> Celebrating culture at the new Anza Branch library

In San Francisco the opening of a refurbished branch library is truly a special thing. It's not just a celebration of 'culture' but also of cultures. ***** On Saturday, June 18, 2011, hundreds of people gathered for the opening of the newly refurbished San Francisco Public Library's Anza Branch on 37th Avenue. ***** Originally built in 1932, the branch was shut down in 2009 for renovation. Library officials boast that this branch now includes an extensive addition to the back of the building, is accessible to disabled people, has a room for children and a space for teens, new landscaping and a refurbished ceiling, new bicycle racks, 19 public computer stations, Wi-Fi Internet access, and express checkout machines. ***** The Anza Branch is the 19th project to be completed under the Branch Library Improvement Program, which is funded by a $105.9 million bond measure passed by San Francisco voters in 2000. The program is supporting the renovation of 16 branch libraries and the construction of eight new library buildings around the City. Library officials say the project costs for the Anza Library total $7.7 million but that only covers construction costs, so a separate fund-raising campaign by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library provided new furniture and equipment for the branch. ***** The new library branch is 8,222 square feet, about 922 square feet larger than its predecessor. The renovation was designed by the Library Design Studio of the City's Bureau of Architecture, Department of Public Works. ***** The Anza Branch was originally the 17th branch established in the San Francisco Public Library system. It was built on the site of the old Lafayette School; architect John Reid, JR., designed and landscaped the original building and it was dedicated on April 10, 1932.