Library services

Until a few years ago, there was no library in San Francisco's Juvenile Hall.

In 1996, City Youth Now partnered with the San Francisco Public Library to bring a library facility to the Juvenile Justice Center.

Our goal is to introduce young people, many of whom have never been in a public library, to the world of reading. There are now over 4,000 books in the collection and the librarian spends time each week with the youth on the individual units.

We have found that many of these children are hungry for knowledge. They want to learn. And many of them are remarkably bright. They spend countless hours alone in their cells and express a strong desire for books. When asked if they read more inside Juvenile Hall than outside of Juvenile Hall, 73% of the youth said they read more when they were incarcerated than when they were on the outside.

If you are interested in learning more about the library services through City Youth Now or wish to donate to the Library Book Fund, please email us at or