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Renovated Harvey Milk Library Set to Re-Open

Harvey Milk Library, which opens on Saturday, October 24, has been undergoing a facelift since March of 2008. Seven other city libraries are receiving city bond money in order to upgrade and are slated to re-open throughout 2010 and 2011. (photo: Bill Sywak)


By Andy Sywak

Neighborhood booklovers can finally come out of the woodwork and walk past those bookmobiles.
Closed since March of 2008, the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library will re-open to the public in a grand celebration Saturday, Oct. 24. Situated at the corner of 16th and Pond Streets one block south of the Market/Noe intersection, the library has undergone extensive renovations.

Improvements range from a re-landscaped courtyard in the back to a newly designated teen area. The renovation, having a $5.5 million budget, also added more computers and express check-out machines, improved wireless access, and installed new shelving and furniture. A seismic retrofit of the 1961 building was also accomplished.

“The library has an open, peaceful feeling, with more window space, stylish lamps and soft lighting,” said Karen Sundheim, the former branch manager who is now the Director of the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the Main Library. “I’m also impressed by the wood panels on the ceiling which encourage a feeling of expansion.”

Dominic Scappaticci, formerly branch manager of the Ocean View branch, will be the interim branch manager.

Entertainment at the celebration will start at 12 p.m. with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Library services will begin at 2 p.m., and Pond Street will be closed off between 16th and 17th streets between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The renovations were funded by a bond measure passed by voters in November of 2000, providing for $106 million to renovate city libraries. Seven additional city libraries are undergoing renovation and are slated to re-open in 2010 and 2011.