Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Main Library

Twenty years have passed since the San Francisco Main Library first opened its doors to great acclaim on April 18, 1996, and the anniversary is being celebrated with more than 20 lively programs, events and exhibits! In 1988 Friends championed Proposition A, a bond issue that funded $109.5 million to build the new Main Library. The […]

Letters to Myself: Alan Blackman

Alan Blackman has had a long and storied career, as an artist, calligrapher, typeface designer for Adobe, lettering arts instructor, and three years working for the U.S. Post Office at San Francisco’s Rincon Annex. By his own account, however, his most significant work isLetters to Myself. Letters to Myself was a personal project first undertaken […]


By Friends’ Board Member and writer Matt Richtel This true story ends with me sobbing. In public. The story starts five weeks ago, on a Monday night, with a text. I was amid an exciting time, working on a front-page story for the New York Times (my day job) about a controversial new twist involving […]

Call Me Trimtab

By Mary Ellen Hannibal This past Friday I was out in the tide pools at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay, helping Julie Waters and other folks from the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve count nudibranchs.  Nudibranch means “naked gill” and most species look like a piece of drag queen, flagrant blogs with feathery decorations that sit […]

The Elephant, and Everything Else, in Room after Room after Room

By Mary Ellen Hannibal Even though I have written a book about evolution, I confess to kneeling in awe at the concept.  And indeed, having read literally hundreds of papers and books explaining evolution from many a vantage point, I suspect that even brainiac scientists who can sketch out on cocktail napkins the molecular transfer […]

Back Stories: The Gun 1974

By Marcia Schneider It was March of 1974 and I was a freshly minted, newly hired librarian at the San Francisco Public Library, assigned to work at the Anza Branch, located in the outer Richmond District. Anza is only blocks from the western edge of the City, where daily, chilly grey fog funnels in off […]