What Do You Get For Being Mayor of S.F. Library on Foursquare?

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The once and future mayor...
Maybe you know someone -- maybe you are someone -- who must compulsively whip out a phone whenever entering a cafe, restaurant, or bar in order to ensure he or she will remain mayor of said establishment on Foursquare.

It's a fitting metaphor for San Francisco, where many accuse the real mayor of phoning it in, too. But, then again, being mayor of this city is hard. Being mayor of Shotwell's is awesome

A number of San Francisco establishments make it worth your while to meticulously document your every waking movement on Foursquare; there's food, beer, and glory in it for the "mayor" who checks in to said establishment most frequently. And yet, not every outfit is going to shower you with riches for patronizing their wares. Take the San Francisco Public Library. You may not have known that there are mayors of individual library branches. The library sure didn't.


"Who's our mayor?" queried library spokeswoman Michelle Jeffers. Oh, Michelle. You thought you were working for city librarian Luis Herrera. But the real mayor is Kanako Kunieda -- at least at the main branch. Yet you have mayors in the provinces as well. The top man at the Harvey Milk library is Daniel Owen (this is your humble narrator's "home" library; do I owe Owen my allegiance?) The mayor of the Mission library, meanwhile, is Josh Herbach -- who appears to have a photo of a squirrel in his profile. Hey, what happens in La Mission stays in La Mission. You can ascertain who the mayor of your home library is here.

Beyond the sheer joy of being mayor of, say, the Western Addition library -- that'd be you, Paul Lewis -- there's no material reward. Jeffers doesn't even know what they've got that you could have. Free books? That's already there. Free Wi-Fi? The same.

"You don't get to skip the line on the computers," she says.

Apparently, at the libraries, they don't embrace the strong mayor system. Can you become a city manager on Foursquare?




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