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North Beach Library Breaks Ground on New Building

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


Invitation to Cover/Photo Opportunity

North Beach Branch Library Breaks Ground on New Building

WHAT: Mayor Edwin Lee, Supervisor David Chiu, City Librarian Luis Herrera and other officials break ground for the new North Beach Branch Library.

WHEN: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 11 a.m-1 p.m. (speeches to begin 11:30 a.m.)

WHERE: Columbus Avenue and Lombard Street (triangle lot)

WHO: Remarks by:

  • Mayor Edwin M. Lee
  • City Librarian Luis Herrera
  • Supervisor David Chiu
  • Mohammed Nuru, Department of Public Works
  • Phil Ginsburg, Recreation and Parks Department
  • Jewelle Gomez, San Francisco Public Library Commission
  • Scott Staub, Executive Director, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library
  • Julie Christensen, Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground
  • Rev. Norman Fong

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Mal Sharp band; Beach Blanket Babylon performers; other musical entertainment; dignitaries with shovels; North Beach families celebrating new library project.

WHAT: The construction of the new North Beach Branch Library is part of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), which is funded by a $106 million bond measure to upgrade or replace the city’s branch libraries. A separate fundraising campaign by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library will provide new furniture and equipment for the new library. The new North Beach library is being rebuilt as a world-class library with separate children, adult, & teen areas; a large program room; public art; and space to provide expanded library collections, technology and services to the community. Designed by Leddy, Maytum, Stacy Architects and constructed by CLW Builders, this 8,500-square-foot building will provide a seismically safe, universally accessible and environmentally sustainable library facility.

Building Better Libraries for Stronger Communities!

Teens’ Save the Earth

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

October 19, 2012

Teens’ Save the Earth

Hive PopUp Digital Media Workshops for Teens,
Oct. 26 & 27, Ortega Branch Library

Two days of digital media literacy and fun for middle and high school youth (ages 11-18). Media and arts organizations will offer free tools and workshops for youth to play with the web, remix, remake, and recreate to save the earth.

Save the EarthFree digital media workshops including: 3D printing (faces and action heroes); claymation studio; DJ turntable skills; environmental poetry and issues; filming and digital flipbooks; lego building; mobile citizen journalism video-making; multi-plane animation; motion gaming technology and 3D avatars; recording and radio broadcasting; PopCorn and Thimble toolkits.

Save the Earth
Hive PopUp Digital Media Workshops

Friday, Oct. 26, 1-4 p.m. and

Saturday, Oct. 27, 1-5 p.m.

Ortega Branch Library

3223 Ortega St., San Francisco


Handicapped Accessible

Partner organizations: Anticlockwise Arts, Bay Area Video Coalition, California Academy of Sciences, Children’s Creativity Museum, KQED,  Mozilla Hive NYC, Project Level, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center and SCREAM, TILT (9th Street Film Center), Type A Machines, Walt Disney Family Museum, WritersCorps, San Francisco Public Library and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

For more information or class reservations, email or call 415-557-4268.

Vote Now for New Library Card Designs

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

October 17, 2012

Vote Now for New San Francisco Public Library Card Designs

Artwork finalists posted at

Books, bridges, butterflies and batman are among the artwork featured in the Library card design finalists now posted at The Mayor’s Office and San Francisco Public Library created the challenge at ImproveSF to encourage artists of all ages to design the next San Francisco Public Library cards.

Improve SF logoThe public is now encouraged to vote for the library card finalists through ImproveSF is a citywide program that generates opportunities for the City and Country of San Francisco and its residents to work together via online community challenges voted on by the public. Registration at is required to vote for any of the design entries. The deadline for voting is Oct. 28.

Artwork entries were accepted in five categories, divided by grade or age: 2nd Grade and under; 3rd-5th Grades; Middle School; High School; and Adult.  In all, more than 3,600 designs were submitted for the contest and were winnowed to 10 in each category by a panel of judges that included author Lemony Snicket, author/illustrator Ashley Wolff, artist Sirron Norris, Suzee Barrabee, with the advertising firm, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, City Librarian Luis Herrera, San Francisco School Board member Hydra Mendoza, the education advisor to Mayor Lee, and library graphic designer Barbara McMahan.

The winning library card designs in each age/grade category will be announced in November. The five winning designs will be featured on new San Francisco library cards issued in 2013. There are more than 400,000 San Francisco library cards in active circulation. San Francisco Public Library issues about 60,000 new cards each year.

SFPL’s One City One Book 2012

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

October 3, 2012

San Francisco Public Library’s One City One Book 2012

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster

Author Rebecca Solnit in Conversation on Disaster and Democracy with San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Oct. 11, 2012

Rebecca SolnitOne City One Book 2012 program. The featured event of the program will be Oct. 11, 2012, 6 p.m., with author Solnit in conversation with San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, on disaster and democracy. The talk will be at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.

A Paradise Built in Hell explores our need for community and common purpose, which Solnit argues are fundamental to democratic forms of social and political life. Rebecca Solnit is the author of 13 books about art, landscape, public and collective life, ecology, politics, hope, meandering, reverie, and memory. hey include Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, a book of 22 maps and nearly 30 collaborators, Storming the Gates of Paradise; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities; Wanderlust: A History of Walking and many others.

Fire Chief WhiteJoanne Hayes-White was sworn in as the 25th Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department on January 16, 2004. San Francisco is the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. Prior to her appointment as Chief, Hayes-White served as the Director of Training for the San Francisco Fire Department, where she oversaw recruit training, in-service training, continuing education, and Firefighter-Paramedic cross training. Chief Hayes-White has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the City’s Most Influential Women of the Year every year since 2004.

In 2012, as part of the 8th annual citywide book club program, the Library is participating in California Reads, a statewide reading and discussion program created by Cal Humanities in partnership with the California Center for the Book and supported by the California State Library. California Reads encourages Californians from all walks of life to participate in reading and discussion programs and related activities around the theme of democracy in 2012. San Francisco selected A Paradise Built in Hell because of its strong connection to the city and its exploration of the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.

Book coverA Paradise Built in Hell blends reportage and analysis, as it surveys natural and man-made disasters including the ’06 earthquake, the Halifax explosion of 1917, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the Sept. 11th attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. Solnit takes a positive view of human behavior showing that disasters can actually create a sense of community and purposefulness. A community’s typical response to catastrophe is self-organization and mutual aid–truly democracy in action–with neighbors and strangers rescuing, feeding and housing each other.

Through the fall, the Library is offering a number of discussion groups, films, preparedness workshops and more events on the theme of the book. Visit for more information about programs, book club discussion questions and more, and start reading the book now.

An Evening with Lois Lowry


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

October 1, 2012

An Evening with Lois Lowry
Author of The Giver and Son

Tuesday, October 9, 6 p.m., San Francisco Main Library

Lois Lowry’s breakthrough dystopian young adult novel, The Giver, has been read by millions around the world and is assigned reading for thousands of middle school students. The book left many with lingering questions, including: “What happened to Jonas and Gabriel?” and “Is a perfect society possible?” Now Newbery-award winning Lowry has followed up with Son, the final book in The Giver quartet, and will be at San Francisco’s Main Library to discuss this final installment and answer all your questions.

An Evening with Lois Lowry
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 p.m.
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St., Koret Auditorium
Handicapped Accessible

Published in 1993, The Giver is an intriguing story set in a society that is uniformly run by a Committee of Elders. Twelve-year-old Jonas is assigned his life’s work as the Receiver, which gives him the burden of holding the community’s memory. It teaches him the cost of living in an environment that is “without color, pain, or past.” Jonas grows increasingly aware of the hypocrisy that rules his world. With a storyline that hints at Christian allegory and an eerie futuristic setting, Lowry makes real the abstract concepts, such as the meaning of a life in which there are virtually no choices to be made and no experiences with deep feeling.

With Son, Lowry continues to wrestle with the idea of human freedom while completing the story of Jonas and the baby he rescued. Told in three separate story lines, it combines elements from the first three novels into a thought provoking narrative. “Son is a tender conclusion to this memorable story, and definitely the best of the books in this sequence since The Giver itself,” according to School Library Journal  review.

Lowry’s has written more than 20 books for young people including the Anastasia Krupnik series. Her book topics span a wide range, including humor, science fiction and thought-provoking works.  A book signing will follow the discussion at the Library.

Hive Pop-Up Learning Lab

Hive Pop-Up Learning Lab Will Engage
Bay Area Youth in Digital Media

Two-day event in October is first collaborative event for San Francisco Learning Lab partners as grant-funded programs take shape

SAN FRANCISCO (September 26, 2012) – The Bay Area Video Coalition, California Academy of Sciences, KQED and San Francisco Public Library will collaborate on the first San Francisco Hive Pop-Up Learning Lab on October 26-27, 2012. The two-day event will provide local youth the opportunity to engage in digital learning and interactive education with the guidance of Bay Area community and media arts organizations, including Children’s Creativity Museum, TILT, Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center, World Savvy, WritersCorps and more.

Awarded $100,000 in grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the four partner organizations are working toward the ultimate goal of developing a Learning Lab at the San Francisco Main Library, where youth can actively engage in and develop digital media skills that they can build upon and transform into valuable learning tools for life and education.

The MacArthur Foundation has already supported the creation of successful Hive Learning Networks in New York and Chicago, which are dedicated to transforming the learning landscape and creating opportunities for youth.

“While the Bay Area is a hub for technology and innovation, there are thousands of young people in San Francisco who do not have access to digital tools, nor the chance to learn skills that will be critical to thrive in the 21st century; to participate meaningfully in their world and to write their own story,” said Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian for the San Francisco Public Library. “The Library is thrilled to be working with our partners to create these opportunities.”

The San Francisco Learning Lab partners and participating organizations will provide two days of hands-on digital learning, creative collaboration and interactive lessons to develop questions and solve problems around the theme of “Save the Earth.”

The event will be held at the new Ortega branch of the San Francisco Public Library (3223 Ortega Street). On Friday, October 26 from 1:00-4:00 pm, local middle and high schools are encouraged to participate during school hours. On Saturday, October 27 from 1:00-5:00 pm, the event is open to teens and the general public. This is a free event. For more information, please visit

# # #

Media Contacts:

Kelly Mendez, California Academy of Sciences,, (415) 379-5133

Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library,, (415) 557-4282

Happy Birthday Charles Wallace!

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

September 25, 2012



Saturday, October 13, 2 p.m., San Francisco Main Library

A Wrinkle in TimeJoin Litquake and the San Francisco Public Library for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved book A Wrinkle in Time. Writers Rebecca Stead, Hope Larson, Lewis Buzbee, Gennifer Choldenko and John Stephens will talk about how the book inspired them and invite you to share your memories, too. Carla Kozak, Children and Teen Collection Development Specialist at San Francisco Public Library, will serve as emcee.

 50th Anniversary Celebration of A Wrinkle in Time

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2 p.m.
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St., Koret Auditorium
Handicapped Accessible

The authors will be signing copies of their books after the event. The book sale is organized by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library’s Readers Books.

Rebecca Stead is the author of First Light and the Newbery Medal-winner When You Reach Me. Her new novel, Liar & Spy was released in August 2012. Rebecca grew up in New York City where she lives today.

Hope Larson is the author of A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, Salamander Dream, Gray Horses, Chiggers, and Mercury. She won a 2007 Eisner Award. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Find more information at

Author Gennifer Choldenko is best known for Al Capone Does My Shirts, a Newbery Honor book and New York Times bestseller. No Passengers Beyond This Point, her newest novel, is “a wonderfully imagined adventure story.”

Lewis Buzbee is the author of three award-winning novels for younger readers, The Haunting of Charles Dickens, Steinbeck’s Ghost, and Bridge of Time.  He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco.

With a background in television writing (Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls), John Stephens has turned to novels. The Emerald Atlas debuted at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list. Book 2, The Fire Chronicle, releases this October.A Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle in Time

50 Shades of Banned Books

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

September 24, 2012

50 Shades of Banned Books

San Francisco Public Library’s Annual Banned Books Event Takes on 50 Shades of Grey with Bravo TV’s Emily Morse as Moderator

50 Shades of GreySan Francisco Public Library’s annual Banned Books event celebrating the Freedom to Read takes a turn for the grey (and risqué). Join Emily Morse, the San Francisco star of Bravo TV’s newest hit, Miss Advised and host of the podcast Sex with Emily to dissect and discuss The New York Times best seller and much-banned book, 50 Shades of Grey, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 6 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.

Unleash your inner goddess and join us to share your opinions about the 50 Shades phenomena at this Banned Book Club, and celebrate the freedom to read all the erotic fiction you want.

In addition to her podcast hosting duties and stint on Bravo TV, Emily Morse is the author of Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight. She is a former campaign aide who worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. She also directed and produced the award-winning documentary, See How They Run, which follows a notorious San Francisco mayoral race. A book sale by Readers Books will follow the event.

San Francisco Public Library’s event is part of Banned by the Bay celebration. For more information visit

Banned Books Week is an annual event highlighting the importance of the First Amendment and the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the U.S. The Fifty Shades of Grey books trilogy by E.L. James was banned this spring in libraries in three states

The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held nationally from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit According to the American Library Association, there were 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racismPhoto of 50 Shades of Banned BooksPhoto of Banned BooksPhoto of banned books50 Shades of Grey50 Shades of Grey

Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration

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

September 12, 2012

Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration

On view, San Francisco Main Library Skylight Gallery, Sept. 15-Dec. 2, 2012

cover imageA good children’s picture book still has the power to whisk young minds off to another time and place—even in today’s world of computer games and high-definition TV. Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration explores 100 years of bold adventures, classic fairy tales, amazing animals, and imaginative ABCs, all seen through the eyes of 41 artists who created works especially for children.  The exhibition opens Sept. 15 and will be on view through Dec. 2 in the Main Library’s Skylight Gallery, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco

Originating from the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, Draw Me a Story presents 41 original works of art and 12 books in a thematic and nostalgic trip through the history of children’s book illustrators and illustration techniques. The exhibition starts with artists Ralph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway—two of the most popular illustrators of the late 19th century, both of whom now have children’s literary awards named after them – and includes 20th century artists innovators like W.W. Denslow, William Steig and Chris Van Allsburg.

Related Programs:

Author and Illustrator Dan San Souci – Opening event featuring the author of The Christmas Ark, Clubhouse Book, and Capitol Kitty. A book sale by Readers Books follows the event.

Sept. 16, Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room, 2 p.m.

Picturing Alice –The Lewis Carroll Society’s Mark Burstein discusses Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and the many artistic interpretations of this book. With book sale by Readers Books.

Oct. 25, Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room, 6:30 p.m.

Note to Editors: More images available upon request

Public Hearings on Library Hours and Services

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

September 11, 2012

Public Hearings on Library Hours and Services

San Francisco Public Library will be conducting public hearings in each of the city’s 11 supervisorial districts this September and October to obtain community input about library hours and services.

The Library Preservation Fund, renewed by Proposition D in November 2007, requires that the San Francisco Library Commission assess and modify as appropriate the hours of operation of the Main and branch libraries at least once every five years. The public hearings are a key component of this process.

These public hearings will also allow residents to give SFPL their ideas about library services and priorities and allow the Library to present ideas about its future goals and initiatives. Each hearing will have language interpretation provided by the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. We will also provide American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing at each of the 11 public hearings.

Schedule of Public Hearings:

Thursday, September 13, 6-8 p.m., Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch Library (District 1)

Saturday, September 15, 1-3 p.m., San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium (District 6)

Wednesday, September 19, 6-8 p.m., Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library (District 3)

Saturday, September 29, 1-3 p.m., Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library (District 8)

Tuesday, October 2, 6-8 p.m., Bernal Branch Library (District 9)

Tuesday, October 16, 6-8 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch Library (District 10)

Wednesday, October 17, 6-8 p.m., Ortega Branch Library (District 4)

Monday, October 22, 6-8 p.m., West Portal Branch Library (District 7)

Wednesday, October 24, 6-8 p.m., Park Branch Library (District 5)

Saturday, October 27, 1-3 p.m., Presidio Branch Library (District 2) Rescheduled from Sept. 25, 2012.

Tuesday, October 30, 6-8 p.m., Excelsior Branch Library (District 11)