In 1976, San Francisco librarian Gladys Hansen, was contacted by local officials looking for someone to give tours of City Hall. Gladys began training volunteers, and two years later, San Francisco City Guides was formally established.
As City Guides grew, the group became a program of the San Francisco Public Library. Tours moved beyond the confines of City Hall, and the organization became recognized as the official docent of San Francisco.
Over forty years later, the group proudly continues their work, conducting free walking tours of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. The group has over 300 volunteer guides and over 80 different tours. City Guides is still a program of the San Francisco Public library, as well as a partner of the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
City Guides volunteers are serious about sharing the fun of discovering San Francisco and its diverse neighborhoods. They continue working to preserve and perpetuate the history and folklore of San Francisco, and to celebrate the city’s rich history of cultural diversity. In the spirit of the San Francisco Public Library, the group continues to provide all services free of charge.