The San Francisco main library at 100 Larkin Street is a stately old building and the main center for the entire San Francisco library system and much of northern California.
It is a state-of-the-art library with many programs and resources available both at the library and online. The library is so big you might want to take one of the tours, which are held at noon the first Tuesday of each month. Tours are limited to 15 people and there are no reservations required. The library also houses the Koret Auditorium which seats 250 people and is available to groups to rent. Lectures and musical performances are often hosted there.
The main library seats just over 2,000 people and has 23 glass study rooms, five meeting rooms, and one auditorium. There are 14 reference desks and ten self-checkout desks spread throughout the building. There is free wifi throughout the building and 240 computers that may be used by the public. The library has six floors and a basement in its building. In 2004 the library celebrated 125 years.
The San Francisco Library had 1.7 million visitors last year, and issued 18,000 library cards. 2.1 million items were checked out last year. The first library was opened in 1879 but the current building was finished in 1996 after being started three years earlier. It was financed when voters approved a $109 million bond issue for the 376,000 square foot building.