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SF Public Library To Reinstate Full In-Person Service At 11 Branches This Month

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

SF Public Library To Reinstate Full In-Person Service At 11 Branches This Month

Bay Area bookworms, rejoice!

The COVID-19 pandemic took a lot of simple pleasures away, from dining in a restaurant to getting a new haircut. But as things ramp up again, we’re very excited to see that San Francisco’s spectacular public library system is returning, so that local bookworms can start browsing for their next page-turner!

Yesterday, Mayor London Breed and City Librarian Michael Lambert announced that 11 neighborhood branches of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) will bring back full in-person service by Tuesday, August 17. The Main Library will resume pre-pandemic after Labor Day, plus evening service on three nights of the week.

Many of SFPL’s 28 branches have been partially open since May. Here are the remaining scheduled openings for full in-person service:

  • August 3:
    • Park Branch
    • West Portal Branch
  • August 9:
    • Ingleside Branch
    • North Beach Branch
    • Sunset Branch
  • August 10:
    • Anza Branch
    • Marina Branch
    • Portola Branch
    • Portrero Branch
  • August 16:
    • Golden Gate Valley Branch
  • August 17:
    • Merced Branch

The Main Library at 100 Larkin St will return to pre-pandemic hours starting September 7, meaning they’ll open an hour earlier at 9am and close two hours later at 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

With full in-person service, visitors will be able to open a library account and get a physical card; use the card to access computers; use the printers, fax machines, and copy machines; and interact with library staff. Visitors can also browse materials in designated areas, rather than depending largely on the temporary to-go book pickup service that has been in place since branches started opening up in May.

“I am excited to announce that our neighborhood libraries are reopening for in-person service,” said Mayor Breed. “Like so many City services, our libraries were hit hard by the pandemic with staff forced to find innovative ways to continue serving our communities. I want to thank the San Francisco Public Library staff for supporting our city through this challenging time and their commitment to keeping our libraries operating and accessible.”

It may come as a surprise to hear that members of SFPL’s staff have performed critical jobs during the City’s COVID-19 response. Hundreds of library staff worked as Disaster Services Workers and put in hours at food pantries, COVID-19 testing sites, Community Hubs for students, and Shelter-in-Place hotels. Many continue to perform necessary work as contact tracers and case investigators, providing translations, copywriting, communications and more for the City’s COVID Command Center.

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Be sure to stop by the San Francisco Public Library as they begin to open up more branches!