Monthly Archives: April 2014

Author Lisa See to discuss China Dolls

April 23, 2014

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

Author Lisa See to discuss China Dolls

Join us for an author talk by Lisa See, The New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls, as she discusses her new novel, China Dolls. The program will be held on June 12 in the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

It’s 1938 in San Francisco: a world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition.

The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything. A book sale by Readers Books follows the event.

This program is in connection with the exhibition Forbidden City USA: Chinese American Nightclubs 1936-1970, Main Library, Jewett Gallery, now through July 6.

Author Talk: Lisa See
San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin St.
June 12, 6:30 p.m.

More Days, More Hours at San Francisco Libraries!

April 23, 2014

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

More Days, More Hours at San Francisco Libraries!

San Francisco, CA – Effective May 10, San Francisco Public Library is adding a permanent, additional day of service at three branch libraries.  Glen Park, and Park Branch Libraries will both be open on Sundays and Noe Valley will be open on Mondays, bringing three more San Francisco Public Libraries to seven days per week service.

Other libraries added more hours in December and additional hours will be added to nine branches in May; in total, 39 more hours of library service take effect this fiscal year, 2013-14, in addition to increased hours at three centers of the Main Library.

These new hours also reflect increased service hours for the new North Beach Branch Library, scheduled to open on May 10. North Beach is the final branch to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program, approved in 2000, which built or renovated 24 branch libraries. Nineteen of San Francisco’s 28 libraries are now open every day of the week.

The additional hours are the result of the extraordinary support of San Francisco voters, as well as a year-long assessment of public service hours, which included 11 public hearings, 2,400 patron intercepts, 1,000 online and staff surveys, and 300 non-user surveys.

“One of the goals of the new hours is to improve equity and consistency in library hours throughout the city,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera.

Under the tenure of City Librarian Herrera, who took the helm at the San Francisco Public Library in April 2005, library hours have increased from 1,172 to 1,377 hours per week, an increase of 17.5%. Previous increases occurred in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013.

According to a citywide survey conducted by the San Francisco Controller’s Office in 2013, libraries and library satisfaction continued to register the highest marks among city departments of resident satisfaction, with high satisfaction levels for collections, online services, staff assistance and facilities.

List of Branch Expanded Hours

List of Main Library Centers Expanded Hours

Award-Winning Children’s Book Creator Yuyi Morales to Deliver 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture

April 17, 2014

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

Award-Winning Children’s Book Creator Yuyi Morales to Deliver
2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture

Author and illustrator of celebrated multicultural children’s books presents
Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story

Award-winning Latina author and illustrator Yuyi Morales will be the special guest speaker at the 18th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture on Tuesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. The event will be held at the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. The theme of her talk will be “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story.” The Library invites the public to attend this free event.

As a Spanish-speaking immigrant and new mother who migrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 1994, Yuyi struggled with English and adapting to a new home. She found support in public libraries, where she and her son practiced English by reading children’s books. There she found her life passion writing and illustrating children’s stories, such as Just a Minute; A Trickster Tale and Counting Book; Little Night / Nochecita; Just in Case, and her latest creation, the 2013 Niño Wrestles the World.  Other award-winning books that were illustrated by Yuyi include Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, Los Gatos Black on Halloween, and My Abuelita. In 2009, she illustrated Ladder to the Moon, written by President Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. It earned Yuyi Morales a place as the first children’s book illustrator of Mexican descent to reach the New York Times Best Sellers ListYuyi Morales.

Each year, the San Francisco Public Library’s Fisher Children’s Center, in partnership this year with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the local chapter of the Women’s National Book Association and Bibliotecas Para La Gente, hosts a distinguished author or illustrator of children’s books as guest lecturer. The event honors the pioneering work of the late Effie Lee Morris, San Francisco Public Library’s first coordinator of children’s services.

According to a recent report issued by the Clinton Foundation and its partner, Next Generation, in support of the Too Small to Fail literacy campaign, the development of reading ability in children at an early age has multiple benefits and is the key to their academic future. This is why renowned children’s book author and illustrator Yuyi Morales pursues activities related to her commitment to children’s literature and education by making sure that reading entices children at an early age by creating illustrations that they can identify, as well as stories that celebrate the use of more than one language and Latino cultural experiencesNino Wrestles the World.

As part of Yuyi’s commitment to the importance of early childhood reading and education, she will participate in a series of events and presentations while in San Francisco for the Effie Lee Morris lecture:

Saturday, May 31: Yuyi Morales will attend the day-long Summer Read SF kick-off at the Main Library Children’s Center, 2nd Floor, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco.

Tuesday, June 3, 6 p.m.: Yuyi Morales delivers the 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture: “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story.” Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m.: Yuyi Morales leads a read-aloud of Niño Wrestles the World for children and families. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St., San Francisco.

Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4282;

Bertha Diaz / / 305.962.8226 / Twitter: @berthadiazpr

Note to Editors: High Resolution Photographs of Yuyi Morales and Book Covers are available upon request.

Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese American Nightclubs


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

Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese American Nightclubs

Exhibition Opening
Main Library, Jewett Gallery, April 12 – July 6, 2014

It was the mid-1930s. Prohibition was repealed and the Great Depression was waning, creating new opportunities and setting the stage for the rise of Chinese American nightclubs and performers, which flourished from the 1930s–1960s. Cabarets with names like Forbidden City, Kublai Khan, Chinese Skyroom, China Doll, and the New Shanghai Terrace Bowl were venues where Chinese American singers and dancers could perform regularly, drawing non-Asian patrons, and creating dismay for the elders in Chinatowns across the country, who viewed such performances as immoral.

Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970, curated by award-winning filmmaker Arthur Dong, is a ground-breaking exhibition that chronicles the history and legacy of this little known Chinese American story, including all of its magic and glamour. Mr. Dong, who spent over 30 years researching the clubs and their predecessors, located mainly in San Francisco, but also in New York and Oakland, collected original programs, photographs, print ads and feature stories, and menus and other dining room ephemera that are featured in the exhibition.

Forbidden City chorus line, 1960s

Chinatowns and their inhabitants in the 1930s were at the crossroads of social and political developments. Socially, second and third generations of Chinese Americans were coming of age and seeking a foothold in popular culture, and the clubs created this opportunity. Around the corner, World War II loomed and San Francisco and New York City were to become major ports of call for thousands of service men, creating a new clientele for the clubs.

Among the oldest material to be displayed at Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 is sheet music – dating from 1912 – that features vaudeville singers like Lady Sen Mei (star of pioneer filmmaker James B. Leong’s Lotus Blossom), Chee Toy, Lee Lung Foo (who later played Boris Karloff’s servant in the Mr. Wongfilm series), Jue Fong (the “Distinguished Chinese Tenor”) and the Chinese Syncopators. These examples depict the earliest evidence of Chinese American singers venturing onto the America stage; indeed some of America’s initial nightclub performers originated from vaudeville.

Postcard from the Forbidden City (mid-1940s)

Arthur Dong is a two-time Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow as well as a Guggenheim Fellow in Film. He has served on the boards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Film Independent, OutFest, and the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. His honors include three Sundance Film Festival awards, an Oscar nomination, a Peabody Award, the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award, Taipei’s Golden Horse Award, and five Emmy nominations.

These events are co-sponsored by the San Francisco History Center and the Chinese Center at the San Francisco Public Library, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the California Historical Society, The Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University, Chinese Historical Society of America, Museum of Performance + Design and City Guides and the Center for Asian American Media.

For more information about this exhibition and related programs, please call 415 557-4277.

Additional images available upon request.

Special Programs:

Opening event: Curator Arthur Dong and the Grant Avenue Follies dancers – April 13, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 1:00 p.m.

Author talk: Arthur Dong talks about his new book Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs 1936-1970. – May 6, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. Book sales by Readers Books follows the event.

Chinatown Walking Tour with City Guides: Discover the history of America’s oldest Chinatown. – Saturday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. Reservations required. Email

Meet author Lisa See when she talks about her new book China Doll – June 12, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:30 p.m. Book sales by Readers Books follows the event.

SFPL Partners with Hoopla Digital During National Library Week to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, TV Shows, Music and Audiobooks

Spanish Press Release

San Francisco Public Library Partners with Hoopla Digital During National Library Week to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, TV Shows, Music and Audiobooks

More than 800,000 library card-holders can now borrow dynamic content from their smartphones, tablets and PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (Apr. 14, 2014) – San Francisco Public Library today announced public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music and audiobooks, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital ( The announcement comes in the wake of National Library Week (April 13 – 19, 2014), a national observance, celebrating the contributions of libraries and librarians, while promoting library use and support.

San Francisco library cardholders can now download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets, computers and Apple TV.

“Just in time for National Library Week, we are excited to add new educational and entertaining materials to San Francisco Public Library’s rich collection through hoopla digital’s free streaming music and movies, now available to library users,” said San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera. “By increasing the Library’s online offerings, we are able to provide greater service to our community and a new way for library cardholders to engage with the Library’s amazing resources.”

San Francisco Public Library is the fourth library in California to partner with the service. Current partners include Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Los Angeles Public Library, and County of Los Angeles Public Library. The trilingual library is committed to serving San Francisco’s diverse community and will offer hoopla digital content in variety of languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

“San Francisco is home to a diverse and vibrant tech community and we’re honored to take part in this digital shift by expanding the online and mobile services of San Francisco Public Library,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital. “With hoopla digital, it is our mission to help public libraries meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable. And we continue to secure content deals to expand the offering of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks.”

About hoopla digital

hoopla digital is category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of movies, TV shows, videos, music and audiobooks. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download free dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for over 20 years.

For more information, please contact 800-875-2785 (US) or 866-698-2231 (Canada).

Press Release available in other languages

  • Spanish Press Release
  • Cantonese Press Release
  • Mandarin Press Release

BookWorks 2014 – 15th Pacific Center for the Book Arts Member Show

April 10, 2014

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

BookWorks 2014

15th Pacific Center for the Book Arts Member Show

Exhibition Opens June 21 at San Francisco Main Library

In celebration of the extraordinary books designed, printed and assembled by book artists across the country, the Pacific Center for the Book Arts (PCBA) presents the 15th Triennial PCBA Members Show: BookWorks 2014. BookWorks will be on view in the Skylight Gallery of the Main Library, June 21 – Sept. 6

PCBA logo calligraphy by Georgianna Greenwood, circa 1978


This exhibition includes works by bookbinders, calligraphers, collagists, conservators, illustrators, inkers, letterers, librarians, papermakers, photographers, printers, sign painters, stone carvers, type designers, typographers, wine makers, writers, and zinesters, in the form of broadsides, ephemera, collage and, of course, books.

Highlights of this exhibition include: Oxen.Plough.Bicycle. Photographs & Fragments from a Tuscan diary, 1956-1958, a portfolio of nine gelatin silver prints with broadside, letterpress with hand-set type, by Jack Werner Stauffacher, recipient of the American Institute for Graphic Arts’ AIGA Metal, the highest honor of the design profession; Navigate, Webster’s New World Dictionary and transparent tape, by Judith Selby Lang, co-owner of Electric Works Fine Art Press and Bookstore; and Quickstead, a letterpress book with hand-set type, by Emily McVarish, director of California College of Art’s design graduate program and associate professor of graphic design and writing.

Featured in this exhibition are works by PBCA members from across the country. “Since 1983, I’ve been in most PCBA exhibitions; I am always astonished at the quality and freshness of the work from our members. After some 40 years of designing and making books, I am thrilled by the incredible response of our book arts community,” said Kathleen Burch, PCBA Members Show Chairperson and Co-Founder of San Francisco Center for the Book. “When people come to view the show, they’ll see everything from A to Z – bicycles and recycling, as well as dictionaries from the inside out.”

The Pacific Center for the Book Arts was formed in 1978 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area book artists, workers, and teachers to help support the new directions of their various disciplines, and to provide a vehicle and a focus for education, experimentation and communication in and among their fields. Information about PCBA can be found at

The Members Show – open to all PCBA members – has been the anchor of the organization since the early eighties. The San Francisco Public Library has been the customary host.

This public exhibition is sponsored by the Book Arts & Special Collections Center of the San Francisco Public Library. All events at the Library are free.

EVENT: 15th PCBA Triennial Members Show: BookWorks 2014

LOCATION: Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor, San Francisco Public Library, Main Library, Civic Center

DATES: June 21 – Sept. 6, 2014

VIEWING TIMES: for viewing hours visit

OPENING RECEPTION: June 21, 2014, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.



Bring Your Detective Skills to Find Aisles Full of Books and Prizes at the Annual Spring Book Sale

April 03, 2014

**Photos available upon request**

Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 626-7512 ext. 100


Bring Your Detective Skills to Find Aisles Full of Books and Prizes at the Annual Spring Book Sale

*All proceeds benefit the San Francisco Public Library’s literacy programs for children, teens and adults*

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– Prizes will be stashed among the colossal array of over 250,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyls, and other goodies on sale at the 4th Annual Spring Book Sale.  Even if you don’t crack the riddles and clues leading to the prizes, you still win with all items $3 or less.

WHAT: Friends of the San Francisco Public Library’s 4th Annual Spring Big Book Sale, free and open to the public.

WHEN: Members Only Preview April 15th, 4PM-8PM; Sale April 16th-20th, 10AM-6PM

WHERE: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center

Alert: Clues and Riddles Incoming 

Friends has teamed with the most iconic San Francisco arts organizations, businesses, and restaurants to serve up to three prizes a day.  Daily clues will be broadcast on Twitter and Facebook.  Once the clue pops up, the search begins as shoppers put their wits to use and follow the clues to prize-filled books in the shelves.

To find the clues, check out Friends’ Twitter and Facebook pages during the sale.  The first to find the correct hiding spot wins the prize!

Prizes include tickets to the San Francisco Ballet, the Exploratorium and deYoung Museums, $100 gift certificates to Delfina and State Bird Provisions, and much more.

3,2,1…Spring Book Sale!

With nearly a quarter million books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl, and other media, in over 100 categories, this sale is not to be missed. EVERYTHING is $3 or less.  Hardcover books are $3, paperbacks are $2, and all other media is $1.  All remaining items will go for $1 on Sunday!

The Spring Book Sale is free and open to the public.

All Friends members are invited to the Member Preview & Reception, Tuesday, April 15th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.  Join Friends today and get a first look at over 250,000 books and media!

For more information on attending or volunteering at the Sale, visit or call (415) 626-7500.

Twitter @FriendsSFPL


Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is a member-supported, non-profit organization that fundraises, advocates, and provides financial support for the San Francisco Public Library.  In 1964, SFPL had the first Big Book Sale in Fort Mason.

War Ink: SFPL joins StoryCorps and California Libraries to Honor Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans’ Tattoo Art

March 18, 2014

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

War Ink: S. F. Public Library joins StoryCorps and California Libraries to Honor Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans’ Tattoo Art

Online exhibition to launch on Veterans’ Day

War Ink, an online exhibition of tattoo art of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, will launch on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2014 at San Francisco Public Library and 10 other California libraries, thanks to funding from Cal Humanities and the Pacific Library Partnership.

With nearly 2 million veterans in California and a generation of veterans returning from two wars, this timely and relevant online exhibit will explore the unfiltered record of war that veterans have documented on their bodies. War Ink will consist of a multimedia exhibit of 18 veterans from throughout the state. Each veteran’s story surrounding their tattoos will be recorded by the nationally renowned StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, and their tattoos photographed by Shaun Roberts, whose work has been featured in GQ, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose Magazine and

War Ink is curated by Jason Deitch, the project’s scholar, as well as a former combat medic and sociologist, who co-created War Ink with Chris Brown, Contra Costa County Library’s Project Director. “This project represents both a unique collaboration for cutting edge and relevant cultural programming as well as a powerful context for the authentic and honest voice of veteran culture…reaching into and genuinely interacting with the communities that veterans are struggling to rejoin,” said Deitch.

“San Francisco Public Library is pleased to join our library colleagues in Contra Costa County and throughout the state to present this innovative memorial to our war veterans,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. San Francisco Public Library is the Bay Area home of StoryCorps.

The online War Ink exhibit is tied to San Francisco Public Library’s participation this year in Cal Humanities’ California Reads initiative, War Comes Home. The Library will feature numerous programs and exhibits that explore Veterans’ experiences, and offer discussions around the book What it is Like to Go to War, by Vietnam Marine Sergeant and Rhodes Scholar, Karl Marlantes.

War Ink is made possible through a growing collaborative that includes: StoryCorps; grant-makers Cal Humanities and Pacific Library Partnership; and a cooperative group of library systems, including Alameda Free Library, Contra Costa County Library, Mountain View Library, Oakland Public Library, Sacramento Public Library, San Diego County Library, San Francisco Public Library, San Jose Public Library, San Mateo County Library, Santa Clara County Library District, and Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

StoryCorps founder Dave Isay said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Contra Costa County Library (and others) to celebrate the diverse and vibrant stories of California’s veteran and military community. In doing so, we remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters.”

War Ink was made possible through two grants awarded to Contra Costa County Library. Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, first saw the potential of the project and awarded the library a $10,000 Community Stories grant to supplement StoryCorps’ commitment to record the stories of 18 veterans for the Military Voices Initiative project. Pacific Library Partnership more than doubled the project’s resources with a $15,000 Innovation and Technology Opportunity Grant, allowing War Ink to expand beyond Contra Costa County. Together, these grants created the opportunity for audacious and collaborative cultural programming addressing a relevant social topic.

Veterans interested in the project are encouraged to contact Jason Deitch directly at or 510-593-8423.