Sunday, January 13, 2008

On Libraries & Football

Does this remind you of goal posts?
I may have found a new method of blogging while watching football.
You know, like multi-tasking.
What a concept, but like most things a little prior research is useful.

Yesterday’s blog got posted before the Seahawks game was over, at least technically over.
They were a disappointment again, which was no big surprise.
The Patriots showed the Jaguars why they are the champs, but the issue was in doubt during the first half.

This morning’s game between the Chargers and Colts was one of the most interesting I’ve seen in recent years. The outcome was in doubt right up to the end, and it was remarkable how the Chargers managed to overcome the injuries to their best players to prevail.
I doubt they will beat the Patriots, but its good to see some different teams advance to the next level.

I’m rooting for the Giants over the Cowboys now, which is probably enough to jinx that outcome too!
So, with less than 14 minutes left in the game the 'Jints' have taken a 21-17 lead.
Will that last?
You'll have research that final score for yourself -after the game is over.

Main SF Library

On the subject of libraries, maybe a few facts about the San Francisco library system would be of interest.
You can research this subject yourself at this URL:

Of course, there are some big differences between San Francisco and Bellingham, which need to be recognized.
Considered the second most dense city in the US [16,000 people per square mile] SF has 10 times the population of Bellingham, has a significantly higher median income and has a long established Library system, including a large Main Library and 29 Branches. Only 14.5% of its population are children. Also, SF has a pretty low poverty rate, at 7.8%.

The current Main Branch was completed in 1996 after a long planning and funding process. It was built near the same site as the old Main, which was constructed in 1917.

SF is also a consolidated City & County jurisdiction [since 1856], where the Mayor also serves as County Executive.
An 11-member Board of Supervisors, elected by District, serves as the co-equal legislative branch of government.
Notice each District has nearly the population of Bellingham?

Glen Park Branch Library

The new, nearby $5.5 million Glen Park Branch Library was opened last October about 3 blocks away, across the street from a BART Station and on 4 Bus Routes. The new 7185 SF space is 6 times larger than the older leased wooden building, which became a bookstore. The new Branch occupies the second floor, above a food market which itself was part of a mixed-use redevelopment that replaced a severely fire damaged older building.

Financing for acquisition and construction of the new branch was funded by a $105.9 million bond measure passed by voters in November 2000 and $500,000 in private funds raised by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library for furniture, fixtures and equipment.
The Branch Library Improvement Program [BLIP] is the largest capital improvement campaign in the history of the San Francisco Public Library. BLIP calls for 17 branches to be renovated, 4 leased buildings to be replaced with City-owned buildings, 2 branches to be replaced with new buildings, and 1 brand-new branch in Mission Bay.

One point I'd like to make is that while Branches are a great idea, they are expensive to build, maintain and operate, plus they strongly depend upon a Main Branch for support.
But, if citizens want a larger Branch system and will vote to pay for it, it can certainly happen.
In coming to a decision like that, let's be careful about setting up false choices, like the Main versus Branch argument the need for parking and be realistic about the costs and competing priorities.

Additional info:

The Main Library is the resource center for the entire San Francisco Public Library system and the libraries of Northern California. Its large collection and extensive programs and exhibits support the Library’s mission of “access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joy of reading.”

Other Facts about the Building

About the Library
· Hours & Phone Numbers
· Main
· Branches
· Meeting Rooms
· Kids
· Teens

Construction was financed by a $109.5 million bond measure approved by San Francisco voters in 1988. Construction of the Main Library cost $104.5 million.

The remaining funds were used for branch renovations. Furnishing, interior finishes and equipment were financed through $30 million in private funds raised by the Library Foundation of San Francisco.

Marshall Square in San Francisco Civic Center. The site is bounded by Larkin, Fulton, Hyde and Grove Streets
Chronology and Schedule:

1974: The Library Commission, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Keep Libraries Alive!, and other citizen groups fight successfully to retain Marshall Square as the site for a new main library.

1985: The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library offers to work with Mayor Dianne Feinstein on the completion of the Civic Center, including use of Marshall Square for a new library.

1986: A task force is created by Mayor Feinstein to complete the design of the Civic Center.

A report by Becker and Hayes/Omni-Group criticizes the Old Main and calls for building a new library in Marshall Square.

The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library inaugurate a private fund-raising campaign for the New Main.

The Library Foundation of San Francisco is established to support a New Main.
(Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library.)

1987: A second study by Becker and Hayes/Omni-Group underscores the use of Marshall Square for a new library. Another study, by Skidmore Owings Merrill, recommends that the Old Main be used for a museum. (Future of the Old Main.)

The mayor calls for a new main library in Marshall Square as part of a Civic Center master plan.

1988: Library bond for 109.5 million passes for renovation of a few branches and construction of a new 376,000 square foot Main Library.

1989: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York and Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris of San Francisco are hired by the Library Commission as architects for the New Main.

1991: The Library Foundation officially announces its campaign for the New Main.

1992: Groundbreaking ceremony is held in Marshall Square.

Special Gifts campaign is launched to seek funds from various local constituencies (affinity groups) for particular collections and capital gains.

1993: On March 15, construction of the New Main begins.

1994: Topping-out ceremony marks the completion of the framing of the new building.

The Library Foundation reaches $30 million fund-raising goal and keeps going.

1995: New Main is completed. By the end of the year, the Library Foundation has raised $35 million.

1996: Opening of the Main is on April 18.

2000: Post Occupancy Evaluation Report (POE): Executive Summary


Seating Capacity: 2,043 (5 times that of the Old Main Library)
Public Service Areas: 1,180 (3 times that of the Old Main Library)
Meeting Rooms: 544 seats
Auditorium: 235 seats
Study Rooms: 46 seats (2 in each study room)

Square Feet: 376,000. Six floors above ground. One floor below ground.