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SF’s branch libraries to expand hours, all to remain open 7 days a week

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Starting in June, all of San Francisco’s 27 library branches will be open seven days a week. (James Chan/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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Readers have reason to rejoice. So do those who rely on public computers.

That’s because all of San Francisco’s 27 library branches will remain open seven days a week come June.

While 18 branches are currently opened seven days a week, nine are not. Hours of service will also expand at six other branches currently open seven days a week.

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The staffing needed to expand the hours was approved as part of the current budget beginning in January, but an acknowledged time-consuming hiring process contributed to the delay.

Library officials said last week that they now plan to have the staff hired and the service hours at the branches expanded in June.

Seven library branches are currently open six days a week but close on Sundays. These branches — Anza, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Golden Gate Valley, North Beach, Ocean View and Parkside — will soon open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“I am excited to see the seven branches that are going to be open on Sundays now,” Library Commissioner Zoe Dunning said. “I often get comments from parents who really value weekends to bring their children in, working parents.”

Two branches are currently opened six days a week but closed on Mondays. Potrero and Presidio branches will soon be opened on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Six other branches, already open seven days a week, will see service hours expanded.

Head Librarian Luis Herrera said the seven-day a week opening of all branches was a vision sought for many years by the Library Commission, underscoring the significance of the milestone.

Library Commission President Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi said the effort is a step “toward making it a much more equitable city.”

Catherine Delneo, the library’s chief of branches, said that “the expansion of open hours will provide numerous benefits to communities throughout The City.”

In addition to simply being able to use the library services more, Delneo said that the added hours “will provide increased opportunities for partnerships between the library and agencies that serve youth” and that they are hours that will encourage more use by students and working adults.

The expanded hours require 16.5 new staff positions of librarians, assistants and custodians, and works out to be 85 more hours weekly with added staff costs per hour equating to $398.23, according to library officials.

Those who may wish to see the service hours change further will have a chance to weigh in when the library begins a required every five-year assessment of service hours this summer. There will be meetings held in all 11 Board of Supervisors districts seeking feedback.

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