Happy Birthday, San Francisco Public Library

Happy Birthday, Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library! We would have raised a book to toast your birthday yesterday, but the city street signs hogged the limelight with their makeover.

When I was at the library over the weekend, they had a banner up celebrating the opening of the flagship library location, the Civic Center Main Library.

It’s across the plaza from city hall, next to the Asian Art museum, and is a public facility which means… that you can pretty much count on encounters with people from the the homeless and indigent populations that camp out nearby.

I want you to visit the library and marvel in such a great public resource, but I don’t want it to freak you out, so here are my tips for visiting the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library:

  1. Don’t use the bathrooms on the main floor. They will be scary, and most likely involve sitting in a stall next to someone having a psychotic episode and/or a very loud and very public conversation with the voices in their head. There are other bathrooms in the building, find them.
  2. The Fisher Childen’s Center in the library is an awesome place to take your kids. There are plenty of tables and workspaces, it can be a great spot to read together, do homework, or otherwise enjoy a quiet spot conducive to concentrating. Kids can also check out their own books (assuming they have a library card), which my daughter always finds to be super fun.
  3. If you need to use the internet but didn’t bring your own device, the internet stations are heavily in demand and lock you into using Internet Explorer. Which might make you cry if you use gmail.
  4. The SF history center is in the building and it’s awesome – well, awesome if you’re into that sort of thing (which I am).

Here are a few more photos from the main branch of the library:
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Comments

  1. says

    Re: “If you need to use the internet but didn’t bring your own device, the internet stations are heavily in demand and lock you into using Internet Explorer. Which might make you cry if you use gmail.”

    And their formally-functional-but-not-great system for printing is now mind-blowingly horrible. Almost worth not even trying to print anything out.
    (And, of course, you can’t print from a WiFi-connected device.)

    And I agree with all your praise. :)

  2. Matt Fuller, GRI says

    Good point about the printers… I’ve never even tried to print anything out at the library, I generally just pick up one of the pre-printed books ;-)

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