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Wall of Library Heroes

Public Comments and Changes

This is an updated version of the proposed Wall of Library Heroes first formally introduced at the Library Commission hearing on 9/18/03 and again 10/2/03 and 11/20/03. This version reflects recommended changes from the public and staff and carries the date of the next Commission hearing when it will be heard again, 1/6/04. (Also see Wall of Library Heroes 10/16/03 DRAFT)

Suggested changes and comments can be directed to:

Library Commission Secretary Sue A. Blackman
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

You can also e-mail sblackman@sfpl.org or bring suggestions to the upcoming Commission hearing.

Keepers of the Dream

Our free public library is a cultural institution unlike any other.

Inside is the history of the world, our greatest literature, ideas to strengthen our democracy, insights into science and business. It is a house of books and an electronic discovery center. You can travel to the stars or inside an atom, sail on a pirate ship or take any journey of the imagination. It is a magical place for children, a workroom for writers, a treasure chest for scholars. It is an educational and cultural resource. It reflects and respects our social diversity. It is a champion of intellectual freedom. It is this and more.

Yet the library is fragile, depending on elected officials who care, the good will of voters, the talent of its staff and citizens who understand its purpose and champion its cause.

The San Francisco Public Library struggled from the beginning, its history a mixture of inspired leadership and long periods of civic disinterest.

In the late 1950s, after years of decline, the San Francisco Public Library found its modern day angels. Imbued with civic spirit, a group of citizens demanded change. A great city, they argued, needed a great public library system. They dreamed big and worked tirelessly to create something tangible and important for future generations. Their struggle lasted 40 years. Charming or feisty, depending on the situation, often audacious, sometimes controversial, they made all the difference.

Many shared the dream and worked to achieve it. We honor them and thank the people of San Francisco for their faith and support. We also offer special recognition to three for extraordinary leadership, vision, and tenacity, inspiring others to join the cause. This trio led the effort through the decades, never losing hope, never accepting defeat, never forgetting the dream: Marjorie G. Stern, Mary Louise Stong, Margaret 'Mig' Mayer

This building is hereby dedicated to their civic spirit, their selfless leadership, their devotion to the ideals of a public library, and to the passion that made them keepers of the dream.

We are grateful.

Willie L. Brown, Jr., Mayor

SFPL Library Commissioners
Charles A. Higueras, President Steven A. Coulter
Carol Steiman, Vice President Fran A. Streets
Helen Marte Bautista Deborah Strobin
Lonnie K. Chin Commissioners
Susan Hildreth, City Librarian  
April 4, 2003  

 

"WE BELIEVE THAT THE DISSEMINATION OF EDUCATION AMONG PEOPLE IS THE ONLY SAFEGUARD TO REPUBLICAN LIBERTY AND OVERNMENT, AND BELIEVING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES TO BE THE BEST AND CHEAPEST MEANS OF EDUCATING THE PEOPLE...WE DO MOST HEARTILY APPROVE...THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FREE LIBRARY IN THIS CITY"
---Excerpt from the citizen resolution that led to the creation of the San Francisco Public Library, 1877

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