Ah, the summertime. The kiddos are out of school. And there are only so many camps you can sign them up for before you start dipping into the good ol’ college fund. When free fun is on the agenda, the library is the perfect summer spot. And with the recent announcement of the best public library in the United States, San Francisco area families are truly lucking out.

The 2018 Gale/LJ (that’s Library Journal) winner is in. And the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) is officially the “library of the year.”

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ALL are welcome. Not one, not some, ALL!

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So what makes the SFPL a true winner? To start with, all are welcome at this public hotspot. The library even has their own “All Are Welcome” initiative to help immigrants learn/improve English speaking skills, get info on settling in the U.S. and learn about the path to citizenship.

Along with helping immigrants, the library also has a four-part series of programs that address race-related issues for parents, educators and caregivers who work with young children. But that’s not all. Last year the library’s “We Love Diverse Books” launched, with 50+ programs that focus on counteracting stereotypes through literature.

And yes, there’s more. The library was the first of its kind to have a social worker on site. That was almost a decade ago. Now the library has a social services team who are ready to help anyone in need.

While the SFPL took top honors, the Chicago Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library (in Ohio) received special mentions.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: PublicDomainPictures for Pixabay

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