Monsters vs Aliens - Teen Movie Day - January 6th

When a meteorite from outer space hits a young girl and douses her with the alien substance Quantonium she is turned into a 48 foot monster. Then she gets taken to a secret government compound where she meets a ragtag group of monsters who have been rounded up over the years. This crew of reluctant heroes is asked to save the earth from the evil alien Gallaxhar in this animated comedy. (2009, 94 mins.)

Movies for teens the first Wednesday each month. Ages 12-18. Snacks provided. For more information, contact Marla at (415) 355-2868.
Wednesday, January 6th, 4-6 p.m.

First Monday Movies - Murder, My Sweet - January 4th

His name is Philip Marlowe, and for the right price he'll follow an unfaithful husband, find a missing bankroll, or spy on a suspicious neighbor. And when he's drawn into a complex web of murder, blackmail and double-dealing, the result is the quintessential film-noir, Murder, My Sweet. Dick Powell shows grittiness and snap as the hard-boiled detective who finds himself ensnared in an elaborate net of murder and deceit. At the center of the mystery is a missing jade necklace and a dim-witted but dangerous thug named Moose (Mike Mazurki) who wants Marlowe to find his lost girlfriend, Velma (Claire Trevor). Directed by Edward Dmytryk. (1944/95mins)

Murder, My Sweet is the first film in this year's First Monday Movies series. The theme for 2010 is Film Noir, a perennial favorite of our audiences. Postwar pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters – what’s not to like? This year we'll be showing classics of the genre, some renowned, some less well known although critically acclaimed.

If you love Film Noir, remember to check out the Noir City Film Festival at the Castro Theatre, January 22-31, 2010.

Monday, January 4th - 6:30 p.m.

Holiday Hours

Excelsior Branch and all other San Francisco libraries will be closed for Christmas Day, Friday, December 25th and New Year's Day, Friday, January 1st.

The library will close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 24th and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st.

Happy Holidays from the staff at Excelsior Branch Library!

For Teens - Make a Friendship Bracelet! - December 23rd

Do you have a friend you want to grant a wish to? Come and learn how to make friendship bracelets that just might have wish-granting powers! Just in time for Christmas. All materials provided. May Hao, a recent graduate of Lowell High School, will be leading this workshop. For ages 12-18. For more information, contact Marla Bergman, Teen Librarian, at or (415) 355-2868.

Wednesday, December 23rd - 4-5:30 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP - Searching the catalog for holiday books

The subject headings used by libraries aren't always the terms you might think of when you begin searching for a book. Here are some search tips to help you find holiday books and materials.

Cooking and baking are very popular this time of year, but if you search for “cooking” you might be missing a world of possibilities because the subject heading used is “cookery” instead of cooking.

So, if you want to find cookbooks for the season, try these subject/keyword searches: “Jewish cookery,” “Christmas cookery,” “Holiday cookery” and “Kwanzaa cookery.” If you would like to find candies or cookies to bake for gifts, try these much simpler subject searches: “cookies,” “baking,” “candy,” or “confectionary.”

If you want to find books and other materials about Hanukkah, do a subject/keyword search for “Hanukkah,” “Fasts and feasts Judaism,” or “Jewish Cookery.” To find children’s books, do a subject search for “Hanukkah -- Juvenile fiction.”

To find Christmas topics, try these subject/keyword searches: “Christmas decorations,” “Christmas stories,” and “Christmas – Fiction.” To find Christmas music on CD, search for”Christmas Music” and limit material type to “Music CD.” If you want to find a movie, search for “Christmas” and limit to material type “DVD/VCD” or “VHS Video.” For more information on searching go to the catalog FAQs (

To find Kwanzaa topics, try these subject/keyword searches: “Kwanzaa decorations,” “Kwanzaa cookery,” and “Kwanzaa Fiction.” To find Kwanzaa music, search for the subject “Kwanzaa songs and music.” The keyword search “Kwanzaa” should give you all the above topics and more.

Midwinter holidays are celebrated all around the world, for more information on additional holidays, see a Librarian.

Tuesday Tips will be taking a holiday until the end of the year and will be returning on an occasional basis starting next year. Happy Holidays from the Excelsior Tipsters.

Vampire Club for Tweens & Teens - December 9th-January 20th

Twilight, Moonlight, Vampirelight! Are you camp Jacob or Edward? How about Dracula or Angel? Come enjoy the Vampire myth in this 7-week Vampire Club with WritersCorps. We will be trading vampire stories and secrets, making vampire greeting cards, letters, bracelets, buttons and much more. Come bite into some fun! Open to tweens and teens.

For more information or to register, contact Marla Bergman, Teen Librarian, (415) 355-2868.

Wednesdays, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
December 9th - January 20th

Teen Winter Reading Contest - December 12, 2009-January 16, 2010

What are you doing over winter break? Why not sign up for the Teen Winter Reading contest? Beginning Saturday, December 12th, come to the Excelsior Branch (or another participating library) and pick up a reading log. Fill out one reading log for every 5 hours you read and you’ll be entered into a raffle for your chance to win cool prizes! The more you read, the more chances you have to win!

Return your reading logs to the Excelsior Branch by Saturday, January 16th. Participation in this program is free. For ages 12 to 18. You must have a library card to enter. For more information, contact Marla at (415) 355-2868.

December 12, 2009- January 16, 2010


TODAY'S TIP - Understanding Statuses

After you have searched the catalog and found just the title you are looking for, how do you tell where, when or if you can get the item? The catalog record gives you all the information you need. The following guide will help you understand statuses, especially during those times when you are searching from home or when the library is closed.

LOCATION: This will give you the name of the Branch and possibly the special section within that branch where the material is located. Each branch is different, but common locations include Adult, New Books, Children and Reference.

CALL NUMBER: This is the number you will use to find the item on the shelf. The same edition of a book, movie or CD should have the same call number at every location in the San Francisco Public Library system. For detail on special collections call numbers and locations, see

STATUS: This tells you about the current status of the book. Is it checked out? Has the book been ordered? Here are the statuses you will see most often:

DUE: If the status says DUE followed by a date, the item is checked out.
CHECK SHELF: Check the shelf for the book, DVD, CD, etc. If it’s not there, ask a librarian for assistance.
ON HOLD SHELF: The item is being held by request of a library user.
MISSING: The item was not on the shelf so it was marked missing. Many missing items turn up, so it's worth double-checking the shelf or asking the librarian for assistance.
IN TRANSIT: This item is being sent from one library location to another.
ON ORDER: The Library has ordered the item from the publisher but has not yet received it.
AT VENDOR: This item is currently being processed by the bookseller.
DAMAGED/REPAIR: This item was damaged and is currently being repaired.

For more information and other statuses, go to

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!