Library set for remodel
by Seth Hemmelgarn
The Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library, which is getting set for a multi-million dollar makeover, will be closing this weekend for a long-planned renovation.
According to Mindy Linetzky, bond program administrator for the Branch Library Improvement Program, seismic strengthening and expanding accessibility for people with disabilities are primary reasons for the project.
Renovations will include more room for wheelchairs throughout the library and new accessible restrooms. Other updates will include more room for strollers, a designated area for teens, a quiet reading area for adults, more computers, and added capacity for laptops.
The library is expected to reopen in 2009.
To celebrate the start of construction, there will be a party at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1 with the Jules Broussard Trio and other local entertainers, as well as activities for children at the library at 1 Josï¿½ Sarria Court (16th Street near Market Street).
Former Library Commissioner Steve Coulter will also be honored for his work with San Franciscoï¿½s libraries and the LGBT community.
Costs for the project are estimated at about $5.4 million. The renovations are part of a $106 million bond measure approved by San Francisco voters in November 2000.
libraries will be in good shape for the next 50 to 100 years," said Marian
Chatfield-Taylor, capital campaign manager for Friends of the San Francisco
Public Library, referring to changes at the Milk library and other libraries.
"This is really part of making sure our library system is in good shape
now and for many generations to come."
The first Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library building â€“ the McCreery Branch â€“ opened in 1902. The building was demolished after being damaged by the Daly City Earthquake of 1957, and the current building opened to the public in December 1961. The name was changed in 1981 to honor Harvey Milk, the openly gay supervisor who was assassinated in 1978.
The library is home to an LGBT collection that includes gay and lesbian fiction, books for and about gay teens, nonfiction books, newspapers and videos.
The San Francisco Bureau of Architecture's Library Design Studio is designing the project.
For information on temporary services available during the closure, call (415) 557-4353. For more information on the bookmobile, call (415) 557-4343. The San Francisco Public Library Web site is www.sfpl.org.