||In 1996 San Francisco
inaugurated its $30 million New Main
Library with an elaborate Civic Center ceremony. In a spectacle
where Mayor Willie Brown took center stage, a skydiver came from the blue
on cue to present the mayor with a ceremonial key to the new building.
The pageant also included construction workers who built the facility,
local school children, library donors, and others. Topping the whole thing
off was Beach Blanket Babylon's
with the New Main Library added to the City landmarks on her famous hat.
Soon after the "New Main" was dedicated, City officials revealed that the
building actually holds fewer books than the old Main Library a few yards
away. Increased shelf space and other improvements would cost another $30
million. What the new building lacks in stacks it makes up for in
the abundance of natural light that comes from its
skylight and many windows.
Native American activists
condemn one of the statues outside the library's north entrance. They say
the statue, which clearly depicts a missionary and a settler subjugating
a Native American, is racist. You may judge