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Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common

Central Library Tours

Want to See the World-Class Central Library?

As interest in the Central Library has grown, so has the interest in seeing the facility.

There are now multiple ways to experience all that this space has to offer.

Docent Guided Tours

General Tours

  • Take an hour tour and see the iconic architecture and the diversity of programs and services available in this amazing community treasure. Highlights include:
    • three art installations;
    • the Dr. Seuss-themed Sanford Children's Library;
    • the beach-themed Pauline Foster Family Teen Center;
    • the Helen Price Reading Room;
    • the Society for American Baseball Research Center;
    • the 3-D printing lab;
    • the Art Gallery;
    • Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collections Center; and
    • the Qualcomm Dome Terrace.

Art Tours

  • Explore the 150 individual pieces installed by the Commission for Arts and Culture, the largest display ever in the history of the Commission.
  • Learn about the four permanent art installations commissioned for the Library by the Commission for Arts and Culture.
  • Enjoy a special look into the Hervey Family Rare Books Room
  • Tour the Art Gallery's On View collection.

Architecture Tours

  • Learn about Rob Wellington Quigley's vision for the San Diego Central Library. Highlights include:
    • Garden Courtyard;
    • Lobby;
    • Helen Price Reading Room;
    • Sculpture Garden;
    • Qualcomm Dome Terrace; and
    • Special Event Spaces, including the stunning Shiley Special Events Suite.
    Learn about the materials used and interior design used to make the San Diego Central Library an iconic civic building.

Click on the tour that interests you for specific days and times

Tours without signups will be cancelled. Tours are not scheduled during Padres home games. Each tour can accommodate up to 50 people and groups will be divided between three different tour docents.

For tours in Spanish or at times other than those listed, please email or call 619-238-6667 with at least two week's notice.

Tours for Educators and Group Visits

Register students for either the Children's Tour or Teen Tour, please read all group visit details before registering.

Children's Tours

  • The Children's Tour is appropriate for kids ages 5-11.
    Groups may include school classes, day cares, youth groups, clubs, scouting organizations, and more.
    This one-hour tour is led by specially trained Docents, highlights spaces and resources that specifically interest children.
    The tour is followed by a 15-minute orientation to library programs and services led by a Youth Services Librarian.

Teen Tours

  • The Teen Tour is designed for ages 12 to 18.
    Groups could include classes, recreation groups, clubs, summer programs and more.
    The suggested ratio of teens to chaperones is 25 to 1.
    The Teen Tour highlights spaces and programs in the library that specifically interest teen students.
    Docents are trained to highlight information in the respective areas that meet the interest of youth.
    The tour concludes in the Teen Center where students can enjoy the space and technology available for teens.

Self-Guided and Virtual Tours
Self-Guided Tours Virtual Tours

For other questions or concerns, call 619-236-5800 or email

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