San Francisco Public Library Wins Multiple National Awards

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2017 Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky (415) 557-4252;
San Francisco Public Library Wins Multiple National Awards

Library Honored for Public Relations, AIDS Archive Digitalization, Community History Web Training and Promoting Dialogue on Urban Change

  San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Public Library has recently been awarded four prestigious national awards – from the American Library Association, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “I’m proud that we have received national recognition for so many diverse projects," said Luis Herrera, San Francisco City Librarian. “These awards address San Francisco’s role in combatting AIDS, supporting the National Parks, recognizing our community history and being the tech capital of the nation.  Our staff is always looking for better and more innovative ways to serve the community and it’s nice for us and our partners to be rewarded.” The awards are as follows: American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award for “Summer Stride: Read. Create. Explore.” San Francisco Public Library is honored to receive the John Cotton Dana Award for outstanding library public relations for the “Summer Stride: Read. Create. Explore” collaboration with the National Park Service. “Summer Stride” encouraged learning, reading, creating and exploring both inside the library and outside in the region’s majestic national parks with a unique twist on the traditional summer reading program. This wide-ranging initiative featured traditional tracking of time spent reading, enhanced by park trailheads inside library locations and weekend shuttles from neighborhood libraries to national park sites. Through appealing, consistent graphics that were carried through from the promotions to the program itself, the campaign captured the attention of the community, leading to a dramatic increase in summer reading participation. Only eight libraries from across the nation received this award which is managed by the Library Leadership and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association. Each winning library will receive a $10,000 award from EBSCO and the HW Wilson Foundation, the sponsors of this prestigious annual award. Summer Stride 2017 continues this summer, as we offer even more opportunities to visit our National Parks. National Endowment for the Humanities’ award for “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records” The Archives and Special Collections department of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Library, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society, has been awarded a $315,000 implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The collaborating institutions will digitize about 127,000 pages from 49 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area and make them widely accessible to the public online. In the process, collections whose components had been placed in different archives for various reasons will be digitally reunited, facilitating access for researchers outside the Bay Area. The 24-month project, “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records” begins on July 1, 2017. The 127,000 pages from the three archives range from handwritten correspondence and notebooks to typed reports and agency records to printed magazines. Also included are photographic prints, negatives, transparencies and posters. All items selected for digitization will be carefully examined to address any privacy concerns. In the late 1980s, UCSF initiated, with the GLBT Historical Society and other Bay Area archives, the AIDS History Project, addressing the need to forge relationships between historians and the AIDS community to document and preserve the lessons and experience of the AIDS epidemic. Today UCSF, the GLBT Historical Society, and SFPL archivists have selected collections from each archive that will contribute to an understanding of the medical, social and political processes that merged to develop effective means of treating those with AIDS, educate the public about HIV, create social support organizations for those who were often shunned by family and advocate for a community that was dying at an alarming rate. The San Francisco Public Library houses both the City and County of San Francisco city archives and the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center, the first research center for GLBT collections in a public library in the country. In its role as the repository of the city archives, the library receives collections from politicians, including mayors, as well as from city departments, many addressing policy decisions and the creation of the "San Francisco model" in response to the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. Not only will the proposed collaborative project allow greater access to primary source materials that are located only in San Francisco, but it will ensure that these items are digitally preserved for long lasting use. Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program award for “Community Webs: Empowering Public Librarians to Create Community History Web Archives” The Internet Archive, in collaboration with San Francisco Public Library, Queens Public Library, Cleveland Public Library and WebJunction, has received a $338,940 grant to implement a new project titled “Community Webs: Empowering Public Librarians to Create Community History Web Archives.” The award is from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. It’s specifically from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program which supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty and library leaders. The Internet Archive will provide continuing education, training and services to enable 15 public librarians at 15 different libraries to capture historically valuable web materials documenting their local communities. Participating librarians will receive intensive training in a variety of web archiving topics through in-person and online trainings, professional support from experts on web archiving in public libraries and cohort-based activities. Training materials will also be made freely available online for reuse by others. Participants' institutions will be provided with five-year subscriptions to the Internet Archive's Archive-It service, resulting in the long-term preservation of over 35 terabytes of web-published community history materials. The project will empower public libraries to serve as leaders in archiving and providing access to the web-based records chronicling the lives and accomplishments of their communities. National Endowment for the Humanities’ award for the “Public Knowledge” project San Francisco Public Library and our partner the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) have received a $250,000 Public Humanities Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Public Knowledge project. Public Knowledge aims to promote public dialogue on the cultural impact of urban change. Through artist projects, research collaborations, public programs and publishing, it builds new connections between ideas, individuals and communities. Public Knowledge will take place primarily at library branches in San Francisco’s neighborhoods. All activities are free. Public Knowledge will bring together artists, scholars, librarians, community organizers and San Francisco residents. By sharing their varied expertise and creating new knowledge through the project’s activities, participants can learn from each other and, collectively, begin to develop new approaches to strengthening the fabric of civic life.  As part of the exploration into impact of urban change on public culture, the project will explore the following themes:
  • The effect of digital technologies on the circulation of knowledge
  • The evolving civic role of public libraries and museums in American cities
  • The complex cultural history of technological innovation
  • The relevance of public engagement as a form of art
This series of public programs addressing San Francisco’s recent demographic changes and their impact on the city’s public culture began in April and will continue for two years.
May 11, 2017