Monthly Archives: March 2019

National Poetry Month World – Renowned Poets Grace the Library’s Stages

For Immediate Release:  

March 26, 2019

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

National Poetry Month

World renowned poets grace the Library’s stages

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– April is National Poetry Month and the San Francisco Public Library has scheduled abundant programs to entice the entire community. From readings by world renowned poets to films about national poets laureate, from poems in your pocket to blackout poetry crafts, the Library has something for everyone in honor of National Poetry Month.

As San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck writes:

People ask me why poetry?

In this tense time we see larger audiences

People are not just buying more books at more small bookstores

They are coming to feel the poems in person

The way they rattle, as sound through the nouns of our bodies

If you already know why, come to an event

If you don’t know, come feel what it’s about.

The celebration kicks-off on April 2 with a Poetry in Song Concert. Singers perform art-song arrangements of poetry by Victor Hugo, John Masefield, Friedrich Rückert, Albert Samain, Paul-Armand Silvestre, Théophile de Viau and others, with live piano accompaniment by Britton Day.   

On April 9, San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck hosts an event celebrating Maya Angelou with local poets reading their own work, as well as Angelou’s own poems.

On April 11, the Library celebrates National Poetry Month with a screening of short documentary films about two famous Poets Laureate of the United States. Rita Dove: An American Poet is a portrait of the African American poet and essayist who served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. Billy Collins: On the Road with the Poet Laureate is a humorous, engaging documentary about the man who has been called “the first American poet since Robert Frost to enjoy both critical and popular acclaim.” Collins served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003.

For fun, on April 18 neighbors can stop by the Western Addition Branch Library to pick up a poem to carry in their pocket all day. On April 15, teens will cut words from papers and magazines to create their own ransom note poems at the Bernal Heights Branch Library.

Towards the end of the month, poets Tongo Eisen-Martin, Cedar Sigo and Rozalie Hirs each headline a program highlighting their unique verse.Originally from San Francisco, Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker and educator committed to the social transformation of an oppressive society. San Francisco poet Sigo was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest and studied at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. His poetry, along with original artwork, is being displayed on MUNI buses roaming the city. Netherlands-based poet and composer Rozalie Hirs creates poems and musical compositions that are lyrical and innovative, and in both art forms she explores the adventure of listening, reading and imagining.

The Library’s poetry events culminate on April 30 in an Evening of South Asian-American Poetry with poets Athena Kashyap, Tanuja Mehrotra Wakefield, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Geeta Anand.

All programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. Check for book suggestions and calendar listings. Poetry programs are supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.  

National Poetry Month highlights:

Poetry in Song Concert – April 2, 6 p.m., Main Library

Poe Tree Workshop – April 2, 4 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch

Celebrating Maya Angelou with SF Poet Laureate Kim Schuck – April 9, 6 p.m., Main Library

On the Page/Off the Page Open Mic Poetry – April 9, 7 p.m., Park Branch

Poetry Collage and Altered Poetry Workshop– April 10, 3:30 p.m., Portola Branch (For teens and tweens)

BlackOut Poetry – April 10, 4 p.m. North Beach and April 13, 2 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch

Poets on Film: Rita Dove and Billy Collins – April 11, 3 p.m., Main Library

Poem Jam – April 11, 6 p.m., Main Library

Found Poetry Workshop – April 14, 3 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch

Ransom Note Poems – April 15, 2 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch (For teens)

Poem in Your Pocket Day – April 18, all day, Western Addition Branch

Open Mic Poetry – April 19, 2 p.m., Main Library Braille and Talking Book Center

Russian Poems & Verses – April 23, 6 p.m., Richmond Branch

Forum Magazine Celebrates National Poetry Month – April 24, 5:30 p.m., Main Library

Poet Tongo-Eisen Martin: The Price of the TicketApril 25, 6 p.m., Main Library

SF Beautiful, SFMTA and the Poetry Society of America present Cedar Sigo – April 25, 6:30 p.m., West Portal Branch

Poet Rozalie Hirs: Work in StutteringApril 27, 12 noon, Main Library

An Evening of South-Asian American Poets – April 30, 5:30 p.m., Main Library

Mayor London Breed Appoints Michael Lambert as City Librarian


Monday, March 25, 2019

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131



Lambert has served as Acting Librarian since February 2018

San Francisco, CA –Mayor London N. Breed today appointed Michael Lambert to serve as the City Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). Lambert has served as Acting Librarian since the retirement of City Librarian Luis Herrera in February 2018, and previously served as Deputy City Librarian.

During his tenure, SFPL was named the 2018 National Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine. He has championed increased and equitable access to libraries through expanded hours and a fine-free library system.

“I am proud to appoint Michael Lambert to serve as City Librarian and continue the great work he has done during his many years at the Library,” said Mayor Breed.“Through forward-thinking initiatives like eliminating burdensome fees that disproportionately affect low-income and minority residents, the San Francisco Public Library continues to serve as a critical public resource. I am confident that under Michael’s leadership, the Library will continue to expand its commitment to equity and access for all of our communities.”

“I am deeply honored to accept Mayor Breed’s appointment to advance the mission of the San Francisco Public Library,” said Lambert. “I look forward to working with the Library Commission and the passionate, dedicated staff to enhance the quality of life for all residents of San Francisco. San Francisco has the premier urban library in the country and I am humbled to be standing on the shoulders of giants as the next City Librarian.”

In March 2014, Lambert was named Deputy City Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library, overseeing public services at the Main Library and the Library’s network of neighborhood branches. He previously managed library operations at San Mateo County Libraries and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina.

“During the past year, Michael Lambert has exemplified the qualities that San Francisco seeks in its library leader: a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in library programs, strong fiscal oversight of the system, and a dynamic vision for library service innovations. I’m so pleased that we are able to promote from within our staff and elevate Michael to the City Librarian,” said Library Commission President Dr. Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi. “On behalf of the Commission we congratulate him as he embarks on this critical leadership role to serve and uplift the community as patrons of the best library in the nation.”

Lambert began his career in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina at the Richland Library. He is a proud alumnus of the University of South Carolina with a degree in History and earned his Master of Library and Information Science Degree from South Carolina’s College of Library & Information Science.

Michael has been active in working with the California Library Association and serves as a board member for the San Francisco Tech Council. He is also a member of the Our Children Our Families Council. Lambert was born in Seoul, Korea and is the first Asian-American to lead the San Francisco Public Library.

A Tribute to Jeff Adachi in Film 1959-2019 – Library to screen Public Defender’s films March 12 and 13 at Main Library

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2019

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Photo of Jeff Adachi

A Tribute to Jeff Adachi in Film 1959-2019

Library to screen Public Defender’s films March 12 and 13 at Main Library

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– As San Francisco mourns the untimely death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco Public Library announces the free screening of three films: Presumed Guilty, Defender  and America Needs a Racial Facial.

Presumed Guilty: Tales of the Public Defenders chronicles a year of trench warfare in jails, holding cells, courtrooms, law offices and police stations, revealing the criminal justice system as never seen before.  Presumed Guilty is a powerful look at the triumphs, defeats and moral dilemmas of a group of lawyers in the San Francisco Public Defender’s office. It was directed by Pamela Yates and released in 2002 during Adachi’s first run for public defender.

Defender, co-directed by Jeff Adachi and Jim Choi, is a film about the critical role that public defenders play in fighting for racial and social justice in America.  The film takes viewers on a personal and intense tour through the underbelly of the criminal injustice system, seen through the eyes of Adachi, one of the nation’s few elected public defenders. Adachi tells the story of how public defenders came to be, and why they play a critical role as the watchdogs of a system that over-incarcerates people of color and poor people. (2017)

America Needs a Racial Facial is an 8-minute short film about race in America. Written and directed by Adachi, it provides a blur of fascinating images and video – historical and contemporary – depicting both the division and blending that has characterized the history and treatment of people of color in this country. Racial Facial depicts a visual panorama which encompasses the history of oppression and discrimination that has led to continuation of tension, unrest and anger among all Americans. (2016)

Adachi had a passion for filmmaking. In addition to the above films, he directed The Slanted Screen (2006) available free with a library card, You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story (2009) and most recently, Ricochet (2018), a documentary about the Kate Steinle Trial. There will be a tribute to Jeff Adachi at the upcoming CAAMFest in May.

All programs at the San Francisco Public Library are free.

Presumed Guilty – Tuesday, March 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

Defender & America Needs a Racial Facial – Wednesday, March 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Koret Auditorium

About San Francisco Public Library  

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.