Monthly Archives: February 2013

Free Your Mind: A Revolution In Words


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

February 25, 2013

Free Your Mind: A Revolution In Words

Literary Festival at San Francisco Public Library brings together

Bay Area-based authors, artists and activists

On Saturday March 2nd, San Francisco Public Library will host Free Your Mind: A Revolution In Words Literary Festival. This family-oriented event sponsored by the Library’s African-American Interest Committee, features a day full of interesting and exciting programs and activities. It will be held at San Francisco Public Library’s Main Library, 100 Larkin Street.

The day kicks off at 11 a.m. with a storytelling performance by Kirk Waller in the Fisher Children’s Center. This will be followed by a genealogy how-to workshop for amateur genealogist and those interested in their family’s history. A book fair and author showcase event will be held from 1-2:45 p.m., and will feature Bay Area-based authors. As one of the day’s highlights, the book fair focuses on bringing local authors and potential readers together. “Authors in our community need the opportunity to share their work so they can first get readership, then money. The SFPL Book Festival is a grand opportunity to reach local readers,” said Deeann D. Mathews, author of The Freedom Guide for Music Creators.

At 3 p.m., the Library will welcome New York Times bestselling author Mary ‘Honey B’ Morrison, Former Black Panther Ericka Huggins, Block Reportin’ founder JR Valrey and author Deeann D. Mathews who will discuss the revolutionary aspects of selected Black author written works and how the written word can transform modern thought. Dr. Oba T’Shaka, noted civil rights activist and educator, will offer a keynote address at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit

We Live Here: San Francisco, 1960s-1970s


February 25, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers

(415) 557-4282;

We Live Here: San Francisco, 1960s-1970s

Photographs by Phiz Mezey on view in the

Main Library’s Jewett Gallery, March 2-June 2, 2013

During the 1960s and 1970s, photographer Phiz Mezey photographed some of the most significant events in San Francisco’s history.  An exhibition of her photographs, We Live Here: San Francisco, 1960s-1970s, on view at the Main Library, takes viewers on a tour of San Francisco through those two turbulent decades, providing a unique lens on the community transformation that was occurring in the city at that time.

The exhibition is on view, March 2 through June 2, 2013 in the Main Library’s Jewett Gallery, 100 Larkin St., lower level.

Phiz Mezey says of her photography, “I was doing freelance work and teaching and raising two kids.  What little free time was left I was devoted to going out exploring.”

Photo by Phiz MezeyHer explorations resulted in engaging photographs of the changing landscape of the city during the redevelopment of the Western Addition. She also chronicled the tumultuous San Francisco State University Strike. Her photos captured some of the major personalities and San Francisco visitors of the time including Martin Luther King, Jr., Jimi Hendrix, James Baldwin, Emmy Lou Packard, and Imogen Cunningham, as well as highlighted everyday scenes in the City.

Historical objects from the Library’s collection will also be on display in the exhibit, which is presented by the San Francisco History Center.

Related programs:

Sunday, March 3

Meet the Artist: Phiz Mezey

Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room, 1-3 p.m.

Thursday, April 11

The Fillmore: Film and Discussion

Screening of the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Fillmore, which tells the history of San Francisco’s Western Addition and the Fillmore district followed by a discussion with producer Peter Stein. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

Author Patrick DeWitt : The Sisters Brothers


February 21, 2013

Author Patrick DeWitt : The Sisters Brothers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 – 6:30pm

San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Cover of The Sisters Brothers
Cover of The Sisters Brothers

Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers, San Francisco Public Library’s On the Same Page pick for January/February 2013 will be in conversation with author Joshua Mohr. Dewitt’s bang-up novel is a quirky and stylish revisionist western. When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm’s claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers. Eli’s deadpan narration is at times strangely funny (as when he discovers dental hygiene, thanks to a frontier dentist dispensing free samples of “tooth powder that produced a minty foam”) but maintains the power to stir heartbreak, as with Eli’s infatuation with a consumptive hotel bookkeeper. As more of the brothers’ story is teased out, Charlie and Eli explore the human implications of many of the cliches of the old west and come off looking less and less like killers and more like traumatized young men. With nods to Charles Portis and Frank Norris, DeWitt has produced a genre-bending frontier saga that is exciting, funny, and, perhaps unexpectedly, moving.

Book signing follows the talk. Book sales by Readers Books.

There are currently more than 300 copies of this dark and funny western checked out San Francisco Public Library. Don’t miss this lively program!

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers

(415) 557-4282; (415) 608-1593;

Grand Opening for Bayview Branch Library

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

February 13, 2013

Grand Opening for Bayview Branch Library

Community Celebration, 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013

San Francisco Public Library will celebrate the grand opening of a neighborhood treasure, the new Bayview Branch Library on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Located at 5075 Third St. at Revere Avenue, the new building is the 23rd completed project in the City’s voter-approved Branch Library Improvement Program.

The celebration will kick off with a musical procession starting at Mendell Plaza near the Bayview Opera House at 10 a.m. The procession will lead to the new Bayview library where there will be lion dancers and an official ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. Library services will begin at 12 noon.

The new, seismically safe and accessible 9,000-square-foot library is being built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and environmental features that include solar panels, two green, living roof gardens, and an innovative air- circulation system.

“I am thrilled to be opening the new Bayview Branch Library which will give this neighborhood the type of 21st Century library services that it so richly deserves, in a safe, welcoming and innovative building,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “There is already a tremendous amount of community excitement around this project, which is second to last in the Branch Library Improvement Program, and I can hardly wait to open the doors and show the neighborhood this amazing new library.”

The new library features a designated teen area, a children’s area with interactive learning spaces, an expanded collection of books and materials with a large Chinese-language collection, more public computers, two quiet study rooms, an interior courtyard and a meeting room with after-hours access for community meetings and events. The library building was designed by THA Architecture and Karin Payson A & D of San Francisco and constructed by KCK Builders, a Bayview-based firm. The overall project was managed by the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

The project required that at least 30 percent of the construction companies and trades building the new branch were certified as Local Business Enterprises (LBE). The City far exceeded that threshold, with more than 68 percent LBE participation — surpassing all other similar projects.

“As a resident of this community for many years, I am very proud to have played a part in bringing a beautiful new branch library to the neighborhood,” said Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “The Bayview library is a marvelous example of the City taking the extra step to ensure our neighborhood residents received employment opportunities with this project. The library project is a prime example of how it is possible to truly involve a community, as we should expect with all our projects.”

A key feature of the new library building are photograms created by artist and Bayview resident Ron Saunders. In addition, the building façade features 10 glass panels that depict images from historic photographs of the people and places from the Bayview neighborhood.

The construction of the Bayview Branch Library cost $13.5 million and was funded by a bond measure passed by San Francisco voters in 2000. The Bayview Branch will include new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is raising funds from private donations to pay for these items. To get involved in the Bayview neighborhood campaign, please contact For more information about San Francisco Public Library, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers Launch Public Library Storytelling Booth Project at SFPL Main

February 8, 2012

Contact: Lucie Faulknor


Contact: Michelle Jeffers

(415) 557-4282


Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers Launch

Public Library Storytelling Booth Project at SFPL Main


San Francisco, CA – When Director/Editor Dawn Logsdon (Faubourg Treme, Big Joy, Paragraph 175, Weather Underground) tells someone that she’s working on Free for All, a documentary and new media project about public libraries, invariably they begin to tell her a story about a personal library experience. Logsdon and her team have decided to capture those stories on film during three days of filming at the San Francisco Public Library Main branch, February 21-23rd. The public is invited to schedule a 15-minute appointment (email: info@ or walk-in during normal library hours on those days to tell their story. The crew, including Academy Award-nominated local cinematographer Vicente Franco (Most Dangerous Man in America, Daughter from Danang) will set up the library storytelling “booth” inside the Jewett Gallery on the lower level of the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street.

Below are excerpts from preliminary interviews:

  • Gloria Cowert, SFPL Security Guard: “People think when you say library, it’s all quiet all the time. I say ‘you’d be surprised!’”
  • Eddie Fung, born and raised in Chinatown, WWII POW, Metallurgist, age 90: “Growing up in Chinatown, I wasn’t interested in things Chinese, I was interested in things other than Chinese, like the Plains Indians. Through reading I discovered I could ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow… and when I was 16 I went to Texas to be a cowboy…That’s what the library did for me, expanded my restricted view of life.” 
  • Gray Brechin, Geographic Historian and Author: “I was a latchkey kid, my parents were divorced, and I was gay and just learning that…and libraries saved my life”
  • Charles Houston, Drug Counselor, formerly homeless: “A few years ago I was living on the sidewalk across the street from the library.  I was a drug addict and a drunk. I went to the library to be safe and not be afraid of someone stealing the shoes off my feet.”
  • Maria Tamara, Lithuanian immigrant, age 96: “We could not afford to buy books. It was library, library, library all the time and it didn’t cost anything. That is the treasure we discovered in the United States.”
  • Sam Cormier, Claire Lilienthal student, age 13: “For me the public library is a place to be away from normal life and be in your own world.”

The stories will be edited down and presented during National Library Week in SFPL’s Koret Auditorium on Saturday April 20, 2013 at 2 pm, along with excerpts of the Free for All documentary-in-progress and a talk by preeminent library historian, Wayne Wiegand, discussing his upcoming book: Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library.

For more information, go to or call 415.824.4910.

This storytelling project is in collaboration with the SFPL and Serendipity Films, and is funded in part by the Creative Work Fund (a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by grants from ArtPlace, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation).