The Need

Twenty-three percent of adults in San Diego County lack basic literacy skills.

The Library invests in both youth and adults by providing essential programs and resources that positively impact educational attainment, employment rates, self-sufficiency, financial literacy, and community participation. Philanthropic support helps ensure underserved students of all ages can access quality and relevant education that inspires and sustains an engaged citizenry.

Research proves investments in social infrastructure like education reduce crime, boost school success, and create connections to jobs and economic sustainability.

Library Solutions

READ/​San Diego

The library’s adult literacy program, READ/​San Diego, serves the estimated 450,000 San Diego adults who cannot read and write well enough to meet everyday needs. This award-winning program has become a nationwide model. READ/​San Diego’s literacy professionals have helped more than 22,000 adults learn to read and write with the support of more than 300 reading tutors. By empowering previously illiterate or low-literate adults to learn to read, this program makes a transformative difference in their lives. Learn more about READ/​San Diego.

Library NExT

Library NExT (Network for Education x Training) prepares underserved middle and high school students for college and the workforce. The program is a partnership among the Library Foundation, the library, and UCSD and features free, hands-on education and counseling programs for students who would not have these opportunities otherwise. Library NExT increases access to advanced science, technology, engineering, arts and math education, college preparation assistance, and workforce development training. Started as a pilot program at six libraries in 2017 and now includes programs at all library locations. In 2021 and 2022, this program helped 2,980 students.

Do Your Homework @ the Library

The Do Your Homework @ the Library program offers free access to homework help at 18 libraries throughout San Diego. In addition to homework help from education professionals and volunteers, the homework centers offer access to school supplies, materials, online research tools, and other digital resources, all within a safe and engaging learning environment. During the pandemic, the Library transitioned this service to a virtual format, offering homework help sessions 6 days a week, in both English and Spanish. In 2022, 9,565 students benefitted from these resources.

I noticed too many zeros. We came to get help from the tutors. And, those zeroes started turning into points.”

Maria Felipa, mother of a child who visits Do Your Homework @ the Library tutors at the Logan Heights Library