San Diego

Accessibility Tools

Contrast: Default / High
|   More Info

Resources for New Americans

The San Diego Public Library serves a very diverse population of adults and their children from countries and cultures outside the United States. This page was created in an effort to share Library resources that can help them adjust to U.S. culture and achieve permanent citizenship. You can also find more resources at the New San Diegans Resource Center.

Photo of an American flag.

Free Library Card

The San Diego Public Library offers free library cards to residents that may be used at any of the Library's locations. A library card may be used to borrow materials such as books and videos and the cards also gives access to the resources of the Library's online databases. There is no minimum age to get a card, but children under age 18 will need a parent's signature. The application is online in PDF icon English or in PDF icon Spanish. Just print out and complete the application, and bring it with one form of photo identification and address verification to any of the Library's locations.

Citizenship Preparation

The Library has many materials about immigration, citizenship, and citizenship test preparation that may be borrowed:

International Language Collection

The Library's international language collection includes books, periodicals, audiocassettes, videocassettes, CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs. Materials are offered in Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hmong, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

English Learning Materials

The Library has a collection of English as a Second Language (ESL) materials, as well as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) resources.

English as a Second Language Programs

The following is a list of events and locations for those learning English as a second language.

    Site Days & Times

    Carmel Valley Library
    3919 Townsgate Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Intermediate conversation only
    Register in class any Thursday

    Certified ESL instructor from Mira Costa College

    Balboa Library
    4255 Mt. Abernarthy Ave
    San Diego, CA 92117

    6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Reading, speaking & writing

    Program facilitates by volunteer

    Rancho Peñasquitos Library
    13330 Salmon River Rd.
    San Diego, CA 92129

    Mondays & Wednesdays
    9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    Free for all adults of all levels
    Palomar College instuctors/assistances

    ESL starts January 29, 2018. Register in class at any time.

    Conversation Café Fridays
    10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Small groups  based on level
    Volunteer facilitated conversations

    Conversation Café is ongoing; no need to register.

    Otay Nestor Mesa Library
    3003 Coronado Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92154

    Tuesdays & Thursdays
    3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Basic ESL class with no fee
    Registration required through Southwestern College

    Starts January 30, 2018

    Citizenship class
    9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Ongoing class provided by Montgomery Adult School

    Linda Vista Library
    2160 Ulric St.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Daily Mondays - Thursdays
    9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Beginners through intermediate conversation, varies by day
    Provided by Laubach Literacy Council

    Register in class, contact library for details

    Mira Mesa Library
    8405 Salem St.
    San Diego, CA 92126

    Tuesdays & Thursday
    9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Citizenship class; practice for the naturalization interview
    Instructor with San Diego Continuing Education

    January 31 - June 7, 2018
    Register in class; begin classes any time during the semester.
    Contact library for details

    North Clairemont Library
    4616 Clairemont Drive
    San Diego, CA 92117

    12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    ESL Conversation class; casual, no pressure
    Certified ESL Instructor

    Starts February 9, 2018


    Adult Literacy Program

    Program Services

    READ/San Diego
    Adult Literacy Program
    San Diego Public Library
    330 Park Blvd., 8th Floor
    San Diego, CA 92101
    [email protected]


    One-on-one tutoring at various branch libraries.

    Adult literacy, family literacy, GED, Citizenship & computer-based instruction.

    You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.