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06/09/2020 - 12:54pm

Throughout the history of Mechanics’ Institute Library, intellectual growth and cultural advancement has always been promoted and encouraged. MI is widely known for its distinguished library of recreational, educational, and cultural materials. What began as an organization for vocational instruction and recreation during the Gold Rush era in San Francisco has evolved into a diverse community of literary-minded members in...

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06/08/2020 - 10:26am


Arthur Hailey Airport
Angela ElwellHunt Daughter of Cana
Jennifer Steil Exile music
La Jill Hunt Private property
Briana Cole...

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06/05/2020 - 10:51am

This month, Judit Sztaray celebrates her one-year anniversary as general manager of youth outreach and events for the world-renowned Mechanic’s Institute Chess Room. A former science researcher with a Ph.D. in chemistry and the 2017 recipient of the U.S. Chess Federation Organizer of the Year award, Judit grew up playing chess in her native Hungary, where she also honed her skills in Eastern European baking.

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06/04/2020 - 4:09pm

During these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that the performing arts culture continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic. A treasure trove of cultural resources can be found online, free to all.

Come take a look, and listen! Click to enter the enchanted worlds of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Metropolitan Opera (New York), and Shakespeare Festival (Stratford...

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06/02/2020 - 10:19pm

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! The list of suggested titles was compiled by reference librarian, Craig for readers seeking more information about investing, personal finance and retirement. Click the book title to take you to the catalog. All you need to check out is your 14-digit barcode number (no...

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06/01/2020 - 5:41pm

Some days are ripe for a mental health break. Mechanics’ Institute’s new Kanopy streaming service is the perfect antidote to take your mind off everything that is happening right outside your front door. Kanopy has hundreds of feature films to comfort and lift your spirits. The best part is that you can binge-watch for free with your MI library card.

We’ve assembled a short list here with one goal in mind...

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05/29/2020 - 9:16am

CinemaLit regular Virginia (“Ginny”) Matthews began her modern dance career at Sarah Lawrence College and trained at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. A founding member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in the 1970s, the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award in choreography, and the director of Downtown Dance/Art Space in her hometown of Sebastopol,...

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05/28/2020 - 4:35pm

Few would argue that a gorgeous garden can do wonders for the spirit. A leisurely stroll to explore the magnificence of spring blossoms is a treat for the senses. While we cannot have the full sensory experience right now, we can bring nature into our homes via the internet. Many botanical gardens have created video tours of their greenhouses, flowers, and trees, allowing virtual visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature from...

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05/28/2020 - 2:56pm


Anne Enright Actress
Emma Straub All adults here
Ovidia Yu Aunty lee's delights
Susan Howatch Cashelmara
Thornton Wilder...

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05/28/2020 - 10:09am

Dear Friends:

All of us at Mechanics’ Institute send our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to you - our members and greater family. Since the building closures and other ramifications of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), you’ve been on our minds, and we care deeply about how this health crisis may be affecting you and your loved ones. We hope you all are staying safe and healthy.

A venerabl...

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