Tag Archives: San Francisco

What happens when libraries are asked to help the homeless find shelter

“In 2008, the San Francisco Public Library considered a very unusual question. How, they asked the city’s homeless, can our library better serve you?  Officials weren’t looking for book club ideas. Over the past decade, the shrinking social safety net has turned many libraries into major care providers for the underprivileged. The homeless, in particular, rely on libraries for daytime shelter. It’s a big job, one that libraries — perpetually cash-strapped and understaffed — aren’t sure they’re equipped to handle. (via The Washington Post)

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S.F. library rolls out Biblio Bistro for lessons on cooking

“Seven years ago, a tiny garden of mixed greens and vegetables was planted in the children’s area at the Mission Branch Library. But the kids were befuddled about what to do with the produce.That’s when program manager Lia Hillman realized there was a disconnect between healthy food and the ability to cook it, especially for youngsters and families using hot plates in single room occupancy units. So the former chef bought a Charlie Cart — a mobile kitchen equipped with burners, an oven and utensils — and set out to teach library patrons how to saute, sear and score.” (via SFGate)

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Librarians Stop Stabbing, Kick Ass in General

“If there’s one thing we’ve learned this fall, it’s that you don’t fuck with librarians. (Just ask Airbnb how that went for them.) So it should come as no surprise that the staff of the San Francisco Public Library, in between helping people access all the knowledge in the universe and setting up cool programs and stuff, are legitimate action heroes.” (via SF Weekly)

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An idiosyncratic library squirreled away in SoMa

“It’s difficult, very likely even impossible, to explain the Prelinger Library without also discussing its founders, Megan and Rick Prelinger. In so many ways, the library is them. “It is a map of our shared consciousnesses,” Rick says. Each object is a reflection of their interests, the organizing principals follow their own streams of consciousness, even the way the library exists — quietly, almost hidden, but open to all — is a direct representation of their “punk ethos.” “It’s a collaborative project that has its roots in each of our individual practices,” Megan says. “I think we were each drawn to ephemeral evidence of everyday life and cultural history and what elements of cultural history are being overlooked or what kinds of stories could be found in the kinds of literature nobody is reading anymore.” (via SF Chronicle)

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25,000 librarians in S.F. to debate future of their business

“For years, Luis Herrera has fought against the perceived demise of public libraries. The city librarian at San Francisco’s Main Library on Larkin Street has heard it all: Libraries are becoming obsolete. People are too busy with their iPads and iPhones. E-books are cheap. Technology is too great and any information people need can be found on Google. But to Herrera, technology is not a threat. It’s a way to make San Francisco’s public libraries more relevant than ever. “We have always applied technology,” Herrera said. “It is a tool, not the end of our mission. We have used it to advance access to information and resources. Technology is an ally for accessibility.” More than 25,000 library professionals are coming to San Francisco Thursday through Tuesday to discuss the changing role of libraries at the American Library Association conference — the biggest such gathering in the world. The sessions, held at the Moscone Center, will focus on how libraries can remain relevant in the digital age.” (via SF Gate)

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At new teen library space, nobody’s hissing ‘shh’

“Klaine Justo, 18, traced her fingertip across a seemingly normal glass windowpane. Six orange dashes and a tiny gallows magically appeared on the smart screen. The youth gathered in the Mix — the Main Library’s new $3.9 million teen center that opened Thursday — began shouting out guesses for the mystery word in the game of Hangman. “Koala!” cried Chazorae Bell, 15. “No, oracle! Coconut?” “It’s six letters, not seven,” said Samantha Chang, 18. “Wait, I think there’s one more vowel in there.” Justo drew tiny arms and fingers on the stick figure. On the other side of the glassed-in space, a small crowd of library patrons stopped to spectate.” (via SF Chronicle)

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S.F. library writes new chapter on solving homeless dilemma

“We hope you’re sitting down for this. It turns out battles between city officials and homeless advocates over the rights of transients can sometimes be resolved with — drumroll please — compromise, compassion and common sense. Wait, what? We told you about a year ago that the Library Commission, at the urging of Mayor Ed Lee, was set to adopt a stronger Patron Code of Conduct with firmer penalties for breaking the rules. The Main Library has long had a problem with transients using it for napping, drug dealing, exposing themselves and taking baths in the restroom sinks. Believe it or not, past incidents have included a man answering the call of nature on books and another smashing a computer with a hammer.” (via SFGate)

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Report: SF library unruliness occurs most during midweek afternoons

“Months after the San Francisco Public Library tightened up rules for patrons, a new report has highlighted the areas where the library has been falling short in addressing security. But library officials say the report’s 11 recommendations either have been or are being implemented.The library had increased security and implemented new regulations following a rash of violent acts, a move that drew criticism from homeless advocates.Amid the pressure to stamp out the disruptions among the bookshelves, library officials asked the City Controller’s Office to analyze its security resources and strategies. Mayor Ed Lee had also paid a site visit in January, calling for improved patron conduct.” (via San Francisco Examiner)

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The secret stars of the San Francisco Public Library

“We’re sure it’s a bit of a coincidence, but after years of visiting different branches of the San Francisco Public Library, we started to discover that there are some incredibly talented people who work behind the desks, shelve the books and keep order in the world of reference materials. We set out to meet just a few of the astonishing number of musicians, artists and other creative types who dutifully serve the public every day.” (via SFGate)

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Here’s What You (Still) Can’t Do In The Library: The SFPL Revises Their ‘Code Of Conduct’

“When the Chronicle reported that, following a “frosty note” sent to San Francisco Public Library officials by Mayor Ed Lee, the library had come up with “a laundry list of offenses and penalties” for errant library patrons, we were intrigued! How was it possible that, as the Chron reported, the Mayor had to ask the library to create “rules that would moderate the worst problems such as fights with guards, shouting matches, and an unending plumbing clean-ups and repairs in restrooms”? How is it that the library was without these rules before now? As it turns out, they weren’t, according to SFPL spokesperson Michelle Jeffers. She tells SFist that “almost all the rules [Chron staffer Marshall Kilduff] cites in his article are not new. We’ve had these policies on the books for almost a decade now.” (via SFist)

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