San Francisco Public Library Reopens More Branches for “Browse and Bounce” and “SFPL To-Go” Front Door Pick-up Service



Ortega, Richmond/Sen. Milton Marks Jr. and Visitacion Valley branch libraries  
reopen for in-person service  

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and City Librarian Michael Lambert today announced the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) will reopen additional neighborhood branches for limited indoor and front door pick-up service starting today, June 21. More branches are slated to open throughout the summer as staffing permits and as San Francisco continues to make progress on its recovery. Since last year, many SFPL employees have been deployed as Disaster Service Workers supporting the City’s COVID-19 response in a variety of essential roles and 10 neighborhood branches served as community learning hubs to support the City’s most vulnerable youth and families with distance learning.  

On May 3, SFPL reopened the Main Library and successfully launched its “Browse and Bounce” program, which is also available at the Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library and Mission Bay Branch Library. The express in-person service welcomes Library cardholders back inside for 60-minute sessions to browse library books, music, movies and more, pick up holds and check out materials, ask reference and information questions from Library staff and schedule a 60-minute computer session. Patrons can also access photocopiers, printers, fax and scanners.  

San Francisco will open four new Browse and Bounce locations this week: Ortega, Richmond/Sen. Milton Marks Jr. and Visitacion Valley Branches open June 21, and the Excelsior Branch opens June 22. 

“Our public library stepped up in more ways than one to help this city during this unprecedented time of need, but now it’s time to start getting back to regular business,” said Mayor Breed. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but the fact that we are bringing more neighborhood libraries online for service is a great sign of progress as we continue down the path of recovery. I encourage all residents to rediscover all of the incredible resources the library offers.” 

The Browse and Bounce service operates alongside SFPL To-Go, the Library’s popular front-door holds pick-up service, which is also expanding this week with six new locations: Bernal Heights, Golden Gate Valley, Ingleside, North Beach, Sunset and Western Addition. SFPL To-Go is now available at 18 libraries and four bookmobile locations throughout the City. In July, the Library will aim to open the Bayview, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Glen Park, Oceanview and Western Addition branches for Browse and Bounce, and the Presidio, Parkside and Noe Valley branches will launch SFPL To-Go. The Library is aiming to have all library locations reopened for in-person services before the fall school year begins.  

Since March 2020, hundreds of Library staff have played a critical role in the City’s COVID-19 response, serving as Disaster Services Workers in various positions. Library staff have supported the City’s emergency response working at food pantries, COVID-19 testing sites, Community Hubs for students, and Shelter-in-Place hotels. Library staff continue to serve as contact tracers and case investigators working to slow the spread of the virus in the community and part of the COVID Command Center’s efforts to conduct outreach work, translations, copywriting, and communications. Despite the fact that some staff are returning to their pre-pandemic roles with the gradual demobilization of the City’s COVID-19 response, staffing levels remain too low to fully reopen all branches due to a large number of vacancies. At present, the Library’s workforce is down by nearly a quarter. 

“We are doing the best with the personnel we have to fully reopen all of our neighborhood libraries as expeditiously as possible,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “In the meantime, we can’t wait to welcome our beloved patrons back through our doors for Browse and Bounce and provide access to collections at our SFPL To-Go locations.”  

As part of the City’s Summer Together initiative, SFPL is giving away 10 books to all San Francisco Unified School District students. Students and caregivers can pick up their book bundles at any Browse and Bounce or SFPL To-Go location. Additionally, the Library’s Summer Stride program is in full swing with programs for all ages. Individuals who complete 20 hours of Library activity (reading, attending an event and visiting a library all count) can earn prizes and a coveted 2021 Summer Stride tote bag with original artwork by Bay Area artist Kaylani Juanita. More details at 

Browse and Bounce Locations  

  • Chinatown, 1135 Powell Street; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Main, 100 Larkin Street; Monday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm; Sunday, 12 pm–5:30 pm 
  • Mission Bay Branch, 960 4th Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 

Starting today, June 21:  

  • Ortega Branch, 3223 Ortega Street; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm   
  • Richmond/Sen. Milton Marks Jr. Branch, 351 9th Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm  
  • Visitacion Valley Branch, 201 Leland Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm  

Starting Tuesday, June 22:  

  • Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm   

SFPL To-Go Locations 

  • Anza Branch, 550 37th Avenue; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm   
  • Bayview Branch, 5075 3rd Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Eureka Valley Branch, 1 Jose Sarria Court; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Marina Branch, 1890 Chestnut Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Merced Branch, 155 Winston Drive; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Mission Bookmobile, Harrison and 20th streets; Tuesday & Thursday, 2 pm–6 pm 
  • OMI Bookmobile, 400 Sargent Street; Tuesday & Thursday, 2 pm–6 pm and 50 Broad Street; Wednesdays, 2 pm–6 pm   
  • Ortega Branch, 3223 Ortega Street; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Park Branch, 1833 Page Street; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Portola Branch, 380 Bacon Street; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Potrero Branch, 1616 20th Street; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Richmond Bookmobile, Palm Avenue at Geary Boulevard; Tuesday & Thursday, 2 pm–6 pm  
  • Treasure Island Bookmobile, Avenue H and 11th Street; Wednesdays, 2 pm–6 pm   
  • West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5:30 pm   

Starting today, June 21:  

  • Bernal Heights, 500 Cortland Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Golden Gate Valley, 1801 Green Street; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Ingleside Branch, 1298 Ocean Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • North Beach, 850 Columbus Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm  
  • Sunset, 1305 18th Avenue; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm 
  • Western Addition, 1550 Scott Street; Monday–Friday, 10 am–5:30 pm   

Safety Measures 

Capacity and services will be limited at all in-person San Francisco Public Libraries. Patrons will be required to abide by all safety requirements and library rules, including social distancing and wearing masks. As the City addresses changes in the safety requirements for City employees, the City and County of San Francisco continues to require that anyone entering City owned or leased facilities wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status. The City will revisit this requirement later this month and provide the public with additional guidance.  

To ensure the safety of library users and staff, SFPL has developed a number of safety protocols and enhancements including: 

  • Library users over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask or face covering 
  • Social distancing reminders will be placed around the library 
  • Building capacity will be limited at some locations  
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and service points
  • Available public computers will be spaced out to encourage social distancing 
  • Sanitizing wipes will be available to wipe down computer keyboards 
  • Sneeze guards will be placed at all public service desks 
  • Check-out machines will be available for quick and easy borrowing 

More information about the library reopening is available online at 


June 21, 2021