"What We Like"

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a genuine page turner, a must read for anyone intrigued by complex plots, and explosive twists and turns. The character development is superb; each description conjuring up vivid images of the characters, their interactions with one another, and with time and place as well. While it is unfortunate that the author passed away, I am thrilled to know that there are two more books in the series as I was devastated when I reached the last page.

Altered Books for Teens - Wednesdays

Turn a recycled book into a work of art. Fill pages with favorite images and text and make it your own. Workshops led by a WritersCorps teacher. All materials provided and open to tweens and teens. For more information or to register, contact teen librarian Marla @ (415) 355-2868.

Wednesdays, April 7, 14, 28 and May 5, 12, 19


TODAY'S TIP - Going Places with Your Library Card

San Francisco families with children can now use their library card to visit local museums and attractions for FREE. How does that work?

Just come to the Excelsior or any SFPL Branch and check out a San Francisco Family Pass. The Family Pass program offers one-time free admission to 18 local attractions for up to two adults who must be accompanied by at least one and as many as four children under age 18. Each branch has one pass for every attraction per week, through Dec. 31. When patrons check out a Family Pass with their library card, they have 7 days to visit the selected attraction before the pass automatically expires.

You can even search the catalog to see which branches may have passes available (first come, first served). A keyword search on “check out San Francisco” will return a list of all the attractions. Or you can do a keyword search using the term check out and the name of the attraction, e.g. “check out Exploratorium”, to go directly to the Exploratorium Family Pass.

Family passes are available to be checked out in person ONLY. No attractions can be reserved or otherwise held. You cannot renew passes. The Check Out San Francisco Family Pass program provides opportunities for families to explore some of the wonderful cultural and entertainment attractions available in San Francisco. You can get more information and a list of the 18 participating San Francisco attractions at sfkids.org.

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!

New Moon - Teen Movie - May 4th

In the second installment of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, the romance between mortal and vampire soars to a new level as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) delves deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural world she yearns to become part of. After Bella recovers from the vampire attack that almost claimed her life, she looks forward to celebrating her birthday with Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his family. However, a minor accident during the festivities results in Bella's blood being shed, a sight that proves too intense for the Cullens, who decide to leave the town of Forks, Washington for Bella and Edward's sake. Initially heartbroken, Bella finds a form of comfort in reckless living, as well as an even-closer friendship with Jacob Black. Danger in different forms awaits. Directed by Chris Weitz. Rated PG-13. (2009, 130 minutes)

Movies for teens every first Tuesday. Ages 12-18. Snacks provided. For more information, contact Marla at (415) 355-2868.
Tuesday, May 4th - 4-6 p.m.

First Monday Movies - This Gun For Hire - May 3rd

Hit man Philip Raven (Alan Ladd), kills a blackmailer but then gets paid off by traitor Willard Gates in counterfeit money. Meanwhile, nightclub illusionist Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake), girlfriend of the police lieutenant who is after Raven, is enlisted by a Senate committee to help investigate Gates. Raven meets Ellen Graham on his way to Los Angeles to confront Gates for cheating him. Their relationship evolves from that of killer and potential victim to an uneasy alliance against a common enemy. This is the first screen pairing of Ladd and Lake. From the novel by Graham Greene. Directed by Frank Tuttle (1942/80 mins)
Monday, May 3rd @ 6:30 p.m.

"What We Like"

The Amish Cook's Baking Book by Lovina Eicher and Kevin Williams.

I’ve baked two recipes so far, the Peanut Butter Cookies and Magic Biscuits. Both tasted just like I remembered, having grown up in Pennsylvania. The photos are beautiful, and the stories are charming.


TODAY'S TIP: Finding Consumer Info

A while ago, we had a Tuesday Tip about Consumer Reports magazine, including free online access, at the Library. This Tuesday Tip is about finding independent consumer information on the internet and at the Library.

When searching the SFPL catalog for books, the best keyword phrase to use is “consumer education” followed by the kind of information you want. If you wanted to find out about buying a car, the keyword search would be “consumer education automobiles” and for makeup, “consumer education cosmetics.” If you need further assistance, you can always ask a Librarian.

Bay Area Consumers’ Checkbook is available at Excelsior Branch and many SFPL branches. The Checkbook is a twice-yearly advertising-free magazine providing consumer information on the Bay Area service industries. The Winter 2010 issue featured reports on auto body shops, plumbers, moving companies and more. The Checkbook website at http://www.checkbook.org/ is a fee-based website and includes the most up-to-date information. The Checkbook and website are published by the Center for the Study of Services (CSS), an independent, nonprofit consumer organization.

California has a Department of Consumer Affairs that helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from "unscrupulous and unqualified individuals.” On their website, you can verify the status of anyone licensed in a profession by the state of California, file a complaint, or access other guides on topics as varied as auto repair, identity theft, and product recalls.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) works to “prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.” The website offers practical information on a variety of consumer topics. From advice on buying a car or declaring bankruptcy to making your home energy efficient, the BCP provides practical information and consumer education.

Other consumer organizations include Consumer Action and the Better Business Bureau. There are user-driven consumer advice sites as well as other publications for specific products. And stop by the Excelsior Branch this month to pick up a variety of brochures offered by the CA Department of Consumer Affairs.

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!

Game Night @ Excelsior - April 21st

You sank my battleship!

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

Wednesday, April 21st- 6:30-8:30 p.m.

3D Scrapbook for Teens - April 21st

Celebrate Earth Day by gathering up your favorite mini objects and using them to make and decorate a 3D collage. Just like scrapbooking, we will be using everyday materials like newspapers, magazines, fabric, found objects, small boxes, and acrylic paint. This workshop is for everyone regardless of "artistic" level. For more information or to register, contact Marla at (415) 355-2868.

Wednesday, April 21st - 4-5:30 p.m.

"What We Like"

"What We Like" is a new weekly feature on the Excelsior Blog. These posts are recommendations from Excelsior Branch staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we like and we think you might like them too. Materials for all ages will be included in the recommendations. If you have something you'd like to recommend to others, drop by and let us know!


TODAY'S TIP: POETRY - You can find nearly any kind of poetry you want at San Francisco Public Library. To find poetry, you can do a keyword search for “poetry,” but more than likely you will want to narrow the selection to a specific kind of poetry. Do a subject search for “poetry” and look at the list. If you want to find love poetry, there’s a subject heading just for that.

Popular with kids of all ages, you can find books by Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky in our collection. To find those poems for children, you can do a keyword search for “Children's poetry” or to narrow the selection to a specific kind of poetry do a subject search for “Children's poetry” and look at the list, which includes poetry from African-American to Yiddish. For the younger set, you can also find “nursery rhymes.”

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!

The Legacy Film Series - April 28th

The Arts & Culture Salon presents The Legacy Film Series which showcases older adults telling their stories with eloquence and grace. The films that will be shown are Why, an animated explanation by the filmmaker about why she went to art school in middle age; My Father's Hopes, a poetic and moving short documentary about the filmmaker's father, who studied art as a young man; and Bella Bella, the latest chapter in the life of major Bay Area sculptor, Bella Feldman.
Wednesday, April 28th @ 7 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP: Gardening Books and Programs

How does your garden grow? With the help of San Francisco Public Library, of course.

To find general gardening books, search for “gardening” in the catalog. To get more specific to this geographic area, you can do a subject search for “gardening – California” and then look at the geographic areas available.

If you’d like to eat the bounty of your work, then try searching “vegetable gardening.” A particularly great title for vegetable gardening in the Bay Area is Golden Gate Gardening. Look for the new edition of this soon. The SFPL book selection for this month is Farm City: the education of an urban farmer, a funny and touching look at one woman’s attempt at creating an urban farm.

You might want to search for “container gardening” or even “window gardening” if you, like many San Franciscans, have a small yard. Another keyword search that might be helpful is “small gardens.” If you’re lucky enough to have some space, then “gardens--design” or “landscape gardening” might work for you.

To find information about specific plants, you have to do specific searches, like “rose culture” or “flower gardening” or “bulbs.” One of our favorite new titles is Black Plants: 75 striking choices for the garden.

And if you find yourself facing bugs and other problems, search for “garden pests” or “plant diseases.” Different titles focus on natural solutions and integrated pest management or chemical solutions. We also have many titles on organic gardening.

As a part of San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks program, gardening and living the green life are the focus of many programs, events and classes. For more information, go to http://sfpl.org/greenstacks.

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 Action Group

Have you noticed the beautiful banners in the neighborhood that say "The Excelsior Welcomes the World?" Take a look up when you're walking or driving along Mission Street. This is just one of many projects created by the Excelsior Action Group (EAG) to promote our neighborhood's identity as a multifaceted and vibrant community.

The Excelsior Action Group is a community driven organization that aims to strengthen the Mission Street commercial corridor in the Excelsior District. EAG includes residents, merchants and community organizations of the Excelsior neighborhood.

EAG organizes and presents the annual Excelsior Festival that brings residents together and helps merchants connect with the community. EAG promotes monthly community volunteer projects, which include sweeping and weeding on Mission Street and the side streets, abating graffiti with art, planting sidewalk gardens and other fun projects in conjunction with many volunteer groups, including local schools and colleges.

On Saturday, April 24th, EAG is sponsoring a volunteer work weekend in partnership with Rebuilding Together, to rehab several homes and institutions in the Excelsior. As part of this project, they will also be painting a mural along the 280 overpass between Trumbull and Bosworth, and installing a garden in front of the Dragon House martial arts studio at Persia and Mission.

You can be part of this great organization. The Excelsior Action Group meets the first Thursday of every month from 7-8 p.m. at their office at 4702 Mission Street. They welcome community members to attend meetings and help identify issues relating to the Excelsior District that we can resolve together, strengthening the local economy and supporting our small businesses for the benefit of the entire community.

Check out this great neighborhood resource! Find out how you can make a difference in the Excelsior neighborhood. Contact EAG for more information.

Excelsior Action Group (EAG)
4702 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 585-0110

Cristy Johnston, Executive Director

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!