Mighty Life List
Apr 3 2012

Library Portraits Project: Golden Gate Valley Branch

As part of my Life List, I’m photographing all the public libraries in San Francisco.

I love libraries, but as of now, state funding for California libraries has been cut entirely. Oof, it makes me queasy. I know you guys like books too, so please take a minute to write a letter or two in support of restoring funding. All the information you need is here. Go team.

If you liked this post, you might also like Go Read a Book.

28 Responses to “Library Portraits Project: Golden Gate Valley Branch”

  • Leslie Says:

    Beautiful. The light is really pretty there.

  • Meaghan Says:

    Gorgeous! I love libraries. And I just got “Flourish” out from my local branch this evening… excited to start it!

  • Mfree Says:

    4 years ago I started work at an office across the street from LA’s central library. It has changed my life. I feel like I can tackle any project just by starting at the library. :)

  • Genesis Hansen Says:

    Beautiful photos, and as a California librarian I have to thank you for drawing attention to our budget crisis. The really scary thing is that the cuts to state funding render us ineligible for a lot of federal funding as well, so it’s a double whammy.

    To make it easy on my busy friends and family, I put together a PDF with letters to each of the Budget Subcommittee members, ready to print, sign and send. If any of Maggie’s readers will take the time to send letters, librarians and library lovers statewide will be forever grateful! The PDF is available on my blog: http://wrongagain.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/save-library-funding/

    Feel free to adapt it as you see fit, or write your own letter and share your personal thoughts with the legislators. Thanks!

  • Rachel K Says:

    Thanks for alerting us. I just finished writing my letters and telling the good people all about it on my blog and facebook. Contacting government officials makes me feel all warm and civic-y inside.

  • Elly Says:

    I haven’t been into the library in forever! Love these photos, hey. I’d forgotten how amazing libraries can be :)

  • Dziubaczyca Says:

    Very nice place!! I like it!

  • Cindy Says:

    Did you ever read that children’s book about the kids who lived in a library? I wanted to be them. These photos are lovely.

  • Nora Says:

    The de-funding of libraries is really a travesty. An educated populace is the cornerstone of democracy, for Pete’s sake! Thanks for bringing this to the fore.

  • rebecca Says:

    I am writing this from the library right now! Work ina behind the scenes library job and am always happy to see good press for libraries. In Nevada, we cut 100 jobs two years ago, reduced hours, reduced spending. It is amazing I still have a job….

  • Megan Says:


    I am so pleased with this post I cannot tell you. Thanks x 1 million for putting the spotlight on libraries.

  • Megan Says:

    Can I contact you about this project for an interview? How can I best do that?

  • Colleen Says:

    Just wondering if those six books just happened to be sitting side by side, or if there’s some significance. In any event, I’m thinking maybe I need to read all six, just in case there’s some yet-unknown reason the universe placed them so!

    Lovely post. Will pass the word.

  • kate Says:

    Love libraries. I have a friend who made an art project where he commissioned an actor to walk the halls of a library in Amsterdam reading aloud from a book. Every night for a year you could go to the library and see a book being read out loud. I loved this idea of books coming alive. Can you imagine that happening here?!?

  • Kate Says:

    Maggie, you are awesome for highlighting libraries and the work we do. Don’t live or work in CA but I am a children’s librarian. People don’t realize how much they need the library until it’s not there. We’re the last bastion of democracy. I hope the people of California come to realize that.

  • Paul Says:

    I love your “assignment” this time, Maggie; well all the time for that matter. I’m a California native and learned an appreciation for the specialness of the library growing up. Great to expose them in the Mighty way! Keep it up, girl!

  • Judy Says:

    Government can not fund everything. Government must spend for the good of all people. People have to take responsibility for their own lives. Too many without homehomes, without jobs, without healthcare. Take action for this……libraries will follow when everything else works well.
    Canadian reader.

  • Judy Says:

    The library is the good of all people! It’s our one truly socialist institution, hidden under the radar: free books! for everyone!

    Thanks for the information on how to help, Maggie. I don’t live in California, but libraries everywhere are tottering.

  • Jenny Says:

    Whoops, I was replying to Judy, not being Judy. Sorry. :)

  • Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Says:

    OMG! We LOVE these pics! So beautiful!

  • Colleen Says:

    Lovin’ that last comment!

  • Shannon Bradley-Colleary Says:

    My favorite library memory: opening the dusty cover of my first Nancy Drew book and entering a world of mystery and delight in a cool place in upland, California on a 101 degree day.

  • Erin Says:

    You should go just over the bridge to include the Sausalito public library on Caledonia Street in your project. It is an absolute gem!

  • Uncle Roger Says:

    Awesome! The West Portal library is beautiful. Too bad the main library has moved; I loved that huge marble(?) staircase — it seemed fitting to have such a grand entrance to all the knowledge and stories that were there.

  • Tarable Says:

    These are so good. I go to the library all the time, but your pictures make me feel nostalgic…like I’m looking back on a relic of the past. Sigh. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

  • Anne Says:

    I love that libraries are a part of your life list, and that you’re using your wide audience to promote public libraries. I just posted as part of National Library Week (through April 14) and included a link to this post.

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  • Elisa Says:

    No way. They completely shut down state funding for libraries? That is absurd. If I was a CA (or at least US) citizen I’d definitely write a letter! As it is, I’ll have to post it on Facebook ;-)