Summer Stride 2020


Summer Stride is the Library’s annual summer learning, reading and exploration program for all ages and abilities.

From June 1 through August 16, 2020, we are promoting:

  • Reading enjoyment
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning
  • Mindful experiences in nature

Summer stride 2020 totebagChallenge yourself and others to read, learn and listen with the Library this summer! 20 hours of participation earns you a coveted finishing prize: the 2020 Summer Stride Library book tote, featuring art by picture book author Alison Farrell

Begin your journey towards 20 hours of summer learning starting June 1!

Track your progress virtually on Beanstack. You can register individual participants as well as groups (families, classes).

Track your progress on our printable Tracker:

summer stride trackerSummer Stride Tracker (PDF)

Color each square for every 20 minutes of participation. (3 squares = 1 hour.)

Once you complete 20 hours of reading, you get a beautiful canvas book tote as a finishing prize. We’re working on a plan so you can safely pick up the book tote and Reading Ranger badge when we reopen our libraries. Until then, you can leave us a message at or (415) 557-4277 to let us know you’ve finished and we will contact you with the pickup details. We can’t wait to welcome you back to the libraries. 

  • Resources

Give yourself a nature boost with our partner!

SFPL is proud to partner for a fifth straight year with the very best of San Francisco’s natural resources—our National Parks! Explore the exclusive National Park Service activity guide, and visit us every Friday and join rangers, park staff and special guests for a family-friendly, Nature Boost to get your weekend started off right.

Visit to find a new Nature Boost posted every Friday. See our first Nature Boost on June 5, 2020 Summer Stride kickoff with artist Alison Farrell.

  • What to Read

Note: Each list links titles to just one format, usually the eBook. For many books in other formats are also available, get in touch with SFPL at (415) 557-4400 for help finding what you need.

Get to know Alison Farrell, artist of 2020 Summer Stride

Alison Farrell photo at drawing desk

"I think the most authentic way for me to make a book is to first consider experiences I am interested in, or that bring me joy. Next, I think about books that I would have wanted to read as a kid, or that I would have wanted for my son, Finn. Then, I combine these ideas."--Alison Farrell

A Conversation with Alison 

How did your experience living in SF inspire your illustrations for Summer Stride?   

I have many fond memories of San Francisco, especially of Golden Gate Park!  When I lived there, I rode my bike through the park and The Wiggle on a daily basis.  Just thinking about it makes me miss the smell of eucalyptus trees! There are so many iconic locations in the park and in the city, it was difficult, but fun to narrow it down.   

How have public libraries had an impact on your life?  

My first memories of a public library is in the small New England town where I grew up.  The original library was built in the late 1800’s and was made of granite, sandstone, and slate.  I remember feeling a real sense of reverence for the quiet old building and the books it contained.  I also felt comfort and belonging there, like it was a very safe place that suited me.   

As an adult, I am amazed and proud of how libraries have grown from places that contain books to beautiful community gathering spaces.  When my son was very young, we were frequent visitors of the Ortega Library in the Outer Sunset. Not only did this library nurture my son, but it also gave me hundreds of picture books to read as I was building my career as an illustrator and author. 

Check out your own copy of The Hike, or find out where you can buy it on!

Meet Alison! This year’s Summer Stride program kickoff is co-presented with the National Park Service and features a live reading of The Hike. June 5, 11 a.m. Tune in on YouTube!


Virtual Events Schedule

Date Time Program Name Description

11 a.m.

STEM Challenge Yo’Self: Get Ready!

Gather your household supplies for the weekly STEM Challenge.

Tuesdays 11 a.m.

STEM Challenge Yo’Self

Every week, experiment, learn and have fun with a new STEM challenge fresh from our librarian lab! Can you defy aerodynamics, or use the Force to control water? Find out!

Wednesdays 11 a.m.

Local Talent Showcase for Families

Enjoy the talents of your favorite artists through exciting performances and interactive workshops. Check below for who’s coming up!

Fridays 11 a.m.

Nature Boost with your Park

Meet national park rangers, learn more about local plants and animals and “nature bathe” with immersive park photos and videos.

To experience the fun we have every summer, check out #SummerStride on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.