Rebuilt Richmond Branch Library set to open with May celebration
Richmond District residents will come together to celebrate the re-opening of the newly-renovated Richmond/Senator Milton Marks Branch Library on Saturday, May 16.
Located at 351 Ninth Ave., the Richmond renovation is the largest project in the City's Branch Library Improvement Program and is opening ahead of schedule, bringing additional square footage, an increased collection of materials, a spacious new 10th Avenue lobby, a designed teen area and a large program/meeting room to the neighborhood Library.
The grand re-opening celebration will kick off with lion dancers and musicians in front of the renovated branch. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. Library services run from 2 to 6 p.m. During the opening festivities, Ninth Avenue will be closed between Clement Street and Geary Boulevard to through traffic.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned with Mayor Gavin Newsom, City Librarian Luis Herrera, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, State Sen. Mark Leno and other city and state officials.
"The Richmond Branch Library is among the most heavily used in the system and serves a vibrant and diverse community, so it is with great pleasure that we are re-opening this 95-year-old branch - the flagship of the Branch Library Improvement Program - restored to such grandeur," said City Librarian Luis Herrera. "The integration of new technology in the branch, along with its additional space and materials, will make it a haven for life-long learning, knowledge and recreation for generations to come."
The renovation project includes nearly 50 percent more space and provides for a complete renovation and restoration, including seismic upgrade, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access improvements, energy-efficient building systems and technology upgrades, while retaining the historical integrity of the 1914 Carnegie landmark building. The addition will be able to support a significantly expanded collection of materials, including more audio-visual and Chinese and Russian language items.
Other key aspects of the renovation include two new study rooms; additional public restrooms; a two-story atrium; and enhanced landscaping surrounding both sides of the branch, including a new play structure on the 10th Avenue side of the library. The branch also includes new furniture and shelving, including the restoration and refurbishment of some of the historic wood furniture, an expanded collection of materials, a prominent newspaper and magazine area, more computers, and Wi-Fi access to the Internet.
The renovation was designed by the Bureau of Architecture in the Department of Public Works. Richmond is the tenth library project to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program, which is funded by a $105.9 million bond measure passed by voters in November 2000. The program is supporting the renovation of16 branch libraries and the construction of eight new library buildings around the City. Project costs totaled about $13.7 million.
Richmond was one of two San Francisco branch libraries to receive funding for its renovation from the California Public Library Construction & Renovation Board. The Richmond Branch Library received $5.96 million from the state bond program and was the only Carnegie library funded. The branch, which serves an extremely diverse community, was chosen because of its critical requirement for seismic strengthening and expansion to meet user's needs.
Over the past two years, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has been working in partnership with neighborhood residents and communities to raise funds, awareness and support for the branch improvements. Friends' Richmond District Libraries Campaign Committee contributed $500,000 towards the Richmond Branch renovations to pay for furnishings, fixtures and equipment - expenses not covered by the bond.
The Richmond District Libraries Campaign Committee has raised $617,000 of their $1 million goal to pay for furniture, fixtures, and equipment for both the Richmond and Anza branch libraries.
For more information on how to support the Richmond District Libraries Campaign, contact Marian Chatfield-Taylor at (415) 626-7512, ext. 103.