Free summer events and reading challenge opens for all San Franciscans

San Francisco Public Library’s Summer Stride program is back with in-person and virtual events, reading challenge for all ages

SAN FRANCISCO Come read, San Francisco! Summer Stride, San Francisco Public Library’s premier summer reading, learning and exploration program, launches on June 1. This year, the Main Library and 27 branches are thrilled to be back, offering free in-person and virtual programs featuring authors, crafts for adults and kids, movement and mindfulness programs and much, much more.

“I invite every San Franciscan to step into your neighborhood library this summer and discover what we have for you. Summer Stride offers the opportunity for students to engage in fun and enriching learning activities while school is out, and for adults to pick up their next great summer read and connect with the City’s literary community through a wide array of events. And, of course, we encourage everyone to develop a lifetime reading habit and love of books,” said City Librarian Michael Lambert. 

Children’s programs include appearances by local favorite Boswick the Clown and Little Explorers petting zoos. For kids who love building and hands-on interaction, Library locations are hosting make-your-own chia pets, lip balm, catapults, zines and other fun projects. Check your local library’s schedule for details. In addition, every San Francisco Unified School District student may select a free book to keep for their home library—they just need to stop by any SFPL location this summer.

Summer Stride adults can look forward to film screenings, author and art programs. An urban sketching program, reading by Filipinx-Latinx Bay Area poets and classical guitar performance are just some events on the June calendar. A panel of writers from Black Fire—This Time, moderated by author Kim McMillon, and photographer, educator and activist Subhankar Banerjee speaking on art and social transformation are a sneak peek of what’s to come in July.

Summer Stride incentivizes reading, learning or exploring nature for 20 minutes a day as a way to prevent “summer slide”—a decline in academic skills that occurs while school is out. Participants can track their time reading and learning on Beanstack (, an online platform that can be accessed from a computer or mobile device. Participants can also download a physical tracker along with the SFUSD/SFPL Recommended Reading List for preschoolers to high schoolers at or pick up a tracker at any Library location.

Every year, the Library uses original art from a recently published children’s book to excite San Franciscans to participate in Summer Stride. Harvey and the Collection of Impossible Things, a middle grade novel by award-winning author Garret Weyr, celebrates the power of perseverance and the drive to find a sense of belonging and togetherness. Artist Minnie Phan drew upon her background and love for the comic arts to create a buoyant, witty and inclusive campaign that emphasizes characters and narrative storytelling amidst beloved San Francisco landmarks. Find out more about Phan at

Find recommended reading lists from your trusted adult and children’s librarians, more information on how to sign up and upcoming events on

Event Highlights:

Portola Branch Summer Stride Kick-off Party – June 4, 2 p.m., Portola Branch

Locals are all invited to Portola to participate in a grand launch of the summer season! Kids can learn to ride with My Bike Skills and drop in for a tie-dye bonanza. Plus, Tree Frog Treks bring lizards and other creatures to the garden for kids to pet, hold and watch them explore.

Bryant Terry and Bay Area Black-Owned Farms – June 4, 2 p.m.

Chef, educator, author and activist Bryant Terry brings together The 280 Project and Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV) to discuss their agriculture journey, community well-being and food justice in the Bay Area.

Silent Disco Party – June 4, 3 p.m., Western Addition Branch

Come to a Silent Disco Party to kick off Summer Stride and celebrate the branch’s open house. Come grab a pair of headphones and dance your heart out. Don't worry, crank up the music as loud as you want. No one is going to tell you to “Shhh...”

Sisters Across Oceans – June 5, 11 a.m.

This reading commemorates Sisters Across Oceans, featuring writing inspired by a poetry exchange between West Africa, Hawaii and California. Virtual. Registration required.

North Beach Branch Open House – June 11, 10 a.m., North Beach Branch

Enjoy events and activities for families, animal lovers, music enthusiasts and City explorers. Children can pet and connect with their favorite farm animals, such as rabbits, chickens, goats, pigs, sheep and even alpacas with the Little Explorer Petting Zoo. The afternoon features a Chinese musical performance and brush paintings demonstration. Then, embark on a 2-hour walking tour of the North Beach neighborhood by San Francisco City Guides and discover the history, culture, cuisine and characters of this vibrant neighborhood.

Malinda Lo in Conversation – June 29, 12 p.m., watch on YouTube

In honor and celebration of AANHPI month and PRIDE, we bring you a conversation with award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Malinda Lo and teen librarian Rachel Fiege.

Library Day at the New Farm with Live Music, Chickens & Book Giveaways – July 2, 1 p.m., The New Farm/Bay Natives Nursery, 10 Cargo Way

The New Farm will be jumping with a children’s book giveaway, chickens galore and live music. SFPL and the New Farm partner to bring fun for the whole family this July 4 weekend. 

San Francisco Rock Project Plays The Mix at SFPL – July 16, 3 p.m., The Mix at the Main Library

Live music is back. Enjoy a musical performance by the youth-led house band for the San Francisco Rock Project. After the set, meet the band for a Q&A session and participate in a short musical workshop where the youth of SFRP will give participants a quick lesson on a musical instrument. For ages 13-18.


Subhankar Banerjee on A Library, a Classroom, and the World – July 31, 1 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Indian-born American photographer, writer and conservationist Subhankar Banner will speak about art, social transformation and A Library, a Classroom, and the World, a project in the 2022 Venice Biennial art exhibition Personal Structures organized by the European Cultural Centre in Venice, Italy.


About San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

Summer Stride is funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


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Jaime Wong

Public Relations Officer

San Francisco Public Library

415-557-4295 |


May 27, 2022