Monthly Archives: January 2016

Library Commission Elects Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi as President

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

Library Commission Elects Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi as President

January 28, 2016, SAN FRANCISCO, CA—

The San Francisco Public Library is happy to announce the election of Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi to the position of President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.  She has been on the Library Commission since June of 2014 when appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee. Dr. Wardell Ghirarduzzi has almost 20 years of leadership experience within California higher education.

“We look forward to having Dr. Wardell Ghirarduzzi’s leadership and vision guiding the Library Commission in such groundbreaking times”, said City Librarian Luis Herrera.

maryDr. Wardell Ghirarduzzi is currently the Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach at the University of San Francisco.  Working with faculty, staff, students and diverse communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, she promotes understanding of diversity as core to the holistic and sustainable higher education organization.  She received her BA in Communication from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, her hometown.  She received her MA in Cross Cultural Counseling from San Diego State University; and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.

“I am so pleased and humbled by the opportunity to serve the city and county of San Francisco community in this new capacity. The San Francisco Library Commission is uniquely situated to lead in the creation of equitable centers of learning which encourage critical convening and mutual discovery. This is an important historical moment for this work, and I am profoundly excited to be part of it”, said Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi.

The San Francisco Public Library Commission is a seven-member commission appointed by the Mayor of San Francisco.  The Commission sets policy and is responsible for the library budget for the San Francisco Public Library system.  Commissioners serve a four-year term.

The Library Commission also re-elected Susan Mall as the Vice-President of the Commission.  Ms. Mall was appointed in February 2013 by Mayor Edwin Lee. Ms. Mall is development professional with a successful track record of leadership, strategic planning and event production for fund-raising, donor relations and marketing efforts.

Author Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son – SF Public Library to Host Book Talk and Signing

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

Author Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son
SF Public Library to Host Book Talk and Signing

Author Talk
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 – 6 pm
San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Adam Johnson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Orphan Master’s Son, San Francisco Public Library’s On the Same Page pick for January/February 2016 will be at the Library’s Koret Auditorium to give a short reading of his acclaimed book, talk about his newest work, Fortune Smiles, a collection of short stories and take questions from the audience.

orphanThe Orphan Master’s Son has been described as “an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.” Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks.  He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive.  Driven to the absolute limit, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress.

adamAdam Johnson, a professor of English at Stanford and a San Francisco resident, is also the author of the short story collection, Fortune Smiles, which won the 2015 National Book Award for fiction.

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

There are currently more than 900 copies of this journey into North Korea checked out at San Francisco Public Library. Don’t miss this insightful program!

San Francisco Public Library Unveils New $1.7 Million Learning Center & Veterans Resource Center

Michelle Jeffers,
(415) 557-4282; (415) 608-1593

San Francisco Public Library Unveils New $1.7 Million
Learning Center & Veterans Resource Center

(San Francisco – January 20, 2015) –Mayor Ed Lee joined with Supervisor Jane Kim and City Librarian Luis Herrera for the grand opening of the San Francisco Main Library’s new $1.7 million, fifth floor learning center, known as The Bridge at Main.

The new center, constructed by San Francisco Public Works, offers programming and information to build literacy skills along with a new Veterans Resource Center, to provide assistance and benefit connections for veterans in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is a true tale of two cities. It has an incredible literate population that supports the literary arts, books and poetry, but also some astonishing gaps. A recent study found that 47% of adults in the city have low literacy skills, and only a fraction are being served,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “This new center is part one of the tremendous and transformative undertaking we are making at the San Francisco Main Library. Our mission is to make sure that all San Franciscans gain 21st century literacy skills and that no one in our community is left behind for lack of resources.”

The Bridge at Main will offer a full complement of adult and family literacy classes, 1-on-1 tutoring, learning differences resource support, plus technology, health and financial literacy programs. The Library’s 30-year-old adult literacy program, Project Read, which pairs learners with volunteer tutors to build English language skills, will also be housed in the new Bridge at Main.

The Bridge at Main also is taking an innovative approach to digital literacy skills, offering classes and resources for 3D printing, sewing, digital animation and more. Thanks to a new financial literacy grant, the center will offer classes to help people learn about everything from establishing a checking account to saving for college and retirement to understanding home loans.

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC), which is offered in partnership with Cal Vets, will allow veterans to be able to learn about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits that may be available to them and their families. The VRC will have a collection of books and other resources for veterans, and provide access to computer equipment for extended periods in order to complete online application and do research.