New Literacy & Learning Center - 5th Floor

Department detail



Under Construction: Literacy Center Opening Fall 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Literacy and Learning Center support the Library Strategic Goals?

Yes, the Center will support four of the five strategic priorities identified in the budget:
  1. Literacy and learning
  2. Digital strategy
  3. Youth engagement
  4. Strategic partnerships

What are the purpose and benefits of the Center?

The new Center will prioritize community literacy and learning in three key areas by combining them into one cohesive unit, including adult literacy, youth and family literacy and technology literacy. These units will effectively work together to create a learning environment for 21st century skills.

What current programs and services will be included in the Literacy and Learning Center?

The resources and services of Project Read and Learning Differences will be part of the Center, including materials supporting early literacy, as well as technology learning and literacy training and instruction. The Center will be responsible for the following programs and services:

  • Partnerships with city agencies and community-based organizations;
  • Collaborative programs with other libraries;
  • City wide programs and events that support literacy and learning;
  • Collections that support diverse learning needs;
  • Collaboration with providers of ESL (English as a second language) training through workshops and classes;
  • The Learning Lab, a public computer training room, will offer computer classes including basic and intermediate computer skills, language learning workshops, job seeking support, and classes that explain/demonstrate SFPL online database and eBook resources.
  • Project Read Computer Lab for learners, tutors and guests; selected resources include:
    • Computers customized for easy navigation and use;
    • Literacy software programs;
    • Links to sites helpful for independent learning and tutoring;
    • Staff developed support tools, including tutor training, guides to using Google, Facebook, community resources and more;
    • Subscriptions to databases for language learning, early literacy;
    • Family literacy workshops;
    • Books, audiobooks and other materials for adults and children;

    Where will the Center be located?

    A library staff team identified various options within the Main Library and selected the 5th floor as the optimal location.  The Center will be on the west side of the building, facing the Civic Center Plaza.

    How big will the Center be?

    Including the new Learning Lab for training and technology literacy, the Literacy and Learning Center will be 4,700 square feet.

    When will the Literacy and Learning Center be ready and open to the public?

    It is anticipated that construction on the Center will begin in mid-January 2014, with an anticipated opening date of Fall 2014.

    Project Read is currently both accessible and easy to find. Why does it have to move?

    The move will allow Project Read to be located and work closely with other library services with shared goals for literacy and learning. Within the Literacy and Learning Center, Project Read patrons will have ready access to additional materials and services.

    How can I access the bound periodicals that were located on the 5th floor?

    The bound periodicals formerly located on the west, or Larkin Street, side of the 5th floor Main Library are in on-site storage along with other materials, and all are available upon request from the 5th Floor Paging Desk. Staff at the Magazines and Newspapers Center Reference Desk will gladly assist patrons, including providing online options.

    Where are computer classes?

    In the interim, many of the computer training classes such as the Job Seekers Lab and the basic and intermediate computer skills class are being held in the 6th Floor Computer Training Room in the Main Library. Some classes, particularly those on evenings and weekends, have also moved into meeting rooms on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Floors, and into the Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room. Check the computer class calendar online, or in the At the Library newsletter, for the location of a class.

    Will the Center offer classes? Where will the Learning Lab be located?

    When the Literacy & Learning Center is completed, Library classes will resume in the new 5th Floor computer Learning Lab, which will be located at the north end of the Literacy and Learning Center, adjacent to the Stegner Environmental Center. In addition to offering learning and literacy classes, the Learning Lab will continue to be used for basic and intermediate computer skills training, language learning workshops, job skills support, library online database trainings and more. The Center’s Multi-Use Room also will be used for literacy workshops and trainings.

    Will there be public seating?

    Seating in the Literacy and Learning Center will be specific to function, including a welcoming reception area with seating for visitors waiting for appointments. The Learning Lab will include 20 workstations and chairs, with seating and tables for an additional 16 in the Multi-Use Room. The dedicated Project Read computer lab will include eight computers and chairs. Additional tables and chairs are set aside in rooms designed for one-to-one and small group tutoring.

    Will the Center include books?

    Many of the books in the Project Read collection (1,600 volumes) and the Resources Collection for Learning Differences will be refreshed prior to the opening.

Upcoming Classes

Project Read Tutor Training
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Main Library, Children's Center
Project Read Drop-In Math Class
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Main Library, Golden Gate Rm - 5th Fl
Project Read Drop-In Math Class
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Main Library, Golden Gate Rm - 5th Fl

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