Monthly Archives: March 2014

New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10

March 20, 2014

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

New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10

The new North Beach Branch Library will open to the public on May 10, 2014, following a community celebration and ribbon cutting, starting at 1:00 p.m. The beautiful, light filled, soaring library with double height reading rooms, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco, is located at 850 Columbus at the corner of Columbus and Lombard.

The current North Beach Branch, located at 2000 Mason Street, will be closed on March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in order to prepare the collections and equipment for the move to the new library.

The new North Beach Branch, which is the last of 24 libraries to be remodeled or rebuilt (with one new library in Mission Bay) under the Branch Library Improvement Program (2000), is seismically strong, sustainable and fully accessible, and 60 percent larger than the current North Beach Branch Library. It was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project was managed by the Department of Public Works.

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 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 will be broadcast through waterproof speakers. Sonic Dreamscape, created by world renowned sound artist Bill Fontana, will feature 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 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.


You Don’t Say! Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

March 20, 2014

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

You Don’t Say!

Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

April 1 – May 31, 2014
Main Library, Skylight Gallery

“Without humor we are doomed,” noted Nat Schmulowitz, local attorney and former library trustee, who donated his collection of 93 jest books to the San Francisco Public Library on April 1, 1947. Every year, the Library presents an exhibition based on works in the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor in tribute to Mr. Schmulowitz’s generosity and lifelong interest in the Library.

Picture story, pantomime, cartoon without words—these are some of the terms for comics and cartoons in which the characters depicted remain silent. Speech balloons and thought clouds almost never interfere with the cartoon itself, and the joke or punch line is universally understood. This centuries old art form, dating back as early as eighteenth century caricature, led to the emergence of cartoon artists whose works have influenced and still delight readers, contemporary cartoonists, and scholars around the world.

You Don’t Say! Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor draws on the San Francisco Public Library’s collection of works by the wordless cartoon masters of the nineteenth through the twenty-first century, and their historical influences. On display are the published works of A.B. Frost, H.M. Bateman, Otto Soglow (“The Little King”), Carl Anderson (“Henry”), Marge (“Little Lulu”), Milt Gross (“She Done Him Wrong”), Mik (“Ferd’nand”), e.o. plauen (“Vater und Sohn”), Sam Cobean, George Baker (“The Sad Sack”), Antonio Prohias (“Spy vs. Spy”), and many more. The exhibition opens April 1 in the Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, Main Library, and continues through May 31, 2014.

The Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor (SCOWAH), located in the Book Arts and Special Collections Center, now includes more than 23,000 books, 250 periodical titles, media and ephemera, as well as the personal archive of Nat Schmulowitz. This extraordinary collection is considered the largest collection of its kind in the world.

Related Programs:

Thursdays at Noon Film Series: Silent films

April 3 – Silent Movie (87 min, 1976)

April 10 – City Lights (87 min, 1931)

April 17 – Modern Times (87 min, 1936)

April 24 – The Artist (100 min, 2011)

All films are shown with captions when possible to assist the deaf and hard of hearing.
For more information about the exhibition and related programs, please call 415 557-4277.

Meanwhile Sketch Crawl with Wendy MacNaughton

March 14, 2014

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

Meanwhile Sketch Crawl with Wendy MacNaughton                 

Guided Walking Tour, Free Draw, and Discussion

San Francisco Main Library
Civic Center
March 23, 2014
1- 4:30 p.m.

(Discussion and sharing, Latino Hispanic Community Meeting Room, 3:30 p.m.)

Author/Illustrator Wendy McNaughton will host a walking/drawing tour featuring locations from her book Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in its Own Words (Chronicle Books, March 2014). Meanwhile in San Francisco is a collection of illustrated documentaries chronicling seventeen important, historical, and often unsung communities and places in San Francisco.

MacNaughton spent several years documenting these groups by spending up to month with people, getting to know them and their lives, drawing them, and recording their words. She combined her drawings and people’s own words to tell their stories and depict a wide angle view of a vibrant, diverse San Francisco, from the inside out. The book is to be released on March 18.

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, Wendy is planning on hosting a walking/drawing tour around locations featured in Meanwhile in San Francisco. Drawing on the expertise of the individuals she interviewed for the book, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history and relevance of places like City Hall, Mid-Market and 6th Street, The Dolphin Club and the Golden Gate Park Bison directly from the people who live, work and play there. With the help of the well-established sketch groups SF Sketchers, participants will gather in a location to learn from the expert, document what they see through on-location drawing and painting, then regroup at the Main Library to share drawings and thoughts on their observations, process and outcomes. The results will be posted on a dedicated website, and could be displayed at a public location such as the SFPL library exhibit cases.


Meet Wendy MacNaughton at SF Main Library at 1 p.m.
Guided Walk – 1:30-2 p.m.
Free Draw – 2-3:30 p.m.
Return to SF Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room, for Discussion and Sharing Work – 3:30 p.m.

This program is funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. For more information, please call 415 557-4277.

City Librarian Luis Herrera Receives Award for Outstanding Service to Children from American Library Association

March 11, 2014

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

San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera Receives Award for

Outstanding Service to Children from American Library Association

The American Library Association has announced that the 2014 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children has been awarded to Luis Herrera, San Francisco’s City Librarian. The annual Sullivan Award honors and recognizes a library administrator who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children. The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, at the ALA President’s Program, Sunday, June 29.

The award cites Herrera’s passion and exceptional support for public library services to children in a wide range and scope.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee, in his support of Herrera’s nomination for the Sullivan Award, stated “I have been proud to see what a central role the San Francisco Public Library plays in the lives of our city’s families… Herrera has championed the program to ensure San Francisco’s 27 neighborhood branch libraries are updated, accessible and welcoming to children and families.”

Lee also noted Herrera’s creation of San Francisco Public Library’s Tricycle Music Fest West, an early literacy-themed series of library concerts for children that “draws award-winning musicians to San Francisco and ignites the rock-and-roll spirits of thousands of our families with young children.”

“The 2014 Sullivan Award committee was unanimous in their selection of Luis Herrera,” said Dodie Ownes, 2014 jury chair. “The excellent nomination packet conveyed Luis’s wide ranging impact on our profession,” noted Kathleen Reif, jury member and 2013 Sullivan award winner. Another stated “Luis Herrera is the personification of a library administrator who supports children’s services at the highest level.”

City Librarian Luis Herrera has long held professional leadership positions, both in the State of California as well as nationally. As former President of the Public Library Association (PLA) Board, he was instrumental in negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement between PLA and the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) that institutionalized and provided funding for Every Child Ready to Read, a widely adopted and successful national library program model.

San Francisco Public Library patrons have long benefited from Herrera’s leadership and focus on children’s services. He has supported the development and deployment of many child-friendly programs, including robust childcare provider service; Baby Rhyme Time, Lapsit Storytime, and Stay And  Play; the first multi-year partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District; and procured an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for a Teen Digital Media Center.

As a member of the IMLS Board of Directors, Herrera endorsed the 2012 partnership between IMLS, the Office of Head Start, and the Administration of Children and Family’s (ACF) Office of Childcare, as well the Growing Young Minds project. Herrera’s collaborative work also helped create a partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and the support of a 2012 IMLS research brief, Children’s Services at Public Libraries: A Port in the Storm.

Luis Herrera is a long time and active member of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, since his graduation from the University of Arizona until today. He also was recognized as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year in 2012.