Community Redistribution Program


Our Main Library and 27 branch libraries have a finite amount of space for their collections, and weeding is essential to make room for newly purchased materials. While maintaining strong collections, books are carefully deselected with consideration given to their condition, the number of copies in the Library system, levels of circulation, whether the information has become outdated and other factors.

According to Library and City policy, library materials may be given to agencies that will use them for the public good. Weeded library materials may be sold only by the Library or the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

What's Available

  • Popular and classic fiction
  • Nonfiction in all subject areas - art, history, business, travel, etc.
  • Reference books including encyclopedias, almanacs, etc.
  • International language materials
  • Children's books in all genres and subject areas (in English and other languages)

Requests are filled according to categories and not by specific titles.

Who is Eligible and How to Apply

Community agencies who receive donations of books and other library materials must use these materials for the public benefit. Examples of eligible agencies include:

  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Hospitals
  • Jails & prisons
  • Daycare centers
  • Libraries
  • Community nonprofits
  • Social service agencies

Write to us on your community organization's letterhead and include the following information:

  • How your agency will use the books for the public benefit.
  • What kind of books you would like and how many you can use.

Setting Priorities

Top priority is given to San Francisco City and County agencies, especially the San Francisco Unified School District and the San Francisco jails.

Community agencies within San Francisco are also given high priority, especially those serving low income neighborhoods and groups.

Agencies outside of San Francisco are prioritized on the basis of need and by their ability to make use of the materials available.

Selection & Delivery of Materials

Library staff choose materials for each agency from available stock on the basis of written requests. Recipients come directly to the Main Library to pick up books that have been pre-selected and boxed for them.

Groups requesting shipment of books need to cover shipping expenses.

Who Has Received Books - (a partial listing)

  • Books for the Barrios (for school-age children in the Philippines)
  • Casa de Las Madres (battered women's shelter)
  • Delancey Street Foundation
  • Ethiopian Children's Project
  • Glide Church Crisis Center
  • Golden Gate Park Senior Center
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Aid Organization
  • Laguna Honda Hospital
  • The Living Room (St. Anthony drop-in senior center)
  • The Native American Health Center
  • San Francisco Jails and Prison Literature Project
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • San Francisco Youth Guidance Center, Woodside and Log Cabin High Schools
  • South Park Residence
  • Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center
  • University of California San Francisco: Mt. Zion Pediatrics
  • University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City, Philippines
  • Washington Group (Korean university libraries)
  • Wuhan Library, China

For questions:


San Francisco Public Library
ATTN: Community Redistribution Program
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102