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06/19/2020 - 12:06pm

Sixty percent of American men are fathers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But the data doesn’t tell us how dads feel about the role—or, for that matter, how their progeny rate their performance. In honor of Father’s Day 2020, we rounded up an assortment of comments from writer-fathers and writer-offspring on what it actually means to be a dad.

“To be a successful father . . . there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two y...

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06/18/2020 - 10:17am

If your favorites tend to be from the non-fiction genres, you might enjoy one of the staff picks below.

Rhonda (Library Assistant) recommends:

Wheat Belly (2011) by William Davis,...

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06/17/2020 - 7:39pm

What book(s) can’t you get out of your mind? That’s the question we asked library staff this month. Their responses, ranging from 19th-century classics to a 2019 burial guide,

may inspire you to revisit your own top titles or make the acquaintance of theirs.

Rhonda Hall (Library Assistant):

Passing by Nella Lars...

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06/15/2020 - 5:16pm

Did you know that the Mechanics’ Institute Library has hundreds of titles in e-book format to address all your financial information needs?  It’s true! Reference librarian Craig has gathered together a follow-up list of suggested titles on investing, personal finance and retirement. Clicking on the book title takes you to the library’s catalog. All you need to check out is your 14-digit barcode number (no spaces or hy...

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06/15/2020 - 12:02pm

In compliance with San Francisco City/County requirements, the Mechanics’ Institute building is closed until further notice. Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to evaluate and adjust our services due to COVID-19. While our building is closed, you have access to thousands of library ebooks,...

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06/12/2020 - 3:56pm

June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Pride Month. This year, Pride celebrations honor diversity, solidarity, and local heroes virtually (a list of helpful links with free activities to follow). Also for your viewing pleasure, we've assembled a list of LGBTQ+ films available for free on the Mechanics’ Institute Kanopy streaming service. All you need is your MI library card. Grab...

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06/11/2020 - 10:50am

Since opening its doors in 1855, the Mechanics’ Institute has attracted—and continues to attract—scores of local writers. In fact, 179 works by members are part of the Library’s collection.

One of the most vivid in the lineage of card-carrying MI authors is San Francisco native Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948), a prolific novelist and chronicler of California social history. A globetrotting feminist, Atherto...

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06/10/2020 - 3:12pm


James Patterson The 20th victim
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Agafya
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Ariadne
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Ward No 6
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov...

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06/10/2020 - 2:52pm

In case you are looking for something good to read during our continuing shelter-at-home order, here are a few more suggestions from our staff:

Autumn (Library Assistant):

Some of my prime pandemic reads:


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