The Chinatown Branch of the San Francisco Public Library is a great asset to the community. This library has an extension collection of Chinese books, videos, newspapers and magazines. It is used extensively by the community and the staff is very knowledgeable, which has low turnover. There are many books about the history of Chinese-Americans near the front wall, and magazines from China all the way in the back.
It has a very good video collection, and not just one in Chinese and Vietnamese, but an overall collection. I don’t know what the official figures are, but the selection of movies and documentaries at the Chinatown Branch rivals that in any other library in the City, including the Main Library. (Many of the documentaries are also available on streaming Netflix, but there is something about having the DVD in hand.) The video collection includes a healthy selection of videos of practically every genre you can imagine. Every month, it seems that there are new and great titles.
Aside from the video collection, the Chinatown Branch is a great library, and used extensively by the community. It is always very crowded. I find that on any given day, many patrons are already waiting before the for the library opens. It is particularly crowded on the weekends, and both Cantonese and English can be heard spoken. This library is used by those in the community of all ages, many Chinese school students are waiting for their parents on weekends. Unlike some branches in the city, this branch is open every day of the week, including Sundays.
This little bi-level neighborhood library has it all, books (Chinese and English), videos, readings, a children’s section (downstairs), community service seminars, and even office hours by President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu. This library brings in authors on new books, especially those on Chinese American history, but also those on recyclings, MUNI, and other community issues. The library even has a blog! http://sfplchinatownbranch.blogspot.com/search/label/english
The Chinatown library has been here since 1921, but officially became the Chinatown Branch since 1972. Before then it was called the North Beach Branch. The Chinatown Branch was renovated in 1996, and definitely an asset to the community. It is a great example of public spending that is well used. I really enjoy combining my trips to this library with shopping in Chinatown and trips to cafes in North Beach. http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=0100000501
Please read my other articles on Chinatown, and other articles on San Francisco. Thank you. http://bit.ly/cLVm5f