Earth Month Madness


April is Earth Day, all month long! Join us in making journals and more from a variety of recycled papers.

This is a WritersCorps event led by Aracely Gonzalez. For more information, contact Marla at or 415-355-2868.

Wednesdays, April 4 and April 18, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Teen Movie Day

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 108 min
A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Charlie Kaufman (story & screenplay), Michel Gondry (story), Pierre Bismuth (story)
Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet and Tom Wilkinson

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
4:00 - 6:00 pm

Free movies for teens every first Tuesday. Refreshments provided. Ages 12-18. For more information, contact Marla at or (415) 355-2868.

First Monday Movie for April - "Gun Crazy"

Gun Crazy (1949, 86 minutes)

Bart Tare (John Dall) has always loved guns. He’s fresh out of the army when his friends take him to a carnival. There he meets the perfect girl, Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins), a sharp-shooting sideshow performer. The couple begins a cross-country string of daring robberies, in this variation on the Bonnie and Clyde story. This brilliantly filmed noir film includes an amazing sequence - shot in one long take - of a bank robbery seen from the backseat of the getaway car. Directed by Joseph Lewis.

Monday, April 4, 2011
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Chess Club canceled Saturday March 26 and April 2

Chess Club at Excelsior Branch is canceled this afternoon! We apologize for the late notice. It is also canceled on April 2 because the team will be away at a tournament. Chess club should be back the week after, on April 9.

Triangle Shirt Factory

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. This crime and tragedy was an important event in labor history in the United States. 146 workers, the vast majority young immigrant women, died in the fire. The flimsy fire escape collapsed, the fire brigade's ladders were too short, and many jumped to their deaths from the 8th, 9th and 10th floor windows. Most importantly, the doors were locked to prevent the sweatshop workers from leaving during working hours and the heaps of rubbish everywhere were a fire hazard. The owners of the factory were prosecuted, but acquitted of manslaughter charges. However, the direct result was to strengthen labor safety laws and the cause of the labor unions, particularly the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU).

Remember the Triangle Fire website

Items in the library catalog about the fire and the history surrounding it include books for children and adults, with several works of fiction.

Labor History in the United States in the library catalog

Diane di Prima - Writing for Fun - POSTPONED

Wednesday, March 23

The Excelsior Branch Library regrets to announce that this event has been postponed.

Please watch this space for a future event with San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima.

We like Arundhati Roy

For Women's History Month - we like Arundhati Roy.

Best known for her Booker-winning novel The God of Small Things, she is a writer of essays and a political activist in her native India, where she supports the causes of the poor.

Arundhati Roy in the SFPL catalog.
An interview in the Guardian this January (UK)
An interview on Democracy Now last year
A recent article written by Roy

"What We Like" features weekly recommendations from Excelsior staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we think you might like. If you have something you want to recommend, drop by and let us know!

Teen Texting Contest


Hey, You! With the nimble fingers! Just how fast/accurate are you? Think you’re TXT MSG savvy? In celebration of Teen Tech Week at the library, compete in our texting contest for prizes. Ages 12-18.

Tuesday March 29
1:30-3:30 pm

What We Like

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

This is a book that has stayed with me for decades. I first read it when I was just finding my feminist feet. It is not a perfect book. Few descriptions of utopian visions are. However, the story of Connie Ramos, a poor Chicana forced into a mental institution by her niece’s lying pimp, is compelling. Each dreadful chapter describing Connie’s grim circumstances is followed by the relief offered by a chapter describing Connie’s travel through time and space to an ideal community. This community is Piercy’s feminist vision of what the future could be. The book made me think differently about people with mental illness (is Connie mad or gifted?), and also imagine what my own feminist utopia might be. I reread it recently and it still pulled me in.

Woman on the Edge of Time was a best seller and is a classic of its genre, both for its feminist and for its science fiction elements. There is a lot of material about it on the web.


Marge Piercy’s Website

Amazon reader reviews

"What We Like" features weekly recommendations from Excelsior staff and patrons for Library books, music, movies and audiobooks that we think you might like. If you have something you want to recommend, drop by and let us know!

International Women's Day Centennial

Happy International Women's Day!

According to the first International Women's Day was 100 years ago:
In 1869 British MP John Stuart Mill was the first person in Parliament to call for women's right to vote. On 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years.
At the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen in 1910, Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

The very first International Women's Day was launched in 2011 on 19 March (not 8 March). The date was chosen because on 19 March in the year of the 1848 revolution, the Prussian king recognized for the first time the strength of the armed people and gave way before the threat of a proletarian uprising. Among the many promise he made, which he later failed to keep, was the introduction of votes for women.

In 1913 International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since.

During International Women's Year in 1975, IWD was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments. International Women's Day is marked by a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

March is Women's History Month and there are programs and displays at Excelsior Branch and throughout SFPL.

Check out the timeline at the National Women's History Project.
And the Library of Congress site for Women's History Month.
Ms. magazine has a blog.

Tuesday tip - searching for a series

If you don't want to spoil an ongoing story line by reading the books in a series out of order, how can you sort out which comes first?

You can try searching the Internet. Often the author's website, or that of a fan will tell you. You could try looking for publishing dates, but what if you're looking at dates of reprints and new editions? Another way would be to use one of the library's databases. One I like to use is called NoveList.

Go to our home page:
Under eLibrary there is a link for Articles & Databases
To get to Novelist you can click on N, or choose Books &Literature from the drop-down.

Once you have Novelist open you can see that one of the options to search on is Series. You can type a keyword from the name of the series, or you can type the title of one book in the series, or just type the author's name. When you click on the name of the series, or on the title of one of the books in the series, you will get the list of all titles in the series in order. Each title has a link to the catalog of SFPL so you can check availablity and reserve (hold) a copy.

Here is a video to show how:

If you cannot see the video, please let us know.

Teen Movie Day - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Tuesday March 15, 4:00-6:00 pm

Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series, the film stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman.

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams…literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him.

Tuesday March 15, 2011

4:00-6:00 pm

First Monday Movies - Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole (1951/111 min)
Directed by Billy Wilder

Kirk Douglas plays Chuck Tatum, a former big-time reporter whose reputation is so tarnished he's now at an Albuquerque rag, chasing down local-interest stuff. That is until a local miner gets stuck in a cave, a situation that Tatum not only exploits but actually manipulates, hoping to jumpstart his career. The situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control media circus. Also starring Jan Sterling.

March 7, 2011 6:30 pm

Puppet Art Theater comes to Excelsior

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack has traded his cow for magic wishing beans much to his mother's dismay. In frustration, Jack's mom tosses the beans out the window where they grow into a huge beanstalk. Up the beanstalk goes Jack and the adventure begins!

Tuesday March 15, 2011
2:00 - 2:45 pm