Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room, San Francisco

4.8
Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room is located in San Francisco. To visit Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room and other attractions in San Francisco, use our San Francisco online trip itinerary planner .
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Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
7 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This hidden gem warrants a visit. It's like stepping inside 'old San Francisco,' but also relishing how it remains such a vibrant and relevant gathering place.  more »
  • I attended a lecture here and the interior design was delightful, old San Francisco. Apparently the collectiion is restricted to members only, but outsiders can get in. Worth a quick visit.  more »
Google
  • Nice building, and lots of potential, but that’s where the positivity ends. As a library, this is not what you want. The philosophy behind the library is archaic, with staff behind counters constantly shushing patrons, occasionally - and without even a hint of irony - yelling across the room to be quiet. Recreating a seventh grade study hall is apparently their goal. The collection isn’t great, missing many local periodicals. Perhaps most frustrating of all: poor technology. The library catalog is something out of the 1980s. The membership fee is maybe $100 per year and seems greatly overpriced relative to what they offer. There is a place in the world for subscription libraries, bit this is not that place. If you happen to enjoy chess, maybe. If not, take a pass on this one.
  • If you don't have a membership with the library, the daily pass is $15. You have to purchase the daily pass even if you just want to sit at a desk with your laptop and study or work.
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