Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was appointed to the Library Commission in San Francisco on June 3, 1975, according to a fascinating message from James Chaffee, a man who has been watching and correcting that Commission for decades. Chaffee is really the first of the famous civic gadflies that have watched and frequently blown whistles at the administration, directors, and Library Commission of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). He thinks it might have been Pelosi’s first public office, to which she was appointed by Republican Mayor Joseph Alioto. It was another 12 years before she was elected to Congress. Although her time as Commissioner lasted only until April, 1976 when the entire Commission was replaced by a new mayor, we can hope it left her with a positive view of libraries that might even result in improved federal support in the 101st Congress.