Library Remodeling and Collection Change

IMPORTANT: THE ZSFG LIBRARY IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC; WE WILL REOPEN LATER IN 2019. We will still be offering various services during our closure. Read below for more information.


The ZSFG Library has gone through some changes, including the long-term unavailability of Room 3208, as well as a large reduction in our collection of physical items. This is part of a larger decision-making process made by the City and County of San Francisco and the Department of Public Health (DPH), who oversee the hospital campus.

We hope this information below answers your questions, and we apologize for any inconvenience that this process might have caused you you as a library user. If you have a further comment or question about this, please contact Stephen Kiyoi at at your convenience. 

  • What’s going on?

    • The back half of the ZSFG Library has been turned into a ZSFG training space. This space will be used to develop and train staff in the new electronic medical records (EMR) system for ZSFG. There is now a full separating wall with a connecting door between the library area and this training area; it can only be accessed by trainers and trainees.

  • So it’s not part of the library anymore? What about the computer lab back there?

    • It’s still library space, but it'll be used by DPH for the next couple of years as they work to implement the new EMR system. After that, we are currently scheduled to use it as library space once more. The computer lab as it stands no longer exists due to the remodeling and the new use of the area.

  • Are there library services that will be available during closure?

    • Yes. Staffers will be on duty and numerous library services such as Interlibrary Loan and online collections will still be available. Other available services include our general reading collection of fiction, nonfiction and children's books, ZSFG Reads (please search the online catalog first to let us know what books you would like to check out), as well as reference consultations and general help with digital literacy or health research questions.

  • How do I contact library staff during this closure?

    • Please either email at any time or call (415) 206-3114, during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm, Mondays through Fridays), for any research support requests or general inquiries.

  • Is there any public computer access nearby I can use while you’re closed?

    • Yes – the San Francisco Public Library locations in the Mission and Potrero Hill offer public computer access during their regular hours.

  • What about hospital staff computer access?

    • At present we are unaware of any drop-in staff computer access space on the campus. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you during our closure.

  • Is the library closure why Room 3101 unavailable for booking?

    • Yes. Due to its location in the library itself, Room 3101 cannot currently be used; online requests cannot be filled using the booking form as a result. Alternate booking space during that time can be found via the overall list of conference rooms. When we reopen, 3101 will be available for booking once again, but since we do not know exactly when that will be, please keep checking our website for updates. As we will be reopening in February, please be on the lookout for announcements that 3101 is again available.

  • Is Room 3208 also unavailable for booking too?

    • Yes, though this is not part of the ZSFG library closure. As a further part of the overall EMR system training across the campus, Room 3208 has been booked for the long term for that project. It will not be available for general booking until the completion of that training; we do not have an exact time for completion, but at present Room 3208 might not be available until 2020. Once more is known, we will update people through our website as soon as we can.

  • Does that mean both 3101 and 3208 are unavailable right now?

    • Yes. We are very sorry this is the case but this is how the schedules worked out. Again, we recommend reviewing the general conference room list for alternate options, and again, as soon we know when the library will reopen, we will make 3101 available for booking once again. Please remember this is a much smaller room than 3208, so larger groups that regularly used that room will want to look for other locations even after we reopen.

  • Is Room 3101 going to be closed at any point after the library reopening because of that EMR system training?

    • No. It will always remain open for general booking once we reopen; access to 3101 is done through the library space, not the training space. Please be advised that with our other room closures, as well as similar long-term room bookings across ZSFG for the EMR system training, demand for Room 3101 will be very high. 

  • Does the fact the computer lab isn't there anymore mean there are no more computers that are specifically for staff members?

    • Not true! When we reopen, we will have sixteen computers available in the library area. Eight of them will be dedicated for public use, but the remaining eight will always be set aside for individual use by staff and students. Please always have your badge with you when using these computers.

  • What other changes have happened?

    • When we reopen, you will see that the old bookcases will be gone, though there will be new, lower bookcases in their place. The bookshelves along both walls have been kept as well.  You'll see everything's been given a great update with new coats of paint on the walls, ceiling and on all the bookcases as well as our front desk, as well as a bright blue accent color on the new wall separating the library from the training room.  You'll also see that we have brand new flooring replacing our old carpet; this will be in both the library area and the hallway from our front entrance. Finally, the library will be brighter overall since the windows will let in more natural light than the old setup allowed with the bookcases.

  • It's great you'll have the ZSFG Reads collection with all the general reading material, but what happened to all the other medical texts?

    • Our medical print collection was rarely used and sorely out of date, with most journal articles available online and many updated texts available as ebooks. A number of the paper books and journals we've removed are available at the main UCSF library at the Parnassus campus, so the information is still accessible. Other items we owned were already in that collection so when necessary our copies, which were duplicates, were discarded. We’re also expanding that ZSFG Reads print collection, which was developed for all patrons; this will also mean an expansion of our Consumer Health Collection, with general health information for all patrons.  This collection is now formally part of ZSFG Reads.

  • That's great but does that mean you just simply got rid of some books? You shouldn't throw books away!

    • Most of our books that we discarded were more than 10 years old; no one would accept them as donations because the information in them is no longer useful. Books that were less than 10 years old were donated to Better World Books, an organization that works to fund high-impact literacy projects in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Any other updates?

    • We are already considering a variety of possible plans for the future involving our remaining space -- you'll be the first to know what's next!  As of March 1, please know that we are approaching the end of remodeling, but we cannot yet say with certainty when we will be open. We look forward to serving you again directly soon. Contact us if you have any more questions!