Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kodakan Photo Day: Shades of San Francisco

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


Kodakan Photo Day: Shades of San Francisco

A Search for the Visual Filipino History of San Francisco

What was it like growing up in the Filipino community in the San Francisco Bay Area? And how do we document and preserve these experiences for future generations? The San Francisco Public Library and SoMA Pilipinas are asking current and former Filipino residents to dust off their family photo albums and share their snapshots with the Library on Saturday, May 13 at the Main Library.

From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. library staff and community volunteers will scan photographs that emphasize Filipino-American family and community celebrations, political and social organizations, and people at home, work and play. Photographs will be scanned that day and added to the San Francisco History Center’s Photograph Collection at the San Francisco Main Public Library. They will also be added to the department’s digital library for wide accessibility and viewing. The collected images will become an important primary resource for research and use by scholars, students and the general public.

“There is no better way for community members to relate their own story of the past than with photographs taken by local families, friends and neighbors,” said Susan Goldstein, City Archivist. “The Filipino community is underrepresented in the city archives. Our mission is to preserve these fragile resources and make sure they are available to all to tell a fuller, more inclusive history of the city.”

Appointments to participate in Kodakan Photo Day are strongly recommended and can be made by contacting Joelene Pangilinan at or online at Volunteers are also needed to assist Library staff on Photo Day; interested persons should contact the Volunteer Coordinator by May 1, 2017 / (415) 557-4251

Kodakan Photo Day is the seventh San Francisco Public Library Shades of San Francisco Project.  The Library conducted “Shades” projects in Western Addition, the Mission, Sunset District, Oceanview/Merced/Ingleside, Bayview/Hunters Point and the LGBTQI community with more than 1,600 local photos collected and added to the permanent collections of the library.  It is made possible through the support of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the Bayanihan Community Center.

Digital inclusion hits San Francisco May 8 – 13

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

Image of Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion hits San Francisco May 8 – 13

San Francisco Public Library teams up with 20+ organizations to help bridge the digital divide

San Francisco, CA – Free technology skill-building classes, a Tech Expo for resources and services, films that provoke thought and discussion, and a host of innovative keynote speakers are all part of Digital Inclusion Week, a citywide initiative to reduce digital disparity and enhance the lives of San Francisco Bay Area residents, including seniors, people with disabilities, youth, and those seeking to expand their tech skills.
Digital Inclusion Week, May 8-13, is organized by the San Francisco Public Library and more than 20 partner organizations. Patrons can attend a tech expo to learn about technology programs, training resources, new services, and the latest products; participate in panel discussions with San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell and other policy makers, non-profits, and Internet Service Providers to discuss Internet accessibility and digital equity; view Lo and Behold, Werner Herzog’s film chronicling the virtual world; and be inspired by provocative tech creators and investors including Tim Chang (a Forbes Top Tech Investor), Jeff Kirschner (TED resident and a founder of Litterai), and Joshwa Browder (creator of DoNotPay) as they explore the rise of artificial intelligence, using technology for social change, and other topics. The SFPL TechMobile will be hosting 3D printing demonstrations.

Tech training programs are offered all week throughout the Library system and partner locations. Programs range from basic computer skills to advanced coding classes and are taught by library staff, tech workers, and industry professionals. Patrons are invited to participate in the Main Library’s Learning for Action game to build knowledge of technology resources while earning raffle tickets to increase the chances of winning the coveted finale prize, a Chromebook. Other Digital Inclusion Week prizes include laptops, a Roku Streaming Stick, USB Flash Drives, T-shirts, and more.

Related Programs

Panel Discussions –May 8, 10:30 a.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Tech Expo – May 9, 10:30 a.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Room

Speaker Series: Technology & Social Change – May 9, 5:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Visit for more information, including the calendar of all classes and events.

Digital Inclusion Week logo

Digital Inclusion Week Radio PSA
:15 seconds
Got Tech? Take the next step! Visit the San Francisco Public Library and more than 20 partnering organizations for a week full of free events that promote online access and technology skill building. Digital Inclusion Week is May 8 – 13 and includes panel discussions, film screenings, hands-on trainings, a tech expo and digital device give-aways. Visit for more information and to view the complete schedule.

Digital Inclusion partners




Tribute to Barack Obama lights up the library

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

Tribute to Barack Obama lights up the library

Barack Obama: A Legacy of Hope

Image of Obama Exhibit

San Francisco, CA — The African American Center of the San Francisco Public Library presents a tribute to an American president who brought unbridled pride to the African American community and to millions of people around the world.  Items on display showcase Obama’s life from early childhood to his years in the White House.

The exhibit is curated by Francee Covington, former president of the San Francisco Fire Commission and current commission member. Exhibit materials are from her personal collection, and is a celebration of Obama’s election and his eight years of service as the 44th President of the United States of America. “I hope everyone will enjoy this exhibit and celebrate the fact that for eight years we had a compassionate gentleman and scholar as our president,” says Ms. Covington.

Barack Obama, a self-described “skinny kid with a funny name,” used the skills he honed as a community organizer and Harvard Law School graduate, along with strategies from his successful runs for Illinois State Senator and United States Senator, to become the first African American candidate from a major party to run for president.  His candidacy became a movement of hope and a time for change.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama, America’s first African American President, was elected the 44th President of the United States and his election marked an unprecedented step forward in American history, shattering racial barriers and forever altering the political landscape.

Barack Obama: A Legacy of Hope – On view through June 1, Main Library, African American Center, 3rd Floor

NEH awards leading San Francisco institutions $315,000 to digitize AIDS archives

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
 Polina Ilieva


NEH awards leading San Francisco institutions $315,000 to digitize AIDS archives

Logo for NEH

San Francisco, CA – The Archives and Special Collections department of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Library, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society, has been awarded a $315,000 implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The collaborating institutions will digitize about 127,000 pages from 49 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area and make them widely accessible to the public online. In the process, collections whose components had been placed in different archives for various reasons will be digitally reunited, facilitating access for researchers outside the Bay Area.

The 24-month project, “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records” will commence on July 1, 2017. The 127,000 pages from the three archives range from handwritten correspondence and notebooks to typed reports and agency records to printed magazines. Also included are photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, and posters. The materials will be digitized by the University of California, Merced Library’s Digital Assets Unit, which has established a reputation for digitizing information resources so that they can be made available to the world via the web. All items selected for digitization will be carefully examined to address any privacy concerns. The digital files generated by this project will be disseminated broadly through the California Digital Library, with the objects freely accessible to the public through both Calisphere, operated by the University of California, and the Digital Public Library of America, which will have an AIDS history primary sources set.

“A digital repository of 127,000 pages from 49 collections from these three institutions not only allows the collections to ‘speak’ to one another in novel ways, but makes them accessible to a broad array of audiences. Within academia, historians of medicine and public health will be joined by sociologists and historians of gender, sexuality, and journalism, for starters. They will be eager to make such remarkable primary source materials available to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students alike. But such materials have a far wider potential audience,” said Scott H. Podolsky, M.D., Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

“The early years of the AIDS epidemic are just over the historical horizon for many who will themselves be forced to wrestle with issues of disease stigmatization and the blurred domains between medicine and society. These are our future patients, clinicians, politicians, and policymakers alike. It is thus important that such collections – documenting a central, if difficult, part of our nation’s history – be exposed to as wide a public as possible,” said Podolsky.

In the late 1980s, UCSF initiated, with the GLBT Historical Society and other Bay Area archives, the AIDS History Project, addressing the need to forge relationships between historians and the AIDS community to document and preserve the lessons and experience of the AIDS epidemic. Today UCSF, the GLBT Historical Society, and SFPL archivists have selected collections from each archive that will contribute to an understanding of the medical, social, and political processes that merged to develop effective means of treating those with AIDS, educate the public about HIV, create social support organizations for those who were often shunned by family, and advocate for a community that was dying at an alarming rate.

“The San Francisco Public Library houses both the City and County of San Francisco city archives and the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center, the first research center for GLBT collections in a public library in the country. In its role as the repository of the city archives, the library receives collections from politicians, including mayors, as well as from city departments, many addressing policy decisions and the creation of the “San Francisco model” in response to the devastation of the AIDS epidemic,” said Luis Herrera, San Francisco City Librarian. “Not only will the proposed collaborative project allow greater access to primary source materials that are located only in San Francisco, but it will ensure that these items are digitally preserved for long lasting use. We also welcome the opportunity to “reunite” collections that were given to multiple institutions in separate donations over time or from different donors.”

“Rarely in the history of human societies has there been an opportunity to capture information in real time about a new disease that became a pandemic. The story is multi-focal: the medical response, the cultural response, the political response, and the caregiving response”, said Victoria A. Harden, Founding Director Emerita, Office of NIH History.  Providing online access to the digital archival collections will benefit a diverse group of users, including scholars in disciplines such as history, literature, medicine, jurisprudence, journalism, and sociology; college and university students in an equally broad range of fields; media outlets; and members of the general public.

The project team has established a five-member Advisory Board that will be available to consult with project team members as needed to asses and resolve issues related to sensitive materials in the collections. Members include:

• Barbara A. Koenig, PhD, RN, Professor of Medical Anthropology & Bioethics in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Institute for Health & Aging and Head of UCSF Bioethics Program

• Phoebe Evans Letocha, Collections Management Archivist at Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

• Jeffrey Reznick, PhD, chief, History of Medicine division at National Library of Medicine

• Paul Volberding, Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Director, AIDS Research Institute; Director, Global Health Sciences Research; Co-Director, UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research.

• Elizabeth Watkins, PhD, UCSF Dean of the Graduate Division, Vice Chancellor – Student Academic Affairs, and Professor in the Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine

At the conclusion of the project, public access to the materials will be launched in a variety of ways. The availability on Calisphere and Digital Public Library of America will be promoted online, and the content of the collection will be explored through exhibits and public programs at each of the collaborating institutions, including at UC Merced. Finally, to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the 1989 “AIDS and the Historian” conference, a national conference on the history of the response to the AIDS epidemic will be presented in San Francisco.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

About UCSF Archives & Special Collections (UCSF Library)

The mission of the UCSF Archives & Special Collections is to identify, collect, organize, interpret, and maintain rare and unique material to support research and teaching of the health sciences and medical humanities and to preserve institutional memory. The UCSF AIDS History Project (AHP) began in 1987 as a joint effort of historians, archivists, AIDS activists, health care providers, scientists, and others to secure historically significant resources documenting the response to the AIDS crisis, its holdings currently include 42 collections and they continue to grow.

About the San Francisco History Center at San Francisco Public Library

The San Francisco History Center holds a comprehensive, non-circulating research collection covering all aspects of San Francisco history from the time of the area’s earliest habitation to the present day. The material sheds light on many aspects of the City’s history: its geography and architecture; its politics and government; the lives of citizens, both prominent and ordinary; and the contributions of ethnic, cultural and social groups in creating the City’s vibrant character. The Center also holds the official archives of the City and County of San Francisco.

About the GLBT Historical Society

As an internationally recognized leader in the field of LGBTQ public history, the GLBT Historical Society collects, preserves and interprets the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and the communities that support them. Founded in 1985, the society maintains one of the world’s largest collections of LGBTQ historical materials at its archives and research center in San Francisco’s Mid-Market District, in addition to operating the GLBT History Museum in the Castro neighborhood since 2011. For more information, visit

About UC Merced Library

The UC Merced Library opened its doors to the inaugural class of University of California, Merced students in August 2005. From the beginning, the library has been the hub of the campus and a center for innovation. As a center of expertise in the digitization, curation, publication, and preservation of information resources, the Digital Assets unit enables and assures long-term access to digital collections that support the research areas of the UC Merced intellectual community and beyond.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Talking With Kids About Race – Raising Safe, Informed, & Engaged Kids in 2017

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

Talking With Kids About Race
Raising Safe, Informed, & Engaged Kids in 2017

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to provide opening remarks

San Francisco, CA — San Francisco Public Library is holding the second in a series of progressive programs that aim to help parents, educators, and caregivers talk to kids about race and power. A diverse group of speakers will participate in a panel discussion about protecting children’s safety and raising them to be resilient and proud of their identities, while also showing up for their friends.

The panel discussion will be kicked off with a welcome from the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden.


  • Toni Hines, parent organizer at Coleman Advocates
  • Carla Marie Munoz, Costanoan Rumsen Ohlone Tribe artist, singer and dancer
  • Abdul Benterkia, Program Officer with Building Leaders in Innovative New Giving (BLING), and an Arab Youth Organization (AYO!) Leader
  • Alex Vasquez, Youth Intern with Our Family Coalition
  • Julie Roberts-Phung, Co-founder of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Families


  • Karen Zapata, activist, teacher at June Jordan High School, and board member of Teachers 4 Social Justice
  • Chalida Anusasananan, teacher librarian at Everett Middle School and member of Teachers 4 Social Justice

The panel covers topics on race, gender, and power dynamics, with families of color and families with other marginalized identities at the center of the conversation. Participants will gain advice on how to raise children to be proud of who they are and support them to be empowered and resilient. Families will learn to identify and acknowledge their privileged identities and help children understand how to be more aware of privilege and share it for justice.

Talking With Kids About Race: A Panel Discussion — April 22, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Talking With Kids About Race: A Panel Discussion is presented by SFPL with community partners: Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Teachers 4 Social Justice, Our Family Coalition, Main Street Mamas, San Francisco Families Union, Abundant Beginnings, First 5 San Francisco, and San Francisco Unified School District.

About Dr. Carla Hayden
Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13. Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library.

talking with kids logos

Library’s Scholar Card amps up access for over 55,000 students

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

Image of students

Library’s Scholar Card amps up access for over 55,000 students

Unique partnership between SFPL and SFUSD promotes academic success

San Francisco, CA, April 13, 2017– Beginning today, and coinciding with National Library Week, signing up for a public library card is much simpler for students in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). As part of the ConnectED Library Challenge, developed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and initiated by the Obama administration, SFPL and SFUSD have partnered to provide all SFUSD students with an exclusive youth library card: the Scholar Card.

The first group of students to activate their cards was Ms. Park’s 3rd grade class, of the Tenderloin Community Elementary School. On Thursday morning, in the school’s brightly lit library, 18 students listened with full attention as SFPL Children’s Librarian Jim Jeske read aloud from Leo, A Ghost Story, a book illustrated by local artist and Scholar Card illustrator Christian Robinson. “Now are you ready to receive your very own special Scholar Library Card?” Jim asked the class, to full applause and awe. Christian Robinson handed out Scholar Cards to each student as City Librarian Luis Herrera encouraged the class to visit their neighborhood branch libraries to take advantage of the new world they now have access to.

Included in attendance to celebrate the launch of the new library card was SFUSD Superintendent Myong Leigh, the Mayor’s Senior Adviser on Education & Family Services Hydra Mendoza-McDonell and Library Commission President Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi.

“I know, as President Obama knew, that libraries transform lives,” said Library Commission President Wardell Ghirarduzzi. “They are spaces of equity and inclusion, especially for our most marginalized in society. Today we provide a basic human right of access to knowledge through the district wide-unveiling of Scholar Cards. I’m so proud to be part of this transformation for the youngest residents of San Francisco.”

Over 55,000 students in 130 schools now have access to Scholar Cards and can begin checking out books, use online tools and access millions of free resources at all Library locations and via

“The Library is a sanctuary for students and supports the values of equity, inclusion and community,” said City Librarian Herrera. “We look forward to providing students with free access to limitless learning resources.”

SFUSD students can easily activate their library account in any library location and select a special commemorative library card designed by award-winning local artist Christian Robinson, courtesy of Chronicle Books.

The Scholar Card aims to eliminate barriers to access by providing students with a clean slate; all pre-existing fees for previously lost items are forgiven upon activation.  There are no overdue fines for youth cards.

With Scholar Cards, for free, students can:

  •        Access Library research databases
  •        Access language learning tools
  •        Receive online homework help
  •        Borrow digital materials such as e-books, e-audiobooks and magazines
  •        Stream video and music
  •        Borrow up to 50 print, audio books, DVDs or CDs

For educators, the Library offers a free Teacher Library Card, allowing San Francisco teachers to borrow library materials for longer, to request more reserves, and to request multiple copies of the same items.  This effort is part of an ongoing commitment by the San Francisco Public Library to support academic success.

Images of Scholar Cards

Scholar Card Radio PSA
:30 seconds

Because library cards are the best school supply: language learning tools, online homework help, bundles of books and streaming media – these are just a few of the millions of FREE resources that all SFUSD students now have instant access to, thanks to a unique partnership between San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Unified School District. Introducing the Scholar Card: the key to academic success! Easy, streamlined application process with all pre-existing fees waived. Beginning April 13, visit any library location to select a commemorative new Scholar Card design. More information at

Scholar Card partners

Library Launches New Youth Library Card

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

Invitation to Cover / Photo Opportunity

Images of Scholar Cards

 Library Launches New Youth Library Card
Unique partnership between SFPL and SFUSD promotes academic success

WHAT:  City Librarian Luis Herrera and SFUSD officials celebrate National Library Week with the launch of SFPL’s exclusive new Scholar Card, an all-access youth library card connecting over 55,000 SFUSD students to millions of free resources.

WHEN:  Today – Thursday, April 13, 11 a.m.

WHERE:  SFUSD Tenderloin Community Elementary School, 627 Turk St


  • City Librarian, Luis Herrera
  • SFUSD Superintendent, Myong Leigh
  • Board of Education Vice President, Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell
  • Library Commission President, Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi
  • Brad Williston, SFUSD Teacher Librarian Administrator
  • Principle Anastasia Shattner
  • Ms. Park’s 3rd grade class
  • Jim Jeske, SFPL Children’s Librarian
  • Jaime Wong, Chronicle Books
  • Christian Robinson, Illustrator

THE SCHOLAR CARD:  San Francisco Public Library has teamed up with the San Francisco Unified School District to provide every SFUSD student with a public library card: The Scholar Card. The Scholar Card simplifies the library card application process and connects students to millions of free resources, such as online homework help, language learning tools and streaming media. The Scholar Card eliminates barriers to access by providing students with a “clean slate”; all fees are waived upon activation.

High resolution images available upon request.

Scholar Card partners

A New Exhibition Exploring the Best Examples of Worldwide and Local Playground Design Premiers in San Francisco on April 6


Media Contacts:

Amanda Hawkins, Design Museum Foundation • 917-747-4422

Sarah Madland, San Francisco Recreation & Park. • 415-831-2740

Missy Benson, Playworld • 804-337-6763

Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library • 415-557-4282


The Extraordinary Playscapes Exhibition Will Run Through July 8, 2017


San Francisco (March 29, 2017)— Design Museum San Francisco, Playworld, San Francisco Recreation & Parks, and the San Francisco Public Library are pleased to announce the opening of Extraordinary Playscapes, an exhibition featuring over 40 pioneering play spaces from around the world, at the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center on April 6. Curated by Design Museum Foundation, the exhibition explores the latest thinking in playground design while presenting how vital free play is to childhood development, thriving communities, and social equity. From towering treetop playgrounds to hand-knit crochet installations, visitors will discover how architects and designers worldwide are engaging diverse communities to translate play objectives into state-of-the-art and meaningful play environments.

“Our goal is to connect San Francisco to the free play movement through an exceptional public exhibition about the design of playscapes,” says Sam Aquillano, Executive Director of Design Museum Foundation and co-curator of the exhibition. “There are so many examples of extraordinary playscapes in the world, and we’re hoping to inspire people of all ages to get outside and play.”

Among the many sites on display, the exhibition will feature: a project that reimagined a scrapped ambulance as a children’s hospital playground in Malawi, Africa; examples of how Danish design integrates nature and play; and innovative play-centered design happening right here in San Francisco. As an interactive experience, Extraordinary Playscapes includes playable installations, videos, scale models, and hands-on elements for viewers as they explore the art, history, and science behind the world of play.

“San Francisco Public Library is excited to host this exhibition that celebrates play spaces around the world and recognizes the importance of play in children’s lives,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “With actual play equipment being brought in, this is an exciting installation for the Main Library and truly reimagines 21st century child-friendly library spaces. We encourage families from throughout the neighborhood and across the city to come and interact with this exhibit and the new PlayCubes in Civic Center Plaza.”

The program also includes a “Playground Passport” that can be picked up at the exhibition and at select local playgrounds highlighted in the exhibition. The passport will highlight amazing spaces for play around San Francisco, including a new installation of PlayCubes — a modular playground by Richard Dattner, Architect and Playworld — as part of the exhibition at Civic Center Plaza. Through support from San Francisco Recreation & Parks and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, PlayCubes will be open for play while the plaza’s permanent playgrounds are under construction.

“The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department works hard everyday to ensure that kids have clean, safe, fun places to play and grow,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manger, Phil Ginsburg. “We are thrilled to partner with the Design Museum Foundation to celebrate the joy and importance of play,” said Ginsburg.

Playworld has partnered with the Design Museum Foundation on the Extraordinary Playscapes exhibit since 2015, bringing new play areas to both Boston, MA and Portland, OR. “The importance of outdoor play in the formation of a healthy childhood is well documented. Playworld is committed to providing beautiful and relevant play spaces. PlayCubes by Playworld inspires play for a wide age range, and can help you easily design for play in public spaces and in the route of travel for families. The popularity of PlayCubes and the Extraordinary Playscapes Exhibit in Boston, MA and Portland, OR shows us the beginning of a new playground revolution” said Missy Benson, a Play and Design Specialist for Playworld. “The installation of PlayCubes on Civic Center Plaza provides an exceptional opportunity to encourage millions of visitors to venture outdoors and experience a play space integrated with exceptional design,” said Benson.

Extraordinary Playscapes, free and open to the public, is on view from April 6 – July 8, 2017 at the San Francisco Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center. The exhibit opening will be held at the Main Library on April 6th, 6:00pm. The exhibition will then travel to Chicago, IL through 2017.

Additional Program Events:

A public ribbon cutting celebration for PlayCubes will be announced next week!

June 22, 6:30pm
UNITE: Why Play? A panel discussion on the importance of play, featuring: Dr. Stuart Brown, National Institute for Play; Phil Ginsburg, San Francisco Recreation & Park; Gwen Gordon, Gwen Gordon Play; and Missy Benson, Playworld.

June 24
Kid’s Workshop — A child-driven community event where kids can get creative, collaborate, and design their own playgrounds.

For more information about programming and events related to Extraordinary Playscapes, visit

About Design Museum San Francisco

At Design Museum San Francisco we believe design can change the world. Done well, it can elevate our quality of life, make businesses more competitive, and protect our environment. Design awareness, education, and expertise are more important now than ever before as design continues to impact communities, organizations, and markets around the world. Design Museum San Francisco is redefining what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — we’re online, nomadic, and accessible to all through a network of exhibitions, events, and content. Our mission: Bring the transformative power of design everywhere, to inspire a world full of creative problem solvers. For more information visit

About Playworld

Playworld is a division of PlayPower®, Inc. Playworld believes The World Needs Play®. Play is vital to everyone’s health and well-being. It’s something you are never too young or too old to enjoy. We develop playground environments where creativity is king, belly laughs are welcome and children make the rules. Playworld’s equipment and surfacing are designed to unleash the transformational power of play so bodies grow stronger, children play safely and imagination can take flight. For nearly 50 years, Playworld has created innovative, inclusive and meaningful outdoor play experiences for all ages and abilities. For more information visit

About the San Francisco Main Library, Fisher Children’s Center

The Fisher Children’s Center provides a variety of services, exhibits, and programs to promote children’s enjoyment of literature, media, information and recreational reading. The Center is for children, parents, childcare providers, educators, individuals and researchers. For more information visit

About San Francisco Recreation & Parks

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Mission is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community. Today the department, overseen by the Recreation and Park Commission, administers more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, including two outside the city limits. For more information visit

Exhibit Openings & Author Mary Roach in Conversation

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

Exhibit Openings & Author Mary Roach in Conversation

Annual Wit & Humor Exhibit: Bombs Away: Humor Goes to War
Works by Women Eco Artists: Reclaiming Earth

Bombs Away: Humor Goes to War, an exhibition that draws from materials in the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor, is a selection of the spirit, wit and humor of those at war, and the people they left behind on the home front.  The exhibit opens April 1, in the Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, Main Library.

How did average readers and soldiers in the trenches deal with the stress of war in the 20th century? One way to preserve one’s sanity was keeping a sense of humor. From every imaginable corner of a war-torn world, humor was used to oppose tyranny and satirize the enemy. War is hell, but troops found that humor stayed the beast, at least temporarily; they laughed while belly-aching daily about the latest SNAFU, they laughed about jawbreakers in the mess and ribbon-happy officers. Folks at home rationed fuel and stockings, collected pots and pans for the war effort and listened to the radio for the latest news from the front. The world was full of newspaper cartoons and strips, editorial cartoons, propaganda art, Armed Services Editions sent to the troops, and humor created by the troops themselves in such newspapers as Stars and Stripes and Wipers Times.

“Without humor we are doomed,” noted Nat Schmulowitz, local attorney and former library trustee, who donated his collection of 93 jest books to the San Francisco Public Library on April 1, 1947. The collection has grown to more than 22,000 volumes and includes periodicals and audio-visual materials; it is considered the most significant collection of its kind in a public library. Every year, the Book Arts & Special Collections Center presents an exhibition based on materials in the Schmulowitz Collection, in tribute to Mr. Nat Schmulowitz’s generosity and lifelong interest in the Library.

Bombs Away: Humor Goes to War – April 1–May 31, Main Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor

Reclaiming Earth, an exhibition of Women Eco Artists Dialog (WEAD), showcases the work of more than 50 female artists in altered books, textiles, photographs and paintings and opens on April 8 in the Jewett Gallery.

The exhibit developed from a depression-era adage: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without: Lessons from our Grandmothers. Works focus on the cultural values of conservation, preservation, and frugality practiced by ancestors and cultures that live in harmony with nature. The exhibit honors the 20-year local history of WEAD, which was founded by San Francisco environmental artist, Jo Hanson, who would have been 100 in 2018. WEAD is an international artist organization that focuses on ecological and social justice issues. Notable Gallerist Donna Seager served as juror.

Reclaiming Earth: Works by Women Eco Artists – April 8–June 24, Main Library, Jewett Gallery

Both exhibits are supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Related programs:

Mary Roach in Conversation with Steven Short

Beloved Bay Area author and New York Times bestseller, Mary Roach, is in conversation with KALW Producer Steven Short to discuss Roach’s latest work, Grunt; a book that tackles the science behind some of the most challenging adversaries for soldiers—panic, exhaustion, heat, flies and noise. Roach answers questions not found in any other book on the military: How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again. The author talk is part of the Annual Wit & humor Exhibition, Bombs Away: Humor Goes to War

Mary Roach in Conversation with Steven Short – April 13, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Reclaiming Earth Opening Event: A discussion with the juror and WEAD artists – April 9, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Innovative Teen Center Now Open Seven Days a Week

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

Innovative Teen Center Now Open Seven Days a Week

SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2017 — The Mix at SFPL, an innovative, youth-designed, 21st century teen learning space located in the Main Library, greets spring breakers this week with new, expanded hours. Previously closed on Sundays and Mondays, The Mix is now open seven days a week. Teens can drop by The Mix for coding classes, cooking demonstrations, open mics, songwriting sessions, poetry slams, drum lessons, 3-D printing workshops, book clubs and more. All activities and services at The Mix are free.

The Mix at SFPL is a hub of out-of-school learning for youth from the City and the Bay Area. The space provides connected learning experiences to not only engage youth and promote learning that aligns with youth-led interests, but to also support youth as they develop necessary 21st century skills.

The Mix provides provides 4,770-square feet of space and equipment for youth ages 13-18 to explore, create and develop digital media and computer skills as well as discover and engage with the Library’s traditional books and materials. Outfitted with state-of-the-art digital media, video/sound recording, computer and creative maker equipment, teens are able to expand their imaginations as well as their technology and literacy skills and engage in individual and team projects that promote critical thinking, inventiveness and skill building.


Spend Spring Break in The Mix

Girls Who Code – Tuesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m.

Biblio Bistro at The Mix – Tuesday, March 28, 4 p.m.

Tuesday Night Open Mic at The Mix – Tuesday, March 28, 6p.m

Song Writing at The Mix – Wednesday, March 29, 5 p.m

Youth Speaks Turn Up (The Volume!) – Wednesday, March 29, 4:30 p.m.

The Mix Book Club – Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m.

Video Studio: Open House – Thursday, March 30, 4p.m.

Drum Lessons – Friday, March 31, 4 p.m.

3-D Printing Work$hop – Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m.

For a complete list of programs and activities, visit