Skip to main content

Reading and Research

The CDS Library’s collection of 7,000 titles lines the paneled walls of its home on the first floor of the 16th Street building. 

The major focus of the library program at Children’s Day School is to connect students with books that fuel their interests and introduce them to new viewpoints. Each week, students in kindergarten through fifth grade choose books during their library classes. Students in sixth through eighth grades visit the library for enrichment and research. Part-time Librarian, Elsa Townsend, keeps track of students’ evolving interests and literary tastes to display and recommend enticing titles. 

The scope of the growing collection reflects the varied preschool through eighth grade curriculum, with particular depth in the following areas:

  • Non-fiction: books and audio-visual materials on civil rights and social justice, world cultures/folktales, biographies and poetry.
  • Fiction: award-winning picture books, “early” readers, young fiction (“chapter books”) and middle school fiction.

The librarian also provides teachers with materials from digital resources and the San Francisco Public Library, as well as from the CDS collection. The library program introduces all students gradually to the Dewey Decimal System, reinforcing this knowledge with field trips to the San Francisco Public Library. 

Everyone in the Children’s Day School community is welcome to check out books from both the general collection and the parenting and education collection. Parents, grandparents and family friends are always welcome during classroom library times, to read aloud and help students find and check out inspiring books, and to lend a hand with ongoing library tasks. 

Anyone wishing to help out in the library during school hours can contact Elsa Townsend at