New Release - August 25, 2009

New Ingleside Branch Library Opens Sept. 12

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2009

Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282

New Ingleside Branch Library Opens Sept. 12

New Ocean Avenue branch features community program room, dedicated teen room, inviting children’s area and public art sculpture

The Ingleside neighborhood will come together to celebrate the new Ingleside Branch Library on Sept. 12. Replacing a leased facility on Ocean Avenue and Faxon Street, the brand-new library at 1298 Ocean Ave. at Plymouth Street, will feature an expanded collection of material, a teen room, a children’s area with window seats and skylight, plus a program room accessible after hours for community meetings.

A grand opening celebration will kick off with lion dancers and musicians in front of the new branch. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Library services will start at 2 p.m. Plymouth Street will be closed at Ocean Avenue to through traffic during the event. City Librarian Luis Herrera, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisors John Avalos and Sean Elsbernd and Acting State Librarian/Deputy State Librarian Stacey Aldrich are among the city and state officials planning to attend the opening celebration.

“After being in temporary or leased facilities since 1917, we are thrilled to provide the surrounding Ingleside and Westwood Park neighborhoods with a brand new library that will serve as a hub of this community well into the future,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “The branch’s location at the entrance to the Ocean Avenue commercial corridor and its nearness to neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools as well as City College will make it a grand and welcoming resource for everyone.”

“The Ingleside Branch Library is an inclusive partnership between our community, our non-profit partner and the City. This collaboration allowed Public Works to transform what was once an auto mechanic shop into a dynamic library for every child and adult to enjoy. We are excited to be at the heart of this celebration by helping to deliver a state of the art facility that is accessible for our growing and diverse community,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Public Works.

Designed by Fougeron Architecture/Group 4, the new 6,100-square-foot branch will provide a prominent civic presence on Ocean Avenue, adding to the revitalization of this commercial strip at the nexus of a diverse community. The new branch library facilitates a central gathering space and enhances access to important resources for the neighborhood. The robust, light-filled, and sustainable architectural design highlights the virtues and aspirations of this community: valuing the accessibility of knowledge and education to everyone.

The most striking element of the front façade of the new branch library, positioned prominently at the corner, is an egg-shaped children’s reading room with a large, bench-seat window that encourages use of the library by younger patrons. The children’s room is capped by a high canopy roof, extending over the entry and the lower community room along Ocean Avenue. This roof strengthens the civic presence of the one-story structure.

The Library will be the neighborhood’s first city-owned branch and will be seismically safe and ADA accessible. The new branch will offer more public computers, wireless access, self-checkout machines and also have a flexible design to accommodate future technologies.

Inside, the spaces are designed to fuse historic interpretations of libraries as “temples of knowledge” with more contemporary uses. The sloped ceiling of the space is capped with giant skylights coaxing sunlight deep into the room. Facing the courtyard, mahogany-clad carrels offer quite, intimate spaces to read and relax. Benches are built into the glass edges creating a simple and elegant relationship between courtyard and interior spaces. A number of sustainable features are incorporated in this new branch including an energy efficient heating system, operable glazing for ventilation and the use of low VOC and sustainable finishes.

Artist Eric Powell was selected to create a 30-foot by 4-foot low relief metal structure that is mounted above book shelves in the reading room of the new branch. The sculpture is composed of metal tubing fashioned by hand into an organic, curving design representing a nearby underground creek.

The construction of the Ingleside Branch was funded by a bond measure passed by San Francisco voters in 2000 with additional funds coming from state Proposition 14 for library construction. The highly competitive state matching grant from the California Public Library Construction and Renovation Board awarded $3.75 million for the construction, ensuring the new building will serve as an anchor for the community. Ingleside is the 11th library project to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program. The Department of Public Works is responsible for designing, renovating, and managing the construction of public libraries under the direction of the library’s program. Project costs for Ingleside totaled about $7 million including property acquisition.

The Ingleside Branch will include new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is raising funds from private donations to pay for these items. To get involved in the Ingleside neighborhood campaign, contact

For more information about the Ingleside Branch Library’s opening celebration, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit

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