San Francisco Public Library Unveils New $1.7 Million Learning Center & Veterans Resource Center

Michelle Jeffers,
(415) 557-4282; (415) 608-1593

San Francisco Public Library Unveils New $1.7 Million
Learning Center & Veterans Resource Center

(San Francisco – January 20, 2015) –Mayor Ed Lee joined with Supervisor Jane Kim and City Librarian Luis Herrera for the grand opening of the San Francisco Main Library’s new $1.7 million, fifth floor learning center, known as The Bridge at Main.

The new center, constructed by San Francisco Public Works, offers programming and information to build literacy skills along with a new Veterans Resource Center, to provide assistance and benefit connections for veterans in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is a true tale of two cities. It has an incredible literate population that supports the literary arts, books and poetry, but also some astonishing gaps. A recent study found that 47% of adults in the city have low literacy skills, and only a fraction are being served,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “This new center is part one of the tremendous and transformative undertaking we are making at the San Francisco Main Library. Our mission is to make sure that all San Franciscans gain 21st century literacy skills and that no one in our community is left behind for lack of resources.”

The Bridge at Main will offer a full complement of adult and family literacy classes, 1-on-1 tutoring, learning differences resource support, plus technology, health and financial literacy programs. The Library’s 30-year-old adult literacy program, Project Read, which pairs learners with volunteer tutors to build English language skills, will also be housed in the new Bridge at Main.

The Bridge at Main also is taking an innovative approach to digital literacy skills, offering classes and resources for 3D printing, sewing, digital animation and more. Thanks to a new financial literacy grant, the center will offer classes to help people learn about everything from establishing a checking account to saving for college and retirement to understanding home loans.

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC), which is offered in partnership with Cal Vets, will allow veterans to be able to learn about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits that may be available to them and their families. The VRC will have a collection of books and other resources for veterans, and provide access to computer equipment for extended periods in order to complete online application and do research.