Valencia Street Yoga Tree. March 2021.
The library will open a temporary location at the old Yoga Tree location at 1234 Valencia St. Photo taken March 2021 by Lydia Chávez

Following a yearlong struggle to secure a location, the Mission has finally found a new spot for residents to kick back and crack open books this summer. 

The temporary branch, at the former Yoga Tree site at 1234 Valencia St. between 23rd and 24th streets, will open Saturday. For the first time in more than two years, Mission residents will have a local library branch. 

The permanent branch at 300 Bartlett St. closed in June, 2019, for a $25 million renovation project that has yet to begin. Since then, locals have been left without a branch. 

But, as of 10 a.m. Saturday, residents will once again have seven-day-a-week access to facilities, computers, and in-person services. Meanwhile, the Mission branch will, at some point, undergo its extensive renovation, which includes building more restrooms and introducing a new air-control and filtration system. It’s unclear when that work will begin. 

Over the last two years, Mission residents have been left to trek to nearby neighborhoods to access library services, or to a bookmobile to pick up books reserved online. This was the status quo as the city sought to lease temporary space in the Mission and eventually, the city landed the former yoga studio on Valencia Street, according to the former Chief of Branches, Cathy Delneo. 

The renovation of the branch on Bartlett was delayed while the city resolved a dispute with PG&E. The library eventually opted to implement PG&E’s $500,000 worth of additional requirements. The delays mean the library’s planned overhaul has only gotten pricier, with costs jumping from $19.8 million to almost $25 million dollars.

Nevertheless, the temporary branch is ready for the public this upcoming weekend, and will host a grand opening next month to honor the occasion. 

“It is a soft launch,” said library spokesperson Kate Patterson.  “But we will be fully operational, and then we will have a more festive celebration to mark the arrival of the new temporary site on July 10, in conjunction with Sunday Streets.”

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Christine Delianne

Christine flew across the country from Long Island to the Bay Area for college. She is a junior at Stanford University, where she served as the Managing Editor for the student newspaper. Before joining Mission, she covered breaking news as an intern at Bay City News and The Sacramento Bee.

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  1. Correction: Mission Library closed in March 2020, with all other libraries for the pandemic, not June ‘19.

    SFPL-to-go started in Oct ‘21 as a temporary service, along with 4 days/week of the bookmobile. Unfortunately, the Valencia site won’t be very spacious, more like an expanded bookmobile. Yoga tree only had one room for its classes.