What We Do


Central Friends sees the services and materials of the San Diego Central Library as an integral part of the San Diego  educational system and as an essential component of the economic growth of our city, in particular East Village and downtown. Central Friends works with the Friends of San Diego Public Library at the local, state and national levels to raise awareness of the value of public libraries to a healthy and vibrant community, to promote reading and literacy for every age, and to make books and materials available to all. Advocacy during budget preparation is particularly important. Central Friends members are encouraged to appear and speak at public meetings to ensure that the Mayor and City Council are aware of the importance of providing adequate financial support for the San Diego Public Library.

Ways To Advocate

Communicate directly with elected officials throughout the year to reinforce the Friends’ message. Share a positive experience about libraries with Friends through our contact information on our website or Facebook! Write a letter to the editor! Write to U-T San Diego supporting the New Central Public Library! Attend library Commission meetings in support of the library budget!


Each year, Friends turns books donated by generous members of the community into dollars of support for the Central library. Thousands of books are donated each year and are sold along with withdrawn library books at the Friends Book Store. These book sales are sustained by hours of volunteer work to sort and channel these materials for the best possible use. Volunteers also staff all book sales. Additional donations and membership dues are also important components of the financial support that Friends provides to the library system. Each year, Friends fund programs and equipment that are not covered by the library’s budget. Friends create a strong support network of advocates who stand up for the library

Donate Time

Volunteering is the bedrock to everything Friends is and does. Both short-term and year-round projects abound for volunteers interested in contributing to the vibrancy of our community, working with like-minded people, or learning something new. Join us and dedicate some of your special skills, experience, and enthusiasm to our work. Every volunteer hour is a statement of advocacy for libraries, books, and reading.

Donate Gifts

Donations to Friends in the form of contributions, memorials, or bequests are welcome support for the library. Donate your gift online via our online donation form Gifts may also be channeled through the Central Library Friends or the Friends of the San Diego Public Library.. Larger donations may be directed through the San Diego Library Foundation. Your support will create a lasting impact on future generations when you include the library in your estate plans. A charitable, planned gift may be directed through your will or living trust. You can also make the library a beneficiary of your retirement plan. For more information on any of these options, contact the San Diego Library Foundation.

Friends of Central Library Support:

  • Wangenheim  Book Collection
    • Supports the Hervey Rare Book Room and the   Wagenheim Rare Book Collection,  sponsors an annual speaker and fundraiser.
  • Central Library Departments.
    • Purchases special items, equipment and materials that are not covered by the Library’s budget.
  • Children’s Programs
    • Brings children, books, and authors together through special events and programs at the Central Library. The Friends also sponsor thesummer reading program.
  •  Teen Council
    •  Creates volunteer and community service for teens.
  •  Adult Programs
    • Supports activities such as the concert series, local author reception, author and panel discussions, adult summer reading and movies.
  •  Art Gallery
    • Supports the receptions for new openings.
  •  Technology
    • Supports the 3D printing costs and supplies.. Central Friends rely on donated materials to generate financial support for the New Central Library.