Toronto is exactly the same! Where would these people go, what would they do, without us???
The pictures say it all – thanks!!
You can be sure this is going to be “circulating” widely in Toronto Public Library!
This is a fantastic idea! Nyack recently had a sketch mob creating pictures of the town but this would be a wonderful community connection project for the library. Thanks for sharing. Will let you know if anything develops here at the Nyack Library.
This was sent out through the list serve at the University of TN School of Information Sciences and boy am I glad! This was not only informative and inspiring but really beautiful and wonderful in its presentation and delievery! I so want to visit the SFPL!! Thank you so much for sharing such a special place with the rest of the country! SFPL is truly an example for all libraries to follow!
The work with the homeless is an excellent example we should all learn from!! Brilliant idea!!
The fact that the SF Library has a social worker on staff makes me wonder what budget that person’s salary is coming out of : books and materials? librarians’ salaries? It is not very often that a public library gets more money just because they need it.
The fact that there are many children in many towns using the libraries after school is sometimes indicative of the lack of other activities for them and the end result is that the librarians are often expected to not only provide literacy and homework and informational services but also all kinds of recreational activities without benefit of extra staff being hired.
If this social worker is hired with additional funds, be it from the City or from a grant, it is fine and well, but only too often are library staffers expected to take on additional roles while doing their other duties as well.
I’m conflicted everyone talks of how amazing this depiction is and there is no doubt Wendy’s illustrations are beautiful. I LOVE them.
But this series feels a little too… through rose colored glasses for me. As someone who has to work at the library on occasion for often a week or more at a time for research. I can usually handle the first few days and then I get a little sketched out. Constantly worrying about my lugging my huge piles of books and my bags everywhere I go. The smells, the mentally ill talking to themselves or screaming at someone next to them, then having (mostly good but often trying)conversations with those that are mostly well but a little off b/c of their situation, (i.e. transexuals that have been living on the streets for years, my heart bleeds for them) Getting hit on by homeless pimps several times, scared to ride in the elevators, scared to use the restrooms… I could go on but the situation at the public library in SF is abysmal and I don’t see it being fixed anytime soon.
Beautiful and well done! The only issue I have is that our public services and resources are not free. As a society, WE choose to support them with OUR tax dollars. Which, of course, means collecting taxes for such essential resources as the public library!
Thank you for this wonderful & amazing & accurate description of your library. I work on the other side of the bay, in a little branch, and I will share this link with my family & friends so they might understand my job a little better.
I used to make sketches of the children & families that come to our story time, but when I’m at work, I don’t have time to really do it. I’m so glad you chose to focus on ALL the people that come in, but if you have an inkling, an added few pictures of children at story time would be very very sweet, too.
Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us! I think your work is really wonderful.
The interesting thing is that the words and drawings pretty much sum-up the public library I work at in New Zealand, even though my library is much smaller, is on one level and has no security guards. I find that comforting somehow.
San Francisco Public Library is especially awesome with its “open door policy” and with a social worker helping the homeless! Thank you for being an example to me and others who will look at this article!
This made me cry with happiness. You’ve expressed so much of what I love about public libraries – plus it’s a beautiful piece of writing and drawing. If it were a book I would take it out of the library, and then I’d probably buy a copy to keep.
Fabulous storyboard. I hope you make sure that you are making the SF city administrators (and consequently the citizens) aware of all the “social services” activities. The public needs to know that these services are not “free” and that the library is filling a much-needed gap. Does the library get extra money for providing these amazingly progressive services? Don’t stop, but make sure that SF citizens know that the library is taking on something that should be addressed elsewhere (“laundry” and “bathing” facilities). This is certainly a feel-good pat ’em on the back piece, but is not a template for all libraries.
I love the beautiful artwork, and you really capture the essence of a public library. But, we need to stop saying that public services like these are free. They are taxpayer supported. People need to remember that we cannot have great social institutions like public libraries, public schools and public universities without funds.
This is amazing, artistically and socially. The SF Public Library is a model for the rest of the country, from the Deaf & Visually-Impaired services to the in-house social worker for assisting folks who are homeless. Thanks for sharing this.