Monthly Archives: March 2016

San Francisco Main Library Turns 20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2016
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
415 557-4282; Michelle.Jeffers@sfpl.org

San Francisco Main Library Turns 20

Twenty years have passed since the San Francisco Main Library first opened its doors to great acclaim on April 18, 1996, and that anniversary is being celebrated with more than 20 lively programs, events and exhibits.

Today, the Main is busier than ever, greeting more than 1.8 million visitors each year, and checking out close to two million items. The Main Library is open more than 3,000 hours a year.

atriumAnniversary day on April 18 will feature music, refreshments, performances and more, starting at 12:30 p.m. on the Larkin Street steps of the Main Library at 100 Larkin Street. In honor of the original 1996 opening events, the anniversary celebration will feature a performance by BANDALOOP, a pioneer in vertical performance. Under the artistic direction of Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP re-imagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires wonder and imagination. BANDALOOP has performed for sold out crowds at sites throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Additional Selected Events:

April 8: Library Treasure Hunt starts in the atrium of the Main Library at 12 p.m. Participants will explore undiscovered gems of knowledge and complete mini-challenges at six or more stops throughout the building.

April 12: The Matter of Black Lives will feature comedian and activist Sampson McCormick, poet Amanda Johnston, and social justice activist and popular culture scholar and writer Shawn Taylor, who will discuss their views on the current state of Black America. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6 p.m.

April 13: A distinguished panel of architects will discuss Twenty Years: A Renaissance of Library Architecture. Learn how architecture reflects the evolution of library services with Marsha Maytum, Mark Schatz, Cathy Simon, John King, and Charles Higueras. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6 p.m.

April 26 and 28: Save Your Stuff and Pass it On. Learn how to preserve your precious personal memories and archives. Books & Paper, April 26; Photos: April 28. Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room, 6 p.m.

Selected Exhibitions:

Animal House: Anthropomorphic Selections from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor. Have some fun with an exhibition showcasing animals behaving like humans in cartoons, comics and literature from artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. April 1 – May 31, Main Library, Skylight Gallery. (see also: http://sfpl.org/releases/)

Queerest.Library.Ever. #Hormelat20. Selected items are drawn from the Hormel LGBTQIA Center from its archival collections of personal papers and organizational records, including rare posters, photographs, correspondence, documents and objects. April 16 – Aug. 7, Main Library, Jewett Gallery, Skylight Bridge, and Hormel Center, plus Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch. (see also: http://sfpl.org/releases/)

Main Library at 20. Exhibition includes original blueprints, photographs, reports, press packets, and newspaper accounts from the planning, construction and opening of the Main. April 18 – June 30, Main Library, San Francisco History Center.

Note to Editors:  Photos and graphic images available.

Animal House: Anthropomorphic Selections from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor – Annual exhibition opens April 1

For Immediate Release
March 2, 2016

Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282; Michelle.Jeffers@sfpl.org

Animal House: Anthropomorphic Selections
from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

Annual Exhibition opens April 1

April 1 – May 31, 2016
Main Library, Skylight Gallery

Animal House: Anthropomorphic Selections from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor, an exhibition showcasing animals behaving like humans in cartoons, comics and literature, opens April 1, in the Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, Main Library.

A literary device appearing in 18th and 19th century political pamphlets and news sheets, as well as magazines of humor and satire, anthropomorphic or humanized animals are part of the 21st century commonplace. The burgeoning movement away from moralizing children’s books toward the shaping of books with more entertainment value represents some of the largest appeal to readers of all ages (think Dr. Seuss and descendants).

Many people are familiar with the comics section of the newspaper, a significant literacy tool as well as popular entertainment. For San Francisco Bay Area readers at least eight strips with humanized animals appear in our local newspapers. From nursery rhymes, fairy tales and children’s books, to political humor and a wide assortment of cartoons and comics from international sources, we recognize and celebrate the mischievous activities of anthropomorphic animals. They carry on just like we do!

Join the fun as we feature a selection of materials, showcasing the renowned, and little known, comic artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Animal House continues through May 31.

“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. The collection has grown to more than 22,000 volumes and includes periodicals and audio-visual materials; it is considered the most significant collection of its kind in a public library. Every year, the Book Arts & Special Collections Center presents an exhibition based on materials in the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor, in tribute to Mr. Schmulowitz’s generosity and lifelong interest in the Library.

RELATED PROGRAMS AT THE LIBRARY

The Art, Music and Recreation Center presents Yackety Yak: Animals Talk Back, the Thursdays at Noon Video Series, in the Koret Auditorium:

April 7 – A Wallace and Gromit Double Feature: A Grand Day Out and Curse of the Were-Rabbit
April 14 – The Adventure of Milo and Otis
April 21 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
April 28 – Ponyo

Publicity poster for Rum Pum Pum by Hans Fischer (1961)
Publicity poster for Rum Pum Pum by Hans Fischer (1961)