Wall of Library Heroes

Box 1

Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, 1961-62

Founding members of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library include: President: Alan K. Browne
Vice Presidents: General Edwin L. Johnson, David Magee, Jack Pollatsek and Marjorie Stern
Treasurer: William Mackey
Secretary: Mary Louise Stong
Board Members: John Bransten, Mortimer and Janet Fleishhacker, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. R. Gwin Follis, Dr. and Mrs. Frank Gerbode, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Haas, Lucille Mohr, Judith Pollatsek, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Schwabacher Jr., Mrs. Nion Tucker, George and Sally Williams, Mrs. Dean Witter, and Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Zellerbach.

Over the next year, the Friends board membership grows to include: Mildred Bell, Mrs. Donald Biggs, William Brinton, Mrs. Francis Carroll, William Coblentz, Hunt Conrad, Mrs. Richard Dakin, Mrs. Ralph Doscher, Robert Drewes, Dr. Frank Fenton, E.H. Gauer, Carlton B. Goodlett, M.D., George Johns, Gustav Knecht, Jr., Lewis Lengfeld, Mrs. Robert MacDuff, Mrs. Alfred McLaughlin, Robert Marcus, William Monihan, Eugene M. Price, Alvin Rockwell, Nat Schmulowitz.

Friends Book Sale

Leadership for the first book sale in 1964 includes Hilde Kolb who volunteered to sort and price books when the Library found it had an excess of donated materials. Richard Reinhardt, Helen Louise Weinstein and others also provided leadership. Other activists emerge over the years including Hugh Cook, Ann Grace, Erma Kuta, Joan Leaf, Leslie Luttgens, Elaine Mundy and Ken Train, among others.

Save the Branches, 1988

A plan to temporarily close some neighborhood branches because of City budget problems leads to an outpouring of support that kept neighborhood libraries open. Some of those active in the campaign include the following: Jean Amos, Ann Anderson, Judy Baston, Karen Bevelander, Miriam Blaustein, Sally Brunn, Sue Cauthen, Margaret Coughlin, Karen Crommie, Dorothy Danielson, Marcia DeHart, Ella Driscoll, Ellen Egbert, Tiffany Farr, Harriet Fielding, Barbara Gersh, Andrew Grimstad, Julie Kavanaugh, Carolyn Kleymeyer, Marty Koshuba, Lucretia Levinger, Miriam Pavis, Dr. Rose Resnick, Carol Steiman, Larry Ware, Landis Whistler and Naomi Williams.

Main Bond Campaign, 1988

The Friends start organizing for the anticipated Library bond in 1987. Marilyn Smulyan is hired to build grassroots support. Volunteers are recruited to build public support, including community leaders Aileen Hernandez and Joanne Foo, attorney Fred Rodriguez and labor leader Steve Neuberger of SEIU Local 790.

Once approved for the ballot, a formal bond campaign is formed. Sherry Agnos, wife of the new Mayor, and School Superintendent Ramon Cortines are honorary co-chairs. Marilyn Smulyan runs the campaign with leadership from political consultant Dick Pabich, attorney James W. Haas, Caryl Mezey, Jack Berman and help from a Franciscan brother and Tenderloin neighborhood activist, Kelly Cullen. Hundreds of others assist the campaign effort.

Designing & Building the New Main

Architects James Ingo Freed and Cathy Simon lead the design team with Project Manager Anthony Bernheim. Other members in leadership roles include City Librarian Ken Dowlin, Library Project Director Kathy Page and Library Commission President Steve Coulter.

San Francisco’s Chief Administrative Officer Rudy Nothenberg leads the building efforts for the City with the help of project managers Russ Abel and Jim Cheng.

Prop E Campaign for Library Funding, 1994

The Friends of the Library launch a successful initiative to help stabilize Library funding and face significant opposition in their campaign. Leadership includes Friends President Diane Filippi, Mary Louise Stong, Carol Steiman, Dale Carlson, City Librarian Ken Dowlin, campaign managers John Whitehurst and Robert Barnes, David Spero, pollster David Binder, and others.