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San Francisco’s Main Library Reopens May 3

Main Library reopens for “Browse and Bounce” service on May 3, with more branch libraries to reopen in the following weeks
By - posted 4/22/2021 No Comment

After being closed for more than a year, the San Francisco Public Library will reopen three of its branches in May 2021 for limited indoor service, city officials said Tuesday.

The city’s libraries have been closed for indoor service since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, and since then, librarians have been busy serving as emergency services workers during the city’s going response to the virus.

In this initial phase of express in-person services, only the 1st Floor of the Main Library will reopen. The Main Children’s Center and upper floors, as well as more neighborhood branches, will reopen as staffing permits

San Francisco Public Library Reopening Timeline

  • May 3 – Main Library at 100 Larkin St. reopens first floor – (Enter via Grove St.) Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • May 17 – Chinatown-Him Mark Lai Library 1135 Powell St. reopens – Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • May 18 – Mission Bay Library at 960 Fourth St. will reopen  – Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • June 21 – Ortega, Richmond, Visitacion Valley branch libraries open
  • June 22 – Excelsior Brand reopens
  • See the latest reopening updates

For the reopenings, the Public Library has developed the Browse and Bounce” program, which allows patrons to browse through library collections, access free public computers, and return or checkout materials. The new program will operate at the three branches in conjunction with the current SFPL To-Go program, which provides front-door pick up service at 15 library branches and four book mobile locations.

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Since March 2020, library staff have been reassigned to work as disaster service workers at places like food pantries, COVID-19 testing sites, shelter-in-place hotels, and Community Hubs. In addition, library staff have also served as contract tracers, case investigators and outreach workers.

Library officials are anticipating opening additional floors at the Main Library and other neighborhood branches as staffing permits.

For now, capacity at the libraries with indoor service will be limited and patrons will be required to practice social distancing and wear masks. Additionally, no chairs will be permitted for sitting, reading or studying, library officials said.

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