Monthly Archives: March 2012

Going Local to Solve our Global Crises

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

March 14, 2012

Going Local to Solve our Global Crises

The Economics of Happiness to Screen at the San Francisco Public Library, April 4

The Economics of Happiness, an award-winning new documentary by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick and John Page, describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions from globalization to localization.  The film will be screened Wednesday, April 4, 5;45 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.

The documentary explores how government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world, people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance. Far from the old institutions of power, individuals are starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm–the economics of happiness.

Five years in the making, The Economics of Happiness is considered a global tour-de-force that goes beyond identifying problems to outline realistic solutions, drawing inspiration from the emerging worldwide movement for economic localization: from urban gardens in Detroit to hands-on education in Japan, from community farming in India to cultural preservation in Peru. The film shows that the solutions to the most pressing environmental, economic and social crises can simultaneously improve our quality of life.

The Economics of Happiness features acclaimed economists, environmentalists and scholars including Vandana Shiva, Zac Goldsmith, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Juliet Schor, Richard Heinberg, Bhutanese film director Khyentse Norbu, and the first Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Samdhong Rinpoche.

“It is good news indeed to find so persuasive an explanation of our ailing world as The Economics of Happiness. This film connects the dots between climate chaos, economic meltdown, and our own personal suffering—stress, loneliness, and depression,” said author and philosopher Joanna Macy.

This event is free and open to the public.

City Librarian Nominated by President Obama

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

March 12, 2012

City Librarian Luis Herrera Nominated by President Obama to National Museum and Library Services Board

San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera was nominated today by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. The announcement from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary can be seen here:

Mr. Herrera, who was recently named Librarian of the Year 2012 by Library Journal magazine, has served as City Librarian since 2005. He oversees San Francisco’s 28 libraries.

“Thanks to Luis Herrera’s leadership, San Francisco’s public libraries are a source of civic pride that enrich the cultural fabric of our community,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This presidential nomination to the national board is richly deserved for our City Librarian who has ensured that the San Francisco Public Library is well positioned for generations to come.”

The National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB) is an advisory body that includes 20 presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed members who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the NMLSB advises the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service. IMLS Director Susan Hildreth is a former San Francisco City Librarian.

Mr. Herrera also serves as chair of the California Council for Humanities and on the Steering Committee for the Digital Public Library of America.

As San Francisco’s City Librarian, Mr. Herrera has led the City through the largest capital improvement program in the library’s history, leading the completion of 22 new or renovated branch libraries throughout San Francisco. He has helped build San Francisco Public Library’s reputation as one that honors tradition while embracing innovation, follows through on promises, empowers staff leadership, and demonstrates a clear commitment to serving the diverse needs of San Francisco.

Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

March 8, 2012

Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay

Exhibition on the Founder of the Gay Rights Movement,

San Francisco Main Library, Jewett Gallery, April 21 through July 29, 2012

On the centennial anniversary of his birth, the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library is pleased to present an exhibition that celebrates the remarkable life and work of activist Harry Hay, who laid the foundation for the modern lesbian and gay rights movement. Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay, will be on view in the Main Library’s Jewett Gallery, April 21-July 29, 2012.

Harry HayThis exhibition, curated by Joey Cain, explores the life, ideas and contributions of Hay, who is considered the founder of the modern Gay Movement.  Drawing on original papers, ephemera, videos and personal items archived in the Harry Hay Papers Collection of the Library’s History Center, the epic story of this compelling and complex civil rights leader is brought to life.

Chronicling Hay’s life, the exhibition includes his early years through his labor activism and strong involvement with the Communist Party, to his founding of the Mattachine Society, the first gay activist group in America, and co-founding of the gay men’s spirit group, the Radical Faeries. An actor, Communist labor organizer, musicologist, gay theoretician and political activist, Hay left a lasting mark that continues well into the 21st century.

The multifaceted exhibition explores Hay’s work as an actor, his involvement in the avant-garde arts movement in 1930s Los Angeles, his participation in the San Francisco General Strike of 1934 and on to his activism in fighting fascism, racism and anti-Semitism in the 1940s. In 1948, at a time when homosexuality was considered by society to be an illness, Hay had the vision that homosexuals were a cultural minority that could organize themselves and create a community to fight for their human and civil rights.

Harry HaySixty years later, his vision developed into a worldwide civil rights movement and inspired the creation of Lesbian, Gay and Transgender communities on every continent.  Hay continued his theoretical and organizational work for gay rights and social justice, right up until his death in 2002.

Related programs and exhibitions:

May 8: Opening program “Above All Audacity!”

Guest curator Joey Cain will give an introduction to the exhibition. Colleagues, friends and other community leaders will discuss Hay’s contribution to the modern LGBT movement.  Special guests include Jewelle Gomez, Phyllis Lyon, Sally Hay, niece of Harry Hay, Will Roscoe, Mark Thompson, Malcolm Boyd. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6 p.m.

June 13: Documentary: Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay Screening of award-winning documentary followed by Q & A with filmmaker, Eric Slade.  This program is co-sponsored by the SF Pride Committee. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6 p.m.

July 11: Which Side Are You On? Harry Hay and Labor Organizing – Chris Carlsson, Bettina Apthekar and others talk about Hay’s labor activism in this panel discussion moderated by Joey Cain. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6 p.m.

Innocents Abroad

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

March 5, 2012

Innocents Abroad:

Travels with the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

Exhibition at San Francisco Main Library Opens April 1, 2012

The San Francisco Public Library presents Innocents Abroad: Travels with the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor. Reaching into near and far corners of the world, this exhibition draws on a rich collection of materials that represents the book hunting activities of a fervent bibliophile in the first half of the 20th Century. Innocents Abroad will be on view in the Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, through May 31.

Lawyer, bibliophile and humanitarian Nat Schmulowitz took his first grand tour of Europe shortly after World War I. What he saw then and in subsequent trips after World War II is documented in correspondence, scrapbooks, and in the books he acquired along the way. He travelled to the four corners of the earth, searching diligently for humorous materials and combing bookshops wherever he went.

Travel journals, scrapbooks, letters, postcards, and ephemera are on display, partnered with the humor books Nat discovered as he made his way through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. A shimmering diversity of languages and dialects in the books show the breadth of his travels and his accomplishments representing world humor in this remarkable collection.

On April Fools’ Day, 1947, Mr. Schmulowitz gave 93 jest books to the San Francisco Public Library. He faithfully continued to add toward the establishment of what is now considered the world’s largest public collection of wit & humor.

Located in the Book Arts & Special Collections Center, the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor (SCOWAH) contains more than 22,000 books and 250 periodical titles, electronic media and ephemera, as well as the personal archive of Nat Schmulowitz. This remarkable collection reflects the eclectic humor of its founder, whose motto still resonates: “Without humor we are doomed.” The annual SCOWAH exhibition, which opens every April Fools’ Day, is a tribute to Mr. Schmulowitz’s generosity and lifelong interest in the Library.

The Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts & Special Collections Center is also home to the Grabhorn Collection on the History of Printing & the Development of the Book, the Harrison Collection of Calligraphy & Lettering, and the Little Maga/Zine Collection, as well as other special collections.


Making Tracks — Don’t Forget to WriteA book cover display of selected travel books.

Third Floor, General Collections and Humanities Center Wall Case, San Francisco Main Library. April 1 through May 31.

Thursdays at Noon Film Series–Innocents Abroad: Travel Films:

San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 12 noon.

April 5  – Roman Holiday

April 12 – Travels With My Aunt

April 19 – Last Holiday

All programs at the Library are Free. For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.