San Francisco Public Library will celebrate the reopening of the Potrero Branch Library on March 6 – marking the 14th completed library project in the city’s Branch Library Improvement Program. Located at 1616 20th St., near Connecticut Street, the renovated Potrero Branch Library will add 33 percent more space for neighborhood library services.
The grand reopening celebration will kick off with Chinese lion dancers at the renovated branch. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Library services will start at 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned with Mayor Gavin Newsom, City Librarian Luis Herrera, State Sen. Mark Leno, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin and other city and state officials.
“This branch offers a remarkable skyline view of San Francisco that patrons can enjoy, but it also offers much to enjoy inside the building, including a wonderful children’s area and new teen area for this vibrant family-friendly neighborhood,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “With new technology, additional computers and an expanded collection of material, we can hardly wait to reopen the doors to this spectacular branch.”
The renovation of the Potrero branch included seismic retrofitting to make the building safer in the event of an earthquake and accessibility improvements to meet ADA requirements. A new elevator and an additional staircase were added to access the new program room, which can accommodate Library classes and events as well as after-hours activities for the neighborhood. The creation of an inviting brightly lit children’s area with an interactive Play-to-Learn wall and a new designated teen area were also part of the refurbishment. The renovation was designed by the Library Design Studio in the City’s Bureau of Architecture in the Department of Public Works.
A centerpiece of the branch library is a new sculpture suspended above the library’s main staircase, here and past here by artist Gina Telcocci. The abstract sculpture has many layers of meaning, referencing the unique natural and cultural history of the Potrero Hill neighborhood.
“By restoring and building new libraries, we’re creating jobs throughout San Francisco,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works. “Potrero’s open, expansive views mimic the expanded opportunities, both for work and for knowledge that libraries offer our communities.”
Potrero is the 14th library project to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program, which is funded by a $105.9 million bond measure passed by voters in November 2000. The program is supporting the renovation of16 branch libraries and the construction of eight new library buildings around the City. Project costs for the Potrero Branch Library totaled about $5.4 million.
Over the past two years, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has been working in partnership with neighborhood residents and communities to raise funds, awareness and support for the branch improvements. Friends, together with the Potrero Library Campaign Committee, will contribute approximately $500,000 towards the branch renovations to pay for furnishings, fixtures and equipment—expenses not covered by the bond. For more information on how to support the Potrero Library Campaign, please contact Mary Abler at (415) 626-7512 ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Potrero Branch Library’s opening celebration, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit www.sfpl.org.
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