Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Bayview library designed

This rendering of the new Bayview branch library is the latest from Thomas Hacker Architects, and re!ects community input. Note the green roof!

Library Design Highlights:

  • Expanded materials collections
  • Meeting room with after-hours access
  • Fully accessible
  • Flexible design for future technologies
  • Increased Chinese language collection
  • Prominent reading area
  • Two enclosed study rooms
  • Expanded children’s area
  • Inner courtyard
  • More functional staff work areas
  • A larger designated teen area
  • New furniture
  • Clear signage
  • More computers and internet access
  • Express self-checkout machines
  • A variety of seating choices
  • 24-hour book return
  • Maximum use of natural light
  • Public art
By Linda Brooks-Burton
Managing Librarian & Footprints Co-Founder

San Francisco voters passed a bond measure, in 2002, for $106 million to upgrade San Francisco’s branch library system. In 2007, voters authorized additional funding for branch improvement.

The San Francisco Public Library decided that its Bayview branch should be rebuilt given the voting public’s message and strong community support, and because increasing service needs have been difficult to meet in the current building.

In 2008, the San Francisco Public Library’s Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) produced important achievements, including pre-design meetings with branch staff, administration and architects from Thomas Hacker Architects, Inc. Three community meetings, at which the architects presented design options to the community, generated community input into the process that affected the final concept.

More community meetings will be held in 2009, and construction on the new building is scheduled to begin in early 2010 and be completed in late 2011. This month, art selection for the branch will take place.

The Bayview Branch Library is emblematic of the changing face of the neighborhood, and of the community’s historic commitment to education -an important stepping stone to a better life for African Americans, immigrants, and all working class families.

Bayview History Note: The branch is now named for a San Francisco clerical employee, Anna E. Waden, whose bequest made possible the cooperative community project that resulted in the current building at Third and Revere where a Sinclair gas station once stood. Constructed in 1969 under the leadership of its fi rst librarian, George Alfred, the library still traces its roots to a humble storefront facility opened in 1927.

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