San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

Film Night Fundraiser for the Library

Posted by sarah on

American_graffiti_ver1The Friends of the San Rafael Public Library are holding a fundraiser for the Library the evening of Thursday, October 16th at the Rafael Theater. The film will be American Graffiti, directed by local juggernaut George Lucas and filmed in San Rafael, Petaluma, and other Bay Area locations.

Tickets are on sale now at the Friends Books store, located on C Street between 4th and 5th. You can also purchase tickets at the Rafael Theater and both the Downtown Library and the Pickleweed Library.

Movie tickets are $25 apiece, and for $35 you get a ticket to the movie plus access to a special VIP reception before the movie. The reception begins at 6:30, and the film begins at 7:30.

There will be food, wine, and a raffle!

All proceeds of this event will benefit the San Rafael Public Library, both the Downtown and Pickleweed branches.

For more information call 415-453-1443.

See you there!

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Picture Books Galore!

Posted by bonnie on


This is just an smattering of what came in. We are positively swimming in fresh copies of popular books. Stop by and take some home today!

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Paws to Read, Paws to Give Donation Drive a Success

Posted by jill on

Image of Paws to Give Donation Drive display.To go along with our Summer Reading theme Paws to Read, we partnered with local animal welfare organizations The Milo Foundation and Marin Friends of Ferals to collect much needed items for the animals they serve. As we expected, generous families from San Rafael and throughout Marin dropped off a wide variety of items requested by the two organizations, and showed that summer reading isn’t just about earning prizes, but giving back as well.

We are grateful to all those who participated in the drive, but a few families went above and beyond. One group of kids had a lemonade stand to raise money to purchase items for the two organizations. More than one family donated food left behind after a beloved pet passed away. On behalf of the animals and the volunteers who care for them, we thank you!

Just because the our drive is over doesn’t mean you can’t continue giving to these two great organizations. Click on the links above to visit their respective websites and find out how you can donate either items or time to help. Because reading and making a difference really go together!

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New and Improved Overdrive: for eBook and Audiobook lovers!

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Our library patrons are checking out more eBooks and eAudiobooks than ever before!

If you’re a fan of the Overdrive eBook and eAudiobook platforms, you’ll be pleased to know that the service has undergone some very recent changes for the better.

Here is brief description of the changes:


Auto-checkout is now the default setting on all accounts. This means that your title will be automatically checked out as soon as it becomes available and you will receive a notification that the title is available on your Account Bookshelf.

If this option doesn’t seem appealing to you, uncheck the box next to “Automatically borrow this title when it becomes available.” Users who do not choose this option will follow the current hold notification process.

Pros & Cons from the Denver Public Library:

  • Pro: The advantage to Auto-checkout is that you don’t have to worry about missing the 4 day (96 hour) window of time to check out your title.
  • Con: The disadvantage is that your checkout period will start at the moment the email notice is sent.
  • Tip: Check your Account Settings where you may want to adjust your checkout periods.

Suspend a Hold

You can now temporarily suspend a hold in your hold list. While “suspended” your position will continue to advance in the queue, but the hold will not be filled until the specified time period has passed.

This option is perfect for people who have been waiting on a popular title for a loooong time but are going on vacation (or busy, or reading 5 other books) and are worried about their eBook/audiobook becoming available when they’re too busy to get to it.

Suspend your hold as you place it, or sign into your Account anytime to go to Holds, then Options.

Maturity Settings (from Denver Public Library)

Two options to allow you to customize your browsing and discovery experience based on content maturity level now appear on the Account > Settings page. You must be signed in to your Account to limit your results by maturity setting.

Exclude certain content from browsing based on the maturity level (Juvenile, Young Adult, General Adult, and Mature Adult). This allows adult users to exclude titles for younger readers and young readers to exclude adult-only titles from their experience.

You will also now have the option to “mask” all Mature Adult cover images with a basic cover image.

To set these options, sign into your Account and select Settings.

“AND” Boolean Searching (from Denver Public Library)

AND, the pièce de résistance, the default search behavior has changed from “OR” to “AND.” You will now only see results that include ALL of your search terms. Your number of results returned for a search will be lower than with the previous behavior, but this change will meaningfully improve the relevancy of the results. If your result list is too narrow, try removing a search term.

 If you have any questions about these changes or need help accessing your account, please come into the library and consult one of our excellent librarians or e-mail me at

Special Thanks to Janet’s Blog at the Denver Public Library for summarizing these changes so well that it was difficult for me to write a better post:


Happy (e) reading!



Museum Passes

Posted by sarah on

Discover & GoThe libraries in Marin provide all library cardholders with access to an amazing service — Discover & Go, which offers free and discounted passes to local museums and 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!

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

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Henna Workshop for Tweens and Younger Teens!

Posted by jill on

Photo of an arm with henna designs.Middle school aged youth are invited to join us for a henna workshop at the downtown library this Saturday, July 19 @ 2:30-3:30pm. Artist Rachel-Anne Palacios will share the traditional and beautiful art of henna. Each participant will receive a special henna design from Rachel-Anne, as well as henna paste to practice with in the library and to take home.

This program is for middle school aged youth (grades 6-8). Please register at the downtown library’s Children’s Reference Desk, or by calling us at 485-3322.

This free program has been made possible by the Friends of the San Rafael Public Library.

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Brace yourself…for carpeting

Posted by sarah on

The Downtown Library is getting new carpeting!

Work will be done at night Monday, July 7 –Thursday, July 24.  During that time you will see a patchwork of areas of new and old carpeting, so please excuse our temporary mess.

Library hours and services will not be affected. We will remain open our regular hours and all areas of the Library will be accessible.


Paws to Give Donation Drive

Posted by jill on

Photo of an adorable chihuahua.Because our summer reading theme is Paws to Read, during the month of July we’re running a donation drive to benefit local animal welfare organizations The Milo Foundation and Marin Friends of Ferals.

From July 1 to 31, you can drop off the following requested items at the Downtown Children’s Room and the Pickleweed locations of the San Rafael Public Library:

  • Canned kitten or “all stages of life” food for kittens and nursing mothers (Natural Balance, Taste of the Wild, Filladae)
  • Small and medium adjustable collars for dogs.
  • Dog treats, bully sticks, pig ears, and Kong dog toys.
  • Fleece blankets and towels.
  • Hoses and hose nozzles.
  • An outdoor umbrella or shade cloth.
  • Laundry detergent and bleach.
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer.
  • Heavy duty garbage bags and poop bags.
  • Clean-up wipes and paper towels.
  • Bottled water for volunteers.

When you drop off these items, children and families can place either a cat or a dog stamp on our goal display. The goal is to fill our poster (an outline of a cat and a dog) with stamps, and deliver lots of needed supplies to these two wonderful organizations!


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San Rafael offers first ever bamboo library cards!

Posted by sarah on

new library cardStarting on July 1, 2014, the San Rafael Public Library will begin offering bamboo library cards to library users.

During the entire month of July you can replace your old plastic card with a new, gorgeous bamboo library card for free! All new cards issued July 1 onward will also be bamboo instead of plastic.

We are proud to be the first library anywhere in the world (that we know of) to be offering library cards made out of renewable bamboo.

We have partnered with Grovemade, a leading designer of handcrafted wooden and leather accessories. The bamboo library cards were created to promote the City of San Rafael’s goals to create a greener environment through several initiatives, including changes in lifestyle, city operations, and construction.

Made from renewable wood, the library cards are individually hand sanded and oiled. The cards are just as durable as the plastic cards.

Join us in making our planet a better place and think of ways that you, too, can reduce plastic waste.


Summer Reading for all ages has started!

Posted by sarah on

Win prizes for reading! Seriously! You know you were going to read anyway…so now win stuff for reading even just one book!

The San Rafael Public Library challenges people of all ages to spend time reading and learning during the summer. Read, play games, attend free events, and earn fabulous prizes!

Cartoon bear holding books.This Friday, June 13th, our Summer Reading Programs start for all ages (and we mean all). We have unique programs for:

  • pre-readers
  • elementary school-aged kids
  • middle school-aged kids
  • teens and adults

Visit either of our libraries (Downtown or Pickleweed) to pick up a reading log and information about prizes and events.

Did you know that during summer break, students who do not spend time reading and learning can find their school year skills slipping backwards?  Teachers and literacy experts agree that reading for 20 minutes a day during the summer helps students retain their skills and return to school ready to learn.

Get more information about our summer reading programs for kids and for teens and adults. Questions? Pop us an email at

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  • Downtown Library

    Sun: 10:00-5:00
    Mon: 9:00-7:00
    Tues: 9:00-7:00
    Weds: 9:00-7:00
    Thurs: 9:00-7:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3323

    1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue)
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Pickleweed Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: 9:00-5:00
    Weds: 9:00-5:00
    Thurs: 11:00-7:00
    Fri: 10:00-5:00
    Sat: 10:00-5:00

    (415) 485-3483

    50 Canal Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Northgate Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon: closed
    Tues: closed
    Weds: 11:00-5:00
    Thurs: 11:00-5:00
    Fri: 11:00-5:00
    Sat: 11:00-5:00

    (415) 890-5670

    5800 Northgate Drive Ste. 083
    San Rafael, CA 94903

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