Monthly Archives: February 2017

San Francisco Public Library Debuts Performance Arts Festival

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;


San Francisco Public Library Debuts Performance Arts Festival

Live! At The Library – March 2017 Programs


San Francisco Public Library celebrates the performing arts with a new series of city-wide programs, titled Live! At The Library. The series includes 50 events throughout the month of March at all neighborhood branches, showcasing San Francisco’s rich history of the performing arts and embracing diverse forms of entertainment.

Special guests include dance workshops with the San Francisco Ballet, a West African guitar performance by Jesse Sahbi and a special hands-on workshop with award-winning author Jason Reynolds and Youth Speaks’ MC K~Swift.  Events include body percussion and belly dancing, instrument “petting zoos”, marionette shows, special effects and animation classes, rock concerts, Shakespeare plays and more.

Live! At The Library is supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Featured programs

Dance Workshop with SF Ballet
Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m., Children’s Center, Main Library
Monday, March 20, 3:30 p.m., Visitacion Valley, Main Library

Jesse Sahbi, West African acoustic guitarist
Saturday, March 11, 3 p.m., Noe Valley Branch
Friday, March 17, 2 p.m., Marina Branch

Jason Reynolds + TURN UP (The Volume)
Wednesday, March 8, 4:30 p.m., The Mix at SFPL, Main Library

Belly Dance Workshop
Thursday, March 23, 5 p.m., Ingleside

World Rhythms and Chants with Body Percussion
Saturday, March 25, 1:30 p.m., Eureka Valley Branch
Saturday, March 25, 4 p.m., Parkside Branch

Community Music Center Young Musicians – Instrument Petting Zoo
Saturday, March 4, 2 p.m., Richmond Branch

The Fratello Marionettes
Saturday, March 11, 3 p.m., West Portal Branch
Saturday, March 18, 3 p.m., Western Addition

Special Effects Makeup
Thursday, March 30, 3 p.m., Mission Branch

iPad Stop Motion Animation
Wednesday, March 22, 3 p.m., Western Addition Branch

Rock Against Racism – The Mix at SFPL’s House Band
Friday, March 3, 4:45 p.m., The Mix at SFPL, Main Library

Twelfth Night
Saturday, March 11, 2 p.m., Mission Bay Branch
Wednesday, March 15, 6 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch
Saturday, March 18, 2 p.m., Ortega Branch

Find the entire list of programs in the Live! At The Library Program Guide or via the Library’s online calendar.

699,000+ Items Returned During Library Fine Forgiveness Period

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295;


699,000+ Items Returned During Library Fine Forgiveness Period
More than 10,000 patrons had fines forgiven

City Librarian Luis Herrera with Webb Johnson during the return of a 100 year past due book.

699,563 items were dropped off during San Francisco Public Library’s latest fine forgiveness program from Jan. 3 – Feb. 14, 2017. During the six-week period, late fees were waived on all returned books, CDs, DVDs and other materials, regardless of how long overdue.  Included were 12,246 items that were more than 60 days past due. The value of those long overdue items was nearly $236,000.

Among the older items returned in the “We Want You Back” campaign was a collection of short stories titled 40 Minutes Late clocking in at 100 years past due. The book was returned in January to Park Branch, San Francisco Public Library’s oldest branch building. Also returned was Brass, a Novel of a Marriage by Charles Norris with a due date stamp of 1937, making the item 80 years past due. Both books were originally borrowed by the patron’s great-grand parents.

A collection of 19 of the most overdue items are on display it in the atrium of the Main Library.

San Francisco library patrons saved $329,797 in overdue materials fines and more than 5,000 patrons were able to obtain a clean slate on their record.

Ryan Kuang, a sophomore at UCLA and former Board of Advising Youth member, visited the Mix at SFPL on his last day of winter break to say hello to staff and have his fines forgiven. Youth library cards are fine-free, but now that Kuang is an adult he faced over $72 in outstanding fines. After speaking with a library staff member, his record was cleared.

Fine forgiveness is an opportunity for residents to reconnect with the library. The program allows the Library to recover materials and gives patrons with overdue items a clear record. The program aligns with the Library’s commitment to eliminating barriers to service and providing basic access for all San Franciscans, especially those most in need of library services.

To spread the word about the amnesty, SFPL partnered with Recovering the Classics, a crowdsourced collection of original book covers for works in the public domain. Among the titles selected were L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, coupled with the beloved mantra “there’s no place like home.”

Photos and patron contract information for interviews available upon request.



Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander in conversation with Director of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Sheryl Evans Davis

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295


Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander in conversation with Director of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Sheryl Evans Davis

“Children’s book authors have the power to change our imaginations.” – Kwame Alexander


SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, 2017 — Award-winning author, poet and educator Kwame Alexander will share excerpts from The Playbook, a recent collection of poems and verse inspired by notable athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James and Michelle Obama. He will be joined by San Francisco Human Rights Commission Director, Sheryl Evans Davis.

When Alexander received the call in 2015 that his book The Crossover had won the Newbery Medal, he recognized that the two decades spent struggling to make it as a poet had been worth it. “When you’ve been told ‘no’ 20 times, the inclination is to walk out the door,” Alexander told a library audience last year. “Here’s the thing, you’ve always got to say ‘yes’ to yourself.”

Alexander has been describing his uphill battle to literary acclaim to audiences across the country, and the San Francisco Public Library is honored to host the author this Sunday afternoon in the Koret Auditorium for a discussion about his latest work, The Playbook. Alexander often shifts back and forth from conversational speaking to delivering spoken word poetry from his books, and although the subjects of his books make them easy for children to relate (his verse forms often sounds like hip-hop), his live appearances often provide many take-aways for adults as he addresses topics like love and parenting.

Following the event will be an author signing with Alexander and book selling by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.
This event is presented in partnership with Friends of San Francisco Public Library, African American Center, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and Collective Impact.


About Kwame Alexander
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. Kwame writes for children of all ages. Some of his other works include Score in this game of life, Animal Ark, Out of Wonder and Surf’s Up. Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program.


About Sheryl Evans Davis
Sheryl Evans Davis is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC). Director Davis previously served as Commissioner between 2011 and 2016, including a tenure as Vice Chair of the Commission. Prior to joining the HRC, Director Davis was Executive Director of Collective Impact, a community-based organization in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.


Kwame Alexander in the Koret – Feb. 19, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Local residents are first to earn high school diploma through innovative program offered by San Francisco Public Library

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 557-4295

Local residents are first to earn high school diploma through innovative program offered by San Francisco Public Library

Library offers accredited diplomas and career certificates to residents through Career Online High School


SAN FRANCISCO, February 9, 2017 — Kevin Surles, Vinh Tran and Hassan Basbassi are the first San Francisco residents to earn high school diplomas through the Career Online High School program at the San Francisco Public Library.  The library partnered with Gale, a leading provider of library resources and a Cengage company, in 2015 to offer the innovative program in an effort to help the city’s 94,000 adults who lack a high school diploma.

Last weekend, the Library celebrated the first graduates with staff, family and friends in the San Francisco Public Library’s Learning Studio.  “The Library’s Career Online High School program is a great opportunity for individuals seeking a second chance,” said City Librarian, Luis Herrera. “We are impressed by the diversity of the graduates and their drive to improve their lives; all three graduates, upon entering the program, were fully committed to making a better place for themselves, their families and their communities and we are honored to assist these individuals on their roads to success.”

San Francisco Public Library awards scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to earn a high school diploma and advance their careers. Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students are able to graduate in as few as six months by transferring in previously earned high school credits but are given up to 18 months to complete the program.

Hassan and Vinh both majored in Homeland Security, while Kevin majored in Office Management.   “Kevin, Vinh and Hassan’s achievements are a great example of the direct social and economic impact libraries have on their communities, and Gale is proud to partner with them to make it happen,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale.

Residents can learn more about Career Online High School at the San Francisco Public Library, or by visiting the library’s website at

For more photos and requests to speak with the graduates, please contact