SF public library hires bill collector to track down patrons with large overdue fines

From San Francisco Examiner

” Forgiveness has its limits at the San Francisco Public Library.After offering a six-week fine amnesty period at the start of the year in which patrons could return overdue books without having to pay penalties, library officials are now turning over the records of about 13,000 patrons who owe more than $100 in overdue fines and fees to a bill collector, according to report last week from City Librarian Luis Herrera.In the first-ever partnership, the library is paying the Office of Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue $72,714 to collect on debts — some of which are 25 years old — in what’s being called the Collections Initiative Pilot.The Tax Collector’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue is The City’s official debt collector, which goes after people who owe payments for such things as ambulance and hospital bills from San Francisco General Hospital and boasts an average collection rate of 29 percent.“This initiative is the latest in our efforts to remove barriers to access and to address our outstanding liability,” Cathy Delneo, the San Francisco Public Library’s chief of branches, told the Library Commission last week. Those who owe more than $10 are prohibited from borrowing more materials, but they can use other resources like computers.”

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sf-public-library-hires-bill-collector-track-patrons-large-overdue-fines/

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San Francisco Public Library partners with Kanopy, a free streaming platform with 30,000 films

From SF Gate

“The San Francisco Public Library is further embracing technology this week as it debuts Kanopy, an online streaming platform that will allow library guests to watch more than 30,000 documentaries, classic films and rare independent releases. Earlier this year, Kanopy, which is based in San Francisco, introduced the program at the New York Public Library and the Los Angeles Public Library.To use Kanopy, all users need is a valid library card (which San Francisco residents can learn more about here) and an internet connection. Each card holder can stream Kanopy online, on Roku, iOS, and Android (and soon, Apple TV) to watch up to eight films per month on the SFPL’s dime. Film credits are then re-upped on the first of the month.”

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-Public-Library-kanopy-movie-stream-12282357.php

SF Main Library Closes After Person Jumps From Balcony

From SFist

“The San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center was evacuated and temporarily closed Thursday afternoon after a person jumped from one of the balconies into the lobby atrium, possibly in a suicide attempt.The incident happened at 3:43 p.m. according to CBS 5, and the person was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.The library was then closed for the remainder of the day while the incident was under investigation.As the SFPD’s Public Information Officer Grace Gatpandan tells the Examiner, regarding where the person was in the library, “It sounds like they were inside, I don’t know how high up.” The highest balcony in the library is four stories above the atrium lobby.An SFist tipster says this is the first time that such an incident has occurred in the library’s history, since its completion in 1996.”

http://sfist.com/2017/07/28/sf_main_library_closes_after_person.php

New design aims to ‘homeless-proof’ San Francisco library

From KTVU

“It’s been a neighborhood fixture in the Castro for decades. The San Francisco public library branch named after Harvey Milk is just a block from Market Street on the edge of 16th Street, sandwiched by homes and business alike.It’s a popular place for families, but that’s not all. The library has also become a haven for homeless people who spend time inside and use the bathrooms during business hours, and camp out at night.While the inside of the library has become a warm and safe escape from the elements, it has also created big issues for the library.“Someone that was cleaning up, volunteering and cleaning us around the library, got poked by a used syringe,” said one patron who spoke to KTVU outside the library after finding drug paraphernalia laying in the bushes just outside.Library spokesperson Rebecca Alcala-Veraflor said they’ve received reports of thefts in the parking lot, noise complaints, and litter. The library has added lighting, signs, and stepped up security.But it’s a proposal presented during a series of community meetings that has drawn the most criticism. At one of those meetings the library presented a Landscape Architecture plan aimed at making the grounds safer. But critics say the designs are actually meant to push away the homeless with the addition of so-called “defensive architecture” elements, such as hard rocks, spiky plants, and metal railings.”

http://www.ktvu.com/news/268905818-story

SF library celebrates Pride

From The Bay Area Reporter

“The San Francisco Public Library kicks off Pride Month in a big way with book and author talks, rainbow crafts, exhibits, and its beloved Drag Queen Story Hour.”There is no better place to celebrate Pride than at the public library,” said Tom Fortin, a gay man who is chief of the main library. “The public library has often been the singular place where many in the queer community first found acceptance, whether through literature or programming. The Hormel center exemplifies the best public libraries have to offer and we celebrate being the queerest library ever.”The library’s James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center starts Pride month Thursday (June 1) with RADAR Superstars, the annual birthday bash for superstar and emerging writers.”

http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=72652

SF’s branch libraries to expand hours, all to remain open 7 days a week

From The San Francisco Examiner

” Readers have reason to rejoice. So do those who rely on public computers.That’s because all of San Francisco’s 27 library branches will remain open seven days a week come June.While 18 branches are currently opened seven days a week, nine are not. Hours of service will also expand at six other branches currently open seven days a week.The staffing needed to expand the hours was approved as part of the current budget beginning in January, but an acknowledged time-consuming hiring process contributed to the delay.Library officials said last week that they now plan to have the staff hired and the service hours at the branches expanded in June.Seven library branches are currently open six days a week but close on Sundays. These branches — Anza, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Golden Gate Valley, North Beach, Ocean View and Parkside — will soon open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.“I am excited to see the seven branches that are going to be open on Sundays now,” Library Commissioner Zoe Dunning said. “I often get comments from parents who really value weekends to bring their children in, working parents.”Two branches are currently opened six days a week but closed on Mondays. Potrero and Presidio branches will soon be opened on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.Six other branches, already open seven days a week, will see service hours expanded.Head Librarian Luis Herrera said the seven-day a week opening of all branches was a vision sought for many years by the Library Commission, underscoring the significance of the milestone.”

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sfs-branch-libraries-expand-hours-remain-open-7-days-week/

10,000-book giveaway leaves SF teachers with feel-good ending

From SF Gate

” The long gray Potrero Hill warehouse that houses the donation center of the nonprofit Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is usually filled with old books, stacks and stacks of dog-eared tomes, thousands of pounds worth.But thanks to a generous donor, the building was recently filled with brand-new books — more than 10,000 of them, to be given away to public school teachers such as Liana Koehler, who know exactly what to do with them.Koehler, 32, a fourth-grade teacher at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in Chinatown, said that for her students, reading is vital because many are English language learners and school is an important environment for practicing their language skills.“My school has a lot of newcomer students and students who are learning English as a second language. School is where they’re practicing their English, so it’s great to have books that support that,” she said as she perused the thousands of titles stacked on tables.Teachers from elementary schools across San Francisco lined up down the block one day last week for the giveaway, an opportunity to secure new books for students who have little access to printed material at home.”

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/10-000-book-giveaway-leaves-SF-teachers-with-11029034.php