The Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room
is an historic membership library, cultural event center, and chess club located in the Financial District
of San Francisco
at 57 Post Street. Founded in 1854 to serve the vocational needs of out-of-work gold miners, the Institute today is a favorite of avid readers, writers, downtown employees, students, film lovers, chess players, and the 21st century nomadic worker who needs a quiet place to plug in a laptop and do research.
Though initially a library dedicated to the mechanical arts, a merger with another institution, known as the Mercantile Library Association, in 1906 caused the Mechanics’ Institute Library’s collection to drop its technical focus. Its collection today covers all subjects with special strengths in literature, fine and performing arts, history, philosophy, business, finance, and periodicals that are hard-to-find in electronic format. The latest best-sellers and films are also available as is a rapidly growing audio-book, e-book, and music collection.
The Mechanics’ Institute prides itself on personal service and its dedication to the “intellectual growth of its members ”. Members are encouraged to recommend materials for purchase, attend... Read More