By Lee Hubbard
Without a library, finding a good place to read and relax was hard in the Bay View area of San Francisco over the past few years.
But now, the Bay View Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, which has been closed for remodeling, is set to reopen.
Mayor Ed Lee, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and San Francisco City Librarian Luis Torres will attend the grand reopening celebration, which will be held Saturday,
Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. The library is located at 5075 Third St.
The state-of-the-art library cost $13.5 million to build and has expanded space and services. Visitors will find a children’s room, teen room, expanded community room and 17 computers that are available for public use. Other features will include a laptop lending program and a courtyard for those who want to read outside.
The library will have 30,000 books and is also environmentally friendly, with solar panels and two living roof gardens.
“This is a beautiful and great project that reflects the needs of the community,” said Michele Jeffers, public relations officer for the San Francisco Public Library. “The neighborhood was involved in the process from the beginning to the end.”
The new library was part of a branch improvement program, which has upgraded and built 24 libraries in the city.
The new library on Third Street is almost a quarter bigger than the old one, according to Jeffers Close to 60 percent of the contractors working on the library were locally owned businesses, she said. The new library also has eight employees on staff and three fulltime librarians who work the adult, teen and children’s sections.
“The community spoke up and wanted a new building,” Jeffers said. “They took the existing building and bought an adjacent building to make it happen.”