All posts by Public Affairs

The Imagination of American Poets – Portraits by Christopher Felver

For Immediate Release: 2/12/18
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

The Imagination of American Poets
Portraits by Christopher Felver

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All images courtesy of Christopher Felver. High resolution images available upon request.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA   San Francisco Public Library celebrates San Francisco’s literary cultural heritage and National Poetry Month, presenting more than 50 portraits of local and national poets accompanied by their handwritten work selected from photographer Christopher Felver’s publications Tending The Fire: Native Voices and The Poet Exposed. The exhibition features cultural luminaries Allen Ginsberg, Billy Collins, Louise Erdrich, U.S. Poet Laureates W.S. Merwin, Robert Hass and Kay Ryan. The exhibition also presents first San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and current laureate Kim Shuck.

Photographer Christopher Felver has made a lasting contribution to the legacy of our creative community. For more than 40 years his distinctive visual signature in books and film has focused on America’s cultural heroes. “I’ve documented engaged artists whose visions have changed the world,” says Felver. “I think of them as endangered species and have been very lucky to meet the heroes of my era.”

Christopher Felver: The Imagination of American Poets opens on March 24 in the Main Library’s Jewett Gallery with an opening event on the 24th of March featuring the first Poet Laureate of San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, San Francisco’s current Poet Laureate, Kim Shuck, and U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Hass. The exhibition will be enhanced by artist talks, film screenings and other related programs through June. The exhibition is curated by Sue Kubly and Dr. Peter Selz, noted art historian, and sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Christopher Felver: The Imagination of American PoetsMarch 24 through June 24, Main Library, Jewett Gallery

Related programs:

Opening Event with Christopher Felver, Robert Hass, and San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck — March 25, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Film: Ferlinghetti – A Rebirth of Wonder Directed by Christopher Felver, March 27, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Author Talk: Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits by Christopher Felver – April 1, 2 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

Lao-Tzu, Poetry and Guqin — April 3, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

World Literature Book Club: The Journal of Albion Moonlight April 5, 6 p.m., Main Library, Paley Room

Poetry in SongApril 12, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

A Carnival of Poems: The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal Celebrates National Poetry Month — April 19, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

Ginsberg & Ferlinghetti on 16 mm FilmApril 28, 11 a.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

Second Inning: More Baseball Poetry from San Francisco Poets April 30, 4 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

More Than A Month – The Library celebrates Black history, culture and heritage

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2018
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

 

More Than A Month
The Library celebrates Black history, culture and heritage

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Black History Month is an integral part of our nation’s tradition in which we promote affirmative examples of important historical events, honorable leaders and steps towards collective change. This year, the Library has titled the programs that celebrate Black history, culture & heritage More Than a Month in an effort to emphasize that reflection, open dialogue, interdisciplinary education and shared advocacy needs to take place in our communities every month, all year roundmorethanamonth.

The Library is championing Black history, culture & heritage with special music, dance, crafts and storytelling events at every branch in the City. More Than a Month features film screenings and literary events for adults, interactive events for teens, hands-on activities for kids and exhibits, music and craft classes for the whole family.

On Feb. 7, Historian and archivist Bill Doggett, in a multi-media presentation, examines the historic role of racism during the Civil War and compares it with the current heated and divisive debate about race during the first year of the Trump administration. This program takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Merced Branch Library.

Visit the African American Center in the Main Library to learn about historical, political and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and beyond. In addition to housing a collection of reference materials spanning a broad range of subject areas, the Center organizes many free exhibits and programs.

“All year long we invite you to join us every day, in every library location,” says library spokesperson Katherine Jardine, “to continue honoring and celebrating the diverse and special histories and heritages that make up our beloved City and our unique country.”

All programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. More information, including the program guide, at sfpl.org/more-than-a-month.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Tales from Africa to Black America with Muriel Johnson – Feb. 6, Richmond

#Charlottesville, the Civil War, and Race: Why the Civil War Still Matters – Feb. 7, Merced

1966 Bayview Uprising and BVHP History – Feb. 10, Bayview

Black Freedom Struggles in the Jim Crow West – Feb. 11, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Harriet Tubman: A Forgotten Legacy – Feb. 13, Main Library, Latino / Hispanic Rooms

Race, Disability and Poverty in Children’s Books – Feb. 18, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Crafts:

Music Performances & Dance Classes

Film Screenings

Exhibits & Displays

Dave Eggers Tours New Book in San Francisco Public Library’s Bookmobile

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2018

Penguin Random House Media Contact: Jordan Rodman
(212) 782-9714; jrodman@penguinrandomhouse.com

Library Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

 

Dave Eggers Tours New Book in San Francisco Public Library’s Bookmobile

SAN FRANCISCO, CA  Dave Eggers, the best-selling author and founder of McSweeney’s, will launch the publication of his latest book, The Monk of Mokha, by touring San Francisco in a San Francisco Public Library bookmobile along with Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the heroic subject of Dave’s new book.

eggersThe kick-off event is held in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library and Penguin Random House, and will take place on the steps of City Hall, starting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Speakers at the event will include Dave Eggers, James Freeman, Founder and CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee; Hellen Russel, co-founder of Equator Coffee; Zahra Billoo, Executive director of CAIR; Dawood Yaseen, head of student life at Zaytuna College; San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera; Ahmed Abo Zaid, Vice President of Local87; Bita Nazarian, Executive Director of 826 Valencia; Supervisor Jane Kim, and Mokhtar Alkhanshali. A book sale will be provided by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Monk of Mokha is the true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a young Yemini-American man raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemini coffee, but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by a civil war.

eggers2After the launch event, Eggers and Alkhanshali will ride on the Library’s bookmobile and visit five Bay Area bookstores, on Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28: The Booksmith Bindery, Green Apple Books on the Park, Book Passage in the Ferry Building, Bookshop West Portal, and Books Inc. Laurel Village. The book will not be officially published until Jan. 30, but early copies will be available at all of these San Francisco venues.

San Francisco Public Library bookmobiles and its mobile outreach unit offers a variety of library services beyond SFPL’s 28 neighborhood libraries, connecting residents where they work, play, create, learn and live regardless of age, physical, economic, social, and geographic or other barriers. The bookmobiles visit more than 60 regular locations each month, offering a wide variety of library materials in multiple formats as well as a menu of library programming. They can be found at senior centers & residences, schools and day care centers, and at Treasure Island as its only regular library service.

 

Talking with Kids about Race – A progressive workshop for parents, caregivers and educators

For Immediate Release: January 23, 2018
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

 

Talking with Kids about Race
A progressive workshop for parents, caregivers and educators

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA This weekend, the Library continues the successful series of progressive programs that help parents, educators and caregivers talk to kids about race and power with an interactive workshop facilitated by Abundant Beginnings.  Participants will be given tools to discuss race, racism, inequity and injustice, and will practice concrete and developmentally supportive conversation starters about how to create environments for kids that nurture racial justice.

Free childcare and translation services are available with advanced registration.

talkingaboutraceAbundant Beginnings is a community education and empowerment initiative that re-imagines how communities can grow learners who think critically, live responsibly and create meaningful change.

Sponsored by Abundant BeginningsOur Family CoalitionSURJ SF – Showing Up for Racial JusticeSan Francisco Public LibrarySan Francisco Unified School DistrictSF Families UnionTeachers 4 Social JusticeSan Francisco Human Rights Commission.

Talking with Kids about Race: Nurturing Justice – Saturday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Library

For Immediate Release:  Jan. 17, 2018
Media contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252; Mindy.Linetzky@sfpl.org

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Library

Romance novels, crafts, valentine printing, poetry and handkerchiefs – all free at your neighborhood library

valentines

San Francisco, CA – Looking for love this February 14? The library is always a good place to meet new people – peruse the exhibition galleries, mingle at an author talk, smile in the stacks or get crafty with your neighbors. Or if you’re just looking for a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the library’s got you covered.

The History Center at the Main Library holds its 7th Annual Valentine Broadside Printing program on Saturday, Feb. 3. Participants will create a unique keepsake on the library’s 1909 Albion hand press complete with a poem and illustration by San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck.

On Sunday, Feb. 4, Alan Blackman, San Francisco lettering artist and calligrapher, presents Letters to Myself, a discussion of the more than 200 embellished, illuminated and decorated envelopes he mailed to his son. His envelopes, with elaborate hand lettering and clever drawings directly inspired by the design of the stamps, span 40 years and bear cancellations from all over the world.

What’s more old-fashioned than handkerchiefs for Valentine’s Day? Starting Saturday, Jan. 27, the Library displays Amazing Handkerchiefs, selections from the collection of Ann Mahony, collector and historian of vintage handkerchiefs, featuring designs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Want to make a personal valentine for your sweetheart? The Library offers Valentine’s Day card making programs for all ages. Adults can even hone up their computer skills on Wednesday, Feb. 7 while making a valentine in the Computer Training Center of the Main Library. See the sfpl.org calendar and the list below for specific programs.

Last, but not least, the Library offers romance novels, love stories, poetry and date-night movies free for the choosing. With your library card, you can check out or stream all your favorite romantic movies, listen to great voices reading an EBook of poetry or reminisce with your favorite vinyl album. The possibilities are infinite.

7th Annual Valentine Broadside Printing – Feb. 3, 2-4 p.m., Main Library, San Francisco History Center, 6th Floor

Alan Blackman, Letters to Myself – Feb. 4, 1 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Rooms

The Amazing Handkerchief through the AgesJan. 27- May 17, Main Library, Art, Music & Recreation Center, 4th Floor.
Related program: Handkerchief Heroes with Ann Mahony – Feb. 25, 2 p.m., Main Library, Learning Studio, 5th Floor

Valentine’s Day card making for adults

Feb. 3, 2 p.m., Marina Branch Library (preregister)

Feb. 7, 7 p.m., Noe Valley Branch Library

Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m., Valentine’s Day Cards: Use Microsoft Word to set hearts aflutter, Main Library, Computer Training Center, 5th Floor

 

Valentine’s Day card making for teens

Feb. 3, 2:30 p.m., North Beach Branch Library (preregister)

Feb. 8, 3:30 p.m., Marina Branch Library

Feb. 10, 2 p.m., West Portal Branch Library

 

Valentine’s Day crafts for children

Feb. 1, 2:30 p.m., Holiday Cards & Cotton Candy, Bernal Heights Branch Library

Feb. 8, 4 p.m., Valentine Bugs Craft, North Beach Branch Library

Feb. 10, 10:15 a.m., Valentine’s Day Cards, Presidio Branch Library

Feb. 10, 3 p.m., Valentine’s Day Cards, Portola Branch Library

Feb. 10, 4 p.m., Valentine’s Day Cards, Ingleside Branch Library

Feb. 14, 3 p.m., Valentine’s Day Cards, Merced Branch Library

 

A Game of Color – The African-American Experience in Baseball

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2018
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

 

A Game of Color
The African-American Experience in Baseball

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Baseball Reliquary and the Institute for Baseball Studies present A Game of Color: The African-American Experience in Baseball, an exhibition of artifacts, artworks and photographs opening Jan. 13 in the Skylight Gallery at the San Francisco Public Library.

171220_postcard_med-resThe exhibition covers more than a half century of professional baseball, from the founding of the first Negro League in 1920 through the integration of major league baseball in 1947, and up to a new wave of outspoken African American players in the 1960s and ‘70s who challenged the baseball establishment.

Rather than a comprehensive history of African American baseball, the exhibition is intended as a general introduction, with an emphasis on key figures, teams and pivotal moments.  The artifacts and artworks which support the exhibition’s themes are being shown for the first time in San Francisco.  Included are paintings by Ben Sakoguchi and Bill Cormalis Jr., and an iconic painting of Jackie Robinson by Michael Guccione.

Exhibition Highlights:

THE NEGRO LEAGUES: Formed as a response to institutionalized racism in organized Baseball, the Negro Leagues were comprised primarily of African American players and became a vibrant business enterprise in Black America.  The displays offer a glimpse into the heyday of the Negro Leagues, from 1920-1946.

BARNSTORMING AS A WAY OF LIFE: During the offseason, Negro League players often joined barnstorming teams, traveling the highways and byways of America in order to make enough money to survive.  The displays feature the colorful history of these teams, from the Satchel Paige All-Stars to the Zulu Cannibal Giants.

PIONEERS OF INTEGRATION: Spotlighting several prominent figures who lobbied steadily and vociferously for the integration of baseball, including maverick owner Bill Veeck and pioneering journalist Lester Rodney.

JACKIE ROBINSON AND EMMETT ASHFORD: Highlighting Jackie Robinson’s pioneering role as the first African American to officially play in the major leagues in the 20th century and his status as the most important professional baseball player in postwar America.  Also featured is Emmett Ashford, the first African American umpire to officiate in the minor leagues in 1951 and in the major leagues in 1966.

A NEW ACTIVISM IN THE POST-JACKIE ERA: Looking at the decades immediately following baseball’s integration, the displays spotlight several players who shattered the complacency of the baseball establishment and confronted management with charges of discrimination, especially with regard to the lack of black managers and front-office personnel.

The exhibit and all events are co-sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the Lefty O’Doul Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and The Baseball Reliquary.

Exhibit: A Game of ColorJan. 13 – March 18, Main Library, Skylight Gallery

Opening event

Film screening of Only the Ball Was White followed by Terry Cannon, exhibit curator and former major league player Nate Oliver discussing the African American experience in baseball. 
Only the Ball Was White – Film and Discussion — Sunday, Jan. 28, 1 p.m. Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Related programs:

Called Up: The Emmett Ashford Story – Film and DiscussionFeb. 7, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Beyond Branch Rickey: The Hidden Forces Behind the Breaking of Baseball’s Color BarrierFeb. 21, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation – Film and DiscussionFeb. 27, 6 p.m. Main Library, Koret Auditorium

No No: A Documentary – Film and DiscussionMarch 8, 6 p.m. Main Library, Koret Auditorium

World Series of Baseball Poetry with San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck, Jack Hirshman and others March 1, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

About The Baseball Reliquary

A Pasadena, California-based nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.  Its exhibitions and programs are supported, in part, by a grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.  The Institute for Baseball Studies, a collaborative effort of Whittier College and the Baseball Reliquary, fosters an intellectual community for creating and supporting interdisciplinary research and studies related to the cultural significance of baseball in American history.  Housed on the campus of Whittier College in Whittier, California, the Institute for Baseball Studies is the first humanities-based research center of its kind associated with a college or university in the United States.

More Than A Month – The Library celebrates Black history, culture and heritage

For Immediate Release: January 9, 2018
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

 

More Than A Month

The Library celebrates Black history, culture and heritage

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – morethanamonth_program-coverBlack History Month is an integral part of our nation’s tradition in which we promote affirmative examples of important historical events, honorable leaders and steps towards collective change. This year, the Library has titled the programs that celebrate Black history, culture & heritage More Than a Month in an effort to emphasize that reflection, open dialogue, interdisciplinary education and shared advocacy needs to take place in our communities every month, all year round.

Beginning on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday weekend and throughout February, the Library champions Black history, culture & heritage with special music, dance, crafts and storytelling events at every branch in the City. More Than a Month features film screenings and literary events for adults, interactive events for teens, hands-on activities for kids and exhibits, music and craft classes for the whole family.

Visit the African American Center in the Main Library to learn about historical, political and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and beyond. In addition to housing a collection of reference materials spanning a broad range of subject areas, the Center organizes many free exhibits and programs.

“All year long we invite you to join us every day, in every library location,” says library spokesperson Katherine Jardine, “to continue honoring and celebrating the diverse and special histories and heritages that make up our beloved City and our unique country.”

All programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. More information, including the program guide, at sfpl.org/more-than-a-month.

Program highlights:

The Black Comix Arts Festival – Jan. 14, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

I Am Alfonso Jones Comic Arts Demo – Jan. 13, Main Library, Latino Hispanic Room

Jazz Performance by Six Roses – Jan. 13, Anza

Hambone, History and Humor with Unique Derique – Jan. 13, Marina & North Beach

Kirk Waller – African and African-American Stories – Jan. 19 Portola & Jan. 20 Main Library, Children’s Center

African Dance with Moeketsi Gibe – Jan. 20, Park

African Drumming with Moeketsi Gibe – Jan. 20, Mission

Musician Rado with Kids Music SF – Jan. 13, Noe Valley, Jan. 23, Golden Gate & Sunset

Charlottesville, Anthem Protest and Race – Jan. 24, Park

Talking with Kids About Race: Nurturing Justice – Jan. 27, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Film Screening: Moonlight – Jan. 27, Western Addition

Asheba, Musical Storyteller – Jan. 27, Ocean View

Exhibits

If Superpowers Could Save My Community – Beginning Jan. 6, Main Library, African American Center

A Game of Color – Beginning Jan. 13, Main Library, Skylight Gallery

Joyce Carol Oates on It Occurs to Me That I Am America

For Immediate Release:  December 13, 2017
Media contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252; Mindy.Linetzky@sfpl.org

Joyce Carol Oates on It Occurs to Me That I Am America

In time for the one-year anniversary of the Trump inauguration and the Women’s March

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San Francisco, CA –San Francisco Public Library is proud to host author Joyce Carol Oates in conversation with editor Jonathan Santlofer, at the Main Library on January 23, 2018. They will discuss It Occurs To Me That I Am America:  New Stories and Art, a provocative, unprecedented anthology, featuring original short stories from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors—including Alice Walker, Richard Russo, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Mary Higgins Clark, and Lee Child—with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

When Donald Trump claimed victory last November, the U.S. literary world erupted in indignation. Many of America’s leading writers and artists openly resist the current administration’s dogma and earliest policy moves, and they’re not about to go gently into that good night. In It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art, more than thirty of the most acclaimed modern writers consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just and compassionate democracy—through fiction.

Featuring artwork by some of today’s best known artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists—including Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Marilyn Minter and Eric Fischl—who cover political, social and cultural issues, this anthology is a beautiful, enduring collection that will resonate with anyone concerned with the contest for our American soul.

The book “aims to address the anxiety many Americans are feeling about losing the freedoms for which we’ve fought; to remind us of America as an international symbol of hope; and considers the most basic notion of all: what it means to be an American” says Jonathan Santlofer.

Joyce Carol Oates is the author most recently of the novel A Book of American Martyrs and the story collection DIS MEM BER. She is a recipient of the National Book Award, the National Humanities Medal, the PEN/Malamud Award in Short Fiction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN America, among other honors. She has been a professor at Princeton University for many years and is currently Visiting Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Graduate Writing Program at New York University; in the spring term she is Visiting Professor of English at University of California, Berkeley. Her forthcoming novel is Hazards of Time Travel.

Jonathan Santlofer is the award-winning crime fiction author of The Death Artist and Anatomy of Fear, and the editor of Inherit the Dead, The Dark End of the Street, and LA Noire: The Collected Stories. His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, will be published in July 2018.

A book sale by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.

Joyce Carol Oates and Jonathan Santlofer:  It Occurs to Me That I Am America – Tuesday, January 23, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.

Gifts that Keep on Giving at the San Francisco Public Library

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295; Katherine.Jardine@sfpl.org

Gifts that Keep on Giving at the San Francisco Public Library

greengifts

San Francisco, CA – This holiday season, add a personal, handmade touch to gift-giving by upcycling with the Library. SFPL is excited to be offering free workshops and events about green ideas and environmentally sustainable practices during the month of December. Transform old books and magazines, T-shirts and sweaters, and bottles and jars into cup cozies, mixed media wreaths, sugar scrubs and more.

Libraries throughout the City are hosting Green Gifts workshops for kids, teens and adults, focusing on crafting seasonal presents and decorations using repurposed materials. The workshops help patrons learn to create less waste by providing innovative and fun ways to utilize the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Patrons can try their hand at weaving newspaper baskets, folding origami trees, creating paper ornaments, fabric flowers, T-shirt tote bags and much more. For more information, view the complete program guide, and visit sfpl.org/GreenGifts.

For additional, and year-round, eco-friendly resources and programs at the Library, visit the Wallace Stegner Environmental Center at the Main Library.

Green Gifts – Program Highlights:

Crafting with Recycled Books – Dec. 2 & 3, West Portal

Mixed Media Wreaths – Dec. 5, Anza

Adult Craft Night: Sugar Scrubs and Holiday Cards – Dec. 6, Noe Valley

Holiday Upcycling – Dec. 7, Excelsior

Children’s Craft: Calming Jars – Dec. 9, Western Addition

Fingerless Gloves with GoGo Craft – Dec. 13, Portola

TAY Day in the Hormel Center – Dec. 18, Main Library, Hormel Center

Craft Night: Snow Globes & Gift Tags – Dec. 20, Ortega

Ring in the Holidays at the Library – Music, craft programs, toy trains and more – all free at your neighborhood library

For Immediate Release:  Nov. 29, 2017
Media contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252; Mindy.Linetzky@sfpl.org

Ring in the Holidays at the Library

Music, craft programs, toy trains and more – all free at your neighborhood library

holiday

San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Public Library is the place to bring your friends and family for free holiday fun this season. There’s craft making, holiday music, special exhibits, food demonstrations and much more – all free.

Kick off the season with Bright Star – Music and More, a special musical pop-up event for children and families at the Main Library on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 pm. The program is centered on the Curran Theater’s new production, “Bright Star,” a musical written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. The library will host a performance by bluegrass band Alabamajama, and a star-making craft where kids and families will have the chance to express themselves around the theme of “If You Knew My Story,” one of the songs from the musical.

The Holiday Train display also revs its engines on Dec. 2 and runs through Jan. 4 in front of the Children’s Center in the Main Library.  Train engineers of all ages can push the levers that make the trains travel the tracks in a sparkling custom-built winter wonderland.

During December, libraries across the City are holding Green Gifts workshops for kids, teens and adults, focusing on crafting seasonal presents and decorations using repurposed materials. Transform old books and magazines, T-shirts, sweaters, bottles and jars into cup cozies, mixed media wreaths and sugar scrubs. Participants can try their hand at weaving newspaper baskets, folding origami trees, creating paper ornaments, fabric flowers, T-shirt tote bags and much more.

The majestic sound of authentic bronze Russian Holiday Bells will fill the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 23 as San Francisco Symphony Percussionist Victor Avdienko performs a special holiday concert. The concert will include several traditional chimes, a few contemporary pieces and improvisations, followed by a film screening of Blagovest Bells’ A Voice of Pure Earth: The Sacred Bells of Russia.

Plus, libraries are good places to take family or friends during the holidays. They can gather around the fireplaces at Eureka Valley or Merced branch libraries; meditate while walking the stone pavers marked with West African Adinkra symbols in the courtyard of the Bayview branch; see Herb Caen’s original typewriter at the North Beach branch; and view historical photos in the serene History Center at the Main Library. Out of town guests can take the cable car to the Chinatown branch; view the amazing City skyline from the Potrero branch windows; or just cozy up with a good book or magazine in the leather chairs at the Presidio branch. Folks from colder climates will enjoy the special gardens behind the Noe Valley, Ingleside and Western Addition branches.

Or just check out a good book, a calming CD, a seasonal video and enjoy the holidays!

 

Holiday highlights:

Bright Star – Music and More with the Curran Theater – Saturday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., Main Library, Children’s Center, 2nd floor

Green Gifts – various library locations and dates, see program guide.

Russian Holiday Bells – Saturday, December 23, 12 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.

Biblio Bistro cooking demonstration – Wednesday, December 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Heart of the City Farmer’s Market, UN Plaza (weather permitting)

A Muslim Family’s Chair for the Pope exhibit – through Jan. 31, Main Library, Children’s Center, 2nd floor

Kwanzaa – Celebrating Kuumba (Infinite Creativity) – Sunday, December 31, 1 – 3 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.