively sound effects. For more information, contact Scott at, call (858) 822-5758 or visit this site!


 Silent Film Screening of “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”

Monday, October 31, 7:00 p.m.
Seuss Room of Geisel Library at UCSD, free!

The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra for Silent Films offers a special Halloween screening of the 1920 silent classic ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' with live music and sound effects. This is the first American film version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale. John Barrymore stars as both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Immediately following the screening, stick around for some vintage 16mm silent short films suitable for Halloween (with the audience assisting on some of the sound effects.) Play on a real Theremin, if you dare! Strike the thunder-sheet! Crank up the wind machine! For more information, contact Scott at or call (858) 822-5758

Summer Exhibit at the UCSD Arts Library: Comics & Zines

Exhibit runs July 6 through August 6

Make your own zine at the exhibit site on Thursday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. with the artists from Grrrl Zines A Go-Go!
Exhibit site: UCSD Arts Library

Lower Level, West wing, Geisel Library, UCSD
Info:  (858) 822-5758, or

We're celebrating the colorful, tactile world of comics with a month-long exhibit here at the UCSD Arts Library.
Yes, some of us still spend time in a page-turning world of paper, ink & imagery. Participants at the workshop will have the opportunity to construct, collage, and create their own zine to bring home with them! But what exactly is a zine you ask?

Exhibit is ever-changing throughout the month of July and early August, visit often!
You'll see items from the UCSD Libraries that celebrate comics and call attention to more recent developments in the world of zines.

The UCSD Arts Library thanks Grrrl Zines A Go-Go for all their assistance:

Black Radio Exhibit

The UCSD Arts Library and African & African American Studies Research Center Present
Black Radio: celebrating the African-American presence on the airwaves from the 1920’s through the present.

Exhibit: February 1 – 28, 2011
Opening Reception: Tuesday February 1, 2011  4:30 pm

UCSD Geisel Library, lower level, west wing.
Refreshments will be served. Admission is free and the public is invited.

For more information, contact: Scott Paulson, (858) 822-5758

Short Attention Span Series and the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra Celebrate Bells

Seuss Room Wednesday, December 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m

Come to the Short Attention Span Series of the UCSD Arts Library for a seasonal musical offering on Wednesday, December 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. It's free! Refreshments will be served at this lively show celebrating bells.

Bells from around the world will be heard in person and via live feed and via historic recordings. Also:  The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra will play some seasonal music and story lady Melanie Treco will read a special tale.

University Carillonneur Scott Paulson is your host at this event. A carillonneur is the person who performs music on clock-tower chimes and carillon bells.  Paulson cares for and performs on the chimes atop Geisel Library, commissioning new works for those bells and playing song requests live.  Yes!  There really are chimes atop Geisel Library--it is NOT a recording.




Annual Turkey Calling Show!

Seuss Room,  Wednesday, November 24, 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Come  early, at noon if you can, and stay until 1:00 p.m. for extra Turkey Calling activities.

The UCSD Arts Library's annual Turkey Calling Show takes place the day before Thanksgiving. Presented in the style of an old-time live radio broadcast, the show will feature a new radio story about a turkey who seeks presidential pardon. If you can make it to the Seuss Room by noon, you'll receive instruction on how to use various brands and makes of turkey calls, learn how the American turkey became popular in European art, and find out why, with all due respect to the East Coast turkey, the West Coast turkey rules.

Sound effects wizard Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator of the UCSD Arts Library, will be your host for this popular, fast-paced show.

About Scott:

“Paulson's brand of G-rated fun, a sort of modern day morphing of Captain Kangaroo and Spike Jones, is always lively and at times wonderfully chaotic.” Los Angeles Times “Scott Paulson is a priceless fixture in San Diego theater.”  San Diego CityBeat "An avant-garde vaudevillian. Think Samuel Beckett meets John Cage.” SD UnionTribune “…his madcap ensemble is reinventing an art form.” Los Angeles Times “Classically trained and charmingly twisted.” San Diego CityBeat  “An out-of-the-ordinary experience.”  Los Angeles Times “Madcap and somewhat in the Spike Jones/Dadaist tradition.” San Diego UnionTribune


This Halloween, play on a real Theremin, if you dare!

Sunday, October 31--10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m

Stop by the service desk of the UCSD Arts Library on Halloween (lower level, West wing, Geisel Library) and play a real Theremin!

Theremin has that spooky OOOoooOOOeeeEEEEoooo sound that you hear in horror movies and sci-fi films.  Invented in 1920, it is one of the first electronic instruments.  To play on it, one merely moves hands near the two antennae….spooky!

Questions?  Contact Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator, UCSD Arts Library at





Within Our Gates (1920, Oscar Micheaux)

Friday, October 01, 2010, 3:00 PM

Oscar Micheaux's 1920 silent film ‘'Within Our Gates'' will be screened with live music.  The recently-issued U.S. Postal Stamp honoring Micheaux will be distributed to the audience as a gift.

Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) is considered the first African-American feature filmmaker. This screening of his 1920 silent feature "Within Our Gates" will be accompanied by live music from the UCSD Arts Library's silent film pit ensemble with special guest Gail Gipson, featuring an original score by Scott Paulson. Prof. Bennetta Jules-Rosette of the UCSD Sociology Department and the African & African-American Studies Research Center speaks before the film rolls. Warning: this film contains scenes of violence.

This important film by Oscar Micheaux, one of the earliest African-American independent filmmakers, marks a turning point for silent film. The film was considered a direct response to D.W.Griffith's "Birth of a Nation."

The earliest surviving feature directed by an African-American, Within Our Gates tells the story of a young African-American woman who seeks a northern white patron for a southern school for black children. A brilliantly filmed lynching scene overshadows some equally brilliant film work throughout. Real issues of that era, surprising depth of some secondary characters, novel narrative structure and vignettes of some lighter moments of life in the communities of that time period offer a full film experience in this 79-minute movie.

This screening of the historic film was programmed by the UCSD Arts Library and AAASRC (African and African-American Studies Research

Center) to further celebrate the national recognition of Oscar Micheaux by the US Postal Service in a 2010 commemorative stamp. An exhibit about the Micheaux postal stamp will be installed for the film screening event.

This film screening also marks the inauguration of UCSD's new African and African-American Studies Research Center (AAASRC). The UCSD Arts Library is proud to co-sponsor this event with AAASRC.



UCSD Archectecture Book Signing

Sept 29th, 2 pm


Beginning in the fall of the university's 50th anniversary year, the history and future  of UC San Diego's built environment will be explored and celebrated in "UCSD by Design: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in the Campus Context," the centerpiece of which is a five-part public lecture and discussion series beginning Sept. 30.

We will be celebrating the recently published book "University of California, San Diego: The Campus Guide" (Princeton Architectural Press) with an exhibit on campus art and architecture in the Arts Library, opening Sept. 29.  A book signing will take place at the opening of the exhibition  on Sept. 29, beginning at 2 p.m., here in the Arts Library, on the ground floor of Geisel Library. Please join us for food, entertainment by our own Scott Paulson and readings by Dirk Sutro.

The exhibition will remain on view through Dec. 3.





10th Annual Toy Piano Festival

Sept 12 & 13, 2010 at the UCSD Arts Library

Hear new works for toy piano! See an exhibit celebrating this toy instrument.

Come early to this show, or else you'll have to sit on the floor (the toy piano players always have to sit on the floor, so you'll be in good company.)

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of our activities and at our request, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69 This year marks our Tenth Annual Toy Piano Festival, which has become a San Diego favorite and reported widely in the local, national and international press.

Performer/composers include:  Scott Paulson, Sue Palmer, Kenneth Herman, Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Christian Hertzog, Miriam Manning, Gail Gipson, Wendy Clemente and more!

Join us on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD for two free performances:

Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 p.m. and Monday, September 13 at noon

For more information, contact:  Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator, UCSD Arts Library (858) 822-5758 or

Ninth Annual Paper Theater Exhibit!

Our exhibit is up the whole month of August with two live performances: Sunday, August 29 at 2:00 p.m & Monday, August 30 at noon, it's free, but bring $$ for parking.

Sunday, August 29 at 2:00 p.m.

The Bamboo Princess

music by Ryoko Amadee Goguen

story from the oldest known written piece of Japanese fiction paper theatre, set and paper dolls by Miriam Manning with Scott Paulson

Monday, August 30 at noon

Shape-Shifting Legends of Hawaii

music by Scott Paulson

narrator: Annie Flager

paper theatre, set, and paper dolls by Miriam Manning

It's the smallest show on Earth! This educational toy (paper theatre, also called table top theatre or toy theatre) dates back to the Victorian Era.  Originally designed as a souvenir promoting specific theatrical playhouses, it soon after blossomed into a popular educational toy. Our exhibit shows replicas of Victorian Era paper theatres as well as modern versions of the toy.

In the Victorian Era, theatrical playhouses printed fine posters showing architectural elements of their theatre.  Families and hobbyists would cut out the proscenium, the curtain, etc, to create a scale model of that specific theatre.

Theatrical playhouses used these paper theatre posters to promote their season and a particular play. Aspects of set design were shown on the posters along with drawings of actual actors of the era (shown in costume from a specific production).  Condensed scripts were included in these poster kits and paper doll players were soon seen in lively productions on a table top at home.

The paper theatre hobbyists, who cut and pasted, ended up learning much about scenic design, lighting effects, sound effects, music, acting, directing, choreography-through this paper theatre toy, all aspects of theatre were introduced to producers and performers of all ages.

Theatre-goers often bought these paper theatre posters as souvenirs promoting an actual production they saw.  Those living far from the theatre district ordered paper theatres from a catalog and had them delivered to their small town as an educational toy for the household. A lot of cutting and pasting was involved but hours of educational fun and artistic exploration would follow. The many two-dimensional layers of a paper theatre add up to something with surprising depth and charm.




Tom Swift Centennial

The UCSD Arts Library celebrates the Tom Swift Centennial with an exhibit of artwork, books and other Tom Swift treasures on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD starting June 1, 2010 and ending July 31, 2010.

Young inventor and adventurer Tom Swift, hero of juvenile literature, has been a popular read since 1910.  Many scientists and inventors credit Tom Swift with inspiring them to study hard and dream big.

Join us for two special live events at our exhibit site.  On Monday, June 14 at noon we present a live, radio drama re-enactment of Tom Swift and his Air Ship. On Friday, July 16 at 4:00 p.m. we present a live radio drama re-enactment of Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X.  Actors from San Diego's Write Out Loud will perform along with the UCSD Arts Library's own Scott Paulson providing live music & old-school radio sound effects.

Refreshments are served at both of these live events.  Admission is free and the public is invited. Tom Swift scholar James Keeline will speak briefly at both events. For more information, contact: Scott Paulson, (858)822-5758,




Etch-A-Sketch Exhibit!

This popular educational toy is a perennial exhibit-favorite at the UCSD Arts Library.

Borrow an Etch-A-Sketch from us and participate!

Borrow an Etch-A-Sketch from the Arts Library service desk. Create a sketch on the toy & we'll place it in our West wing exhibit case.  Put your name or a comment on a card or post-it note, if you like, for placement near your sketch. Come back often to see the ever-changing gallery of sketches. Exhibit is up April 11 through May 30, 2010 and new sketches are added throughout the run.

Questions?  E-mail Scott at the UCSD Arts Library at or call (858) 822-5758.

The Etch-A-Sketch was developed in the late 1950's by French mechanic Arthur Granjean.  His toy, L'Ecran Magique, (magic screen) was not an instant hit when introduced at the 1959 International Toy Fair in Nuremburg, Germany. The Ohio Toy Company, who saw the toy at the fair in 1959, but passed on it, relented a year later and bought the rights to it.  The toy was renamed Etch-A-Sketch and marketed heavily on television for its 1960 holiday season debut. The Ohio factory that mass-produced the toy that year had to stay open through noon on Christmas Eve and that shift's supply was rush-shipped to California specifically to meet the demands of West Cost television audiences who absolutely had to get this last-minute ''must-have'' screen toy phenomenon. The inner workings of the toy remain the same today: the inside of the screen is coated with a mixture of aluminum powder and plastic beads.  The left and right knobs control a horizontal and vertical rod, moving a stylus where the rods meet.  The stylus scrapes the screen leaving the line you see. Turning the screen upside down and shaking it re-coats the screen with aluminum powder.


Join us Saturday February 27th at 11 am here at the UCSD Arts Library  when Charles Schwieger's musical friends gather merrily and informally to perform live from the clarinet scores and woodwind quintet scores that were donated.

Local musician and La Jolla resident Charles Schwieger donated his extensive collection of woodwind quintet scores to the UCSD Arts Library in 2004 & and he his wife were saluted here at the UCSD Arts Library with a merry reading of those music scores featuring the dozens and dozens of musicians (amateurs, professionals, students, etc.) who were part of Charles' roster of musical visitors.  The scores were used in Charles' home for more than 40 years where Charles and his wife Jean hosted friendly music-gatherings where attendees sight-read live music for their own enjoyment and education.

Charles has since passed away, but his wife Jean contacted us recently with a gift of clarinet scores from Charles' private music library.

Jean Schwieger will attend, as well as past UCSD students & UCSD faculty and many San Diego County musicians---all of whom were lucky enough to sight-read music at the Schwieger's beautiful La Jolla home.




Seasonal Magic from our Short Attention Span Theater

The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra appears! Scott Paulson conducts some slapstick tone poems, story lady Melanie Treco reads an irreverent classic, library songbird Robin Chandler sings..and a very special surprise: A visit from the Cookie Fairy Sylvia Leighton--yes, you get a cookie! In the course of this short show you'll also learn about two chapters that Sylvia wrote for the Chicken Soup For The Soul book series. One relays her family's connection to Cesar Chavez and community involvement and the other relays her "one cookie at a time" approach to changing the world. Monday December 14th at 12:30 pm on the lower level of the West Wing of Geisel Library. Questions? Give Scott a call at 858-822-5758 or


Annual Turkey Calling Event at The Arts Library!

The UCSD Arts Library presents their annual Turkey Calling Show at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 (yes, that is their official Short Attention Span Series offering for the day before Thanksgiving). Lower level, West Wing, Geisel Library, UCSD.

About the show: come to the exhibit case area of the UCSD Arts Library to see an artful turkey calling exhibit.  Hear UCSD undergraduate performance artist Lazaro Rabago recite an Aztec poem about our native turkey.  Perform a slapstick tone poem with old-time radio sound effects artist Scott Paulson and learn how to turkey call. Story lady Melanie Treco will read a new family-friendly turkey story. The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra will perform some appropriate tunes. Free show.  Call (858) 822-5758 for info or visit

What to expect: part performance art and part old-time radio show, hosted by Scott Paulson, outreach coordinator of the UCSD Arts Library.


7th Annual Home Movie Day!


Join us Saturday, October 17th at Geisel Library in the Seuss Room at UCSD in La Jolla from 2:00 to 5:00pm. A FREE event!

For the seventh year in a row, film lovers and archivists around the world will get out of the vaults to help the public learn about, enjoy, and rescue films forgotten with the advent of home video. Home Movie Day shows how home movies offer a unique view of decades past, and are an essential part of personal, community, and cultural history.

Bring your Super-8, 8mm & 16mm reels (the ones gathering dust in your garage!) and we will put them on the screen for all to enjoy, along with fascinating home movies from the UCSD Film & Video collection.

San Diego Home Movie Day is free and open to the public. We will offer assessment of older films, information about how to care for family films, delicious snacks and continuous screenings of home movies brought by participants like you! Archivists will show examples of historic amateur films preserved in our collections, and preservation specialists will explain why transferring films to video or digital media does not mean these new copies will last forever.


Serious Music For Toy Piano!