Sunday, September 16, 2007

Phil Frank, 1943-2007

On September 13, 2007 San Francisco lost a treasure, and the library lost a true friend. Phil Frank had long supported the San Francisco Public Library including the library and its employees in his comic strip and creating illustrations for library events and commemorations.

Here are a pair of images that Frank created for the Library’s 125th anniversary and for a Library amnesty for overdue material.

Our website has also reprinted the daily cartoon strips that he published in the San Francisco Chronicle celebrating the Library’s 125 anniversary.

The library has a number of works that Phil Frank wrote or illustrated. These include his beloved Farley strips:

Going Local with Farley. (Ten Speed Press, 1991).

I'm Ink Therefore I Am: Farley's San Francisco Chronicles. (Pomegranate Press, 1997) - this collections includes Farley's "other woman," Marian the librarian from his neighborhood San Francisco Public Library branch.

Don't Parade on My Reign: The "Farley" Comic Strip Appearances of "His Williness," San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. (P. Frank, 2003).

Our department also has a file about Phil Frank in our Artists File.

Phil Frank's name was also placed at the upper-most right corner of Nayland Blake's sculpture "Constellation" that runs the length of the Main Library's staircase. It can be viewed from the library's 5th floor

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Get Your Knit Together! Second Session

The summer session of Get Your Knit Together! is ending this month on Saturday, September 15. The Art, Music and Recreation Center will present another session on the third Saturday of each month beginning November 17, 2007 through May 17, 2008.

Get Your Knit Together! is a free 2 hour program that has been meeting once a month since July and has provided basic knitting instruction and supplies to use during class. In addition to new students, this program has also been attended by knitters wanting a place to work on their own projects and share ideas. Many people have brought their own knitting needles so that they could work on their samples between classes.

There will be no class in October. Beginning November 17, the class will move to Latino/Hispanic Room A on the lower level of the Main Library to accommodate more people who want to explore the joys of knitting. Every participant receives a handout which lists knitting websites, library books on knitting and local knitting stores.

Sign up for the next session at the Art & Music Reference desk on the 4th floor. For more information, please check under “Classes” on the Library’s home page.

Check out some of the new library books on knitting:

Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn by Wendy D. Johnson (746.432 J6394w) – A perfect book for every knitter, offering tips for avoiding errors, thoughts for knitting gifts for others, and so much more.

Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen (746.432 C4629k) – Read about knitters who knit for the needy worldwide. Includes 15 patterns for socks, hats, afghans and more.

Speed Knitting: 24 Quick and Easy Projects by Kris Percival (746.432 P4123s) – Speed knit your way through any of these projects in a few hours or a weekend.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Visual Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary is a noteworthy new reference book at the Art, Music and Recreation Center desk. It is a wide-ranging work that displays and demonstrates the components of all kinds of objects, familiar and unfamiliar.

In the area of costume and clothing this dictionary labels and defines the parts of a shoe, differentiates between various kinds of men’s coats and jackets, and even enumerates the varieties of pockets that may appear on a women’s blouses.

Another section illustrates the architectural styles of the ancient Greeks, enumerates the components of the interior and façade of a cathedral, and gives examples of various kinds of roofs.

Other images include diagrams of a SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, a reflex camera, and a digital reflex camera.

This books also includes several pages illustrating musical instruments from around the world.

Almost 150 pages of this 952 page book are devoted to sports and games. It names all of the components of the uniforms for various sorts of sports and recreational activities, illustrates a number of different kinds of playing fields, and even explains the roulette table.

While this is an excellent all-in-one source, patrons with more in-depth visual information should consult more specialized picture dictionaries like the following:

A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching

Handtools of Arts and Crafts: The Encyclopedia of the Fine, Decorative, and Applied Arts by The Diagram Group

Musical Instruments of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by The Diagram Group

Rules Of The Game: The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia Of All Sports Of The World by The Diagram Group

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti, 1935-2007

from San Francisco Opera Programs, November 1967

The opera world lost a legendary performer today. Though Luciano Pavarotti was beloved by opera-lovers everywhere, he had a special relationship with San Francisco. He made his San Francisco Opera debut on November 11, 1967 in the role of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème and appeared regularly throughout the 1970s.

Martin Mayer, in Grandissimo Pavarotti has written:

“The most significant debut for Pavarotti in the rest of the 1960s was in San Francisco, a Bohème with Freni in 1967. Starting in 1972, it would be in San Francisco that Pavarotti would first perform new roles, and a long succession of them, too: Un Ballo in Maschera, La Favorita, Luisa Miller, Il Trovatore, Turandot (“the first and the only time,” Pavarotti notes dreamily), La Giaconda, and Aïda.”

In the same book, Pavarotti told of his love of San Francisco and the San Francisco Opera.

“Adler [Kurt Adler, the San Francisco Opera's musical director] offered me good conductors, good casts, good productions. The city is beautiful, the opera is first-class, first-class.”

The library’s Audio-Visual Center and many library branches have DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs featuring Pavarotti. In the Art, Music and Recreation Center, we also have long playing records.

The library has a number of biographies of Luciano Pavarotti including two books by the artist himself: Pavarotti: My World (from 1981) and Pavarotti: My Own Story (from 1995).

In our score collection we also have The Pavarotti Collection: Fourteen of the Most Famous Arias and Songs and Popular Italian Songs as performed by Luciano Pavarotti.