San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Reading Buddies in 2018!

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Monday January 22nd through Thursday May 24th Reading Buddies will be available for appointments after school Monday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Please stop by the Children’s Desk, call us at 415-485-3322, or email for specific dates and times and to make an appointment.

Reading Buddies pairs adult and teen volunteers with elementary school aged youth (grades 1-3) for 20 minute appointments. During the appointment, the child will practice reading with their Reading Buddy one-on-one, and receive help and guidance with difficult words, comprehension, and other reading skills.

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Stories of Immigration

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Check out a new recommended book list for youth, Stories of Immigration: Perspectives from Pura Belpré Medal and Honor Books. The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and REFORMA’s 2018 Pura Belpré Award Committee has compiled a list of past Belpré medal and honor books that address the Latino/a immigration experience and provide young readers with insight into the very real struggles and choices faced by families every day.

The Pura Belpré Award is given annually to latino/a children’s authors and illustrators whose work best represents and celebrates latino cultural experiences.

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How much does your library get used?

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We at the San Rafael Public Library are so pleased that our neighbors continue to use the library’s services so heavily. That’s what we’re here for, after all! The library was used more than ever over the last year.

Take a look at our annual report highlighting the most interesting numbers from the last year!

SuccessWe had a 23% increase in event attendance for youth and an amazing 183% increase in event attendance for adults! Part of that is our focus on offering more, and more different kinds of, events that our neighbors are asking for.

Over the last year we’ve added 14,004 new items to our shelves. Whoa!

And our digital branch is thriving–the number of eBooks and eAudioBooks you all downloaded went up by 23%–in one year!

Finally, you’re asking us more research questions. We saw a 13% bump in the number of times our librarians were able to help you with your research and technology needs. Keep those questions coming!

Have questions? Ideas? Other numbers you’d like to see? Leave a comment here or email us at

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We Heard You Have Eclipse Glasses…?

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We heard you may have gotten free eclipse glasses from the Library. If so, can we have them?

In all seriousness, the Library is collecting used eclipse glasses for redistribution to schools in South America and Asia for use during eclipses that will cross countries in those regions in 2019. This redistribution effort is being done by Astronomers Without Borders, and you can find out more about the program here.

You can drop off your used eclipse glasses at any public desk at the Downtown San Rafael Public Library through Friday September 8th, and we will send them to Astronomers Without Borders. Let’s put these glasses to further good use!

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Marin Comics Fest 2017

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Marin Comics FestWe’re happy to announce the inaugural Marin Comics Fest, taking place at libraries and local venues throughout Marin County from September 9 to 16.

Discover new comics, books, and graphic novels and meet the illustrators and authors behind them! This festival is intended for all ages so bring the entire family.

Check out the complete schedule for details.

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Come to Our Eclipse Viewing Party

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**Update: We have no more safety glasses to distribute before the eclipse! The American Astronomical Society has compiled a list of reputable vendors.***

**We will be distributing a small number of safety glasses at our Sun Party on the day of the eclipse. They will be distributed beginning at 9:00 am on Monday, 8/21 on a first come, first served basis, limit 2 per family, while supplies last.** These glasses were provided to us by the Space Science Institute thanks to a grant from the Moore Foundation. They are certified safe by the International Organization for Standardization.

Just about everyone is excited about the upcoming Solar Eclipse on August 21st! The Library is so excited, that we’re hosting a Sun Party in partnership with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers and Johnny Doughnuts (yes, there will be doughnuts!). The Sun Party will be held on the Downtown Library’s front lawn and the City Hall driveway on August 21st, 9am-12pm.

There is a flood of “counterfeit” viewing glasses on the market in anticipation of the eclipse. Even companies that claim their glasses are approved by NASA or the ISO may, in fact, not meet the safety standards of those organizations, and could cause eye damage. For more information about counterfeit glasses, check out this article from Life Hacker. Happy viewing!



Library accepting proposals for next phase of library facilities project

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The City of San Rafael and the San Rafael Public Library are accepting proposals to establish a range and prioritization of options for the City to consider when establishing goals for new library facilities. We are looking for a partner or partner(s) to create top view building plans (a bird’s eye view of what a footprint would look like for a building, grounds, and parking) along with cost models including, but not limited to land acquisition, capital, FF&E estimates , and any operational cost increases for all three of the following:

  • Three potential new Downtown Library sites
  • A Pickleweed branch library expansion
  • Three potential sites for a new Terra Linda branch library

A letter of intent to submit must be received by August 10, 2017 and the proposal must be received by August 24, 2017.

The Request for Proposals and the City’s standard professional services agreement are linked below.

  1. Request for Proposals – San Rafael Public Library Facilities Project
  2. City’s standard Professional Services Agreement contract
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Book Recommendations in Your Inbox

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Meet your next favorite bookLooking for something good to read? Some beach reads, science fiction, mysteries, or even audio books? BAM! The library can help!

Sign up for our book recommendation newsletters and get themed book lists e-mailed to you with peeks at book covers, brief descriptions, and links to the library catalog. All newsletters are sent on a monthly basis, unless otherwise noted.

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Help Yourself with our Amazing Free Self Help Financial and Legal Resources

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Are you interested in learning more about managing your personal finances or navigating confusing tax laws? Or perhaps you’re interested in learning more about a particular legal topic- whether it’s fighting a ticket or communicating with a landlord:

If these topics interest you, we have an excellent database available to San Rafael Public Library card holders called the Legal Information Reference Center (LIRC):


LIRC is  full of self-help legal eBooks and guides and you can access them in the library or remotely using your library card number. Most importantly, the materials in this database are full-text and written in plain language!


To browse the Legal Information Reference Center, please visit the library or, from home,  have your library card handy and visit our eBooks page here: 


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Wondering what to do with the kids?

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Discover and Go museum passesWondering what to do with the kids this summer that doesn’t break the bank? Go to museums and other cultural institutions, with free and discounted passes thanks to your library card!

Really? Yes!

The libraries in Marin provide all library cardholders with access to an amazing service — Discover & Go, which offers free and discounted passes to local museums, aquariums, science centers, and other cultural institutions.  Just pick one of the many museums and other cultural institutions, log in with your library card, and print your pass at home (or access it on your smartphone)!

Get passes to the California Academy of Sciences, Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Madame Tussauds San Francisco, and many more! Log in now and start saving!

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