Mayor London Breed Announces The San Francisco Public Library Will Propose Eliminating Overdue Fines to Increase Library Access


Monday, January 14, 2019

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131



Fines disproportionately impact low-income residents, African-American communities, and San Franciscans without college degrees; research shows they are not an effective tool to encourage returns

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that the San Francisco Public Library will propose eliminating fines for overdue returns in order to reduce inequitable access to public resources.

The Library has partnered with the San Francisco Financial Justice Project in the Office of Treasurer José Cisneros to study the issue and interview libraries across the country who have gone “fine-free.” Their research found that fines are a barrier to equitable access of resources and services and disproportionately affect low-income San Franciscans. As libraries across the country are increasingly going fine-free, research shows that overdue fines are not an effective tool to encourage returns, and the fiscal impact of the move would be minimal.

“As a City, we need to make sure that we are not placing unnecessary burdens on people to access our public resources,” said Mayor Breed. “In this case, the fines and fees are overwhelmingly affecting people in our community from disadvantaged backgrounds, which undermines the goal of the Library and reinforces inequality in our City.”

The Library found that patrons across the City, regardless of income, miss return deadlines at similar rates. However, patrons in low-income areas face much more difficulty in paying the fines and fees associated with overdue items. As a result, overdue fines can widen existing inequalities. As an example, roughly 11 percent of the Bayview’s adult cardholders are blocked from accessing library materials, which is more than three times as many as in most high-income locations. Across the City, branches that serve lower-income populations have a greater share of blocked patrons.

“As the City’s debt collector, the research we conducted convinced me there are better tools to help people return books on time that don’t disproportionately burden low-income people and block people from accessing the library. San Francisco should join libraries across the country and eliminate overdue fines that disproportionately burden low-income people and communities of color,” said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros.

Library fines generate approximately $330,000 in revenue each year, which represents 0.2 percent of the Library’s budget. This revenue is expected to continue to decrease over time, as digital and e-books become increasingly common. Several libraries that have gone fine-free reported that they spent more money to collect fines than they generated in revenue, and the move to eliminate fines freed up staff time to devote to more worthwhile activities.

“The Library is here for the people of San Francisco and we want everyone to be able to take advantage of our incredible collections and resources,” said Acting City Librarian Michael Lambert. “There has never been a better time for us to eliminate overdue fines and reaffirm that all are welcome at the library.”

None of the libraries surveyed that have gone fine-free saw a decrease in circulation or increase in late returns. Should the proposal be adopted, Library patrons will still be responsible for returning books on time. Patrons that do not return their books will still need to either replace, or pay for the value of, any materials not returned. The report also recommends several administrative changes to help increase the return rate, including sending out more reminders, and shortening the timeframe before a book needs to be replaced or paid for.

The recommendation to go fine-free follows recent efforts to reduce the amount of outstanding debt, and to reengage inactive patrons and recover materials. The Library has executed four amnesty periods over the last 20 years, and most recently worked with the Treasurer’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue to run a collections campaign in 2018.

The report developed by The Financial Justice Project and the San Francisco Public Library is titled: “Long Overdue: Eliminating Fines on Overdue Materials to Improve Access to San Francisco Public Library.” The Library Commission will be hearing the proposal at their next meeting on Thursday.


The French Consulate, San Francisco Public Library And SFMOMA Team Up to Present Night Of Ideas In San Francisco on February 2, 2019

FREE event features Mayor London Breed, artist JR, Chef Dominique Crenn, French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud and host of KQED’s Forum Michael Krasny

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 8, 2019) – The French Consulate in San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) jointly announce the first San Francisco edition of the global marathon event Night of Ideas  on February 2, 2019, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the San Francisco Main Library. Presented in collaboration with the City of San Francisco and a vibrant ecosystem of local cultural, science, tech and academic partners, this free seven-hour marathon of philosophical debate, talks, performances, and music features top thinkers from San Francisco and beyond in a format designed to spur dialogue on the theme “Facing our Time: the City of the Future.”

With keynotes, panels and presentations by diverse voices including Mayor London Breed, artist JR, (whose video mural The Chronicles of San Francisco opens at SFMOMA in May 2019), Dominique Crenn, chef/owner of the three Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn, Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to the United States, John Law, Founder of Burning Man, architect Nicola Delon, designer of the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Dominique Alba, director of the Paris Urbanism Agency, Michael Krasny, host of Forum on KQED, and Allison Arieff, editorial director of SPUR, the San Francisco edition of Night of Ideas expects thousands to participate in the evening’s exchange of ideas and creative dialogue.

Multiple stages throughout the Main Library will host concurrent programming, music and dance performances, yoga, breakout sessions and opportunities for engagement and debate amongst the attendees. More than 30 topics relating to the City of the Future will be explored over the course of the evening on multiple floors of the Main Library including civic imagination, arts, accessibility, equity, literature, film, games, food, transportation, media, city planning, play and much more. A full list of speakers, panelists and performers will be announced at a later date.

 “San Francisco is a creative city that draws inspiration from the people in our neighborhoods as well as cultures all over the world,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “I’m excited by the line-up of innovative, international thinkers coming together at the Main Library and I invite all of San Francisco and the Bay Area to participate in the Night of Ideas and to share your thoughts and dreams about the future of our great city.”

“I am very pleased to see the first edition of La Nuit des Idées in San Francisco,” said Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Consul General of France. “Thanks to this global initiative launched in Paris in 2015, thousands of people gather and celebrate ideas on the same night in more than 100 cities in the world. As time accelerates and innovation constantly disrupts our lives, there is no better place than San Francisco to discuss this 2019 theme: the City of the Future.”  

“Art reflects the issues of our time, and re imagines possibilities for the future. Through its partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, SFMOMA has created accessible and imaginative experiences related to the profound shifts taking place in San Francisco. We are thrilled to be partnering with so many local and international thought leaders on the inaugural Night of Ideas in San Francisco, and to celebrate the city, its community and its ideas,” said Neal Benezra, the Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA.

“We’re delighted to open up the Main Library for the community to learn, share ideas, have fun and experience something completely new to San Francisco,” said Michael Lambert, Acting City Librarian of San Francisco Public Library. “It’s an opportunity for diverse groups to connect and have engaging dialogues about the future.”

Night of Ideas is free to the public but registration is required.   


Co-produced in the United States by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Institut Français and local partners, Night of Ideas has been mounted in New York City since 2015 and in Los Angeles since 2017. Last year, more than 7,000 guests attended Night of Ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York. The event begins in Paris on Jan. 31, 2019 and is held annually in more than 120 cities around the world. The 2019 U.S. cities are: 

  • Houston at Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts – Jan. 26
  • Washington D.C. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – Jan. 31
  • Los Angeles at The Museum of Natural History – Jan. 31
  • New York City at the Brooklyn Public Library – Feb. 2
  • San Francisco at the San Francisco Public Library – Feb. 2


Night of Ideas is free to the public but guests should register online on Eventbrite to guarantee a spot. The doors of the Main Library at 100 Larkin Street (between Grove and Fulton streets) will open at 7 p.m. for check in.  Seven hours of programming will conclude at 2 a.m.

The programming will unfold as follows:

7:00 p.m. The Main Library opens to host a seven-hour line-up of diverse events and thought-provoking debates. Food, beverages and wine will be available throughout the night.

7:30 p.m. Mayor of San Francisco London Breed will officially launch the celebration, along with co-presenters of Night of Ideas. Music and dance performances will welcome the public in the library atrium.

 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Poets, thinkers, urbanists and students will explore themes such as “poetic city,” “transit city,” and “teen city” while Michael Krasny hosts a two-hour special live remote broadcast of KQED’s Forum.

9:00 p.m. onwards An open mic stage will allow the public to share their thoughts and ideas for tomorrow’s cities while SFMOMA, the Institute for the Future, Civic Common Center and KQED – among others – will offer panels relating to the themes “equitable city,” “media city,” and “welcoming city.” Music, dancing and yoga will be interspersed to energize participants and break social barriers.

10:00 p.m. Additional themes will be curated by Atelier Crenn, National Park Service, Litquake and the James C Hormel LGBTQIA Center among others. In the atrium, Dominique Alba,director of the Parisian Urbanism Agency, will present a keynote.

11:00 p.m. French artist JR will wonder how an entire city can be represented through arts.The Institute for the Future will experience the power of civic imagination with the audience, while Bring Your Own Wheels will explore how to adapt to an ever-changing physical and psychological city landscape.

From midnight to 2 a.m. Burning Man and Mutek. SF will wrap up the night along with keynotes, DJ sets, yoga classes and musical performances.  Nicola Delon, designer of the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale, will join them to end this exceptional event!  

NIGHT OF IDEAS CONTEST– Win two pairs of round trip air tickets to Paris

Guests at Night of Ideas will have the opportunity to win two pairs of round trip tickets to Paris during the evening by participating in an Instagram contest sponsored by airline French Bee. Participants may simply post a picture of any of the activities of Night of Ideas on their Instagram account and tag it #NightofIdeasSF. Winners will be randomly selected at the end of the night and must be present to win.  A complete list of contest rules will be available on the website.


Night of Ideas is co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, the French Consulate in San Francisco, and SFMOMA in collaboration with media partner KQED and the City and County of San Francisco.

The event is made possible by the support of Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, 836M, the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French American Cultural Society. La Nuit des Idées is a project of the Institut Français and Fondation de France.


The General Consulate of France in San Francisco, the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy represent France’s cultural, scientific, political and economic interests in Northern California and ten other states (Alaska,Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). While providing various consular services to French nationals, the General Consulate is a platform which promotes cooperation, innovation and mutual understanding between France and the U.S. The Night of Ideas is part of the After Tomorrow season.

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

SFMOMA is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA, with triple the gallery space, an enhanced education center and new free public galleries, opened to the public on May 14, 2016. The expanded museum has welcomed more than 1 million visitors each year. The Night of Ideas is part of the Public Knowledge program.

Media Partner

KQED Public Media for Northern CA, the first ranked radio station in the Bay Area and one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the United States will organize two hours of Forum, hosted by Michael Krasny, on the San Francisco Public Library stage at the event.

Curating Partners

Numerous renowned local institutions worked together to create the content for Night of Ideas. Among them, Atelier Crenn, Burning Man, City Lights Bookstore, Civic Center Commons, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hormel LGTBQIA Center,Institute for the Future, Litquake Festival, Lycéefrançais de San Francisco, Mutek.SF, National Park Service, Open Austria, SFFILM, SPUR, Stanford University, Ubisoft, UC Berkeley and Youth Speaks.


 Night of Ideas will offer performances by:Awesome OrchestraCollective, Bay Area Flash Mob, Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, Burning Man, Exploratorium, Outdoor Yoga SF, RAWdance, San Francisco Sound Wave,  Solenn Seguillon and AleronTrio, among others.

Main Partners

 The event is made possible with the support of Friends of the SanFrancisco Public Library, 836M, the Culturaland Scientific Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French American Cultural Society.

In-kind Partners

We thank French Bee and Intercontinental San Francisco for their contributions. 


Matthias Carette

Press Officer – French Consulate in San Francisco

Tel: 1 – (415) 616 4907

Cell: 1 – (415) 516 0604

Mindy Linetzky

Manager,Communications & Public Affairs – San Francisco Public Library

Tel: 1 – (415) 557 4252

Jill Lynch

Communications Director – SFMOMA

Tel: 1 – (415) 357 4172 

Follow Night of Ideas!

A Media Kit with images, video and more is available here.


Better Hours at the Best Library of the Year

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2019

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Better Hours at the Best Library of the Year

Library responds to patron input

Image of Better Hours at the Library

SAN FRANCISCO,CABeginning Jan. 12, 2019, San Francisco Public Library will increase the open hours at the Main Library and amend hours at several neighborhood branches.

The Main Library will stay open one hour later on Sundays and open one hour earlier on Mondays, adding a total of 2 hours to weekly library services. These changes will allow patrons doing weekend projects for school or work to have longer access to the library, as well as earlier entry on Monday mornings. This is the first increase in open hours at the Main Library since it was built in 1996.

In June of 2017, all San Francisco library locations expanded hours to 7 days a week and with these new changes, SFPL has gone one step further. In addition to extending Sunday service until 6 p.m. at the Main Library, SFPL will also stay open till 6 p.m. on Sundays at the following six neighborhood libraries: Golden Gate Valley, Western Addition, Richmond, Merced, Excelsior and Potrero branch libraries.

The Library Preservation Fund requires that the library perform an assessment of needs at 5-year intervals to determine library hours. The library, in conjunction with the San Francisco Controller’s Office, performed a comprehensive study which included surveys from patrons and library employees and engagement with community members at public hearings in each of the 11 supervisorial districts. After assessing this community feedback, the San Francisco Library Commission voted to adjust library hours at 11 branches and the Main Library.

These changes will increase the community’s ability to use the library. SFPL wants everyone to be able to take advantage of the wonderful resources and materials that are available and free for all.

For a full listing of the new library hours see below or go to

BAYVIEW / BROOKS BURTON1–510–610–810–810–81–610–6
BERNAL HEIGHTS1–510–610–7*1–9*10–61–610–6*
CHINATOWN / LAI1–51–610–910–910–91–610–6
EUREKA VALLEY / MILK1–510–610–910–910–61–610–6
GLEN PARK1–510–610–612–810–71–610–6
GOLDEN GATE VALLEY  1–6*10–610–612–8*12–81–610–6
MAIN LIBRARY  12–6*9–6*9–89–89–812–610–6
The Mix at SFPL12–6*1–61–81–81–81–612–6
MERCED 1–6*10–610–91–910–8*1–610–6
MISSION 1–51–610–910–910–91–610–6
MISSION BAY1–510–610–611–810–61–610–6
NOE VALLEY / BRUNN1–512–610–91–910–61–610–6
NORTH BEACH1–510–6*10–8*1–8*10–61–610–6
OCEAN VIEW1–510–610–612–810–71–610–6
PARKSIDE 1–51–610–912–910–61–610–6
PRESIDIO   1–51–610–911–8*10–61–610–6
RICHMOND / MARKS1–6*1–610–910–910–8*1–610–6
VISITACION VALLEY1–510–610–810–810–81–610–6
WEST PORTAL1–51–610–910–910–91–610–6
WESTERN ADDITION1–6*10–610–61–810–7*1–610–6
SFMOMA Public Knowledge10–510–510–5closed10–910–510–5

* New hours effective Jan. 12, 2019

About San Francisco Public Library (SFPL)

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

The Library Honors Native and Indigenous Cultures – Native people share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2018

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

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


The Library Honors Native and Indigenous Cultures

Native people share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life


SAN FRANCISCO, CA November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and San Francisco Public Library is excited to honor the voices of indigenous and native peoples with a month long celebration titled First Person: Honoring Native and Indigenous Cultures.

More than 80 programs for all ages, in all library locations provide a platform for native people to share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life. With First Person, there are opportunities to learn something new, have your curiosity stoked and enjoy the varied programs that honor and celebrate native people – all free at the library.

nativeculturesLearn about early contact between indigenous tribes and settlers of California by attending docent-led tours of the old Mission Dolores. Later in the month, author Elias Castillo discusses his book A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California Indians by the Spanish Missions. Try your hand at traditional Navajo beading. Take part in an interactive presentation on the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and view the VICE television series, Rise, about contemporary native and indigenous issues. Meet San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck (Cherokee/Euro-American) at special events that cover topics ranging from basket weaving to the debate around confederate monuments. View a rare collection of photographic prints of The North American Indian series by Edward S. Curtis.

The Library promises something for everyone during our First Person celebration. People of all ages are invited to see award winning Eddie Madril’s performance of the dances of the Plains Indians. Children can learn about traditional agricultural practices as they get hands-on with Sovereign Seeds, play Mayan Yucatec bingo games, enjoy Ohlone-Mutsun language coloring books, and learn plant identification led by park rangers. Also there are special Two-Spirit Storyhours with native authors. All ages can study Cherokee and Hawaiian online through Mango Languages, free with a library card. We also encourage everyone to learn about the edible, wild and native foods growing around the Bay Area during cooking demonstrations and food history programs.

Come into a neighborhood branch and take out a book or movie – read the November On the Same Page pick, Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, a memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation. Check out a list of Children’s Books on the Native North American Experience; recommended reads, music and movies for First Person 2018; and a curated list on Native American Cooking that’s not just for Thanksgiving.

View the First Person: Honoring Native and Indigenous Cultures program guide.


When Art Is Racist with Kim Shuck & Andrew Jolivette – Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library

Sewam Dance with Eddie Madril—Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m., Parkside Branch Library

First Nation Monuments & Funerary Places of the SF Bay—Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Sunset Branch Library

Activism & Aesthetics of the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz—Nov. 17, 3 p.m., Richmond Branch Library

A Cross of Thorns with Elias Castillo – Nov. 17, 4 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Exhibition: The North American Indian – Though Dec. 1, Main Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor

Sewam Dance with Eddie Madril

Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m., Parkside Branch Library

Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m., SFMOMA Public Knowledge


California and the Americas Food History with Chef Farais

Nov. 3, 3 p.m., North Beach Branch Library

Nov. 14, 3 p.m., Anza Branch Library


String Stories with Kim Shuck

Nov. 4, 2 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch Library

Nov. 9, 3 p.m., Portola Branch Library

Nov. 10, 11 a.m., Merced Branch Library


Make Your Own Basket with Kim Shuck

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., West Portal Branch Library

Nov. 8, 4:30 p.m., Main Library, The Mix, 2nd Floor


Two-Spirit Storyhour

Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Main Library, Children’s Center, 2nd floor

Nov. 17, 2:30 p.m., North Beach Branch Library


Old Mission Dolores Tours— Space is limited, registration at branches required.

Nov. 3, 1 p.m., Noe Valley Branch Library

Nov. 10, 1 p.m., Eureka Valley Branch Library


Native American Beaded Bracelets

Nov. 3, 3 p.m., Mission Branch Library

Nov. 3, 11 a.m., Mission Bay Branch Library

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Parkside Branch Library

Nov. 18, 2 p.m., Potrero Branch Library


Sovereign Seeds and Starts

Nov. 3, 2 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch Library

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Sunset Branch Library

Nov. 17, 2 p.m., Park Branch Library

Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m., Anza Branch Library


Ohlone-Mutsun Language Coloring Book

Nov. 26, 2 p.m., Ocean View Branch Library

Nov. 26, 4:30 p.m., Ingleside Branch Library

Nov. 27, 11:15 a.m., Glen Park Branch Library

Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m., Marina Branch Library


Many more classes, films, performances, events and activities are listed in the First Person program guide. All programs at the San Francisco Public Library are free.


About San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

Visual Poetry: A Lyrical Twist – Thomas Ingmire Calligraphy and Poetry in Collaboration

For Immediate Release: October 24, 2018
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;



Thomas Ingmire Calligraphy and Poetry in Collaboration

San Francisco—The San Francisco Public Library’s Book Arts & Special Collections Center is pleased to present Visual Poetry: a Lyrical Twist, featuring Thomas Ingmire’s unique modern and expressive calligraphy in the creation of collaborative works with eleven contemporary poets. Poetry readings open the show on November 17, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., in the Koret Auditorium, with a reception to follow. The exhibition is on view through March 31, 2019, in the Jewett Gallery, Main Libraryingmire.

Bay Area poets Jack Hirschman, Dean Rader and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa are featured along with poets Li-Young Lee, Robert Bringhurst, David Annwn, Christine Kennedy, Geraldine Monk, Alan Halsey, Allen Fisher and Robert Sheppard. The exhibition features unique artists’ books—works that build on a tradition of visual artists and poets being inspired by each other.

Ingmire has been a practicing calligrapher since 1977 and currently lives and works in San Francisco. For the last 20 years, he has concentrated on the making of artists’ books, exhibiting widely in the United States and abroad.  In describing Visual Poetry: a Lyrical Twist Ingmire writes, “For over three decades, I have drawn on poetry typically associated with modern calligraphy, including texts by William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Dylan Thomas, Denise Levertov, and Wallace Stevens. Traditional characteristics of elegant writing and decoration have been part of my work, but I was also interested in the pictorial possibilities of language itself: the word as image, and the expressive potential of calligraphy to capture the emotion and atmosphere of a text. This involved the creation of new non-traditional letterforms and testing the limits of various techniques including distortion, fragmentation, shifts in placement of text, composition, and color. I am intrigued by the ways these adjustments can influence the reception and meaning of a poem.

In this exhibit I continue the visual interpretation of poetry, but attempt something additional. Working in collaboration with contemporary poets, I have incorporated their actual voice, concerns, and interests. Trying to find a working language for engagement with the poets led to the idea of making music part of the collaboration process. Music not only served as a linking device, but an inspiration for both calligraphy and the poetry. Connecting words to music opened new doors for my thinking about meaning, which in turn led to new images, letterforms, and page compositions. I hope this exhibition—resulting in books, drawings, and broadsides—invites your own broadening experience with the poetry you will read and see here, as well as your involvement with poetry in the future.”


The Poets

Jack Hirschman, Dean Rader, and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa are poets residing in the Bay Area. Li-Young Lee, from Chicago, is a recent recipient of the Levinson prize for his poem, “Changing Places in the Fire.” Robert Bringhurst, from Canada, and David Annwn, Christine Kennedy, Geraldine Monk, Alan Halsey, Allen Fisher, and Robert Sheppard, all from the UK, have been associated with the British Poetry revival. The exhibition features unique artists’ books and framed wall pieces, including a 35 foot long rendition of Li-Young Lee’s poem.


Thomas Ingmire: Biography

Thomas Ingmire was born in 1942 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and worked in the field in the early 1970s before discovering calligraphy. In 1977 he joined English master calligrapher and illuminator Donald Jackson’s one-year postgraduate study, and subsequently became the first foreign member to be elected as a Fellow of England’s Society of Scribes and Illuminators. In 1980, Ingmire was granted a Newberry Fellowship for the continuing study of calligraphy.

Ingmire’s early work focused on teaching and calligraphic research involving the exploration of calligraphy as a fine arts medium. He has taught workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and several countries in Europe as well as in Japan and Hong Kong.

Ingmire has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. His works can be found in numerous special collections in public and university libraries, and museums throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Public Library; the Library of Congress; The Morgan Library, New York; The New York Public Library; The Newberry Library, Chicago; Stanford University Library;  University of California, Los Angeles; Beinecke Library, Yale University; Lorca Foundation, Spain; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Letterform Archive, San Francisco; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künstem Berlin, Germany, and many other public and private collections.

Since 2002, Ingmire has concentrated on the making of artists’ books. He has embarked on a number of collaborative projects, including a series of artists’ books with poetry by Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca and original drawings by Manuel Neri; work as an illuminator on the St. John’s Bible; and two major series of works with a number of contemporary poets.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts and Special Collections Center of the San Francisco Public Library. The center houses highly esteemed collections, including the Robert Grabhorn Collection on the History of Printing and the Development of the Book, the Richard Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering, and the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor.

High resolution images available upon request.

Visual Poetry: a Lyrical Twist – Nov. 17-March 31, 2019, Main Library, Jewett Gallery

Opening event poetry readings – Nov. 17, 1 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

2018 San Francisco Veterans Film Festival – Stories of Strength and Discovery

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2018

SFVFF Contact: Eddie Ramirez
(415) 244-7100 /

SFPL Contact: Mindy Linetzy
(415) 554-4252 /

2018 San Francisco Veterans Film Festival

Stories of Strength and Discovery

High resolution images available upon request

WHAT:  7th Annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival

WHEN:  Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. -5:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4, 12 – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, SF (Grove Street entrance)

COST:  Admission is free

San Francisco, CA – OneVet OneVoice and the San Francisco Public Library announce the lineup for the 7th annual San Francisco Veterans Film Festival (#SFVFF18), the Bay Area’s premier military and veteran film event. The festival, with screenings on November 3 and 4 at the Main Library, shares authentic veteran stories and gives the public an opportunity to learn about the challenges and perspectives of veterans and active duty military.

This year’s festival features stories of veterans who find healing through creativity and discover surprising new connections. Films include the reunion of two Red Cross ‘Donut Dollies;’ the story of the challenges faced by a returning medevac unit; the tale of veteran poets who find a newfound tribe in each other; and Visions of Warriors, which depicts how veterans working with the VA in Menlo Park used photography therapy to help them heal.

The two-day festival includes 16 films, both short and full-length. Military service periods range from World War I through modern day. The program is free to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend all or part of the two-day event. Saturday festival attendees are also invited to the evening’s Filmmakers Reception.

“We are grateful to provide a forum for veterans to express their creativity, explore the complexity of their experiences and emotions, and connect with other veterans as well as our civilian brothers and sisters. We hope this brings honor and healing to our service men and women and builds stronger bonds among all Americans,” comments Eddie Ramirez, founder of the San Francisco Veterans Film Festival and the sponsoring organization OneVet OneVoice.

Highlights of the 2018 San Francisco Veterans Film Festival include the following:

We Are Not Done Yet (40 min) Sareen Hairabedian

Ten U.S. veterans of varied backgrounds come together in hopes of battling their traumatic military pasts through the art of written word. Grappling with PTSD, the “warrior poets” share fears, vulnerabilities and victories that eventually culminate into a live performance of a collaborative poem under the direction of actor Jeffrey Wright. In the process of creating their poetry and rehearsing for the performance, these men and women build a new-found tribe in one another, allowing them to share the too often hidden truths about their intimacy with war, death and trauma.
Screening Saturday, Nov. 3

Trauma (1 hr 27 min) Harry Sanna

After saving lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan, the members of a helicopter medevac unit return home to their families, each changed in different ways.
Screening Saturday, Nov. 3

Visions of Warriors (1 hr 33 min) Ming Lai

Four veterans from the Vietnam War era to the Iraq War participate in the groundbreaking Veteran Photo Recovery Project at the VA Menlo Park and use innovative photography therapy.
Screening Sunday, Nov. 4

Donut Dollies (1 hr 26 min) Norm Anderson

In 1968, two best friends joined an elite team and flew into a war zone wearing powder blue dresses. They were Red Cross Donut Dollies. These idealistic young women embraced their mission – to cheer up the GIs in Vietnam – with energy, creativity, compassion and resolve but had no idea what they were getting into. 47 years later, they reunite in Vietnam to retrace their steps; ask why they went; ask whether they made a difference; unlock buried memories and share their stories for the first time.
Screening Sunday, Nov. 4

The full line up of screenings is available at

About the San Francisco Veterans Film Festival

San Francisco Veterans Film Festival is a robust forum for Veterans and civilian filmmakers to express their creativity and to share their stories, which in turn helps further healing and brings greater awareness to the public on the challenges our nation’s veteran’s face. The annual festival spotlights both veteran and civilian filmmakers addressing issues about Veterans and military-related topics.  For more information visit

About OneVet OneVoice

OneVet OneVoice is a non-profit based in San Francisco founded on the belief that healthcare, education, housing and employees for veterans and military families should be inextricably linked together.  The goal of the San Francisco Veterans Film Festival is to support one of the key missions of OneVet OneVoice: to educate the general public about the current issues facing our veterans, and provide a place for veterans to learn more about current support available.

About the San Francisco Public Library’s Veterans Resource Center

San Francisco Public Library’s Veterans Resource Center, located on the 5th floor of the Main Library, supports the veteran community with free computer access, a specialized veterans book collection, and information and assistance for veterans and their families. For more information please visit


Free Financial Planning Day at the Library

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2018
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Free Financial Planning Day at the Library

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Public Library, in partnership with the Financial Planning Association of San Francisco and the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office, are pleased to announce the 9th annual San Francisco Financial Planning Day on October 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  At this event, Bay Area residents will be able to meet one-on-one with dozens of highly qualified Certified Financial Planner™ professionals to discuss their personal finance questions, concerns and interests.

The event is a great opportunity for a free, private consultation with an expert on a wide variety of personal finance issues, including debt management, retirement planning, investment strategies, income taxes, insurance, and estate planning, among many others. Programs will run throughout the day covering budgeting and credit counseling.

Financial Planning Day 2018’s programs include something for everyone. There are sessions related to investing basics, planning for higher education without loans, and how the new tax law will impact consumers. New for 2018, will be presentations about financial recovery after a disaster, property taxes, and San Francisco housing programs. Spanish and Chinese translation will be available.

Best of all, there are no strings attached. Financial planners are volunteering their time and will not pass out business cards, marketing materials or sell products or services. They will be stationed at tables and will meet with one individual or a couple at a time. Prior events have served 300-400 Bay Area residents each year.

The event is free and open to the public.

Financial Planning Day at the Library – Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin St.


Tenth Annual Tricycle Music Fest Kicks Off September 30

For Immediate Release:  September 26, 2018
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Tenth Annual Tricycle Music Fest Kicks Off September 30
Free Grammy Music Line Up

San Francisco – San Francisco Public Library proudly announces the 10th Anniversary of the Tricycle Music Fest, welcoming parents and their little ones to free concerts across the City. We are celebrating ten years of Rock! Play! Learn! with Grammy-award winning or nominated performers.  So release the foot break on the stroller and boogie on down to the library to catch a concert with us!

tricycleTricycle Music Fest kicks off with a special concert at our newest branch, Public Knowledge at SFMOMA, on Sunday, September 30. At 11:30 a.m., 2017 Grammy nominee Alphabet Rockers take the stage and drop beats inspiring social justice and youth empowerment.  After the performance, concertgoers can enjoy SFMOMA’s Family Free Day.  Alphabet Rockers will also rock the books at Parkside on October 6th and Bernal Heights on October 7th.

On Sunday, October 14, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, the 2013 Latin Grammy winner, will have kids tapping their feet, jumping and hopping to their international sounds.  Jose-Luis Orozco, 2015 Grammy nominee, brings out his guitar on Saturday, October 20th encouraging all to sing and learn Spanish and will delight the audiences at Merced and West Portal branches.

Lastly, due to popular demand, we bring back the Okee Dokee Brothers, 2012 Grammy winners, who bring Americana folk music, banjo included!  Our Sunday morning October 28th show at the Main Library is almost filled (via Eventbrite), but families can see them at the SFMOMA for an afternoon show starting at 3:00 p.m.  Space is limited to seating capacity.

Tricycle Music Fest is proudly sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and co-presented by San Mateo County Library. Together we bring the biggest and best kindie rock music to Bay Area families. Because playing is just as important as singing in early childhood learning, we will raffle off one tricycle to a lucky concert goer at each event.  Families, get ready for a hip-shaking, head bopping dance party explosion of indie fresh pop rock beats—only at the library!

For the full 2018 Tricycle Music Fest line-up and to hear sounds of the Grammy performers, go to and

2018 Schedule

Alphabet Rockers

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

José-Luis Orozco

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Urban Libraries Council Recognizes San Francisco Public Library for Library Innovation

For Immediate Release:  September 10, 2018
Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Urban Libraries Council Recognizes San Francisco Public Library for Library Innovation

FOG Readers Demonstrates the Irreplaceability of the Library as a Community Institution

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Urban Libraries Council announced San Francisco Public Library as one of 10 Top Innovators during the 2018 ULC Annual Forum on September 5-7 in Baltimore, MD. A panel of expert judges selected SFPL’s “FOG Readers: Helping Struggling Readers Succeed” from 220 submissions in 10 categories that demonstrate the value and impact of public library service. The San Francisco Public Library won the Top Innovator award in the category of “Education: Birth through Teens.”

The 2018 Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions were announced during a special Innovations Celebration. Award winners were recognized for their innovative programs, services and operating practices. “Today’s public libraries are bold and pioneering community leaders that play many roles, from educational institutions to technology centers and entrepreneurial hubs,” said Urban Libraries Council President and CEO Susan Benton. “I congratulate San Francisco Public Library for illustrating a persistent commitment to realizing a groundbreaking initiative that has transformed their community.”

San Francisco’s Top Innovator awardee, FOG Readers, helps elementary students overcome reading difficulties, using Orton-Gillingham methodology and multisensory techniques. The free program bridges a gap between a child’s current reading level and his or her full reading potential. FOG Readers breaks reading and spelling into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and builds on these skills over time.

Half of SFUSD 3rd and 4th graders are not meeting grade level standards for reading. In San Francisco, intervention costs $65-95/hr. For many students, FOG Readers is their best chance to build the skills they need to succeed. On average, the Library’s students are about 1.3 grade levels behind when they start the program, and gain more than half a grade level just in the first three months. Parents say FOG students are reading more at home and have increased confidence in all of their school subjects.

Tutors meet with students once a week at a library, teaching critical reading skills and enjoying books together. Currently there are 120 active tutor/student pairs at 23 of our 28 neighborhood libraries. The library trains and pairs tutors with students and we’re always looking for new volunteers.

“San Francisco Public Library is committed to excellence in the delivery of innovative programs and services to meet the needs of our residents,” said Acting City Librarian Michael Lambert. “Recognition from the Urban Libraries Council is a tremendous honor for the City and County of San Francisco and a testament to our staff’s passion for helping young people overcome their struggles with reading in order to enrich themselves and thrive.”

For more information about FOG Readers and volunteer tutor opportunities, see the webpage.

About San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles. For more information, see

About Urban Libraries Council

Urban Libraries Council (ULC), founded in 1971, is the voice for public libraries and the force that inspires them to evolve. ULC creates the tools, techniques, and ideas to make ongoing improvements and upgrades in services and technology. ULC also speaks loudly and clearly about the value public libraries bring to communities, and secures funding for research that results in the development of new programs and services. And by serving as a forum for library leadership, ULC produces innovative ideas and best practices that ensure community impact. To learn more about ULC and to view all the 2018 ULC Innovations, see


San Francisco Public Library Announces 2018 One City One Book – The Best We Could Do, an illustrated memoir by Thi Bui

For Immediate Release: September 6, 2018

Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295 /

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252/


San Francisco Public Library Announces 2018 One City One Book

The Best We Could Do, an illustrated memoir by Thi Bui


San Francisco, CA — San Francisco Public Library is excited to announce that The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui has been selected as the 2018 One City One Book. Published by Abrams ComicArts, this is the first graphic novel that has been selected for One City One Book.

bestcoverIn what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do explores the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child. Thi Bui documents her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves in America. The Best We Could Do is a haunting memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for a simpler past. As the child of a country and a war she can’t remember, Bui’s dreamlike artwork brings to life her journey to understanding her own identity in a way that only illustrations can.

“I am truly honored that The Best We Could Do has been selected for One City One Book 2018,” says author Thi Bui. “As a refugee of the Vietnam War and an Asian American woman, the Bay Area’s rich history is incredibly important to me. It is where the term ‘Asian American’ was coined in the 60’s by student activists at Berkeley, and was also the site of historic protests against the Vietnam War. We are living in a time in U.S. history where anti-immigration policies are simultaneously closing doors on displaced people and separating families currently living in the U.S, and it is incredibly important that communities come together on a local level to speak out against these injustices. The Best We Could Do is a book about the traumatic effects displacement has on families and the individual, and I hope that in being selected for the One City One Book program it is able to inspire Bay Area readers not just to have thoughtful and nuanced conversations about these issues, but also to take action.”

Since the publication of the hardcover in March 2017, The Best We Could Do has made a place for itself in the graphic novel canon and has received 5 starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Shelf Awareness. It was also nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in the autobiography category and made it onto over thirty “Best of 2017” lists everywhere from the Washington Post to Entertainment Weekly. Thi Bui is a rising star in the comics and literary world, and her debut work is not to be missed.

Read The Best We Could Do and join the Library for the 14th Annual One City One Book program extravaganza. Copies of The Best We Could Do will be featured in all San Francisco libraries and at bookstores around the city.

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

Featured Event

Thi Bui in Conversation with Author Lauren Markham – Oct. 25, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

For more information, see  View the program guide here.

About the Author

thibuiThi Bui was born in Vietnam three months before the end of the Vietnam War and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the “boat people” wave of refugees from Southeast Asia. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017) was a national bestseller and has been selected as National Book Critics Circle finalist, an Indies Introduce pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title, and a Junior Library Guild selection. She is also the illustrator of A Different Pond, a children’s book by acclaimed poet Bao Phi (Capstone, 2017). Bui taught high school in New York City and was a founding teacher of Oakland International High School, the first public high school in California for recent immigrants and English learners. She currently teaches in the MFA in Comics program at the California College of the Arts. She lives in Berkeley with her son, her husband and her mother.

Editorial Reviews + Awards

National bestseller
2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist
ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection
ALA 2018 Notable Books Selection

“Be prepared to take your heart on an emotional roller-coaster journey with this thought-provoking account that completely satisfies as the story comes full circle.”

— Library Journal

“Like Art Spiegelman’s masterpiece, “Maus,” Bui’s memoir elicits complex emotions from understated pen-and-ink drawings.”

— The San Francisco Chronicle

“…a nuanced and heartfelt immigrant tale, brought to true life through beautiful and brilliant illustration. On top of that, it’s an especially poignant read from the vantage point of 2017.”

— Refinery29

“…a cinematic epic that poignantly tracks several generations through immigration and emotional dislocation. At its best, this memoir feels not just created but also deeply lived.”

Michael Cavna, The Washington Post

“When Bui began work on The Best We Could Do in 2005, she couldn’t have predicted the significance it would hold when it was released in 2017, but now that it’s here, it feels like one of the first great works of socially relevant comics art of the Trump era…Bui presents that saga in a way that is narratively intricate, intellectually fastidious, and visually stunning.”

— Vulture

“Thi Bui’s stark, compelling memoir is about an ordinary family, but her story delivers the painful truth that most Vietnamese of the 20th century know in an utterly personal fashion—that history is found in the marrow of one’s bones, ready to be passed on through blood, through generations, through feelings. A book to break your heart and heal it.”

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist

“In creatively telling a complicated story with the kind of feeling words alone rarely relay, The Best We Could Do does the very best that comics can do. This is a necessary, ever-timely story to share far and wide.”


“She does not spare her loved ones criticism or linger needlessly on their flaws. Likewise she refuses to flatten the twists and turns of their histories into neat, linear narratives. She embraces the whole of it… In this mélange of comedy and tragedy, family love and brokenness, she finds beauty.”

— Publishers Weekly

“The Best We Could Do burns back the dead skin of public War memory. Underneath is the raw flesh of another kind of war story—of mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brutally intimate and intimately brutal. This book is a must-read.”

— Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, The Asian American Literary Review, curator for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

“This bold, brutal book is the new calligraphy—an exquisite marriage of alphabet and imagery. Each sentence, each scene, and each story breaks down a country, a family, and a father. Then, frame by frame, with artistic vigor and monastic devotion, Thi Bui rebuilds a world in which guilt conquers grief and gratitude becomes not only a guide, but our new Deity. The Best We Could Do teaches us how to say no to fear and yes to truth.”

 Fae Myenne Ng, author of Bone, a PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, Steer Toward Rock, winner of the American Book Award

About One City One Book

onecityOne 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.