Category Archives: Uncategorized

Middle Eastern Heritage at the San Francisco Public Library

For Immediate Release: September 1, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

Middle Eastern Heritage at the San Francisco Public Library



San Francisco, CA —   The Library celebrates Middle Eastern Heritage this month with a wide array of programs in recognition of the diverse histories, cultures and traditions from the Middle East.

Visit the Main Library to learn about the “cradle of civilization” from Dr. Abdul Jabbar, professor emeritus of English and Interdisciplinary Studies at City College of San Francisco. Taste delectable Egyptian street food cuisine with local chef and restaurant owner, Sausan, at Mission Bay and view an Arabic dance performance by Heaven Mousalem at Western Addition. Families and folk of all ages will enjoy Middle Eastern cultural celebrations held at several branches with performances, games, crafts and food.

Youngsters will delight in a special children’s story time in celebration of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s new exhibition, Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid. At Ocean View and Potrero, youth are invited to make hummus on Rock the Bike, the Library’s pedal-powered blender, and create a hamsa, a palm-shaped amulet used to ward off the “evil eye” at Marina. Tweens and teens will love tasting different Middle Eastern snacks at various Snack Trials, and learning the designs and techniques of traditional Palestinian embroidery at Merced.

On Sept. 24 at the Main Library, view a collection of outstanding short films from the Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) showcasing emergent voices and diverse approaches in cinematic storytelling by contemporary Arab filmmakers and artists.

Visit for more details.  View the complete Program Guide (PDF).

Middle Eastern Heritage Month programming is funded in part by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library


AFMI Presents: The Best of Arab Short Films – Sept. 24, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

The Middle East as the Cradle of Civilization – Sept. 6, 4 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

Egyptian Street Food Tasting – Sept. 30, 2 p.m., Mission Bay Branch

Arabic Dance with Heaven Mousalem – Sept. 16, 3:30 p.m., Western Addition Branch

The CJM Read-Aloud – Sept. 23, 2 p.m., Main Library, Children’s Center

Make a Hamsa – Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch

Hamsa Craft for Kids – Sept. 7, 3 p.m., Marina Branch

Teen Tasty Thursdays: Middle Eastern Snacks – Sept. 21, 3 p.m., Mission Branch

Middle Eastern Snack Trials – Sept. 23, 3 p.m., West Portal Branch

Middle Easter Snack Trials – Sept. 26, 4 p.m., Main Library, The Mix at SFPL

Sew Your Story – Sept. 22, 4 p.m., Merced Branch

Rock the Bike: Hummus Edition
Sept. 9, 4 p.m., Potrero Branch
Sept. 14, 3 p.m., Glen Park Branch
Sept. 16, 2 p.m., Ocean View Branch

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto

For Immediate Release:  August 31, 2017
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;


Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto

Acclaimed author reflects on his Mexican-American heritage and diverse literary career


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco Public Library is pleased to announce the 21st Annual Effie Lee Morris lecture featuring Gary Soto. This special event will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Main Library, Koret Auditorium.

garyIn his upcoming lecture, titled Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto, the author will take a wide-ranging look at his multifaceted career as a writer of novels, short stories, poetry, plays and essays. The Fresno native often writes from his Mexican-American heritage and his characters reflect California’s diversity. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Mr. Soto is well-known for his books Taking Sides, The Pool Party, Baseball in April and Other Stories, The Afterlife, Buried Onions, Living Up the Street and Too Many Tamales, a picture book for younger readers. His forthcoming books include Meatballs for the People: Proverbs to Chew On and a poetic homage to Shakespeare, The Spark and Fire of It.

Soto is the recipient of an Andrew Carnegie Medal, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

Every year, the Annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture features a renowned author or illustrator of works for young people as they discuss their creative process with San Francisco readers. The late Effie Lee Morris was the San Francisco Public Library’s first coordinator of children’s services, the first African-American president of the Public Library Association and a founder of the San Francisco chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.

This program is sponsored by the Main Library Children’s Center, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

For more information, visit or call (415) 557-4554.

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto – September 26, 6 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

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.

Marty Nemko Talks Shop

For Immediate Release: July 3, 2017
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;

 Marty Nemko Talks Shop
Too Old to Find Good Work, Too Young to Retire 


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco Public Library is proud to host eminent Bay Area career expert Dr. Marty Nemko, as he tackles one of the work world’s biggest challenges: job seekers who are over 50.  As countless people over 50 have a hard time finding remunerative work, Marty offers ways to put the best face on being older and solid arguments why older may be better. Marty will also present not-obvious and not-painful ways to cut living expenses and ways to live more richly than one might imagine.

Marty will be conducting “workovers” on volunteers from the audience, much like in his beloved radio show.  Audience members will come away with practical plans they can feel confident about. Marty will also perform songs, short-short stories and bring a surprise special guest.

Marty Nemko is in his 28th year hosting Work with Marty Nemko on KALW 91.7 FM and was a career columnist for The Chronicle before going national, where he’s written more than 1,000 articles for TIME, The Atlantic, and Marty is a career and personal coach specializing in older adults and was called by U.S. News, a “Career coach extraordinaire.” He holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from U.C. Berkeley and is the author of eight books.

Older and Scared: Career and life advice for people 50+ — Aug. 5, 10 a.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium


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.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications (415) 554-6131

Castro resident will be the City’s seventh Poet Laureate

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin M. Lee and City Librarian Luis Herrera today announced that Kim Shuck has been named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate, the seventh artist in City history to hold the title.

Shuck is a published author whose poetry focuses on her multiethnic background, which includes Polish and Cherokee heritage, and her experiences as a lifelong resident of San Francisco.

“Kim’s stirring poetry celebrates the spirit of San Francisco and reflects the open and inclusive values of this city,” said Mayor Lee. “She embodies the legacy of our City’s bold and fearless storytellers, and as a fifth-generation resident she has a unique appreciation for what makes San Francisco special. We are honored to have her carry on the proud tradition of our poet laureates.”

Shuck, a Castro resident, has published several full-length poetry books, including Clouds Running In, Rabbit Stories, and Smuggling Cherokee and a chapbook, Sidewalk Ndn. She is also an educator who has taught at all levels, including at San Francisco State University and currently at the California College of the Arts. She has volunteered in San Francisco Unified School District classrooms for more than 20 years. Her visual art works have been displayed in exhibits across the globe.

“This is an honor, it’s a responsibility and it’s an invitation to continue the good work of previous Laureates,” said Shuck. “It’s also an opportunity to add some of my own touches, both political and silly. The San Francisco Public Library was a good friend when I was a kid, primarily the Mission, Noe Valley and Castro branches, and I’m looking forward to working on these new projects.”

Shuck was appointed by Mayor Lee after being nominated by a nine-member Selection Committee comprised of past Poet Laureates, city officials, and members of the Bay Area poetry and literary community. She will succeed Alejandro Murguía, who served as San Francisco’s sixth Poet Laureate.

As the Poet Laureate, Shuck will deliver an inaugural address as the San Francisco Public Library. She will also participate in community-based poetry events that serve multigenerational and multiethnic residents of San Francisco, and lead poetry readings at Litquake, the city’s leading literary festival. In addition, the Poet Laureate works on one or more poetry-centered events in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library, WritersCorps, and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

“Kim Shuck is passionate about our city’s diversity and its multiplicity of voices,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. As San Francisco Poet Laureate she will celebrate our strength of language and culture. Kim loves our city and values our libraries. We’re excited to work with her to further our city’s literary and poetic tradition by engaging our communities and bringing us together through poetry.”

To qualify for San Francisco’s Poet Laureate, applicants must be San Francisco residents and have a substantial body of published work, including at least one full length book and 20 or more published poems in established publications, print or online, over the past five years, among other qualifications.