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Central Library Tours

Interested in touring the world class Central Library?

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


Docent Guided Tours

Register for a Tour

General Tours

Tours available by appointment (8 people max), depending on docent availability.  Accommodations may be available for larger groups with advanced notice.

Highlights include:

Art Tours

  • Explore some of the 150 individual works of art from the Civic Art Collection, the largest display ever in the history of the Commission for Arts and Culture. 
  • Learn about the four permanent and site-specific art installations commissioned for the Central Library.
  • Enjoy a special look in the Hervey Family Rare Books Room. 
  • Finish in the Art Gallery with a look at rotating exhibitions. 
Tour requests should be for groups 8 or more and requests for small groups may be combined.  Please send request at least two weeks in advance for best possible availability.
 

Tours of the Rare Books Room

Join us for a tour of The Hervey Family Rare Books Room located on the 9th floor of the Central Library in Special Collections. Here you will find the San Diego Public Library’s unique and treasured Wangenheim Rare Books Collection. 

Some of the highlights of the tour include:

  • Miniature books collection

  • Illuminated religious texts

  • Fore-edge painted books

  • A short talk on what defines a “rare book”

  • Art work of Alfred Mitchell and Donal Hord

Tours accommodate 2-20 individuals and run 30-60 minutes. 
 
Patrons are free to independently explore the rest of the Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collections space housing City Directories, Maps, the Genealogy Collection, and California Heritage.


Tours for Educators and Group Visits

If you are looking for a field trip that expands students' enthusiasm for learning, consider requesting a Children's or Teen Tour of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common! Tours are specially designed by grade level for students in grades K-12.

Children's Tours

The Children’s Tour is appropriate for kids ages 5-11 (Kindergarten through 5th grade), visiting the library as a group or class. Depending on your interest and the amount of time you would like to spend with us, your visit may include:

  • a building tour led by specially trained Docents,
  • highlights of special spaces in the library that specifically interest children;
  • space for your group to have lunch in the library Courtyard.

Teen Tours

The Teen's Tour is appropriate for youths between the ages of 12-18 (6th grade to 12th grade), visiting the library as a group or class. Depending on your interest and the amount of time you would like to spend with us, your visit may include:

  • a building tour led by specially trained Docents,
  • highlights of special spaces in the library that specifically interest teens;
  • space for your group to have lunch in the library Courtyard.

Self-Guided and Virtual Tours

Self-Guided Tours

Virtual Tours

For other questions or concerns, call (619) 236-5800 or email weblibrary@sandiego.gov