All posts by Public Affairs

Library Laptops Now on Loan

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

Library Laptops Now on Loan

Tech’d Out: Leave the library with a laptop


San Francisco, CA — San Francisco Public Library is thrilled to offer laptops equipped with mobile wireless data hotspots (mifi) that patrons can check out and take home. Tech’d Out is a new six-month pilot program that allows borrowers to check out laptops and mobile hotspots, putting useful tools into the hands of library users who need them most.

“The world we live in requires connectivity,” Main Library 1st Floor Manager Bill Kolb says. “More often than not, if you’re applying for a job, looking up film show times or doing your taxes, you need to be connected to the internet. Tech’d Out provides patrons with direct and mobile access, working to bridge the digital divide for the many folks in San Francisco who still don’t have access to high-speed internet.”

Thirty-two electronic bundles, consisting of an HP laptop and mobile hotspot, are available for checkout for three weeks at the Main Library and Ocean View, Bayview and Visitacion Valley branches. The locations were chosen due to their proximity to underserved populations, with potential plans to grow the program in the next couple of years.

At the Main Library and its 28 branches, 5,638 people access the Wi-Fi network daily. Patrons logged 306,186 hours at the Library’s public computers over the past six months. The service is a lifeline for many people who spend hours every day on library computers accessing emails, finishing homework and applying for jobs.

Visit for more information.

Relive the Summer of Love at the Library

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

Relive the Summer of Love at the Library

Films, author talks, fashion shows and more at the San Francisco Public Library

Summer of Love image
San Francisco, CA — Flash back to 1967 with films, author talks, art and programs for all ages. The Park Branch in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is particularly rocking this summer with tie dye and macramé classes, an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia, a 60s fashion show and film screenings.

The counter culture revolution of the hippies during the Summer of Love is revealed in Revolution, a film screening at the Main Library on July 16, along with a panel discussion. Tune in with music musings at the Main as author Rosie McGee discusses The Grateful Dead and Rodney Paul takes on the evolution of Jefferson Airplane. Join Bay Area women who were pivotal in the revolution for women’s rights for a panel discussion on the gender revolution, and attend a lecture about Irwin Klein’s photographs that captured the life of a counterculture’s transition to a social movement.

The Thursdays at Noon film lineup at the Main features movies made in 1967 including The GraduateCool Hand LukeBonnie and Clyde and In the Heat of the Night.

Two special exhibits at the Main, The Summer of Love and Haight and Sex, Drugs and Runaways showcases photographs, pamphlets, posters, governmental documents and other ephemera of the time. Plus, in partnership with the de Young Museum, teens are leading youth art activities at many neighborhood branches—getting inspiration from the Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll exhibit at the museum.

Please visit your favorite San Francisco Public Library for details, or go to

View the Summer of Love Program Guide (PDF)

Summer of Love programming is funded in part by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

Related Programs

The Grateful Dead: Before, During & After the Summer of Love (author talk) – Aug. 2, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Learning Studio

Jefferson Airplane: A Deep Dive – Aug. 22, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

The Gender Revolution: Panel Discussion – Sept. 7, 3:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Irwin Klein and the New Settlers (author talk) – Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Latino / Hispanic Community Meeting Room

Hippie Food – Talk with Jonathan KauffmanSept. 28, 6:30 p.m., Main Library

Art, Craft & Fashion

Macrame Plant Holders – July 19, 6 p.m., Park Branch

Let’s Dye! – July 12, 7 p.m., Park Branch / July 12, 5 p.m., Mission Branch / July 27, 5 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch

1960s Fashion Show – Aug. 5, 3 p.m., Park Branch


Summer of Love and Haight — July 15 through Oct. 29, Main Library, Jewett Gallery
Opening Event: Revolution – Film and discussion. July 16, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Sex, Drugs and Runaways –  On view through Oct. 19, Main Library, 5th Floor Government Information Center

Haight-Ashbury’s Summer of Love: National and Local Media Coverage – On view through Sept. 15, Main Library, 5th Floor Magazines and Newspapers Center

The Seen: What you would have seen on Haight Street in 1967 – Aug. 5 – Dec. 7, Park Branch Library


Revolution – July 16, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium
Riot on Sunset Strip – July 26, 6:30 p.m., Park Branch
Les Diggers de San Francisco – Aug. 5, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Thursday at Noon Films presents Summer of Love: Films made in 1967 – Thursdays, 12 p.m., Koret Auditorium
July 6: The Graduate
July 13: Cool Hand Luke
July 20: Bonnie and Clyde
July 27: In the Heat of the Night

Masterful Storytelling from Expert Explorers

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

Masterful Storytelling from Expert Explorers
Meet your National Park Service Ranger at the San Francisco Public Library


San Francisco, CA — This summer, the Library is going from tales to trails with a twist on the traditional summer reading program. SFPL has partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) for a second year to expand the notion of learning to include active exploration, both inside and outside of library walls. Summer Stride: Read.Explore.Connect. includes more than 1,000 free learning and exploration programs such as free shuttle rides to local national parks, bioblitzes, StoryWalks, Ranger Talks and more.

Ranger Talks are occurring in 11 locations throughout July and in early August. All ages will delight in learning about the flora, fauna and tales of San Francisco through masterful storytelling about the National Park Service’s protected park lands from those who know it best, the rangers themselves.


Tuesday, July 11               2 p.m.                   West Portal

Wednesday, July 12        2 p.m.                   Merced

Thursday, July 13              2 p.m.                  Ocean View

Tuesday, July 18               2 p.m.                   North Beach

Wednesday, July 19        2 p.m.                   Marina

Thursday, July 20              2 p.m.                  Chinatown

Tuesday, July 25               2 p.m.                   Eureka Valley

Wednesday, July 26        2 p.m.                   Potrero

Thursday, July 27              12 p.m.                Presidio

Thursday, July 27              2 p.m.                  Presidio

Tuesday, Aug. 8                2 p.m.                   Mission Bay

Wednesday, Aug. 9         2 p.m.                   Main Library, Fisher Children’s Center

About Summer Stride

Summer Stride encourages all ages and abilities to have fun reading and learning during the summer months. Patrons are encouraged to check out books, comics, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and more and choose 1,000+ free programs to deepen reading enjoyment, spark STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) passions, and learn through active, outside exploration. Summer Stride is funded in large part by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, whose generous members and donors advocate, champion and invest in our premier public Library system accessible to all.

Tracking Guides are available at all locations for patrons to record reading, listening, and learning time, and work their way to a coveted finishing prize: a special 2017 Library tote bag featuring artwork by Lizi Boyd, author of I Wrote You a Note. All ages are eligible to receive the prize after completing 20 hours of reading, listening, learning, and library time. Library visitors can also enter a weekly raffle at their neighborhood library location. Raffle prizes include free passes to local museums, sporting events and attractions.

Visit for more information. View the Summer Stride Guide here.

The Sky Event of the Decade

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2017
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

The Sky Event of the Decade: August’s Eclipse of the Sun
Receive free safe viewing glasses and tips for observing this once-in-a-lifetime event


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco Public Library is pleased to bring Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi to the Main Library for a talk titled “August’s ‘All-American’ Eclipse of the Sun and How to View it Safely.”

On Aug. 21, there will be an eclipse of the sun visible throughout North America.  People in a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will see a spectacular total eclipse, with the moon briefly covering the sun, and day turning into night.  Everyone else, including those in the Bay Area, will see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers a good part of the sun.

On Sunday, Aug. 6, Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi will give a non-technical, family-oriented talk on getting ready for the “All-American” eclipse of the sun. Fraknoi will describe how eclipses work, why they are one of nature’s most spectacular sights, exactly when and where the eclipse of 2017 will be visible, and how to observe the eclipse and the sun safely.

Everyone attending the event will receive a free pair of safe viewing glasses for observing the sun. Copies of Professor Fraknoi’s new children’s book on eclipses, When the Sun Goes Dark, will be available for sale and signing after the talk. Like the book, the discussion will be appropriate for children 10 years of age or older, and adults.

Andrew Fraknoi is the chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College. He serves on the 2017 Eclipse Task Force of the American Astronomical Society, training teachers and librarians to act as guides for the public as the August eclipse approaches. He has appeared regularly on local and national radio, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language and was named California Professor of the Year in 2007.  The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi to honor his contributions to the public understanding of science.

The Sky Event of the Decade:  August’s “All-American” Eclipse of the Sun – Aug. 6, 1-3 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

San Francisco Public Library Announces 2017 One City One Book

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295 /

Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

One City One Book
 San Francisco, CA — San Francisco Public Library is excited to announce that Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. has been selected as the One City One Book.

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. Bloom and Martin analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling.

“It is a true honor that San Francisco has selected Black against Empire for One City One Book 2017,” says co-author Joshua Bloom. “When the San Francisco Bay Area gave birth to the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s, the insurgent Civil Rights Movement had largely run its course. Black people in cities throughout the North and West were yearning for ways to stand up to police brutality and persistent racism. For several years, the Black Panther Party set the standard. The reason why Waldo and I wrote the book was to make sense of how and why. Those questions are as vital now as they were in the late 1960s – as a new generation of activists seeks to challenge racism, authoritarianism, and many forms of oppression. I look forward to extended conversations across the city about this history.”

“We wrote Black against Empire to provide a serious, full, and clear-eyed narrative of the Black Panther Party’s fascinating yet all too often ignored, misunderstood, and misrepresented history,” says co-author Waldo E. Martin, Jr. “The book highlights what we see as the key explanation for the party’s extraordinary historical significance: the domestic and international reach of its anti-imperial politics. We look forward to what will hopefully be an exciting and enlightening 2017 One City One Book experience.”

Black against Empire, published by the University of California Press, is the winner of the American Book Award. The book has been banned by the CA Department of Corrections and CA inmates are currently forbidden to possess or read it.

Read Black against Empire this summer and join the Library in the fall for the 13th Annual One City One Book program extravaganza. Copies of Black against Empire will be featured in all San Francisco libraries and at bookstores around the city.

During September and October, participants can join book discussions, check out themed exhibits, attend author talks and participate in many other events. Citywide programming will take place in October.

Editorial Reviews

“This is the definitive history of one of the great revolutionary organizations in the history of this country…. Let us learn deep democratic lessons and strong anti-imperial conclusions from this magisterial book!” Cornel West, Princeton

“This is the book we’ve all been waiting for: the first complete history of the Black Panther Party, devoid of the hype, the nonsense, the one-dimensional heroes and villains, the myths, or the tunnel vision that has limited scholarly and popular treatments across the ideological spectrum. ” Robin D. G. Kelley, UCLA

 “As important as the Black Panthers were to the evolution of black power, the African American freedom struggle, and, indeed, the sixties as a whole, scholarship on the group has been surprisingly thin and all too often polemical. Certainly no definitive scholarly account of the Panthers has been produced to date, or rather had been produced to date. Bloom and Martin can now lay claim to that honor.” Doug McAdam, Stanford

“Finally! A book that clarifies the history of our movement, our aspirations, our struggles, and the bitter challenges we faced. This is a profoundly important and revealing work. Everyone who lived through these events, anyone who wants to understand the Black Panther Party, and especially the younger generations striving to shape the future, must read this book!”

–Bobby Seale, Chairman, Black Panther Party

For more information, visit

About One City One Book

One City One Book: San Francisco Reads is an annual citywide literary event that encourages members of the San Francisco community to read the same book at the same time and then discuss it in book groups and at events throughout the City. By building bridges between communities and generations through the reading and most importantly the discussion of – one book, we hope to help to make reading a lifelong pursuit and to build a more literate society. Sponsors for One City One Book include the San Francisco Public Library and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. The program is also supported by many bookstore partners, program partners and media sponsors.

Launch of Observational Library Learning Program in Collaboration with National Taiwan University and Fu Jen Catholic University

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;


Invitation to Cover / Photo Opportunity

Launch of Observational Library Learning Program in Collaboration with National Taiwan University and Fu Jen Catholic University

WHEN: Wednesday, July 5, 11:45 a.m.

WHERE: Office of the City Librarian, 100 Larkin St. 6th Floor


  • San Francisco Public Library City Librarian Luis Herrera
  • Ms. Yuan-Ho Huang, Professor & Chairperson, Dept. of Library and Information Science, Fu Jen University
  • Ms. Tsung-Hsin Tang, Fu Jen University library school student
  • Ms. Yi-Shan Hsieh, National Taiwan University library school student
  • Ms. Huei-wen Hsu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), Director of Education Division
  • Mr. Joseph Ma, TECO General Director
  • Ms. Jessie Chin, TECO Deputy Director
  • Ms. Ivy Lin, TECO
  • Doris Tseng, SFPL librarian, International Center
  • Yemila Alvarez, SFPL 3rd Floor Manager
  • Mikhail Pashkov, SFPL Manager, International Center

Launch the start of the observational learning agreement among San Francisco Public Library and the National Taiwan University and Fu Jen Catholic University. This is an opportunity for a select group of Fu Jen Catholic University library students from Taiwan to observe operations at San Francisco Public Library, which will help them gain an overview of how U.S. public libraries operate as well as learn about innovative public library services offered in San Francisco. This learning exchange program is coordinated by the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco.

Library Adds Largest Digital Archive of LGBTQ History and Culture

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

 Library Adds Largest Digital Archive of LGBTQ History and Culture
First Collection of the Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity Now Available

San Francisco, CA – Just in time for Pride month, the San Francisco Public Library has added the first part of Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, a milestone digital program, bringing together the largest collection of primary source content on gender, sexuality and identity. The archives meet a growing interest for content to support research in these disciplines.

“We are thrilled to offer access to this important and highly-relevant archive to our library patrons, particularly the rare document collections of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin – San Francisco residents and pioneers of the feminist and gay-rights movements,” said Daniel Matsumoto, eResources librarian. “It’s a wonderful and timely addition to our LGBTQIA collections.”

Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were a San Francisco lesbian couple who pioneered the modern gay rights and feminist movements. In 2004, they were the first same-sex couple to be married at San Francisco City Hall. When California legalized same-sex marriage in 2008, the couple was first to marry again at City Hall.

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, Part I: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 brings together approximately 1.5 million pages of fully-searchable rare and unique content from microfilm, newsletters, organizational papers, government documents, manuscripts, pamphlets and other types of primary sources. Content is sourced from major gay and lesbian organizations worldwide – the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, GLBT Historical Society and others, and covers social, political, health and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, including the gay rights movement and the HIV/Aids crisis.

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity supports research and instruction in queer history and activism, psychology, sociology, health, political science, policy studies, human rights, gender studies and more. Parts Two and Three are currently in the planning stages.

Patrons can find the database on SFPL’s Articles & Databases landing page, using the search term “Archives of Sexuality & Gender,” or by using the direct link. The San Francisco Public Library also offers free access to LGBT Life (EBSCO), Ancestry, and historical editions of the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times.

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity is a Gale Primary Sources program.  Gale is a leading provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning. Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. For more information, visit or

** MEDIA ALERT ** Invitation to Cover: Mayor Ed Lee Announces More Days, More Hours at Branch Libraries

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2017
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Invitation to Cover / Photo Opportunity
Mayor Ed Lee Announces More Days, More Hours at Branch Libraries  

WHAT:  San Francisco Public Library has added an additional, permanent, day of service at nine branch libraries. All of San Francisco’s 27 library branches are now open seven days a week, with a minimum of 50 hours per location each week.

The Mayor approved $1.8 million to the library’s annual budget in order to expand the hours.

The Mayor, along with Library officials, will be attending a toddler craft program at the Glen Park Branch this Monday, June 19, to celebrate.

WHEN:  Monday, June 19, 10:15 a.m.

WHERE:  Glen Park Branch Library, 2825 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA  94131


  • Mayor Ed Lee
  • City Librarian Luis Herrera
  • Supervisor Jeff Sheehy
  • Library Commissioners Zoe Dunning & Teresa Ono
  • Friends of SFPL Executive Director Marie Ciepiela
  • Neighborhood Library Council Members
  • Parents, children and caregivers

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES:  Mayor interacting with preschool children as they do crafts.

A Collaboration on the Human Experience – New Exhibit & Related Programs: Meeting Places

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

 A Collaboration on the Human Experience
New Exhibit & Related Programs: Meeting Places

Meeting Places banner

San Francisco, CA –
A year after having met in Florence, Italy, in 2013, book artists Lyall Harris and Patricia Silva embarked on a series of twelve collaborative book art projects, now on display at the San Francisco Public Library’s Art, Music & Recreation Center.

On Thursday, June 15 there will be an artist talk and discussion at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m. Silva and Harris will lead a workshop demonstrating innovative folded book structures with the use of upcycled library materials.

Harris and Silva set constraints for their book arts process, both of materials and time, which forced them to work in an immediate, intuitive and exploratory way. The process began with one artist providing the inspiration and starting materials, such as saved remnants, quotes, and ideas previously set aside. The receiving artist then had only weeks to bring the project to a “halfway” point, adding or editing materials sparingly during this phase. The project was then given back to the originating artist who finished the books (in an edition of two) in a few weeks’ time.

The varied work addresses issues and histories from their shared and layered perspectives as artists, mothers, daughters, wives, and expats in a changing and complex environment. Their collaborations, which have since grown to include sculpture and photography, point to a unified aesthetic, as if made by one hand. More than a set intention, this is a natural outcome of their work together. What comes of their joint efforts unveils our human experience through an appropriately prismatic lens.

Notes from Overseas

Related Events

Exhibition: Meeting Places: Collaborative Bookworks by Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva – June 10–Sept. 14, Main Library, Art, Music & Recreation Center, 4th Floor

Opening Reception and Artists’ Talk – Thursday, June 15, 5 p.m., Main Library, Art, Music & Recreation Center, 4th Floor

Book Arts Workshop – Sunday, June 18, 2 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Room


Black Lives Matter: Self-Empowerment through Art

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

Black Lives Matter: Self-Empowerment through Art
New Exhibit: My Art Makes My Life Matter

My Art banner image 

San Francisco, CA –
Curator Kheven LaGrone wondered what the Black Lives Matter movement means in the San Francisco Bay Area, and asked several local black artists to depict how they use their art to make their lives matter. In the new exhibit, My Art Makes My Life Matter, on view June 17 – Aug. 10 in the Main Library’s African American Center, several artists share personal stories on how artwork empowers them.

On Saturday, June 17 there will be an artist talk and discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s African American Center.

“Creating art cleanses my mind of ugly or useless thoughts by dredging them from my subconscious into a permanent form that forces me to acknowledge and release them, “ says artist Adam Hernst. “It also manifests the positive, constructive ideas that I didn’t know were in me. This creates clarity, joy and hope.”

Created and curated by Kheven LaGrone, the exhibit celebrates the diversity of black artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, from people experiencing homelessness to college professors. Some of the participating artists in this exhibit came from Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program (CAP). Hospitality House serves primarily homeless and poor residents of the Tenderloin, Sixth Street Corridor and Mid-Market neighborhoods. Hospitality House’s CAP is the only free-of-charge fine arts studio and gallery space for artists and neighborhood residents whose socioeconomic struggles would otherwise prevent them from accessing the powerful artistic and cultural landscape of San Francisco.

Some of the other artists participating in this exhibit came from St. Mary’s Center.  St. Mary’s Center is a community of hope, justice and hearing that serves homeless and at-risk seniors and preschoolers in the heart of Oakland.

“I cherish the opportunity to participate in a show whose theme so closely corresponds with the role Black art has played in my life,” says college professor and artist Ajuan Mance. “For me, creating art has always served as a way to communicate the way I see and experience the world around me. In my art, I can express not only how I experience the present, but how I understand and am shaped by the people and events of the past. My art makes my life matter, because it is the means through which I express to other black people that I see you, I feel you, and I love whom we are.”

Kheven LaGrone has created and curated several shows at the San Francisco Public Library and has exhibited in New York City, Atlanta, Oakland and Richmond.

Related Events:

My Art Makes My Life Matter – On view June 17 — August 10, Main Library, African American Center, 3rd Floor

Artist Talk & Discussion – Saturday, June 17, 1:30 p.m., Main Library, African American Center, 3rd Floor