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Surprise Visit to San Francisco Maritime Museum Library

On a recent vacation out to San Francisco, I visited the staff at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. If you are ever in San Francisco, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit portions of the SF Maritime Park. The visitor’s center, museum and historic ships are all located in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood. (Not far from the cable car turnaround.)

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Gina, Joy, Melia and Ted check out the collection.

The library reading room is spacious, with views of the bay and contains various nautical artifacts (see the stained glass window from a ship in the picture below). My kids ran off to check out the big books of maps while my husband perused the walls of art and artifact and later acted as our de facto photographer. And, of course, I spied the computer terminals where you can access the (ByWater supported) Keys catalog. Hint: if you check out the library OPAC, you can find out who Keys was.

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Gina and Ted, at the library that day, were gracious hosts and told us about their collection and a bit more about the Maritime complex. FYI – the library has over 35,000 books and periodicals dating from 1536 to the present! Most of these are in closed stacks but there are a few great old ornate shelves in the reading room that you can see in the photos above and below.

Go find those hidden gem libraries in your neighborhood and city. You’ll never know what you’ll find!!!

Read more by Joy Nelson

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