What We Do
Friends in the Community
Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to bringing libraries to life. Friends works in a variety of ways to support the SFPL and encourage literacy.
Programs and Services
As a foundation, Friends provides grants to the Library that respond to a wide range of community needs, and supports and produces programming that enriches the lives of people all across San Francisco.
For more information on the types of programs and services we fund, click here.
Funded by Proposition A, a bond measure that passed overwhelmingly in 2000, the Branch Library Improvement Program built and renovaed San Francisco's branch libraries. Since the bond did not provide funding for furnishings, fixtures and equipment, Friends raised funds to equip and furnish these 24 branches through our Neighborhood Library Campaign.
We helped to renovate 16 branches, moving four from small, leased spaces to larger, city-owned buildings, replacing three branches with new buildings and one brand-new branch was constructed in Mission Bay, where we have anchored a growing neighborhood by establishing the first new branch library in more than forty years! (Opened in July 2006).
In each neighborhood, Friends organized a fundraising committee comprised of library supporters, local businesses, parent groups, City Supervisors, school teachers and other members of the community. We raised much of the needed funds at the grassroots level to help build a sense of ownership and neighborhood pride in the Library.
For more information on the Neighborhood Library Campaign, click here.
Friends' Advocacy efforts have helped pass four ballot measures over the past 20 years. These measures have secured stable funding for the San Francisco Public Library well for generations to come. Friends also works to raise awareness of the substantial value of public libraries today, through a variety of forums, benefit studies and more.
For more information on Friends' advocacy efforts, click here.
Each year, Friends recycles more than 600,000 donated books through our Book Operations. We donate books to the Library, Schools and non-profits. We also resell these books at our two books stores at the Main Library and Fort Mason, the largest annual book sales on the West Coast, and smaller sales on the steps of the Main Library.
To learn more about our book donations, book stores or book sales, click here.
In addition to funding library programs, Friends produces a number of programs and events that support the literary community such as author signings, Poets 11, Thursdays At Readers Poetry Series, and more!
Check out our upcoming events here.