Welcome to SF, ALA!

ALASan Francisco is hosting the 2015 American Library Association’s Annual Conference this month! There are many wonderful events taking place around the city, and the conference isn’t just for librarians: Fascinating sessions will be on the schedule for library supporters, too!

United for Libraries, the national organization for library advocates and supporters, will be hosting a Nuts & Bolts program on Friday, June 26, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Please join UFL for a day of speakers, discussions, and roundtables. Past SFPL Commissioner Jewelle Gomez will be the keynote speaker. The morning will feature break-out sessions with topics specific to Trustees, Friends and Foundations, while the afternoon features an impressive keynote speaker and panel discussion. The day will end with a social hour hosted by Sage Publications!

Join us also on Saturday June 27, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. for “United For Libraries – Reinventing Members as Leaders.” Friends’ Board Chair Mikiko Huang and Friends’ Board Member Reese Aaron Isbell will be sharing their personal experiences and insight about how they utilize programs and services of United for Libraries and ALA.

And on Sunday, June 18, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.,  Friends’ Acting ED Deborah Doyle is moderating a panel on philanthropy and a presenter at the fundraising session “Getting A Bigger Slice of the Pie.” Friends is also helping tidy the leftover books from the Moscone Center as the conference ends!

For more information about these and other ALA programs, please visit www.ala.org

Beatnik Shindig Events at Readers Bookstore

Beatnik Shindig LogoJoin us in our Readers Bookstore at Fort Mason June 26 – 28 as Friends partners with The Beat Museum for their awesome Beatnik Shindig Conference! Our stores will be stocked with the best of the Beats—lots of Beat treasures such as a special edition of City Lights Journal; Number One (1963).

Events will be held in various locations in North Beach and Fort Mason Center, and is the largest Beat Generation Conference to be held in twenty years. This is a great opportunity for Beat fans to gather, network and interact. The Beats blazed the trail on racial equality, gender equality, gay & lesbian rights and environmentalism.  Their themes of travel, exploration, a search for self and a spiritual quest are truly timeless. Come celebrate the Beats with Friends!

Upcoming FREE events held at Readers Fort Mason June 26, 27 and 28:

Poetry Writing Workshop
Young Scholars Discussing The Beats
How to Self-Publish in 2015
The Politics of Poetry – Jack Hirschman
Delivery is Everything – Developing Your Authentic Reading Voice – Aggie Falk

Please visit for www.beatconference for exact dates & times for these and other Beat Shindig events.

The Mix at SFPL: Grand Opening!

MIX_Postcard_front_smPlease join us on Thursday, June 18 for the Grand Opening of the new teen digital center, The Mix at SFPL! Ribbon cutting begins at 11 a.m. with festivities throughout the day.

The Mix at SFPL is an innovative, youth-designed, 21st century teen learning space that will provide 4,770-square feet of space and equipment for youth aged13-18 to explore, create and develop digital media and computer skills as well as discover and engage with the Library’s traditional books and materials. Using state-of-the-art digital media, video/sound recording, computer and creative maker equipment, teens will be able to expand their imaginations as well as their technology and literacy skills and engage in individual and team projects that promote critical thinking, inventiveness and skill building. In addition to a physical location at the San Francisco Main Library, other youth-focused digital media programs will take place throughout SFPL’s 27 branch libraries in a program called The Mix on the Move.

Friends has helped fund this new teen space at the Main—Laurie Berk, Friends’ Development Manager, was instrumental in persuading the Lurie Foundation to give an important and sizable gift to this project—and has worked with important Bay Area partners, including KQED, BVAC, California Academy of Sciences and more. As with all programs and events at San Francisco Public Library, all activities and services at The Mix will be free.

The Mix at SFPL will serve as a hub of out-of-school learning for youth from the City and the Bay Area.  The space will provide connected learning experiences to not only engage youth and promote learning that aligns with youth-led interests, but will also support youth as they develop necessary 21st century skills.

For more information, please contact Cathy Cormier, Teen Center Manager, (415) 437-4857 or catherine.cormier@sfpl.org.

Follow The Mix at SFPL @themixatsfpl on Instagram!

New Poem by Neeli Cherkovski


another regular day in the empire
of cut glass, another choir dressed
in white, one more skinny old man
shot down while peeking into a flower
dead on the ground, it was another
ordinary day, one of those boring days
of sex changes and mass destruction

we seem useless, we seem dumb
we seem righteous in any way you
slice it, we are dumb to the muse
who entreats across a borderland
of night, one boy alone dancing
on a bomb until he cannot see
where his hand used to be

Best Things of the Week 6/8/15

Best Things of the Week  

by Byron Spooner

June 8, 2015

340[1]Best Thing I Heard All Week: Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (2015): The Velvet Underground spawned many wonderful disciples, think of The Modern Lovers, Television, The Feelies to name a few, and now comes this from Down Under.  Over a primitive beat Maureen Tucker adherents will treasure and a jangle of terse guitars come songs that are at once personal and surreal and will take more than a few plays to figure out, if ever.  Barnett sings in a Lou Reed-ian monotone that is way more expressive than that sounds; where Reed often sounds detached and dispassionate you’ll get with Barnett’s emotional commitment even before you get with the words—it’s what leads to the words. Sometimes I Sit… demonstrates how much new there is to be wrung out of rock ‘n’ roll’s creakiest traditions for musicians attentive enough to look for it.  Along with Parquet Courts/Parkay Quarts, the best rock band going. Read more »

Shakespeare & Co. in Berkeley Closes after 51 Years

Another one bites the dust, I guess, though this seems to leave the door ever so slightly ajar.


Of Mice and Men Survives Censorship Attempt

The morons in Idaho were beaten back.


Get Used to It, a new poem by Peter Sherburn-Zimmer

Get Used to It


Re-entry will be denied

to the bear and the angel

because we love our harmonica.


And the tennis court.

I can’t get there from here

to return the ball.


Telephone calls,

total recall,

we’re all immortal!

…’til we die.


Only the music and the spider

nests in the corners

below the posts…


Following two narratives, three…

we feel twisted

concerned, enfolded.


The cost of

selective imagination:

grey hairs in the keyboard.


Al Jolson. Al Jolson’s birthday,

who was telling me, it was Al Jolson’s birthday

on the wrong day?


Some of the lines

are in the wrong place,

of course.

Bob Kaufman Remembered

Our friends at City Lights published this, thought I’d share it with you. — BJS


The 2015 O. Henry Prize Stories Announced