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Home » » Libraries

Frequently Asked Questions
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library familySan Francisco libraries offer a quiet respite to hang out, a place to take in some local entertainment or lectures, or do some cool arts and crafts. But most important, it is a place to expose your kids to a wide variety of books, magazines, and periodicals for FREE!

Online Storytime
- Barnes and Noble offers stories read by authors & celebrities. Choose stories like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham, Pinkalicious and much more.  Stories can be viewed for free. Read more.
 

 

San Francisco Storytimes
We've compiled a handy list of storytimes at San Francisco public libraries and other places. All events are FREE unless otherwise indicated.

 

How to get a Library Card

A library card gives borrowing and usage privileges at the Main Library and all branches and provides remote access to the Library's online resources. Library cards are required for checking out materials and for using many library services and materials. Residents of California with identification may obtain a library card for free, although fees are charged to replace lost cards ($.50 for children and young adults; $1.00 for adults and seniors). Applications are available at the Main Library and all branches and are to be submitted in person.

 

Applications are available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

 

 For more information see the SFPL website.


 SFPL Logo High 

• Find a San Francisco Library near you.

• Did you know you can renew your books online?

• Did you know there are several teen programs offered monthly—FREE?

• Did you know that the library offers FREE lapsits, movies, performances, and activities for all ages?

• Did you know that your child can Dial-A-Story and listen FREE in English, Cantonese, or Spanish every day?

• Need a book suggestion? Pick one from the SFPL Recommended Reading list.

  

Check Out San Francisco
Use the FAMILY PASS to Enjoy FREE Admission to 18 Participating Attractions.Pick up your pass at any library. View here for more information. 

 

brown sign 2SFkids Tips



• Used book stores are great for exchanging your child’s books for something new. See 
SFStation.com for a great list of used-book stores.  

• Charity secondhand stores (including Goodwill) often have lots of great books at very reasonable prices.

• Get to know your local independent booksellers.
 

The Bookmobile at SF Parks

The Early Literacy Mobile (ELM) is coming to play at the park! The ELM is a library in a big truck just for children 0-5 and their caregivers. “Early literacy” is what a child knows about reading and writing before she learns to read. Movement and play are an important part of growing into a reader.

The ELM holds 1000s of books for children under 5 years. Diggers & movers, dinosaurs, dragonflies, frogs, monsters, princesses, tricycles, flowers, hummingbirds, even a barrel of monkeys. Picture stories, non-fiction, fairy and folktales, board books, parenting resources, music on CDs, educational DVDs, and so much more. Check out your favorite book or find a new favorite. Get a library card.

Come to the playground and hit the swings with a good book, or take some books home to cuddle up later.


Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.-12 noon: • Every first Tuesday - Golden Gate Park, Koret Children’s Quarter (Children’s playground), 295 Bowling Green Drive (off Martin Luther King Drive)
• Every second Tuesday - Parque Niños Unidos, 23rd & Treat Streets
• Every third Tuesday  - Helen Wills Playground, Broadway & Larkin Streets
• Every fourth Tuesday - Potrero Hill Recreation Center Park, 801 Arkansas Street (at Madera)

 

Getting Books that are the Right Level

If your child took the California STAR test you were given the results and information sheet as to their reading level through the mail.  Parents can help kids choose books that are the right level for them based on the English Language Arts Standards Test score. Although no single test will tell you what books your child can or should read -- encourage your child to explore other reading list numbers to find books of interest.

Visit the California Reading List

 



SFUSD School Library Resource

SFUSD individual school library information is available online. This resource is a district-hosted, web-based library system. You can search the titles available in your library and see if the book you're looking for is currently in stock. This is a wonderful tool for older students who are looking for resources for reports or who are looking for specific titles or authors.

Simply follow these steps:

1) Visit San Francisco Unified School District Library website.

2) On the links on right side, click on "Online School Library Catalogs."

3) Choose the name of your school.

4) Click on the "Catalog" tab and search by keyword, title, author, or subject.

 

 

Great Reading Lists   
• The California Young Reader Medal program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state.
 John Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
 (Randolph) Caldecott Medal honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
 (Pura) Belpré Award honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
baby reading
 Andrew Carnegie Medal honors the producer of the most outstanding video production for children released during the previous year.
 Geisel Award is named for Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.
 State of California Reading List (CRL)  offers reading lists based on your child's score on the California English-Language Arts Standards Test. A specific list has been designated as appropriate for him or her in terms of reading difficulty and interest level.
 Library of Congress Families Page presents American history, literacy, maps, and facts from around the world.

Other Local Libraries 

• Mechanics Institute, Library and Chess Room is a membership-based club with events, books, and fabulous chess classes and tournaments for youth and adults.
• 
GALEN UCSF Digital Library is available to the public.
• 
SFGov San Francisco Law Library for Kids presented by the State Bar of California. The Kids and the Law page is an A to Z publication of laws pertaining to kids. The easy-to-read text provides footnote citations to actual code sections. This publication is in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
• 
BJE Jewish Community Library Organization is free and open to the public. The library serves families and adults through its collections of books, music, DVDs, and free public programs. The Library is located on the campus of the Jewish Community High School.

This site made possible by:

Logos Department of Children Youth and Their Families GoKid.org

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