First Monday Movie at Excelsior, January 7, 6:30-8:30pm

First Monday Movies @ Excelsior continues in the new year! We have selected 12 classic movies from the last 1920s and 1930s including musicals, Marx Brothers favorites and film noir for the 2013 lineup.

Join us on January 7 for The Broadway Melody with Charles King, Anita Page, and Bessie Love; directed by Harry Beaumont (1929, 100 mins)! It was the first musical to win a Best Picture Oscar and stars Anita Page and Bessie Love as two sisters in love with the same man.

Holiday Mysteries display

Are the Holidays too sweet for you? Check out our new display of Holiday Mysteries!

And for even more reading recommendations, check out this long list of holiday mysteries from Winter Park Public Library:

And if mysteries are not your thing, we also have a display of craft books and a winter craft program for adults on Tuesday, December 11, 7-8:30pm. So come on by during this holiday season!

Winter Crafts for Adults, Tuesday, December 11, 7-8:30pm

Join us for an evening of crafting fun. Learn how to finger knit a necklace and decorate it with hand-felted baubles.

Because all materials are provided, space is limited. Please contact Excelsior Branch to reserve a space.

First Monday Movie at Excelsior, December 3, 6:30-8:30pm

The movie for December is The Thin Man (1934, 91 mins) with William Powell and Myrna Loy; directed by W.S. Van Dyke

Nick and Nora Charles, a charming, sophisticated couple, go to New York to enjoy the Christmas holidays and find themselves investigating a murder.

The movie is based on a story by Dashiell Hammett and was filmed in just 12 days for the paltry budget of $231,000. The film became a major box office hit, raking in $1.4 million and getting nominations for both Best Actor and Best Director in the 1934 Academy Awards.

Stay tuned for the 2013 selections of First Monday Movies at Excelsior!

SFPL Librarian Favorite Books of 2012

Are you interested in seeing which books were favorites with San Francisco Public Library librarians this year? Click the link or the picture to find out:

What was your favorite read of 2012? Let us know in the comments! We always like to hear from our readers.

Chair Yoga for Seniors and Adults, Monday, November 19, 1-2pm

Come join us for a chair yoga class!

The class will consist of a combination of chair and standing poses, including breath exercises, and head, neck, shoulder, arm and hand work.

Voting day is November 6! Polls are open 7am-8pm

The Department of Elections encourages all eligible San Franciscans to be a voter!

There are 3 voting methods in San Francisco for the November 6 election:

  • Vote early at City Hall: open every day (8:00 am-5:00 pm weekdays, 10:00 am-4:00 pm weekends, and 7:00 am-8:00 pm Election Day) 
  • Vote by mail: request to vote by mail by October 30 and be sure to return your marked ballot by November 6 at 8:00 pm (mail in time or drop off at any San Francisco polling place on Election Day) 
  • Vote at your polling place: polls are open 7:00 am-8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 6

First Monday Movie at Excelsior, November 5, 6:30-8:30pm

The movie for November is The Great Lie (1941, 107 mins) with Bette Davis, George Brent and Mary Astor; directed by Edmund Goulding.

Two women love the same man, but the child of one is loved and raise by the other in this twist on the love triangle theme.

Mary Astor won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as concert pianist Sandra Kovak.

Excited about the Giants? Check out our new display!

Come by Excelsior Branch and check out one of the many books we have on the Giants to read in between World Series games!

We want to hear from you!

The San Francisco Public Library invites the community to provide input about library opening hours and to give us your ideas about library services and priorities.

The community input meeting for District 11 which includes Excelsior Branch and Ocean View Branch is on

Tuesday, October 30
at Excelsior Branch.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

For a list of all meetings, please click here:

Argentine Tango at the Library, Tuesday, October 16, 7-8pm

Learn about this sultry Argentinean dance! Jurek Mazur of the Academia de Tango Argentina will talk about the history and development of Argentine tango and music. He has taught tango for eleven years using a unique method that he developed.

Dancers from the Academia will perform, demonstrating the beauty of a dance form that is rooted in the urban folklore of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

Do you have questions about voting?

The City and County of San Francisco Department of Elections will be at Excelsior Branch to answer your questions. Register to vote, learn what's on the ballot and apply to be a pollworker for the November 6 General Election.

Date: October 5, 2012
Time: 2-4pm

Ciudad y Condado de San Francisco Departamento de Elecciones estará en la Biblioteca Pública de Excelsior para inscribirlo(a) para votar, aprender que hay en la boleta, y aplicar como trabajador electoral en las Elecciones Generales del 6 de Noviembre.

Fecha: 5 de Octubre de 2012
Hora: 2-4pm


日期: 2012年10月5日
地點: Excelsior 圖書館
時間: 下午2至4時

First Monday Movies at Excelsior, October 1, 6:30-8:30

The movie for October is A Free Soul (1930, 93 mins) with Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore and Clark Gable; directed by Clarence Brown.

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Lionel Barrymore won the Oscar for Best Actor, Norma Shearer was nominated for Best Actress but lost out to Marie Dressler (Min and Bill).

Searching the Internet Class, Tuesday, October 2, 7-8:30pm

There is still space available in the Searching the Internet class on October 2, so sign up to learn how to search the Internet and how to use the library website and catalog. Basic mouse and keyboard skills are required.

This class is part 2 of a three-part computer class series. Part 3 will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 7-8:30pm. Students will learn how to set up an Email account and basic Email functions. You don't need to take all three classes to participate.

Attendance is limited to 10 people. Please contact Excelsior Branch to sign up.

Library Card Design Contest for All Ages! September 4 through October 5

The San Francisco Public Library wants YOU to design the newest batch of library cards! Artists of all ages can submit their designs online at or get a paper submission form at a San Francisco Public Library.

Five winning designs will be featured on new San Francisco library cards issued in 2013. This is your change to put your art in everybody's wallet!

Be Red Cross Ready - Free Disaster Preparedness Workshops in Cantonese, English and Spanish in September

Do you know what to do in an earthquake? How will you reconnect with your family following a major disaster? Do you have the right items in your disaster kit? Every single person in the Bay Area needs to ensure they are personally prepared for disaster. Only in this way will all of us in the community be able to ensure the safety of our families and assist our neighbors.

Cantonese: Saturday, September 22, 3:30pm
English: Tuesday, September 25, 6:30pm
Spanish: Wednesday, September 26, 6:30pm

粵語: 2012年9月22日(星期六), 下午3點半
英語: 2012年9月25日(星期二), 下午6點半
西班牙語: 2012年26日(星期三), 下午6點半

Cómo Preparse para Afrontar los Desastres
Cantonés, Sábado, 22 de septiembre de 3:30
Inglés, Martes, 25 de septiembre, 6:30
Español, Miércoles, 26 de septiembre, 6:30

First Monday Movies at Excelsior on September 10 (2nd Monday due to Labor Day holiday), 6:30-8:30

The movie for August is Suspicion (1941, 99 mins) with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

A handsome playboy meets and marries a shy heiress-to-be. But after their honeymoon, she starts believing her husband is a murderer and fears that she could be his next victim.
Joan Fontaine won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1941. Alfred Hitchcock can be seen making his signature cameo appearance about 45 minutes into the movie, mailing a letter at the village postbox.

Computer Basics for Adults and Seniors, Tuesday, September 4, 7-8:30pm

Learn how to use a mouse, the keyboard and other basic computer function in this class for computer beginners.

This class is part of a three-part computer class series. Part 2 will take place on Tuesday, October 2, 7-8:30pm. Students will learn how to search the Internet and how to use the library website and catalog.

Part 3 will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 7-8:30pm. Students will learn how to set up an Email account and basic Email functions. Basic mouse and keyboard skills are required for parts 2 and 3.

Attendance is limited to 10 people. Please contact Excelsior Branch to sign up.

On the Same Page author reading and talk, Wednesday, August 29, 7pm

Filipino-American author Lysley Tenorio will be at Excelsior Branch to talk about and read from his short story collection Monstress, the On the Same Page city-wide bookclub selection for July/August.

Monstress introduces a bold new writer who explores the clash and meld of disparate cultures. Lysley Tenorio reveals the lives of people on the outside looking in with rare skill, humor, and deep understanding, in stories exploring the fantastical and the realistic, the familiar and the strange.

A book sale and signing follows the event. Please join us for this literary treat!

Cómo resolver el misterio de planificar su jubilación, miércoles, 22 de agosto, de 6:30-8pm

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning, Wednesday, August 22, 6:30-8pm. This program will be in Spanish.

Programa para los hispanohablantes.

La jubilación ya no incluye una pensión garantizada ni un seguro médico de por vida. En efecto, para muchas personas, jubilarse en este siglo y en este país es un misterio. Si usted es una de esas personas que desea planificar - y que está a unos 10 ó 15 años de jubilarse - le recomendamos este programa. Este programa le dará pistas sobre cómo controlar su dinero y sus finanzas de modo que cuando se jubile, cuente con el dinero y el tiempo para disfrutar de esa etapa de su vida. Le ayudará a resolver el misterio que rodea los asuntos financieros después de la jubilación y a descubrir qué cambios puede hacer para asegurar su futuro económico.

Global Lens Films: The Prize (El Premio), Wednesday, August 15, 7-8:30 pm

Under the cloud of a military dictatorship, a young mother and her daughter flee Buenos Aires for the seclusion of a ramshackle cottage along the windy dunes of an Argentine beach. As her mother listens for news from the radio with sad stoicism, restlessly curious seven-year-old Cecilia joins a nearby school overseen by a kindly teacher. A childhood idyll, however, soon becomes contaminated by the general political crisis, as the teacher recruits the class for a patriotic essay contest sponsored by the army—the very people that may have already disappeared Cecilia’s father—in this superbly acted and engrossingly atmospheric drama about innocence in illicit times. Directed by Paula Markovitch. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Una joven madre y su hija, en su huida de la dictadura militar, cambian la ciudad de Buenos Aires por el aislamiento de una casita destartalada en las dunas ventosas de una playa argentina. Mientras la madre escucha las noticias en la radio con triste estoicismo, Cecilia, de 7 años, asiste a la cercana escuela supervisada por un amable maestro. No obstante, este idilio juvenil se ve pronto contaminado por la crisis política general cuando el maestro inscribe a la clase para escribir un ensayo patriótico en un concurso patrocinado por el ejército --las mismas personas que hicieron desaparecer al padre de Cecilia-- Drama espléndidamente interpretado, apasionante y sugerente sobre la inocencia en tiempos ilegales.
Directora: Paula Markovitch
Película en español con subtítulos en inglés.

First Monday Movies at Excelsior on August 6, 6:30-8pm

The movie for August is Morning Glory (1933, 74 mins) with Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., directed by Lowell Sherman.

When a naively innocent, aspiring actress arrives on the Broadway scene, she is taken under the wing of several theater veterans who mentor her to ultimate success.

Katharine Hepburn won her first Oscar for Best Actress for Morning Glory. She went on to win 3 more, for Guess Who's Coming for Dinner (1968), The Lion in Winter (1969) and On Golden Pond (1982).

Excelsior Branch Summer Read SF 2012 Party, Saturday, August 4, 3:30-5 p.m.

All adult participants of Summer Read SF 2012 at Excelsior Branch are invited to our grand finale party!
Enjoy snacks and drinks, meet your fellow readers and librarians and talk about books.

We will also pick and announce the winner of the raffle at Excelsior Branch at the party, so come and see if you are the lucky recipient of a bookstore gift certificate!

We are looking forward to seeing you at the party!

San Francisco Public Library Film Festival at Excelsior Branch, Wednesday, July 25, 6:30-8:30

We are showing So I Married an Axe Murderer as part of the month-long San Francisco Public Library Film Festival. Click here for a complete list of movies.

Charlie MacKenzie (Mike Myers) has a problem with commitment. But when he falls head over heels for smart, sexy, and beautiful butcher shop owner Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis) he marries her without a second thought. The honeymoon is over when he discovers that Harriet’s former husbands have literally lost their heads in this comic thriller.

This cult classic showcases San Francisco locations including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts and Alcatraz.

It makes dough rise, it's alive, it's sourdough! Saturday, July 21, 3:30-5pm

Have you ever wondered how sourdough works and how to make your own?

Teachers from Sour Flour, a Mission bakery dedicated to neighborly bread gifting and bread education, will teach the basics of how flour ferments to create bread.  They will focus on the Starter, and discuss the 5 factors of Time, Temperatures, Hydration, Ratio, and Food.  By learning how to feed and take care of the starter, we can understand how to use it to bake bread.

Library closed on July 4 for Independence Day

All San Francisco Public Libraries will be CLOSED Wednesday, July 4, 2012 for Independence Day. We will resume our regular opening hours on Thursday, July 5, at 10 a.m.


Las bibliotecas públicas de San Francisco estarán cerradas el miercoles 4 dejulio del 2012 Día de la Independencia. Vamos a continuar nuestro horario habitual el jueves, 5 de julio del 2012.

First Monday Movies at Excelsior, July 2, 6:30-8:30

The movie for July is The Killers (1946, 104 min.) with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner, directed by Robert Siodmak.

A thriller based on the Hemingway story about two hit men who become curious about the life and death of the man they were hired to kill.

Robert Siodmak was nominated for Best Director for The Killers in 1946 but lost out to William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives). Another director that lost to Wyler in the 1946 Oscars for Best Director was Frank Capra for It's a Wonderful Life!

Need a Summer Read?

Do you like flowcharts? Do you need a summer reading recommendation? Check out this fun summer reading flowchart with 101 book recommendations compiled by ( Click on the image to get the complete flowchart!

Also don't forget that your librarians at SFPL have compiled several lists with reading suggestions based on this years Summer Read SF theme of San Francisco. You can find a link to them on the Summer Read SF page on our website:

June is Audiobook Month!

Did you know that the library not only has lots of books but lots of audiobooks as well? And did you know that listening to audiobooks counts as reading for our Summer Read SF? We have audiobooks on CD that you can check out at the library and we also have eAudiobooks that can be downloaded through our website and played on a variety of devices like ipods, ipads, smartphones or computers.

So treat yourself to one of the many audiobooks in our collection, for example by browing our monthly list of new titles for audiobooks on CD and eAudiobooks! If you have questions, feel free to ask a reference librarian for help.

Author reading: "Bamboo Women: Stories from Ming Quong, a Chinese Orphanage in California" Monday, June 25, 7-8:30 pm

Please join us for an author reading with Women of Distinction for Humanitarianism winner Nona Mock Wyman who will discuss her new book Bamboo Women: Stories from Ming Quong, a Chinese Orphanage in California.

In 1935, at the age of two, Nona was abandoned at the Ming Quong orphanage in Los Gatos, California. In this groundbreaking book, Nona shares stories of coming-of-age from the women of Ming Quong and how their bonds of love and friendship carried them through life’s challenges.

This program will be in English; a book sale and signing will follow this program.

We are excited about Summer Reading!

Join us and your fellow readers for our Summer Read SF 2012 from June 1 to August 4! All ages can participate, read, win prizes and enjoy special summer reading programs at the library.

You can sign up online from any computer with an internet connection by going to or you can come to the library and have a librarian or volunteer help you sign up.

The theme this year is San Francisco but you can read any book or listen to audiobooks. If you don't know where to start or are looking for a good book to read, check out the reading lists compiled by our librarians for all ages and in several different languages. Also check out the book displays put together by our staff. If you have a book you like and would like to recommend it, write us a short book review either on the Summer Reading website or turn it in on paper at the library.

Here are some of the upcoming programs for June (check back in a few weeks for more exciting programs and coming up in July!):

Wednesday, June 13, 1:30 p.m. Mad Science of Mt. Diablo for kids 6 and older
45 minutes of damatic, high-energy participatory science demonstrations!
Space is limited to 24 participants, please call 415-355-2868 for reservations

Wednesday, June 20, 3 p.m. Duct Tape Wallets for teens
Use colorful duct tape to make a cool wallet to keep your cash and your Clipper card!

Monday, June 25, 7-8:30 p.m. Bamboo Women: Stories from Ming Quong, a Chinese Orphanage in California
Women of Distinction for Humanitarianism winner Nona Mock Wyman will discuss her latest book.

Wednesday, June 27, 3 p.m. Cartooning with Sirron Norris for ages 8-16
Meet the artist who designed this years Summer Reading poster and learn about cartooning!
Space is limited, please call 415-355-2868 for reservations

Wednesday, June 27, 7-8:30 p.m. On Location: The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen
An movie clip-filled program of hilariously horrifying depictions of San Francisco's beloved bridge.

Thursday, June 28, 3 p.m. Interactive music show for children of all ages with Pam Donkin
Singing and fun!
Space is limited, please call 415-355-2868 for reservations

Happy 75th birthday, Golden Gate Bridge

This Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. There will be no bridge walk this time but there are lots of events happening at or around the bridge on Memorial Day weekend. Click here for a listing of official events:

All through May and June you can celebrate this San Francisco landmark by reading the May/June On the Same Page bookclub selection Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge by Kevin Starr.

You can also discover the often hilariously horrifying depictions of the Golden Gate Bridge in the movies at Jim Van Buskirk's clip-filled program "On Location: The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen" at the Excelsior Branch on Wednesday, June 27, 7-8:30 p.m. and at other library locations throughout May and June.

If you would like a taste of Jim Van Buskirk's talk before the program here at Excelsior, read the blog post he wrote for the San Francisco History Center Blog:

And last but not least, don't forget to check out the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection's Golden Gate Bridge photographs

Thank you, Maurice Sendak!

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to children's author Maurice Sendak who died today at the age of 84.

Celebrate his life and revisit some of his beloved creations:

Read about his life and art:

Or watch some short movie clips about his life, art and family
Maurice Sendak on his life, work and inspiration from the Rosenbach Museum & Library
We Are Inseparable from the Contemporary Jewish Museum

What is your favorite Maurice Sendak book? Leave us a comment to share your favorite book with other blog readers!

Chinese Papercutting with Yumei Hou on Saturday, May 19, 3:30-5pm

Artist Yumei Hou will demonstrate traditional Chinese papercutting and talk about Chinese papercuts. These colorful designs have been popular in China for centuries and are often used to decorate walls and windows. Yumei Hou's papercut designs were chosen by the San Francisco Arts Commission for a mural for the Chinatown Central Subway Station.

This event will be in Mandarin Chinese and English.

Please join us for this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month program!

Flying Angels Chinese Dance Performance on Saturday, May 12, 11:15am to 12pm

Dancers from the Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company will perform traditional and modern Chinese dances in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

This program is appropriate for all ages.

Congress On Your Corner at Excelsior Branch on May 9, 5:30-8:30pm

If you are having problems with a federal agency or obtaining your Social Security, Medicare, veterans or other federal benefits, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s office may be able to help. Staff will be available to answer questions about federal agencies, programs and benefits, and to offer any possible assistance.

For more information about Congresswoman Pelosi’s constituent services, please visit

Congress on Your Corner will also be at the Main Library on May 17, 4-7pm and at Visitation Valley Branch on June 13, 4-6:30pm.

First Monday Movies at Excelsior on May 7, 6:30-8:30pm

The movie for May is It Happened One Night (1934, 105mins) with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, directed by Frank Capra.

A romantic comedy about the adventures of a young woman who runs away from her prominent and wealthy family and the brash and cynical reporter who pursues her.

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress, Frank Capra for Best Director.

Excelsior Branch Library Arts and Culture Salon on Wednesday, April 18, 7-8:30pm

Join us for a slide show and lecture on Georgia O'Keeffe by art historian Marlene Aron.

From her large, sensuous flowers and her expansive, beautiful landscapes, to her soaring skyscrapers and starry nights, Georgia O'Keeffe created a uniquely personal art with a vision that was clearly her own. She captured the very essence of everything she drew and painted. During this lecture, view over 100 slides of the art of Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as photographs by her husband, noted photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

First Monday Movies at Excelsior on Monday, April 2, 6:30-8:30pm

The movie for this month is Morning Glory (1933, 74 mins) with Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; directed by Lowell Sherman.

When a naively innocent, aspiring actress arrives on the Broadway scene, she is taken under the wing of several theater veterans who mentor her to ultimate success.

Katharine Hepburn won the Oscar for Best Actress in only her third movie role in 1933.

Queens, Maidens, Matriarchs: The African Woman in the de Young on Saturday, March 31, 3:30-5pm

African women are honored for many things: for their unending toil; for mothering the next generation and nourishing the group; for upholding tradition and protecting belief. Artists over the centuries have celebrated their beauty and power. This slide lecture presents women of past and present, those who honored tradition and those who are leading the way to equality, freedom and justice.

Please join us for this Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco slide show and lecture in celebration of National Women’s History Month.

Excelsior Film Fest Short Film Series, Tuesday, March 20, 7-8:30pm

The Excelsior Film Festival Short Film Series is a monthly event showcasing short films by local and independent film artists.

This month's special feature is Waqaynan. Director Ariel Soto will be our special guest for the Q&A session.

The Tinku is a controversial and violent ritual that divides the Quechua community of Piruani. Some of the natives believe this celebration goes against their Christian beliefs and prosperity. Others believe in the deep cultural tradition that celebrates nature through personal sacrifice. The blood in the Tinku is a sublime act.

Ariel Soto has produced, written and directed independent films covering a variety of cultural and social subjects. His work has been screened at international film festivals.

 7-7:30pm Film for general audience
 7:30-7:45pm Intermission 7:45-8:30pm PG13 film

 Children under 13 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

First Monday Movies at Excelsior on Monday, March 5, 6:30-8:30pm

The movie for this month is Morocco with Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper, directed by Josef von Sternberg.  A cabaret singer arrives in Morocco and continues her wicked career by enslaving all the men in sight, until she finally falls in love.

Morocco was nominated for Best Actress (Marlene Dietrich), Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography in 1930 but lost out to Marie Dressler in Min and Bill, Cimarron and Tabu. Watch the movie and decide for yourself if it deserved and Oscar or not!

Excelsior Film Festival Short Film Series, Tuesday, February 21, 7-8:30pm - Animation Special with Karl Cohen

The Excelsior Film Festival Short Film Series is a monthly event showcasing short films by local and independent film artists.

This month is an animation special with Karl Cohen who will be there for the Q&A session. Come and watch a number of recent animation shorts that are being considered for the Academy Awards for Best Animated Short of 2011.

Karl Cohen is the president of ASIFA-SF, the Bay Area's chapter of the International Animation Association. He teaches animation history at San Francisco State University. He also writes regularly for several film publications and is the author of Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America.

7-7:30pm Film for general audience
7:30-7:45pm Intermission
7:45-8:30pm PG13 film

Children under 13 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Please join us for this free event.

City of Secrets: An Author Event with Kelli Stanley - Wednesday, February 15, 7-8:30pm

Join us for this month's Excelsior Branch Library Arts and Culture Salon with local mystery author Kelli Stanley. She will talk about her latest novel, City of Secrets, the second mystery in the Miranda Corbie series set in 1940s San Francisco (after City of Dragons). Tough-talking PI Miranda Corbie searches for the killer of two young women, both brutally murdered with an anti-Semitic slur written in blood on their bodies.

A book sale and signing will follow this event.