Family Book Fair | Mechanics' Institute

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Family Book Fair
FREE for families -- come for crafting, reading, and listening to stories.

Dive into a World of Wonder at our Family Book Fair! Join us at Mechanics' Institute on July 13th, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, for a literary celebration perfect for the whole family!

Visit the SFPL Bookmobile: Kick off the literary adventure at 11:00 am with the San Francisco Public Library Bookmobile, stationed outside of Mechanics' Institute on 57 Post Street in downtown San Francisco. They have great books you can borrow, and you can also sign up for an SFPL library card!

Crafty Fun for All Ages: Come explore our 3rd Floor Library starting at 11:00, and let your creativity flourish with our artful activities! Practice writing "HELLO" and "RAINBOW" in different languages, take-apart and put-back-together the colorful flora of LEGO botanicals, or try making an origami butterfly at our hands-on crafting tables. Origami butterfly lessons are scheduled at 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm.

Explore Diverse Reads: From noon to 3:00 pm, explore a world of translated, bilingual, and multicultural books. From timeless classics to contemporary gems, there's something for every member of the family to enjoy. Explore our curated selections from our universal library section (done in partnership with Center for the Art of Translation), and find a space in our library to read. Books will be available for sale from ImmediumTransit Children's Editions, and Two Lines Press). Our free books section, donated by Asiapac Books, is limited to one book per family.

Family Story Hour: From 12:15 to 1:00 pm, immerse yourself in the magic of storytelling with our captivating lineup of storytellers, featuring Shook, who will read Giant On the Shore (Transit Children's Editions) and Oliver Chin, who will read Year of the Dragon (Immedium). Lose yourself in tales that will spark imaginations and create unforgettable memories for the whole family.

Don't miss out on this enchanting literary journey! Mark your calendars for July 13th and join us at Mechanics' Institute for an afternoon filled with books, stories, and fun for the whole family. See you there!

This Family Book Fair is part of Mechanics' Institute's 170th Anniversary Open House celebration.


Founded in 1854, Mechanics' Institute is celebrating its 170th anniversary with an all day activation of our historic library, events space, and chess room. All are welcome to explore this literary, arts, and cultural jewel of downtown San Francisco through building tours, scavenger hunts, and library pop-ups throughout the day. Special events include a family story hour, discussions with the leading voices of the Bay Area on the past, present, and future of San Francisco, and a Bastille Day jazz concert with Le Jazz Hot Quartet. The full open house schedule is available below.

Attendees are welcome to register for any and all of the events listed below. Please use individual ticket options to register for the events you would like to attend (Chess simul registration will be available on Jumbula). While we always welcome same-day and drop-in attendance, only tickets purchased prior to each event will guarantee admission. Mechanics' Institute members receive discounted tickets for all Open House events!

Open House Schedule

11:00 am to 3:00 pm: Family Book Fair

12:00 pm: Chess Simul with Grandmaster Sam Shankland (registration on Jumbula)

1:00 pm: Therese Poletti - The Building (and Re-Building) of San Francisco

2:00 pm: Building Tour

3:00 pm: Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. and John King on the Past, Present, and Future of San Francisco

4:00 pm: Introductory Chess Lesson

5:00 pm: Happy Hour

6:00 pm: Bastille Day Jazz Concert with Le Jazz Hot Quartet


Members of Mechanics' Institute FREE
Non-Member/Public FREE
Register now ›
3rd Floor Library
Programs & Events - 415-393-0116
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0116.


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