About Us

The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center Library provides information services for faculty, staff, students, and patients at ZSFG, with a focus on programs and services to support patient care, education, research, and clinical decision making.

The library has a curated collection of consumer health books for reference use in the library, as well as a selection of popular reading materials available to everyone, as well as staff and public computers providing access to the UCSF Library's online books, journals, and databases. The ZSFG Library also licenses full-text book and journal resources for use by DPH and UCSF staff on the ZSFG campus.

Informatics training is another important library function. Library staff present free classes to ZSFG and UCSF staff on database searching, citation management tools, and other topics related to health information.


ZSFG is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of California San Francisco, and the ZSFG Library is part of the UCSF Library system. The library was formerly called the Barnett Briggs Medical Library, named after Dr. George Barnett, Chief of the Stanford Medical Service at ZSFG from 1926 to 1945, and Dr. LeRoy Briggs, Chief of the University of California Medical Service at SFGH during the same period. The naming of the library reflects the fact that ZSFG was supported by both Universities until 1959, when Stanford moved to Palo Alto.

The library was established in 1951 with a small collection of books stored in a pool room on the second floor of the Administration Building on the ZSFG campus. In 1964 and 1966 the library received donations of funds from the then Dean of the University of California Medical School, Dr. John Saunders, which allowed it to move to its current location on the first floor of Building 30.

In 1976, members of the Library Committee, led by Dr. Norman Sweet and Dr. Delmer Pascoe, applied for and received a federal grant to improve the library. In 1979, the library expanded to include wards 31, 32, hallway rooms, meeting rooms, a solarium, and a basement storage area. At the time, the library was one of the largest hospital libraries in the Bay Area.

As computer and internet technology improved, more and more library services moved online. Increased digital access to journals and interlibrary loans allowed the library to reduce its physical holdings, and the library’s physical space was reduced to occupy only the first floor of Building 30.

In 1996, the library opened its Microcomputer Training/Access Center with all new technology, including a multimedia projection system, fifteen computer stations, and a color scanner. With the addition of the Microcomputer Center, the library offered classes in internet usage and database searching.

In 2003, the library added a Reference Center to improve access to multimedia health sciences resources. The Reference Center included two workstations, a clinical workstation, and a scanner workstation with a color scanner and imaging software.

In 2004, the Robert N. Ross Patient Education Research Center (PERC) moved to the library. PERC’s mission is to provide health education consultation and resources to patients, staff, and the community with a wide collection of materials in many languages and literacy levels. Its move to the Medical Library allowed the library to enhance its collections for use by the public and provide additional information resources to the community.

In 2017-2018, the library underwent a general renovation, including converting the back half of the library into an expanded computer/class space, as well as updating furniture to better serve the needs of the community.

The library continues to provide information services to the ZSFG community, including interlibrary loan, staff classes, online access to digital books and journals, and reference services.

Further information can be found via our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page as well as our policies page.