National Poetry Month - April 2010

What makes the poet the potent figure is that he is, or was, or ought be, is that
he creates the world to which we turn incessantly… Wallace Stevens, 1942

What poetry inspires you? Do you write your own? For National Poetry Month, the Excelsior Branch Library is asking for your participation in this celebration of the written word by featuring the poems that have inspired the people who live, work or hang out in the Excelsior District.

Submit your own poetry, or a favorite poem or quote from a poem, and it may be featured in a display at Excelsior Branch Library during National Poetry Month. Excelsior Librarians will select a few poems from submissions and post them in the display case during the month of April.

Stop by the Excelsior Branch to pick up a submission form and return it by April 3rd. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 9.

For more information about National Poetry Month, check out Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 29.

Teen Movie Day - 2012 - April 6th

A prophecy from the ancient Mayan calendar says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. This apocalyptic sci-fi thriller shows a global cataclysm with cities collapsing and continents crumbling. 2012 tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors including divorced writer and father Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) who joins the race to ensure that humankind is not completely wiped out.

Movies for teens are shown every first Tuesday. Ages 12-18. Snacks provided. For more information, contact teen librarian Marla @ (415) 355-2868.

Tuesday, April 6th - 4-6 p.m.

First Monday Movies - Criss Cross - April 5th

Drifter Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster) returns home after a few years of knocking about following his divorce from good-time girl Anna (Yvonne De Carlo). He gets his old job back driving an armored car, and he tries to rekindle his marriage to Anna, the one woman everyone agrees is poison for him. Anna marries gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea) but Steve clings to his doomed obsession. When Slim catches them together, Steve ad libs plans for an armored car robbery that includes Slim. This low-key thriller tells of two crooks who pull off a heist and then set out to destroy each other. Directed by Robert Siodmak (1949/87 mins)

Monday, April 5th @ 6:30 p.m.

Make a Button! for teens - March 31st

Make a button for your backpack or bulletin board. Create your own images or words, or cut them out from old magazines. All materials provided. For ages 12-18. For more information, contact teen librarian Marla @ (415) 355-2868.

Wednesday, March 31st - 4:30-6 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP: CENSUS 2010 - Have you been counted?

The Excelsior Branch is serving as an Official Census 2010 Question Assistance Center (QAC) from March 19 until April 19.

If you or someone you know needs assistance in filling out your Census 2010 questionnaire, you can come to the Excelsior Branch for assistance in Chinese, Spanish, or English from a Census worker.

QAC Hours of Operation:
Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat, Sun: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Mon & Tues: 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Telephone Questionnaire Assistance (TQA) is also available in the following languages:
ENGLISH - 1-866-872-6868
Chinese: 1-866-935-2010
Korean: 1-866-955-2010
Russian: 1-866-965-2010
Spanish: 1-866-928-2010
Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010

For more information on the 2010 Census, 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!

March Madness - Teen Gaming Tournament - March 22nd

Celebrate Teen Tech Week all month long by competing in SFPL's city-wide Teen Gaming Tournament! Throughout the entire month of March, participating branch libraries throughout the city will be holding video game tournaments. The winners from each participating branch will be invited to the Main Library on Friday, March 26th for the championship play-offs and a chance to win a Nintendo DS! Participation is free. For ages 12-18. For more information, contact Marla, Teen Librarian, at (415) 355-2868.

Monday, March 22nd - 3:30-5:30 p.m.


If you need to book a public meeting room at Excelsior Branch or anywhere in the library system, this is the Tuesday Tip for you.

From the main San Francisco Public Library website, click on the Services Tab and choose Meeting Rooms. Review the size and location of rooms by clicking on either the Main or Branches link under Find the Right Room. If there is a meeting room that fits your needs, read Rules for Community Use or if you represent a City Agency, read Rules for Municipal Use. After this you should also review the items in Meeting Room Policy.

Before filling out your application to use the meeting rooms, you should check the availability of space for your desired date and location. Popular times such as weekends and evenings are often booked far in advance. To check availability, go the library’s main page and click on the Calendar Tab and choose Show All.

If you meet the guidelines, and the room is not already booked, you can proceed with filling out an application. For this, go back to the Meeting Rooms page, and choose Meeting Room Rules and Applications. Click on the appropriate application to open. [You will need to have a PDF reader installed to open the application.]

Once you have completed the application, fax, mail or drop off your application at the branch. Be sure to fill out the form completely and include all your contact information. We will get in touch with you to confirm that your group can use the room.

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!

Abigail Powers Fillmore & the Creation of the White House Library - March 24th

Abigail Powers Fillmore and her husband, President Millard Fillmore, created the first official library in the Executive Mansion. Abigail held salons in the White House, welcoming such cultural and political icons as Jenny Lind, P.T. Barnum, Dorothea Dix, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Winfield Scott, Washington Irving, and William Makepeace Thackeray. In this month's Arts & Cultural Salon, librarian and author Elizabeth Thacker-Estrada presents a slideshow and discussion that illuminates the life of this worthy yet now obscure First Lady.

Wednesday, March 24th @ 7 p.m.

Game Night @ Excelsior - March 17th

You sank my battleship!

Shall we play a game? All ages welcome! Games provided.

Wednesday, March 17th - 6:30-8:30 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP - Preparing for Tax Time

April 15 is fast approaching. A few basic tax forms from the IRS are available to pick up at the Main Library and branches, but instruction booklets and many forms and schedules are available for photocopying. Librarians can also point you to the IRS and Franchise Tax Board websites for downloading forms and instructions, but cannot provide tax assistance or advice.

The Government information Center of SFPL has put together a page with general tax information so that you can find where to get forms, information on organizations providing tax preparation assistance, and other basic information. One of the best resources for finding tax preparation assistance in the SF Bay Area is the United Way’s Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Program, which can also be reached by calling 211.

With the move away from paper, e-filing is increasingly popular.
Franchise Tax Board e-filing:
IRS e-filing:,,id=118986,00.html

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!

In the Neighborhood - Excelsior Teen Center

We stopped by the Excelsior Teen Center (ETC) the other day and had a chance to chat with Suzanne Collins and Donald Armstrong. ETC has a living room atmosphere, and teens were chatting and using the computers. The Center is open from 3-7 p.m. M-F for youth ages 13-24 who live, hang out or go to school in the Excelsior District.

ETC gives youth a chance to participate in leadership development, violence prevention, employment training and placement, and afterschool and summer programs. The Center also offers case management services and GED/CAHSEE programs.

Volunteers at the Excelsior Teen Center staff the Food Pantry every Wednesday from 1-6 p.m. and they serve over 350 people every week. ETC volunteers serve seniors by providing friendly visitors, escorts for medical appointments and help with delivering groceries. If you are a youth interested in volunteering, stop by the Excelsior Teen Center to pick up an application. Or call Janine Hudak, Client Services Coordinator @ (415) 206-2140, ext 130.

What we just learned is that the Excelsior Teen Center is expanding its programming to include a Senior Center beginning mid-March. Senior programming will be available from 9:30-1 p.m. M-F. Seniors and teens are working together to come up with a new name for the Center that encompasses all the communities it serves! The Excelsior Teen Center promotes community action to build a just and equitable community for all.

Check out this great neighborhood resource!

Excelsior Teen Center
4468 Mission Street @ Excelsior
SF, CA 94112
(415) 334-9919

In the Neighborhood features information about people and places in the Excelsior neighborhood that you may already know and love, or that might be new to you. Watch this space!


Today’s Tip is a round-up of resources for standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, GMAT and GED. SFPL provides study guides and standardized tests in book format and online, as well as hosting SAT workshops.

Free SAT Workshops are being hosted by the Excelsior Library (and a few other branches) during the month of March. You must register online to participate. Priority is given to high-school students in their JUNIOR year. Freshmen and sophomores are automatically put on a waiting list. More information and sign up is available at

The LearningExpress Library database has college prep tests, including ACT, SAT, TOEFL iBT, CLEP, AP prep tests and nursing school entrance exams. It also has a variety of GED tests, including Spanish language GED. Grad school tests include GMAT, GRE, LSAT and MCAT. There are also Jobs & Careers practice tests for ASVAB, EMT, cosmetology, nursing, real estate, commercial driver’s license (CDL), etc. Job skills resources include help with writing resumes and cover letters.

If you’ve been reading our Tuesday Tips, by now you know how to get to LearningExpress Library. From the SFPL homepage, click on the eLibrary tab, then Articles & Databases. Choose either the Education category or the Student Resources category from the drop down menu. Create a user name and password, and you can keep track of the tests you've taken and how you did.

If you would like to find a book to study for the test, you can do a keyword search in the SFPL Catalog. With some acronyms, a keyword search on the name of the test alone will be sufficient. For example, “ASVAB” or “GMAT” are unique terms and can be searched easily. However, “SAT” isn’t just an acronym, so you’ll want to add the phrase “study guide” after it. The search would be “sat study guide.”

The College Board offers some free resources online, including the Official SAT Question of the Day™ email, sample practice questions, and a sample practice test.

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!