Community and City Officials Break Ground for New North Beach Branch Library


Community and City Officials Break Ground for

New North Beach Branch Library

The North Beach neighborhood is celebrating the groundbreaking of the new North Beach Branch Library at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Lombard Street. The former parking lot site will soon be home to a new seismically safe and accessible library that is 60 percent larger than the old North Beach Branch Library, and a new plaza that will integrate the Library into a larger, greener Joe DiMaggio Playground. A groundbreaking celebration was held Saturday, Nov. 3 with musical performances including Mal Sharpe and Big Money in Jazz and the St. Mary’s Drum and Bell Corps and poetry with former San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman. Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisors David Chiu and Scott Wiener, City Librarian Luis Herrera, San Francisco Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg were are among the city and state officials at the groundbreaking. "This long-awaited library project is the result of widespread support and collaboration among the community and city agencies, including the San Francisco Public Library, the Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Parks Department," said Mayor Lee. "We are thrilled to finally break ground on this former parking lot and pave the way to a new, improved and state of the art 21stcentury library that will serve residents, children and families from North Beach, to Chinatown, to neighborhoods all across our City." “It is with great anticipation that we break ground on the 24th and final library project in the voter-approved Branch Library Improvement Program,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “We appreciate the great support of this community and are pleased to be moving forward to provide the residents of North Beach, Chinatown, Russian Hill and the northern waterfront with the kind of Library building and services they so richly deserve including expanded technology resources, larger collections in multiple languages and a community room for all.” “Special thanks goes to the community for their patience and perseverance,” said Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.  “They’ve waited a long time for this new library and we’re excited to build them a beautiful, sustainable, and seismically strong library for families and neighbors to use and enjoy for many more years to come.” “Playgrounds and libraries located next to each other create an enriching environment for our children’s physical and mental health development,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Recreation and Parks General Manager.  “Together, as we have done with West Sunset Playground and Ortega Public Library where we provide a place to play and learning space that is clean and safe, now we are going to do the same with Joe DiMaggio Playground and North Beach Library in North Beach.” The North Beach Branch Library will be built “green” and is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The library will also include a public art feature, a sound installation created by artist Bill Fontana. The 8,500 square-foot, two-story building planned for the site will include a community room with after-hours access for neighborhood meetings; a larger children’s area and new teen space; additional public computers; new furniture and equipment; and an expanded collection of books, DVDs, and CDs, including more materials in multiple languages to meet the community’s needs. The construction of the North Beach Branch Library is funded by a bond measure passed by San Francisco voters in 2000. North Beach is the 24th library in the Branch Library Improvement Program. The library 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 North Beach neighborhood campaign, please contact For more information about San Francisco Public Library, please call (415) 557-4277, or visit


MEDIA CONTACTS:  Michelle Jeffers, SFPL (415) 608-1593; Mindy Linetzy, DPW (415) 218-6383; Connie Chan, RPD (415) 831-2796;
November 3, 2012