San Francisco Public Library Opens New Temporary Library Site in the Mission on Saturday, June 18
The temporary branch library, located at 1234 Valencia Street, will provide 7-day, in-person service while the historic Mission Branch Library undergoes a $24.7 million renovation
MEDIA PREVIEW & TOUR: Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m. RSVP to Kate.Patterson@SFPL.org
SAN FRANCISCO – On Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m., San Francisco Public Library will open a temporary branch library in the former Yoga Tree studio at 1234 Valencia Street. The temporary site will restore in-person service 7 days a week and provide access to public computing and browsing materials while the historic Mission Branch, located at 300 Bartlett Street, undergoes a $24.7 million renovation.
“San Francisco Public Library is an essential service that supports our all of residents by helping them reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives,” said Mayor London Breed. “The new temporary branch will ensure that residents of the Mission continue to have full access to the Library’s resources, including the dedicated staff who demonstrate day after day their commitment to the health and well-being of this community.”
Built in 1916, the Mission Branch Library is one of seven landmarked libraries in San Francisco built with money donated by the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In collaboration with the community and with architects from San Francisco Public Works, the Library will transform the Mission Branch into an energy efficient, safe and resilient neighborhood library while maintaining the building’s historic, Beaux-Arts charm.
According to District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, “The renovation of the Branch Library will be transformative for the Mission. I want to thank the Library and Public Works for listening carefully to the community and for developing a responsive design that will meet the District’s current and future needs. The newly renovated Branch will be as beautiful as the community it serves. In the meantime, I can’t wait to join patrons at the temporary site.”
The Library Preservation Fund is supporting the renovation, which will include the restoration of the building’s original entrance on 24th Street, reinstating the historic grand central staircase and refurbishing the main reading room. The capital project will also add a flexible community meeting and program space, a teen reading area and restroom capacity as well as an updated HVAC system so that the branch can provide respite for the community during air quality events and heatwaves. With 2% percent Art Enrichment funds generated by the construction project, the renovated branch will also feature a new public artwork in the form of a large stained-glass window for the main reading room by celebrated artist Juana Alicia Araiza. San Francisco Public Works is currently soliciting bid proposals for the project, which are due on July 20. The project is expected to break ground in the winter of 2022 with a construction period estimated to be around two years.
“We are thrilled to restore 7-day, in-person library service to the Mission,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “We feel so lucky to have found a temporary site that is so convenient—just one block away from the Mission Branch. This moment has been a long-time coming and we are so grateful to the Department of Real Estate for assisting us with this search and to the Mission community for their ongoing patience and support. We look forward to having fun and to making memories in this temporary site as we eagerly anticipate the completion of the renovation of our beloved Mission Branch.”
The Mission Branch Library has remained closed since the shutdown in March 2020. In the intervening years the bulk of the collection, which includes extensive holdings in Spanish, was relocated to the Main Library in preparation for the start of construction. During the search for an adequate temporary site, the Library provided access to materials with a three-day a week bookmobile service and SFPL To Go front door pickup service at the 300 Bartlett location. As Branch staff prepare for the transition to the new space, SFPL To Go service will conclude on Wednesday, June 15 and the last day of bookmobile service will be Friday, June 17. The new temporary site will open on Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m. Hours of operation are as follows: Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday: 1– 6 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m.
The Library will host a Grand Opening celebration at the new temporary site on Sunday, July 10 in conjunction with Valencia Sunday Streets. More information about the Mission Branch renovation and plans for the opening event can be found at sfpl.org.
“We are planning some wonderful entertainment and activities to mark this exciting new chapter. We can’t wait to celebrate this new space with the community during the Valencia Sunday Streets event,” states SFPL Commission President Connie Wolf. “See you there!”