After more than two years shut down, slinging books out of a parking lot or, most recently, from a colorful van, the Mission’s library branch is on track to reopen by June in a new space on Valencia Street.
Last week, the library announced it had signed a lease on a quiet stretch between 23rd and 24th streets, in the former Yoga Tree location on the ground floor of 1234 Valencia St. The space is just steps from the Bartlett Street library.
The Bartlett Street location was first closed with the pandemic in March of 2020, then remained shut for upcoming renovations. As other branches have reopened their doors, the library has struggled to find a temporary location in the Mission for nearly a year, if not longer.
“We know this has been a long time coming, and we are both relieved and excited to finally be able to provide a temporary space to the community,” the announcement read.
Mission residents can expect to finally have computer access and an indoor space to browse library materials. The library expects its preparations of the 2,600 sq. ft. site to wrap up, and doors to open seven days a week, by June.
And the Valencia Street spot might be home for the Mission’s library books for a while. The temporary location isn’t the only thing running behind schedule: In February, the library announced yet another delay in breaking ground on the Mission branch renovations that were originally slated to begin by 2020.
This time, the delays stem from a dispute between PG&E and the Public Utilities Commission on “how to power the project,” the library said. The Library gets its power from the PUC, but PG&E, which owns the power lines that service the building, also gets a say.
“PG&E is demanding that the City install additional equipment capable of providing a higher level of power than the Library project requires,” the library’s statement said.
Library spokesperson Kate Patterson confirmed that this issue is now resolved, and the renovation will proceed to bidding this fall, including PG&E’s additional requirements.
These additional installations add $500,000 to the nearly $25 million budget for the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete.
In the meantime, the library will partner with neighborhood organizations to host its programs and outreach externally, and has plans in the works with Medicine for Nightmares Bookstore & Gallery, the Recreation and Parks Departments and the Latino Task force, Patterson said.