San Rafael Public Library

Library Updates

STEAM Powered Fun at the Library

Posted by jill on

RetroRocketSTEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

We are excited to offer another series of STEAM programs beginning this Saturday, April 2, 1-4pm with Blast Off! Space Science for Martian Families. Have fun with your mini-Martian in this fun, hands-on space science program. Explore, create, and discover using simple materials, creativity, and imaginative problem-solving! Don’t forget to pack your sense of wonder for an out-of-this-world experience. No registration is required, and families with kids of all ages are welcome.

We also have Saturday morning STEAM events for families with children ages 3-6:

STEAM_girlwithmagnifyingglassApril 9, 11-11:45 am: Measuring and Counting with Pizza

April 16, 11-11:45 am: Earth Day

May 7, 11-11:45 am: Building with the Three Little Pigs

Space is limited at our Saturday morning STEAM programs for PreK, please register at the Children’s Reference Desk, or call us at 415-485-3322.

Thanks to the Friends of the San Rafael Public Library for making these programs possible!


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Super Secret Tours and Talks at the Libraries

Posted by sarah on

Libraries Transform graphicIn honor of National Library Week (April 10-16), we invite our San Rafael neighbors to join us at the San Rafael Libraries for our open houses. Both locations (Downtown and Pickleweed) are readying both the well-known and super secret spots in the libraries for you, our neighbors! Come to one of our open houses before the library opens to see all of the behind-the-scenes work!

  • Downtown Library: Sunday, April 10 – noon-1pm
  • Pickleweed Library: Saturday, April 16 – 10am-11am

Join us for music, tasty treats, and super secret tours of the libraries! Enter our drawing to win fabulous prizes including autographed books from One Book One Marin selections, San Rafael restaurant goodies, and more! You will need to register at the Library Open House to be entered into the drawing but you do not have to be present to win.

Learn about our vast collections of books, movies, eBooks, online resources, technology, and more! Meet your neighbors who work at both of the libraries and talk to them about what you’d like to see your library do for the community.  Learn all about San Rafael Public Library’s heritage along with our plans for the future.

No need to RSVP. See you in April!

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Reading Buddies Available at the Downtown and Pickleweed Libraries!

Posted by jill on

staff, reading, families,

Reading Buddies pairs adult volunteers with elementary school aged youth for either 20 or 30 minute appointments. During the appointment, the child practices reading with the volunteer one-on-one, and receives help and guidance with difficult words, comprehension, and other reading skills.

Weekday after-school, evening, and weekend appointments are available at the Downtown and Pickleweed Libraries. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit or call the Downtown Library’s Children’s Reference Desk (415-485-3322) or the Pickleweed Library (415-485-3483).


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Library seeking LEGO donations

Posted by sarah on

builders clubHelp us, neighbors! The San Rafael libraries are looking for LEGO donations to supply our Builders Club for kids. We borrowed LEGOs for our first event and due to its huge success would like to make this a regular program at both of our libraries: Downtown and Pickleweed. You can see photos from our first Builders Club on Facebook.

If you have LEGOs (any quantity, any kind) that you’d be willing to donate to the library, please email us at or call us at 415-485-3325. We will even come to you to pick them up!

We love our neighbors here in San Rafael and hope we can count on you to make this building and learning program a reality for the children of San Rafael!

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Little Free Libraries come to San Rafael

Posted by sarah on

Little Free LibraryThe Library has sponsored two Little Free Libraries in Downtown San Rafael to support the love of reading and learning in our community. With the help of Public Works, we repurposed two vacant news racks and turned them into Little Free Libraries instead.

The mission of the Little Free Libraries movement is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. There are over 36,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curbside literacy home and sharing millions of books annually.

The books are graciously donated by the Friends of the San Rafael Public Library and the book inventory will be maintained with the assistance of volunteers from Community Homes and Services. One of the libraries is in front of the Starbucks on 4th Street (at A Street) and the other is in front of Lundy’s on 4th Street (at B Street).

Please let us know what you think of this new service!

Little Free Library

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Intro to Women’s Bib(liography)

Posted by diane on

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we thought we’d collect some of our past book lists centered on women. We’ve got straightforward biographies, novelizations of real-life women, books about the strong bonds of friendship between women, and more!


Fascinating American Women – nonfiction biographies


Female Friendships –fiction about the sisterhood of friends


True Life Fiction- Royalty – fiction featuring real kings and queens


True Life Fiction- Women – fiction about famous women


Women in Science – female scientists in fiction and true biography


Women Writers’ Lives – fiction and biographies of female writers

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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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