Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City Selected as 10th Annual One City One Book

June 20, 2014

Media Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City Selected as
10th Annual One City One Book

Maupin to speak on Oct. 23 at Main Library

San Francisco Public Library is thrilled to announce that the 10th Annual One City One Book selection is Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, a beloved book that celebrates San Francisco in the 1970s. Mr. Maupin will appear at the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on Oct. 23 at 6:00 p.m., in conversation with K.M. Soehnlein.

Library bookshelves will be stocked with fresh copies of Tales of the City in September – or, read it over the summer and be ready for all the fun events happening this fall! Citywide programming will take place throughout September and October.

Cover image of Tales of the City
Cover image of Tales of the City

For almost four decades, Tales of the City has blazed its own trail through popular culture—from a groundbreaking newspaper serial to a classic novel, to a television event that entranced millions around the world. The first of nine novels about the denizens of the mythic apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane, Tales is both a sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live.

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.

For more information visit: or Twitter: #ocobsf14 or call 415 557-4277.

About the Author:

Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C. in 1944, but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam. Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Maupin is the author of the Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, and The Night Listener, among other works. Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. The final Tales book, The Days of Anna Madrigal, was published in 2014.

Maupin lives in Santa Fe and San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.

Summer Read 2014 Scavenger Hunt at the Library

June 13, 2014

Media Contact: Marcia  Schneider
(415) 557-4252;

Summer Read 2014 Scavenger Hunt at the Library

Fox Case: A puzzle adventure based on The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

A popular scavenger hunt returns to the San Francisco Public Library this summer as part of the summer reading program for participants of all ages. This activity, fun for friends, families with older kids and teens, co-workers, classmates and more, will be held on July 19, 2:00 – 4:45 p.m. at the Main Library. Capacity is limited, so participants are advised to form teams now and sign up at

The Library teamed with Mastermind Hunts to create a puzzle hunt based upon Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files. Teams will explore the library to crack codes and help solve this baffling mystery, armed with a set of surveillance photographs and a handful of clues. Wits, observational skills and library resources will be used to track down and uncover the agenda of a mysterious interloper.

Assemble a crack team of puzzle solvers and put on your best walking shoes. This event is free, but you must register your team online in advance. Registration will be closed when we reach capacity, so sign up early.

Mastermind Hunts also managed the Library’s One City One Book scavenger hunt in 2013, and over 300 participants registered and explored the Library and the City, following the clues. Join us for this year’s wild and fun event.

For more information about this and other library programs, please call 415 557-4277. All programs at the Library are free.

Summer Activities for Kids at the Library!

June 11, 2014

Media Contact: Marcia Schneider
(415) 557-4277;

Summer Activities for Kids at the Library!

          Summer reading is in full swing at all San Francisco Public Libraries, full of good reading suggestions and prizes, but that is only part of the fun. Check out these learning and literacy activities being offered at your neighborhood library! Here is a sampling of summer reading programs and activities for kids and teens:

Maker Mondays

Join us for Maker Mondays at the Main Library. Activities include stop-motion animation using iPads, as well as robotics, Lego construction and DIY crafts. During this weekly arts and crafts hour, participants can make various art projects, including duct tape hats and roses, custom made buttons and stickers, paper crafts and much more. Activities are designed for children ages 8 and up, tweens and teens through age 18.  For information please email or call (415) 557-4559.

Maker Mondays, Main Library, Children’s Creative Center, every Monday until Aug. 25, except Monday, July 21. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Read Write Discover – Free Literacy Tutoring

Read Write Discover (RWD), a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization, is partnering with the Library to offer free summer literacy tutoring to youth. RWD matches high school students with youth, grades one through eight, who are struggling in reading and writing, or whose families face language barriers in their communities. RWD programs are located at Bayview, Chinatown, Excelsior, Ocean View, and Visitacion Valley branches.

For more information about RWD, go to

Lunch is On Us

In partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF), the Library is again serving free lunch to youth this summer. Come for lunch, then stay for Summer READ SF and engaging activities! Last summer, we served over 2,500 lunches. We hope to increase that number by offering lunch every weekday at the Main Library, and pairing four additional lunch locations with individual literacy tutoring with Read Write Discover. All youth ages 18 years and under are welcome.

Lunch is On Us Schedule (June 2 – Aug. 8)

Main Library, Children’s Center         Monday – Friday                    12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Bayview Branch                          Tuesday  12:15 – 1:00 p.m. & Thursday 11:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Excelsior Branch                                 Tuesday & Thursday               12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Ocean View                                        Tuesday & Wednesday           12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Visitacion Valley                                Monday & Tuesday                12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Tree Frog Tuesdays

Pythons, pelts and learning, oh, my! Tree Frog Treks, a local education organization, brings live science to the library. Through fun, interactive experiences, Tree Frog Treks naturalists inspire eco-literacy knowledge of biology, chemistry, earth science and natural history. Kids not only will learn about their environments, they also will meet live reptiles and amphibians face-to-face. From creeping, crawling, slithering critters to 14 foot-long Burmese Pythons, kids have a chance to learn about natural habitats and ecosystems.

Tree Frog Tuesdays and many other children’s and teen programs at the Library can be found at For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.

Author Ruth Ozeki to speak at Main Library Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

June 10, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Author Ruth Ozeki to speak at Main Library
Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Ruth Ozeki, acclaimed novelist and filmmaker and author of My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), will speak about her latest novel, A Tale for the Time Being, at the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Ozeki’s unforgettable novel was selected for the Library’s On the Same Page, a bi-monthly book and discussion program promoting high readability books with broad appeal to the community.

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace — and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her first two novels have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries. A Tale for the Time-Being (2013) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and will be published in over thirty countries. Ruth’s documentary and dramatic independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country.

A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.

For more information about this and other library programs, please call 415 557-4277. All library programs are free and open to the public.

Author Lisa See Speaks at Main Library on June 12, 6:30 p.m.


**Media Alert**Media Alert**Media Alert**

Author Lisa See Speaks at Main Library on June 12, 6:30 p.m.

Who: Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls

What: Author discussion about new novel, China Dolls

When: June 12, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

Info: This program is offered in connection with the exhibition Forbidden City USA: Chinese American Nightclubs 1936-1970, Main Library, Jewett Gallery, now through July 6. The program is free and open to the public

A book sale by Readers Books follows the event.

Media Contact:

Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Book Launch – The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson

June 6, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Book Launch

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson

On Wednesday, June 11, photographer and essayist Robert Dawson will lead a slide show and discuss his new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2014), with City Librarian Luis Herrera. The event will take place in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, at 6:00 p.m.

An abiding love and respect for the role of libraries in the community is the central theme of the book. A project conceived here in the Bay Area, Mr. Dawson spent eighteen years documenting and photographing hundreds of libraries in 38 states across the country, large and small, urban, rural and remote, from the grand reading room of the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library.

Essays, letters, and poetry by distinguished writers and librarians complete this impassioned tribute to a vibrant but threatened American institution, including a forward by Bill Moyers and afterward by Ann Patchett. Other contributors include Amy Tan, Philip Levine, Barbara Kingsolver, Isaac Asimov, and San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera.

These photographs address the changing role of the public library as non-commercial centers for information and resources that help us define what we value and what we share as communities and as a nation. Dawson’s work focuses on this vibrant, essential, yet vulnerable aspect of our shared commons.

Robert Dawson is an Instructor in Photography at San Jose State University and Stanford University. His other works include: Great Central Valley: America’s Heartland, written with Stephen Johnson and Gerald Haslam; Farewell Promised Land, written with Gray Brechin; and more. He and his wife, Ellen Manchester, recently received a Guggenheim grant to document library literacy efforts in Stockton, California.

For more information, please call 415 557-4277.

Serigrafia – Exhibition Features Powerful Latino Poster Art of the 70s to Present

June 5, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;


Exhibition Features Powerful Latino Poster Art of the 70s to Present

Serigrafía, a traveling exhibition featuring 30 influential silkscreen prints created by the best of California’s Latino/a printmaking community, will be on view in the San Francisco Main Library’s Jewett Gallery, July 26 – Sept. 7, 2014.

The exhibition features poster art from the 1970s to the present, including works of Bay Area artists Juan R. Fuentes, Jos Sances, Favianna Rodriguez, Esther Hernandez, Yolanda Lopez and other California artists. Emerging in concert with the civil rights movement and activism for political and social justice for marginalized groups, these prints confront political, economic, social, and cultural issues on both a personal and a global level.

The art, which explores such subjects as the United States embargo on Cuba, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement, was conceived to provoke, protest, and praise. From the iconic “Sun Mad” by Esther Hernandez, who combined the familiar Sun Maid girl with the calavera (the satirically costumed skeletons) to bring awareness about the use of pesticides, fungicides, and other toxic chemicals in raisin production, to works by emerging printmakers like Gilda Posada, whose print “Libertad” was created to show the relationship between liberation movements for human rights in Palestine and in Mexico, this exhibition is varied in subject matter but rooted in a long heritage of California printmaking.

Many graphic artists called on the iconography of their pre-Columbian past, such as in Xavier Villamontes’ Boycott Grapes, which depicts a powerful Aztec warrior crushing handfuls of grapes that drip with the blood of exploited and injured farmworkers. When strikes, marches, and legislation failed to improve conditions in the fields, through posters like this one, the United Farms Workers Union (UFWA) asked the public to boycott grapes, wine, and lettuce in order to pressure growers.

This exhibition was made possible by funding from The James Irvine Foundation and was produced by Exhibit Envoy, a statewide organization that provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California.

For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.

Related programs:

Opening discussion with curators Juan R. Fuentes and Jos Sances
July 30, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium.

Voice on Ink/Voz en Tinta, poetry event with San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murgia August 7, 6:30 p.m., Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room.

San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Welcome to Summer READ SF 2014


May 20, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Welcome to Summer READ SF 2014

The Library’s annual summer reading program, Summer Read SF 2014, open to readers and pre-readers of all ages, officially opens on May 31 and will run through Aug. 11, offering prizes, special free weekly programs at every neighborhood library, and even college scholarships.  Signing up has never been easier, through a neighborhood library, bookmobile service or online at

All reading counts toward the goal, including books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and online reading. Children through age 12 who read for 10 hours (or are read to) are eligible to receive a durable Summer Read SF Book Bag. Adults and teens who sign up, track their time and read 30 hours or more are winners, and also will receive the Summer Read SF Book Bag. In addition, all participants are eligible to enter a weekly raffle, to win prizes including passes to San Francisco museums, sporting events and attractions.

This year’s Summer Read promotion includes interactive game boards for children, teens and adults that encourage reading and allow readers to track their prize progress via stickers and stars. The beautiful artwork featured on all Summer Read promotional materials was supported by Chronicle Books and designed by Shane Prigmore, an award-winning design professional in animation, film and illustration. Prigmore’s Summer Read SF illustrations are a takeoff from his book, Planet Kindergarten, written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and published by Chronicle Books.

Summer Read programs and activities will be held throughout the San Francisco Public Library system. To kick off Summer Read 2014, Yuyi Morales, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will offer a reading on Saturday, May 31, at a 12 noon appearance in the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center. On Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m., she will lead a read-aloud of her book, Niño Wrestles the World, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Award. This event will be held for children and families at the Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St.

Watch for details about July’s Scavenger Hunt and other activities. Special thanks to Supervisor Mark Farrell, who will be awarding four college scholarships of $5,000 each for teens, ages 13 – 18. To be eligible for the drawing, teens need to sign up, read for 30 hours and submit five book reviews.

This year, five San Francisco public libraries will also be Summer Lunch locations, offering free summer lunch for all youth 18 and under. The locations are: the Main Library Children’s Center, and the Bayview, Ocean View, Excelsior and Visitacion Valley branch libraries.

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

Summer Read 2014 is funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the Lazlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, Inc.

Award-Winning Children’s Book Creator Yuyi Morales to Deliver 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture and Kick Off Summer Reading

May 13, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Award-Winning Children’s Book Creator Yuyi Morales to Deliver 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture and Kick Off Summer Reading

Celebrated children’s author/illustrator to speak at S.F. Main Library

Yuyi Morales, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will be the special guest lecturer for the 18th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture, which each year honors the work of a noted author or illustrator of children’s books. This year’s event, “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story,” will held on Tuesday, June 3, at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium.

As the guest lecturer, Morales also will help kick off the 2014 Summer Reading Program on Saturday, May 31, at a 12 noon appearance in the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center. On Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m., she will lead a read-aloud of Niño Wrestles the World, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Award. This event will be held for children and families at the Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St.

Morales fills her books with pictures in the colors of her childhood in Mexico. When she came to the United States in 1994 as a young mother with a new baby, libraries – particularly San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) Western Addition Branch – became her personal oasis.

“Libraries are essential in my life and in my history. I could just be, and read any books I wanted,” said Morales, speaking about her first experiences in an SFPL branch. She and her son would stay in the library until closing, reading story after story and picking up more and more English. “In the picture books, there were some words I may not have understood, but as long as I understood a few words and looked at the illustrations, I got the meaning, and it kept me wanting to learn more.”

Author and illustrator Yuyi Morales

She went on to explore books that taught her how to make paper, drawings, and puppets, and started to make her own books describing her new life. Out of that beginning came books like Niño, in which a little boy dreams of fame as a masked luchador, or wrestler; Harvesting Hope, about Cesar Chavez; Ladder to the Moon, a collaboration with President Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, in which a little girl uses the power of dreams to move beyond loss; a series of tales about the trickster skeleton Señor Calavera; and other rich and evocative picture books.

Morales, who has drawn on her Mexican-American heritage to create a wide variety of picture books, divides her time between Mexico and California. Morales’s lecture theme, draws on all these experiences.

As part of Yuyi’s commitment to the importance of early childhood reading and education, she will participate in a series of events and presentations while in San Francisco for the Effie Lee Morris lecture:

Saturday, May 31: Yuyi Morales will attend the day-long Summer Read SF kick-off at the Main Library Children’s Center, 2nd Floor, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco.

Tuesday, June 3, 6 p.m.: Yuyi Morales delivers the 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture: “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story.” Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m.: Yuyi Morales leads a read-aloud of Niño Wrestles the World for children and families. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St., San Francisco.


Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4282;

Bertha Diaz / / 305.962.8226 / Twitter: @berthadiazpr

Note to Editors: High Resolution Photographs of Yuyi Morales and Book Covers are available upon request.

Each year, the Effie Lee Morris Lecture features a distinguished guest author or illustrator of children’s books discussing his or her work for the enjoyment of teachers, librarians, scholars, and the book-loving public. The event honors the work of the late Effie Lee Morris, SFPL’s first coordinator of children’s services.

The Effie Lee Morris Lecture is sponsored by the Library’s Fisher Children’s Center, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.

For more information, please call (415) 557-4277 or (415) 557-4554.

New North Beach Library Now Open

May 10, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

New North Beach Library Now Open

24th Branch Completes Branch Library Renewal Program

San Francisco – The new North Beach Branch Library opened on May 10 to great community fanfare, following a ribbon cutting ceremony and traditional lion dance, performed by the Jing Mo Athletic Association. North Beach is the 24th and final branch library to be built or remodeled through the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), a $105.9 million bond measure approved by voters in 2000.

The new North Beach Branch is located at 850 Columbus at the corner of Columbus and Lombard. The building, which features two stories with double height reading rooms, was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project, which was first initiated in 2003, was managed by the Department of Public Works.

Mayor Ed Lee cut the ribbon to open the new library, accompanied by Supervisors David Chiu and Scott Weiner, City Librarian Luis Herrera, State Senator Mark Leno, Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, Recreation and Parks Manager Phil Ginsburg, Library Commission President Teresa Ono, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Friends of the Library Executive Director Scott Staub, community leader Julie Christensen and branch manager Robert Carlson.

Entertainment for the opening celebration was provided by North Beach neighborhood groups including Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz, Salesian Club Theatre of the Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and The Rabbit Hole and FOGG Theatre Youth Conservatory.

Mayor Lee praised the new building and the positive benefits for the North Beach community, including the creation of construction jobs, a place for children, teens and adults to gather, and the collaborative nature of the project. The new library was part of a collaboration and master plan with the Recreation and Park Department’s Joe DiMaggio playground, which is currently being renovated as part of the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. That project is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2015.


City Librarian Luis Herrera noted the significance of the new library to the community of North Beach. “In the legacy of the poets and writers of North Beach, including Poet Laureate Emeritus Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who was unable to be with us today, we invite the community to join us at this special place, your library, to read, to study, to write and to dream.”


The 8,500 square-foot, two-story building includes a community room with after-hours access for neighborhood meetings; a larger children’s area and new teen space; additional public computers; new furniture and equipment; and an expanded collection of books, DVDs, and CDs, including more materials in multiple languages to meet the community’s needs. The library is 60% larger than the former branch.

Among the environmentally conscious features of the new Library are an 11.5 kW solar array provided by the SFPUC which will help to power the building, and 11,350 square feet of insulation made from recycled denim, equating to approximately 4,500 pairs of jeans that live inside the Library’s walls. The denim insulation, provided by a grant from Levi Strauss & Co., is safer than traditional fiberglass and delivers maximum thermal benefits, reducing the amount of energy used to heat and cool the building.

The total budget for the project was $14.5 million, with additional funding provided by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, which paid for furniture and equipment in the new facility.

The North Beach library has a unique public art feature – a sound sculpture around the exterior perimeter of the building, through which the sounds of North Beach are broadcast through waterproof speakers. Sonic Dreamscape, created by world renowned sound artist Bill Fontana, features characteristic neighborhood sounds, from poetry readings, cafés, markets, sea lions, playgrounds, foghorns and more. This extraordinary piece was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The new library will feature longer hours than the previous branch, and will be open six days a week. The increased hours are part of an increase in days of service and open hours at libraries throughout the city.

Prior to 2000, the Chinatown and Mission branch libraries were remodeled and a new Ocean View Branch was built. With the conclusion of the BLIP, all San Francisco Public Libraries are seismically safe and accessible to people with disabilities.