What We Fund

Friends raises approximately $1.7 million dollars (including in-kind support) for the San Francisco Public Library annually. Below are some of the programs and events that these funds support:

Children’s Programming
Funding provides high quality children's literary, arts and science programming free of charge on a regular basis in the Main Library Children's Center and in all of the neighborhood libraries. Funding supports system-wide programs including Middle Eastern Heritage, Made in San Francisco, Performing Arts Festival, and We Need Diverse Books. Continue support for community bases VIVA Latino/Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Black History Month, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Tricycle Music Fest, Big SF Playdates and ongoing librarian led STEAM based programs; system-wide programming kits such as LEGO, Rock the Bike smoothie, and portable Marble Machines author and illustrator visits; and professional development for the SFPL children's librarians.

Last fiscal year (2014/15) over 392,000 youth attended over 11,000 programs. Friends expects to raise $48,000 for children’s programming in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

Programs take place year round.


Summer Stride
The summer learning program, Summer Stride, is designed to encourage young readers to maintain or improve reading skills over the summer months, when it has been documented that without such encouragement or exposure to culturally rich activities, a learning gap occurs for children in lower socio-economic levels that cannot be made up during the school year. Summer learning includes programming for teens and adults to encourage readers of all ages and families to read together. The summer learning program also ensures that every neighborhood in San Francisco provides regularly scheduled arts, literary and science based programs free of charge. 

Last fiscal year (2014/15) over 14,000 people enrolled in Summer Stride and 26,096 people attended over 681 Summer Stride programs. Friends expects to raise $72,000 for Summer Stride in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

Summer Stride takes place May – August.


Exhibitions & Public Programming
Friends helps the Library reach out to San Francisco's diverse and vibrant communities through funding exhibitions and programs with themes such as Islamic and Middle Eastern Culture, San Francisco culture, Music and Performing Arts, Diversity in Literature and all-ages science, maker, and craft programming. Funds are also used to support robust programming in the Bridge at the Main, as well as to support ongoing outreach activities in the community, such as participation in art nights, farmer's markets, and cultural street fair celebrations. 

Last fiscal year (2014/15) 4,052 public programs at the Library drew 63,709 attendees. Friends expects to raise $70,000 in 2016/17 fiscal year for exhibitions & public programs.

Exhibitions and public programming take place year round.


At the Library (ATL) Newsletter
The At the Library (ATL) newsletter is produced each month, providing an important publicity vehicle to highlight the many programs, events, collections and services at the San Francisco Public Library. Funded by Friends, the ATL also provides an important service for all patrons and library staff by printing a complete monthly calendar of adult, teen and children's events at all branches and the Main Library.

The ATL is widely read and has a print circulation of approximately 12,000. Friends expects to raise $9,000 for the ATL in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

One City One Book
One City One Book is a citywide book club funded by Friends that promotes the joy of reading and engages our diverse community. The goal and purpose of the program is to encourage members of the San Francisco community to read the same book at the same time and uncover and discover its themes throughout the City. By building bridges between communities and generations (from high school students to seniors) through the reading and discussion of one book, we hope to make reading a lifelong pursuit and to build a more literate society. 

Last fiscal year’s (2014/15) One City One Book included 30 events attended by over 3,018 people. Friends expects to raise $20,000 for One City One Book in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

One City One Book takes place September – November.


The Effie Lee Morris Lecture Series
The Effie Lee Morris Lecture series is funded by Friends and is an annual event initiated in 1997 by the San Francisco Chapter of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA) in collaboration with SFPL. The lecture is hosted by the Fisher Children's Center staff in conjunction with Youth Services Team. The lecture is recognized nationally as an important contribution to the world of Children's Literature. The public program includes a renowned author or illustrator, original presentation, exhibition and reception.

Friends expects to raise $2,500 for the upcoming Effie Lee Morris Lecture in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

The Effie Lee Morris Lecture takes place in May.


Book Buddies
Book Buddies is a longstanding reading program funded by Friends that teams volunteers with local hospitals to read to patients in the pediatrics' ward. Friends provides the funds for publicity materials, bookmarks and refreshments.

Friends expects to raise $1,300 for Book Buddies in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

Book Buddies is a year round program.


Teen Services: The Mix at SFPL
The Mix at SFPL is the Library’s new teen digital learning center, located in the Main. Friends provided the funding for the furniture & equipment of this space. Ongoing Friends funding for The Mix will allow the teen center to provide high quality programming free of charge by supporting partnerships, which provide expertise in these special subject areas: Digital Media Literacy, Content Creation, Coding and Computer Competency and Maker Technology. Funding by Friends also supports staff development by providing support, training and materials for librarian-led programs at the Main and the branches.

Friends expects to raise $60,500 for teen services in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

Teen Services at The Mix takes place year round.


Innovation Grants
Each year Friends funds special innovation grants for the San Francisco Public Library. In the last fiscal year, these innovation grants funded Spoke & Word, a Library outreach bicycle, and Inventing the DIGI Center, a planning grant for a physical space at the Library for creating and hosting programming for the Library's growing digitization efforts.

Friends expects to raise $32,500 in the 2016/17 fiscal year for SFPL innovation grants.


Grants to Branches
Each year, Friends funds grants to 27 SFPL branch libraries. In the last fiscal year, these grants funded programs such as: Taste It @ Your Library partnering with local food industry business, Health and Wellness workshops featuring Yoga, Tai Chi, reflexology, healthy eating, dancing, etc., Culture to Culture introducing patrons to cross cultural themes related to dance, food, literature and music and the Branch Digital Archive Projects providing an opportunity for branches to collect and document historical photographs and memorabilia to preserve the rich history of San Francisco.

Friends expects to raise $13,500 in the 2016/17 fiscal year for grants to branches.


Public Relations
The Public Relations grant supports the Library’s marketing and promotional efforts to reach out to the community. Funding is used to support library participation in heritage street fairs and festivals such as Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown and the Glen Park street fair. Other funds are spent on special openings and events, such as groundbreaking ribbon cuttings. Monies are also used for advertising, signage, marketing collateral, photography and promotion efforts. In 2015-16, the Library expects to leverage much of these funds for the new teen digital learning center, The Mix at SFPL, marketing, Main Library 20th Anniversary, new digital and e-collection resources and to support robust exhibitions and programming for all ages.

Friends expects to raise $25,000 in the 2016/17 fiscal year for SFPL public relations.


Library Staff Professional Development
An annual grant from Friends makes it possible to awards funds to Library staff for the purpose of attendance at conferences, workshops, seminars, courses for continuing education, etc.

Last fiscal year (2014/15), 145 program attendees received grants averaging about $206. Friends expects to raise $41,700 in the 2016/17 fiscal year for staff professional development.


Help support the San Francisco Public Library - donate today!