| Branch Library Improvement Bond (BLIP) Program Trundles Along
Jul 14, 2008
The branch renovations are happening all over San Francisco, but in the past year two branch openings and three branch closings are the most likely to impact people in the Mission. The openings include a new branch at 2825 Diamond Street for Glen Park (about half-block from the Glen Park BART station) and the seismically upgraded, totally spiffed up, but historically preserved Noe Valley Branch at 451 Castro Street.
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The nearby branches recently closed for renovation include Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, and Potrero. All three will be completed in 2010. Adventuresome library users may wish to check out the completed renovations throughout the city. There is the totally new branch Mission Bay at 960 Fourth Street at Barry which boasts a water view. Excelsior Branch at 4400 Mission at Cotter was the first renovated branch to be completed. West Portal at 190 Lenox Way, adjacent to the Muni streetcar stop where the L and M streetcars split in their separate directions, boasts the first updated WPA era library. Sunset Branch at 1305 18th Avenue (one block from the N Judah line) is another historic building with a new layout and improved amenities.
Fans of modern architecture will enjoy checking out the newly renovated Marina Branch at 1890 Chestnut or the Western Addition Branch at 1550 Scott (Kaiser members be alerted that you can double bead medical services and library services in one visit).
Two of the neighborhoods that will be getting new branches Ingleside and Portola will be opening in 2009, while the new Visitacion Valley branch will probably open in 2010. These branches, and Glen Park are or were in rented spaces. Also slated to open in 2010 or sooner are Richmond Branch and Ortega Branch.
Branches where renovation is planned, but has not yet begun, include Anza, Golden Gate Valley, Merced, Park, Parkside, and Presidio. Planning for the new Baview and North Beach branches has recently started. For more information call 557-4354.
When the entire project is done all the branches will be seismically safe, have updated electrical and computer wiring, new improve bathrooms, and new paint and flooring. They will be accessible for those with disabilities. They will also have new furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Since the library bond limits the use of money to the actual buildings the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library are raising the money for the furniture, computers, staff furniture and so forth. Each neighborhood develops a local committee for the neighborhood. There is also a city-wide campaign that seeks those with resources for a broader commitment to libraries.
San Franciscans have long been generous and enthusiastic supporters of libraries, particularly branch libraries. We thank them for passing the bonds that support the branch renovations and the propositions on the ballot supporting library funding. Because of you San Francisco will have a robust library system in buildings that reflect the support of the community.
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